RECENT STUDY RANKS MALTA’S CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM FIRST IN DUE DILIGENCE
Malta’s citizenship by investment program already offered several advantages to investors – proximity to Europe, the ability to live and work freely across the European Union (“EU”), the right to attend any university of choice across the EU for free or for a minimum special tuition fee, complete access to all EU healthcare, banking, and other facilities, visa-free travel to more than 180 countries, lifetime citizenship which can be passed down to generations, and treaties with more than 80 nations to avoid double taxation. Now there is 1 more positive point to make about Malta’s citizenship by investment program, as a recent study ranks Malta’s citizenship by investment program first in due diligence.
The study, “The CIP Due Diligence Index”, was issued on June 3 by the international law firm, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates. It is believed to be the first index (study) devoted exclusively to measuring the rigor of the due diligence process of various citizenship by investment programs.
The study states, “The CIP Due Diligence Index is a result of the firm’s practical experience handling investor migration applications in over 12 investor programmes and conferring widespread industry consultation. . . . The CIP Due Diligence Index ranks the due diligence conducted by all CIPs through an objective assessment based on Chetcuti Cauchi’s 5 Pillars of CIP Due Diligence: Identification, Financial Due Diligence, Clearances, Enhanced Due Diligence, and Reputation”.
Malta scored a perfect score of 100 in each of the above-described “5 Pillars of CIP Due Diligence”, thereby ranking first by a wide margin in the study. Malta was followed in the study by St. Kitts and Nevis (with a score of 65), Dominica (with a score of 61), Antigua and Barbuda (with a score of 59), Moldova (with a score of 55), Grenada (with a score of 53), Saint Lucia (with a score of 41), Montenegro (with a score of 39), Cyprus (with a score of 38), Austria (with a score of 35), Turkey (with a score of 31), and Jordan (with a score of 21).
There are 3 primary financial conditions (all of which must be met) to acquire citizenship in Malta under its citizenship by investment program. First, you must make a non-refundable contribution generally of 650,000 euros (plus an addition of 25,000 euros each for a spouse and dependent children under age 18, or 50,000 euros each for dependent children between age 18 and age 26 and dependent parents above age 55, and various due diligence fees) to the Malta National Development and Social Fund. Second, you must either lease property in Malta for a minimum value of 16,000 euros per annum, or purchase property in Malta for a minimum value of 350,000 euros. Third, you must acquire 150,000 euros worth of government bonds or bonds or securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. Under the second and third conditions described above, the property and the bonds or securities have to be held by the main citizenship applicant for a minimum period of 5 years. You also must establish residency in Malta for 12 months preceding citizenship. Besides a spouse, Malta’s citizenship by investment program can also cover dependent children under the age of 27 and dependent parents above the age of 55. Nationals of Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea are ineligible for citizenship in Malta under Malta’s citizenship by investment program.