The Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services Programme launched on the 20th of November 2020 replacing the Individual Investor Programme (IIP).
This new programme allows individuals and their dependents to be naturalized as Maltese citizens in return for exceptional services to Malta in the areas of science, research, sports, arts and culture, or for exceptional services in the form of direct investment and entrepreneurship. This programme is designed as a residence programme leading to citizenship.
The Maltese Passport confers on its holder the right to live, work, study and set up business in all EU countries and enjoy the rights of an EU citizen together with visa-free travel rights to 184 countries. A Maltese passport also gives its holder access to Malta’s reputable education and health-care systems.
Through this new programme, naturalisation may be granted in two ways:
- Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Merit;
- Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment.
Under both methods, certain conditions must be satisfied. For instance, the applicant must prove residence in Malta and have proof of title of residential property in Malta. Additional requirements shall include satisfaction of fit and proper criteria, donations to a Maltese NGO, undertaking to make an exceptional investment and further monetary contributions.
Applications under this programme are capped at 400 applications yearly and 1,500 in total.
E&S Group has accumulated a wealth of experience in all matters related to residency in Malta. Our expert team guides clients through all the stages of gaining legal residency and citizenship through all the various applications and programmes available.
Such services include-
- Advising Clients on the application process;
- Assistance throughout all the stages of the application.
The main applicant under this programme has to be at least 18 years in age and may also include dependents in his application. Applicants should also prove satisfaction of the following criteria:
If applying for naturalisation for exceptional services by Merit:
- Proof of residence in Malta for a minimum period of 8 months preceding the date of application;
- Proof or title of residential property in Malta;
- Proof of exceptional services being rendered to Malta or to humanity;
- If applying on the basis of exceptional interest to the Republic of Malta, such interest needs to be backed up with an endorsement from a designated competent authority;
- A recommendation by two people who are qualified to act as sponsors.
If applying for naturalisation for exceptional services by Direct Investment:
- A proof of residence in Malta for a period of 36 months preceding the date of application, which may be reduced to 12 months in case of an increased exceptional direct investment;
- An undertaking to purchase or rent an immovable property with a minimum value which satisfies the thresholds described further below;
- Undertaking to make an exception investment as described further below;
- Prior to the issuance of the certificate, the individual must provide proof of an undertaking to donate to any approved Maltese philanthropic NGO.
All applicants are required to undergo rigorous due diligence checks. If either of the following facts materialise, the applicant would be disqualified from applying under this programme. This applies if the applicant or any of his dependants;
- Have been indicted of an offence before the International Criminal Court;
- Are listed with INTERPOL or EUROPOL;
- Are an actual or potential threat to national security, public policy or public health of Malta;
- Are charged or found guilty of crimes related to terrorism, money laundering, funding of terrorism, crimes against humanity, war crimes or any other crimes infringing fundamental human rights and the good order of the family;
- Have been at any time found guilty of, charged with, interrogated or suspected of crimes punishable with more than a year’s imprisonment;
- Is, or is likely to be involved in any activity which may cause disrepute to the Republic of Malta;
- Have been denied a visa to any country with whom Malta has visa-free travel arrangements;
- Are listed in International sanctions with restrictive measures on them.
Generally applicable fees:
|Due Diligence Fees |
|Eligibility Application||€1,000 (per applicant)|
|Citizenship Application||€500 (per applicant)|
If applying for naturalisation for exceptional services by Direct Investment, the following contributions and investments should also be met:
(to acquire the residence permit under this programme)
|Property in Malta |
(to be retained for a minimum of 5 years from issuing of citizenship certificate)
|Purchasing Immovable Property||minimum value of €700,000|
|Renting Immovable Property||minimum annual rent of €16,000|
|Applicant: 36 months residency||€590,000||€10,000 non-refundable deposit at residency stage|
|Applicant: 12 months residency||€740,000||€10,000 non-refundable deposit at residency stage|
|Donation to NGO|
(the NGO/society is to be approved by the Malta Community Agency)
Dependent means any person qualifying as a family member of the applicant and includes;
- The spouse of the applicant;
- A child (including an adopted child) of the applicant or the child of the spouse of such applicant, who is under the age of 18;
- An unmarried child who is financially dependent on the applicant and is between the age of 18 and 29;
- A parent or grandparent of the applicant or of any of the applicant’s dependants who is 55 years or more and who is wholly or largely maintained by the applicant;
- A child of the applicant or of the applicant’s spouse who, at the time of the application, is a person qualified as person with a disability.