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IIP to be scrapped, replaced by residency plan that can lead to citizenship

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) will be replaced by a new residence programme that can lead to citizenship. During a press briefing, the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities, Mr Alex Muscat, outlined the new changes to the Maltese Citizenship Act.

These are the main changes for the Maltese R/CBI that are currently being discussed in parliament.

Main points:

Under the new system, individuals are required to obtain a Maltese residence permit for a certain period before applying for citizenship. Individuals can opt to apply after a one-year residency period if they pay a contribution of €750,000. Applicants will have to contribute €600,000 if they intend on applying for citizenship after a three-year residency period.

All citizens that obtain citizenship through naturalisation will still have their names published in the Government Gazette as was done under the MIIP.

The Ministry will also introduce new regulations to focus more on the source of wealth when conducting their due diligence and new stricter checks regarding money laundering. Any suspicion of money laundering will be reported to the FIAU by the authority.

The new programme will be capped at 400 Main applicant approvals per year with an overall total of 1,500.

The Investment in Government Bonds/ Shares current requirement will be removed completely. A contribution fee will still need to be paid.

New process summary:

3 STAGE PROCESS:

  1. Residence application – 12months / 36months options available;
  2. Applicant is required to apply for the eligibility test;
  3. After 12months OR 36months from residence card issuance, and a positive decision from the Eligibility test, the applicant can apply for Citizenship.

REQUIREMENTS:

Contribution/Investment:

  • 12months option – Applicant is required to invest €750,000 (additional amount to be paid for each dependent added to the application)

OR

  • 36months option – Applicant is required to invest €600,000 (additional amount to be paid for each dependent added to the application)

Property (Lease or purchase):

  • Lease of property for a minimum of €18,000 per year for the duration of the 12/36months residence options. This needs to be kept for a minimum of 5yrs from obtaining citizenship.

OR

  • Purchase a property for a minimum of €700,000. This needs to be kept for a minimum of 5yrs from obtaining citizenship.

Links to Malta:

The donation of €10,000 to a charitable organisation is still a requirement as is the minimum physical presence in Malta during the residence period and further genuine links to the country.

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