Malta Exceptional Investment Naturalization (MEIN) Replaces the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP)
22 July 2021
On 20th November 2020, the government of Malta released a new route for acquiring citizenship in Malta. Formally known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP), it is now referred to as the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) policy and is regulated by the Maltese Citizenship Act (CAP. 188) and the Legal Notice 437 of 2020.
The MEIN grants citizenship for exceptional services to individuals and their families who make a direct investment in the Republic of Malta, contributing to the social and economic development of the country. It is open to non-EU nationals and gives successful applicants the opportunity to live, work, and study as citizens of Malta. The goal of the MEIN is to attract the highest standard of applicants from all over the world who see the value of investing in the country and appreciate the significance and benefits of becoming citizens of Malta.
Malta citizenship allows passport holders to travel to 184 countries visa-free, including the 26 countries of the EU. Primary applicants can choose to include their spouse and children and parents within their application.
The comprehensive procedure offers two options to obtain citizenship. The lower-cost option takes three years of residency with a donation of €600,000, while the second option (by exception) takes one year of residency with a donation of €750,000. Both options require an additional contribution for dependents of €50,000 each and applicants must either rent or purchase property in Malta.
What Are the Malta Citizenship Requirements? We have outlined the MEIN requirements below:
How Long Does It Take to Get Malta Citizenship?
From the time you submit your application for residence, to the time you acquire citizenship, it takes between 14-38 months, depending on the option the applicants opt for.
To apply for Malta Citizenship, you must take the following keys steps:
- Application for residence
- Submission of eligibility assessment (due diligence)
- Ministry issues an Approval in Principle
- Submission for naturalization by proving you have made the required investments
- Oath-swearing followed up by the Maltese passport application
Application for Residence:
The main applicant and all adult dependents need to apply for residence and are required to hold their residence card until they graduate to citizenship.
The application process includes thorough due diligence and strict background verification checks on the applicants and their families. If successful, they are granted Maltese citizenship. The MEIN due diligence involves a multi-tier system that is considered the most thorough for citizenship by investment in the world. This process ensures that only the most suitable applicants qualify.
Submission for Naturalization/Malta Citizenship Application:
Once the Minister approves an investor’s citizenship application, an official Letter of Approval in Principle is issued to the primary applicant. The applicant has four months to fulfill all the Malta Citizenship by Investment requirements. Under The Maltese Exceptional Investment Naturalization (MEIN) policy, the primary applicant must fulfill all of the following:
- Direct investment to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF): The primary applicant is required to pay €600,000 (after 3-year residency) or €750,000 (by exception after 1 year residency) and dependents including children, parents and spouse are €50,000 each.
- Real Estate Purchase or Rental Investment: Applicants are expected to retain an immovable residence in Malta for a minimum period of five years. This can be accomplished by either buying a property in Malta for at least €700,000 and sustaining ownership, or by leasing a property for at least five years with a minimum annual rent of €16,000.
Once a Malta investment citizenship application is approved in principle, they are required to donate at least €10,000 to a local non-profit organization. The applicant can choose from many qualified philanthropic, artistic, sport, scientific, or cultural non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and societies registered in Malta.
Other Malta Citizenship Costs:
- Residence Application Fees: €5,000 for the primary applicant, €1,000 per each dependent, €27.50 Residence Card Fees per card
- Eligibility Process Fees:
- Due Diligence Fees: €15,000 for the primary applicant, €10,000 for adult dependents of over 13 years old, If the applicant is sponsored, a Due Diligence fee of €15,000
- Administrative Fees: €1,000 per applicant
- Citizenship Application Fees:
- Administrative Fees: €5,000 for the primary applicant, €1,000 per applicant
Qualifying Family Members
The primary applicant may also include the following family members in the same Maltese Exceptional Investment Naturalization (MEIN) application:
The qualifying dependents are defined by the Legal Notice 437 of 2020 as it follows:
- Spouse or life partners, including a civil union, domestic partnership, and common law marriage also qualify.
- Children under 18 years old at the time that the citizenship application is submitted.
- Children over 18 but under 29 years of age who are unmarried and completely dependent on the primary applicant.
- Parent dependents over the age of 55 years old who are fully or principally supported by the primary applicant.
Key Advantages of the Maltese Exceptional Investment Naturalization (MEIN) Policy
- World’s number one citizenship by investment scheme due to the high standards of due diligence on all applicants and the incredible power of the passport
- Visa-free travel to 184 countries around the world
- No inheritance tax, estate duty, wealth tax, municipal taxes, or property ownership tax
- Citizenship is for life, may be passed on to future generations, and affords the right to live and work in Malta
- Flexible citizenship offering right to reside and visa-free travel
Malta may be the smallest economy in Europe, but since joining the European Union in 2004, this strategically located country in the heart of the Mediterranean has performed better than its larger counterparts in terms of GDP ratio. It has also managed to achieve an impressive 6.4% GDP growth in 2017 and 6.2% in 2018. The 2019 EU Commission Winter Forecast estimates that Malta will be the fastest-growing economy in Europe. As Malta’s economy flourishes, so do the interest from investors who are keen on acquiring citizenship in Malta.
For the next steps on how to become a citizen of Malta, please email email@example.com or call +356 2260 5174 or contact us here.
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