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.

Canadian PR’s Can Benefit From an EU Passport

Many Canadian permanent residents are discovering that a European Passport can be an effective solution to some of the challenges faced by new Canadian permanent residents (PR’s).  

COMMON ISSUES

Some of the most frequent problems experienced by Canadian PR’s are:

  • Problems maintaining Canadian permanent residence due to frequent travel abroad;
  • Wealth management and tax issues due to Canada’s high tax rate; or
  • Problems travelling in Europe or elsewhere on a non-Canadian passport.

There are many tools available to deal with these 3 issues, and Pace can help you craft a strategy based on your situation. One strategy that can help you deal with all 3 of these problems at the same time is obtaining a European Passport.

CYPRUS PASSPORT

Relatively speaking, Cyprus passport is very easy to obtain. The main requirement is a real estate purchase.

Cyprus passport can help you deal with all three of these issues that I mentioned above:

  • Buying a house automatically qualifies you for Cyprus citizenship, unlike Canada you don’t need to hold permanent residence for a number of years first;
  • Cyprus is considered a tax haven, but it is also part of the EU, so it’s a very safe place from which to manage your wealth;
  • Cyprus is a full EU member with visa free travel to over 140 countries worldwide, so Cyprus passport makes travel very easy, and you are legally able to reside anywhere in Europe.

BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM

  • Citizenship within approximately 6 months.
  • No language requirements.
  • Low tax rate and free trade within the EU.
  • Unrestricted right to live, work, and study anywhere in Europe.
  • Excellent education system.

Top Five Attributes of Canada’s Start-Up VISA Program

The Start-Up Visa Program provides entrepreneurs with permanent residency and a connection to business partners. It enables immigrant entrepreneurs to launch innovative businesses that will create jobs in Canada and, eventually, to compete globally. The Program also links these entrepreneurs with private sector groups in their new country who have experience working with start-ups and who can serve as an essential resource and champion for their success.

These are the top five best attributes of Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program:

  1. The program supports innovative business.The Program encourages the establishment of innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs and compete on a global scale, benefitting the Canadian economy.
  2. No investment requirement.Unlike other Canadian business immigration programs, applicants under the Start-Up Visa Program do not need to invest any of their own funds into their Canadian business. Funding can come from a Canadian venture capital fund, Angel Investor, or business incubator.
  3. No net worth requirement.Many applicants are unable to immigrate to Canada because they cannot explain where their money came from. With no investment requirement, the Start-Up Visa does not require applicants to substantiate their assets or source of funds.
  4. No management experience requirement. Most other programs only accept applicants with business ownership or management experience. This Program only requires applicants to have an innovative business idea that can garner support from a designated Canadian investor.
  5. Processing times are fast.Applicants can receive permanent residence in a little over a year, much faster than any other business program.

For more information on whether you qualify for the Start-Up Visa Program contact us today.

Vince Lalonde leads the global investor immigration Practice at Pace Law. He advises financial institutions, government bodies and developers on the legality, viability and marketability of their investor immigration projects and programs. He was instrumental in opening up the Chinese market for several successful immigration products, including PEI PNP, Saskatchewan PNP, Singapore Investor, UK Tier 1 Investor, St. Kitts Citizenship, and Dominica Citizenship by investment programs. Vince advises international investors seeing citizenship or permanent residence abroad on the most suitable investment option to help them achieve