Malta Citizenship by Investment Program Ready to Retake Role as Industry Trendsetter

Citizenship and residency by investment programs have exploded in popularity in recent years,  but the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing government lockdowns have raised fears in some circles that governments may choose to terminate or restrict these popular programs. Fortunately, early signs from most jurisdictions suggest that such programs have not lost favor with authorities. On the contrary, governments around the world have acknowledged that these programs can be a powerful tool for reviving national economies and sourcing much-needed investment for countries that have been badly hurt by the economic slowdown.

In the most recent example, the government of Malta confirmed that it will launch a new and improved version of its popular citizenship by investment program once the quota of 1,800 applications is reached later this year. Recent statements from the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities Alex Muscat suggest that over 70% of that quota had already been filled.

The Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) is one of the most popular programs of its kind in Europe. It allows high net worth individuals who make investments in the country to acquire citizenship in Malta, a country with one of the strongest, most stable economies in the EU. Benefits of the program include free movement within the EU, visa-free travel to 168 countries worldwide, a fast-track to citizenship for the entire family, a favorable tax regime, and quick processing.

Any concerns regarding continuity of the program once the quota has been filled have now been laid to rest by Mr. Muscat and Maltese Prime Minister, Robert Abela, who indicated that further reforms are being considered, and that the Maltese government has already begun discussion with European institutions and stakeholders in that regard. Therefore, rather than terminating or suspending the program as some had feared, the Maltese government plans on improving the program to keep it at the forefront of the investment migration industry.

Most observers feel that the MIIP has had a net positive effect on the Maltese economy, raising over EUR800M since 2014. Funds generated by the Program have been used to finance a variety of key government projects, including more recent measures to reduce the impact of COVID19 on the Maltese economy.

Possible Changes

While nothing has been finalized, speculation regarding possible changes include:

With increased competition from countries such as Montenegro, Turkey, and Cyprus, we expect the new version of the MIIP to be even more attractive and competitive. We could once again see the MIIP setting trends for the entire industry.

Investing in a second Citizenship or Residency in your chosen jurisdiction offers a range of benefits to high net worth individuals and their families, and provides freedom and flexibility in these unpredictable times. Should you be interested in pursuing citizenship or residency by investment, including through Malta through the IIP program, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Update Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program A New Path to Acquiring Citizenship – University of the West Indies Fund Option

On May 11, 2020, Mrs. Charmaine Donavan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit announced a new path to acquiring Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship under the Citizenship by investment Program, The University of West Indies Fund Option.

With this option, Applicants can contribute $150,000 USD inclusive of processing fees for a family of six (6) persons. If the total number of applicants in an application exceeds six, for each additional family member, a fee of $15,000 US per person is applicable. All other fees such as Due diligence and passport fees remains the same.

Let’s take a look at three scenarios, the first scenario illustrates the new option and the second and third examples illustrates the National Development Fund option, one with a family of four (4) persons and the other with a family of (6) persons.

Example 1: New University of West Indies Fund Option

Mr. Smith is applying to the program and he has a family of six persons (Himself, his spouse, and 4 children ages 10, 14, 18 and 22 years old).

Subject Matter
Total Government Fees
Initial Deposit Required to Begin Application
Final Payment Upon Approval
Contribution and Processing Fees
$150,000
$15,000
$135,000
Due Diligence
  • Mr. Smith: $7,500
  • Spouse: $7,500
  • Dep. Child 10yrs: $0
  • Dep. Child 14yrs: $2,000
  • Dep. Child 18yrs: $4,000
  • Dep. Child 22yrs: $4,000
$25,000
$25,000
$0
Passport Fee: $300 per person
$1800
$0
$1800
Total Fees Payable to the Citizenship by Investment Unit
$176,800
$40,000
$136,800

Example 2: The National Development Fund Contribution – Family of Four (4):

Mr. Smith is applying to the program and has decided to proceed with the National Development Fund Contribution option. He has a family of four (4) persons, Himself, his spouse, and 2 children ages 14 and 18 years old).

Subject Matter
Total Government Fees
Initial Deposit Required to Begin Application
Final Payment Upon Approval
Contribution and Processing Fees
$30,000
$3,000
$27,000
Due Diligence
  • Mr. Smith: $7,500
  • Spouse: $7,500
  • Dep. Child 14yrs: $2,000
  • Dep. Child 18yrs: $4,000
$21,000
$21,000
$0
National Development Fund Contribution
$100,000
$0
$100,000
Passport Fee: $300 per person
$1200
$0
$1200
Total Fees Payable to the Citizenship by Investment Unit
$152,200
$24,000
$128, 200

Example 3: The National Development Fund Contribution – Family of Six (6):

Mr. Smith is applying to the program and has decided to proceed with the National Development Fund Contribution option. He has a family of six (6) persons, Himself, his spouse, and 4 children ages 10, 14 18 and 22 years old).

Subject Matter
Total Government Fees
Initial Deposit Required to Begin Application
Final Payment Upon Approval
Government Processing Fees
  • $30,000 for family of 4
  • $15,000 per additional family member
$60,000
$6,000
$54,000
Due Diligence
  • Mr. Smith: $7,500
  • Spouse: $7,500
  • Dep. Child 14yrs: $2,000
  • Dep. Child 18yrs: $4,000
  • Dep. Child 22yrs: $4,000
$25,000
$25,000
$0
National Development Fund Contribution (If more than 4 persons = $125,000)
$125,000
$0
$125,000
Passport Fee: $300 per person
$1800
$0
$1800
Total Fees Payable to the Citizenship by Investment Unit
$211,800
$31,000
$$180,800

Please be advised that the fees above does not include the licensed agents and representative fees and all fees are in United States Dollars.

From the above three illustrations, it is obvious that if Mr. Smith has a total of 4 members in his application, it will be cheaper to proceed with the National Development Fund Contribution but if Mr. Smith has a family of more than four (4) persons in his application, it will be cheaper to proceed with the New University of the West Indies Fund Option

Another advantage of proceeding with the University of the West Indies Fund Option, one family member of the principal applicant is entitled to one year of full tuition scholarship at the University of West Indies in Antigua.

Please be advised that the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, at its meeting held on February 26, 2020 eased the rules regarding nationals of the restricted countries. If you are a citizen of Afghanistan, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Iran or Yemen, you will be eligible to apply to the Citizenship by Investment Program as long as:

  1. You migrated to another country which is not on the restricted countries list before the age of majority;
  2. You have maintained permanent residence for a minimum of 10 years in any country other than those on the restricted countries list; and
  3. You maintain no ties to any country on the restricted country list.

Be further advised that the Citizenship by Investment Unit is now accepting applications from Iraq nationals without limitations.

 

We look forward to representing you. To start the process, please contact me at rbrown@paceimmigration.com or call me directly at +1416 389 3427 (WhatsApp)

Antigua and Barbuda, a secret paradise awaits you…