Malta is known for their great weather and breathtaking landscapes, but now they're also known for its Malta Golden Visa. I've helped a friend through the process and realized that there are a lot of questions when it comes to the Golden Visa. So if that is you, never fear. I'll guide you through everything you need to know about the Malta Golden Visa.
We'll start with:
and then some FAQ's with any other questions you might have.
What Is A Malta Golden Visa?
The Malta Golden Visa (Malta Residence and Visa Program) route allows high-income individuals to receive a Maltese passport (European passport) within one to three years by making a substantial investment in Malta.
To get a Malta passport in one year, you have to invest at least EUR 750,000 in the national development fund. An investment of EUR 600,000 will get you a Malta passport after three years.
Under the new Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program, you and your family must live in Malta until you become eligible for Malta citizenship. This means that you also have to invest in residential real estate.
What Are The Investment Options For A Malta Golden Visa?
There are two Malta Golden Visa investment options available:
I will discuss each of these investment options in length.
The Malta Citizenship By Investment Program
The investment options leading to a Maltese passport are:
Three-year program: Your main investment should be at least EUR 600,000 to the national development fund. Then there is also the additional investment for family members, which is EUR 50,000 for each dependant family member included in your application. You also need additional residential investments, which means you must purchase a residential estate worth at least EUR 700,000. If the property is located in Gozo or the South of Malta, the minimum purchase amount is €270,000. Or you can enter a rental agreement of at least EUR 16,000 per year, which you must maintain for 5 years. Lastly, you must donate at least EUR 10,000 to an approved cultural, scientific, philanthropic, or artistic organization or society.
The one-year program (12 months of residency): Your main investment should be at least EUR 750,000 to the national development fund. You also need additional funding for family members worth EUR 50,000 for each dependent family member included in your application. You must also purchase residential property worth EUR 700,000 or enter a rental agreement of at least EUR 16 000 per year, which you must maintain for at least 5 years. Lastly, You must donate at least EUR 10,000 to an approved cultural, scientific, philanthropic, or artistic organization or society.
The Malta Permanent Residency Program
The Malta Permanent Residency Programme (MPRP), as the name suggests, leads to permanent residence in Malta, as opposed to immediate Maltese citizenship. It is part of the Malta Golden Visa scheme. The investment required for an MPRP is EUR 100,000.
Your main investment should be at least EUR 98,000 to a Government approved fund. In addition, you also need to make a charitable donation of at least EUR 2000 to a registered non-governmental organization in Malta. Lastly, you must sign a rental contract of at least EUR 10,000 per year for at least five years.
Quick note: After obtaining your permanent residence card, if you continue to live in Malta, become integrated into the society, and learn the language, you can apply for Malta citizenship after five years.
Who Can Apply For A Malta Golden Visa?
Be sure to check the eligibility requirements to see if you're eligible; otherwise, they won't accept your Malta Golden Visa. To be granted a Golden Visa for Malta, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- You are at least 18 years of age.
- You don’t have a criminal record and don't face a criminal investigation or international sanctions. This also applies to all family members included in your application.
- You agree to support your family members, included in your application.
- You must have the necessary funds to make your investment.
What Are The Residency Requirements For A Malta Golden Visa?
The residency requirements for the Malta Golden Visa are straightforward. The time you have to live in Malta before you become eligible for citizenship depends on your type of investment:
- If you invest at least EUR 750,000, you can get a Malta passport after 1 year.
- If you invest EUR 650,000, you can get a Malta passport after 3 years.
- If you invest EUR 100,000, you can get a Malta passport after at least 5 years.
What Are The Required Documents For A Malta Golden Visa?
If you apply for a Malta Golden Visa, you (the main applicant) need to ensure that you have all the required travel documents. If you forget to add one of the travel documents, the visa processing time could take longer, or in extreme cases, they reject your application. You need the following travel documents for your Malta Golden Visa:
- A valid passport as well as a passport for each family member.
- Malta Golden Visa Application form (completed and signed)
- Cover letter, signed by you.
- Proof of having undergone due diligence (documents).
- Proof you have the necessary funds for the investment (bank statements).
- Bank statements from your country of residence.
- Proof of family relationship, like your marriage certificate, divorce certificate (if applicable), your dependent children's birth certificates, and custody documents (if applicable).
- Documents proving financial dependency (for adult children, parents, or grandparents).
- Police certificates, proving you do not have a criminal background.
- Medical reports for yourself and your family. You require medical reports to prove you don't have any contagious disease that could endanger public health in Malta.
- Any other supporting documents, as required, like proof of health insurance.
Quick note: The exact documents will change depending on your circumstances (investment, family, background).
How Do You Apply For A Malta Golden Visa?
Applying for a Malta Golden Visa is lengthy and complex, taking several months. It is also different for everyone, depending on the investment type, nationality, and family situation. This is why most applicants hire professional help, and I would definitely recommend doing so.
Although I can't give you a complete step-by-step guide like I wish I could, I can still give you a brief overview of what to expect during the application process.
The first thing you need to know is that you need to contact a team of financial and immigration professionals to choose a government-approved fund to invest in. Then, you need to travel to Malta to invest. After you make your investment, you need to collect all the documents proving that you made an eligible investment, and you need to gather all your required travel documents. Next, you must submit your Malta Golden Visa application to the Residency Malta Agency. If your application is successful, you and your family members will receive Maltese residency (residence permits).
Within 12 months of receiving your residence permits, you must apply to determine if you are eligible for Malta citizenship. If you're eligible, you will receive an Eligibility Letter of Approval.
After 1-3 years of residence (depending on your investment), you must submit all the necessary documents to apply for Malta citizenship.
Then you and your family can move to Malta, and after 1-3 years, you become naturalized as Maltese citizens and can obtain your passports.
What Is The Processing Time For A Malta Golden Visa?
The actual process of the visa application can take anywhere from four months to a year. In addition to that, you need to live in Malta for at least one year before you can apply for Maltese citizenship.
How Much Does A Malta Golden Visa Cost?
Alongside the primary investment, when you apply for a Malta Golden Visa, you can expect to pay tens of thousands of euros in additional fees. This includes, but is not limited to, an administrative fee of EUR 40,000 for the visa application and due diligence fees. Overall, the fees for a Malta Golden Visa, including the acquisition of documents, legal fees, and services, can add up to over EUR 50,000.
What Are The Benefits Of A Malta Golden Visa?
The benefits of becoming a Malta citizen is really good! Becoming a citizen of Malta comes with the following benefits:
- You and your family can live permanently in Malta or any other EU country.
- You and your family can work and study in Malta or anywhere in the EU.
- You can travel without a visa to over 140 countries worldwide.
- Everyone who gets Malta citizenship will automatically pass on citizenship to any descendants.
- You can access Malta's social, educational, and health benefits.
Could I Lose My Malta Golden Visa?
Naturally, once you have a Malta passport, you are not at risk of losing it for minor transgressions, such as being out of the country for longer than six months. However, they can revoke your Malta citizenship (obtained by naturalization) if you obtained it illegally or if you become involved in terrorist organizations.
You could lose your Malta Golden Visa if:
- You obtained it illegally in the first place.
- You provided fraudulent information during your application.
- You withdraw your investment.
- You no longer meet the requirements of the initial investment
If this is the type of visa for you, you need to act fast. Not because there's a limited number of applications they accept but because it's so exciting! It's a happy, new chapter in your life, and like my friend Donald Duck always says, "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own."