Malta New Points-based System for Citizenship:
Malta has adopted a points system to allow citizenship applicants for the Individual Investor Program (IIP) to reduce the time they have to spend in Malta in order to be considered “effective residents” as per the program requirements.
Malta’s IIP program has proven to be contentious, with other EU members voicing concerns about the fast-track sale of EU citizenship being carried out by Malta. The one year effective residency requirement was introduced to allay these fears, with Malta reaching an agreement with the European Commission based on the international tax law model of residency.
But while the EC expects IIP applicants to spend at least 183 days in Malta during a 12-month period, reports suggest that IIP applicants actually spend much less time living in Malta before being considered as effective residents.
These reports have been confirmed by Joe Vella Bonnici, executive chairman of Identity Malta, the government agency responsible for the IIP, who announced the IIP’s adoption of a points-based system to determine residency status.
Bonnici confirmed that while applicants are required to come to Malta at least twice – to apply for citizenship and to take the oath of citizenship – Identity Malta recognized the fact that it was unrealistic to expect IIP applicants to spend an entire year living in Malta in order to meet an effective residency requirement.
IIP applicants are therefore allowed to spend the rest of the year anywhere they please, as long as they qualify for “effective residence” as prescribed by the points based system. Bonnici explained that a points system ensured that the IIP program requirements were flexible without being inconsistent.
Under the Malta new points-based system, applicants will now have to specify how long they live in Malta and also declare other ways in which they have established a “quality link” to Malta. Charitable donations to Maltese causes will be factored into the points calculation, implying that applicants can pay to reduce their residency requirements. However, applicants’ families will also be factored into the points calculation, with having a spouse and children living in Malta counting favorably towards the IIP applicants’ score.
The IIP grants Maltese citizenship to foreign investors who donate €650,000 to the country’s National Development and Social Fund, and purchase real estate worth a minimum of €350,000. Investor’s families are also granted citizenship upon the payment of an additional €25,000 per family member. The IIP intake is capped at 1,800 applicants, after which the scheme is set to end.
Source: independent.comGeneral Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
Interested Investors: Kindly complete the following form and we will contact you to discuss your global residency and citizenship investment options.