How to Apply
Individuals who tick at least one of these boxes have the right to apply:
- Were born in any territory after August 1, 1989, and their mother, father or both were Maltese citizens
- Have legally lived on the island for at least 5 years
- Have tied the knot with a Maltese national
- Were adopted by locals
We won't focus on the details here — but the island's laws are rather liberal in many aspects. For instance, if you walk down the aisle with a local and then, they die, you'll be allowed to apply for citizenship nevertheless. Also, this state recognizes same-sex marriages.
Those who fail to match any of these criteria can make an investment instead. Expats who spend €600,000 can become citizens in 3 years and those who spend €750,000 — in one year. First, there should be a deposit installment of €10,000 and then, the transfer of the remaining part.
Investors have the right to apply together with their dearest and nearest — if they prove with documents that these individuals depend on them financially. These can be the investor's mother, father, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons and daughters. The fee for each extra applicant is €50,000 and there are no discounts.
It's necessary to submit €10,000 to a charitable organization. Expats select from a list of pre-approved organizations that support human or animal rights, art, scientific research and so on.
Expats need to either rent or purchase somewhere to live in their new homeland for at least 5 years. In the former case, the minimum required threshold of the annual rent is €16,000. In the latter case, the minimum price that needs to be indicated in the purchase contract is €700,000. Please mind that you won't be allowed to sublease the property to a third party during these 5 years. In 5 years, you'll be able to either terminate the rental contract or resell the property — and it won't affect your citizenship status.
Before obtaining citizenship, expats have to spend several months as residents first. That's why their minor expenses will include €27.50 per individual as a residency card fee, €5,000 as the residency fee for the investor and €1,000 for each individual from their closest circle. Last but not least, the authorities will charge a fee for conducting due diligence: €15,000 for the investor and €10,000 for each individual from their closest circle.
To sum it up, those who'd like to receive Malta dual citizenship should stick to this algorithm:
- Travel to their new homeland to submit biometric data
- Wait for the authorities to issue their residency cards
- Wait for the authorities to confirm that the investor and their family members qualify for citizenship
- Transfer the fees
- Let the authorities finalize the background check of all the applicants
- Apply for their new passport in one or three years, depending on the sum of their investment
- Wait for the approval
- Take the Oath of Allegiance in Malta
In most cases, the authorities don't ask any further questions to expats to whom their issued Maltese passports. Yet just in case, it would be wise to keep all the papers that confirm that fact of meeting the investment requirements.
Citizens of Which States Are Eligible for Maltese Dual Citizenship
This island states gives its passports to citizens of most countries on the planet. For instance, dual citizenship between America and Malta is allowed.
However, there are a few exceptions. You might fail to become a local resident or citizen if you have one of the following passports:
- North Korean
- South Sudanese
Your application for Maltese residency and citizenship might be rejected even if you aren't a citizen of any of the above-mentioned states but have close ties with them. These countries fail to comply with the standards of democracy and don't protect human rights diligently enough.
Besides, when speaking about countries with dual citizenship, we need to mention one more fact. Malta won't make you renounce the passport of your homeland if you become its citizen. But what about your homeland? Please check its laws to find out whether you'll be allowed to keep both passports — or will have to renounce your original one after you get the Maltese one.
Who Is Eligible
The eligibility criteria depend on the chosen method of applying for citizenship. If you're an investor from outside the EU, it's necessary to tick these boxes:
- Be aged 18 or older
- Have never violated the law
- Be in good health
- Have enough funds and be able to prove their legal origin
- Be not subject to international sanctions
- Have never got your visa applications rejected by the states that have visa-free regimes with Malta
After you submit the documents, the authorities will meticulously check your biography to make sure you indicated the right facts in your papers.
Malta is renowned for its favorable taxation regime. On the one hand, selected taxes are higher here than in other EU states. On the other hand, thanks to numerous benefits and deductions, you can significantly reduce the amounts of money that you pay.
Let's start with the good news. You won't need to pay a tax on:
- Inheriting property from your closest relatives
- Estate duty
- Your wealth or net worth
- Real estate
- Any municipality taxes
After you become a proud owner of a property on the island, you might need to pay a tax for the land on which it was erected. Most likely, your annual expenses will fall within the range of €40 to €250. If the property was built on a plot that the government didn't lease to the population on a long-term agreement, you'll be exempt from this tax.
Non-residents pay an income tax of 35% if they earn over €7,801 per annum. This sum is calculated only from the income that they generate in Malta. The are no deductions for non-residents.
The amount of income tax for residents depends on three factors:
- Your annual income
- The fact of being officially married or not
- The fact of having kids
The amount of this tax can vary from 0% to 35%. To qualify for the highest rate, you should earn at least €60,001 per annum. There are generous deductions for residents — for instance, married people who pay the highest tax rate can get a deduction of up to €9,905.
To turn into a resident, be ready to spend at least 183 days per year here. Please double-check the legislation of your homeland to find out whether you'll need to pay taxes in both territories. Many states have signed dual taxation agreements with Malta, which reduces your expenses.
If a person gets employed on the island, they're supposed to transfer €50 for social contributions weekly — and their employers do the same. Self-employed specialists spend 15% of their income on this purpose.
15% is the tax rate for renting out accommodation (if you're allowed to do so, according to the terms of your stay in Malta).
The annual corporate tax is 35%. There are many ways of reducing it if you own a company or its shares.
The standard VAT is 18%. For many categories of goods and services, this tax is lower — sometimes 0%.
The tax for reselling accommodation varies from 5% to 12%, depending on how long it has belonged to you.
If you're looking for tax benefits, consider the Global Residence Programme. You won't qualify for it if you follow the investment route that we described above. Instead, you'll be required to spend at least €220,000 on purchasing a property — the pricing requirements depend on the region.
Members of this program enjoy tax benefits on the following conditions:
- Pay a 35% tax on the income that they generate locally
- Contribute at least €15,000 in taxes per annum (for the whole family)
- Are exempt from the tax on the income that they make elsewhere in the world (such as in the USA) and fail to transfer to Malta
- Pay 15% of the foreign income that they transfer to the island
To qualify for these privileges, it's mandatory to become a Maltese resident — that is, spend most of your time on the island. If you'd like to become a local citizen, you'll be able to apply after 5 years of living here — but in this case, you'll lose your tax benefits.
Reasons for Losing Maltese Citizenship
You might lose the citizenship of this island state if you:
- Proved to be disloyal to the Maltese authorities
- Assisted any of Malta's enemy states
- Was convicted to one year or more in prison in any country within 7 years after becoming a Maltese citizen
- Spend 7 consecutive years as a resident in a third-party state without informing the Maltese authorities about your intention to retain the island's citizenship
Most expats successfully keep their citizenships for as long as they need them.
You might fail to get citizenship if you distort facts and fake documents to obtain it. Please double-check all the data that you provide — there shouldn't be any mistakes or misprints in your papers.