A relatively high standard of living, low crime rate, and easy access to other EU nations are some of the reasons why Malta is, according to the International Living.com‘s Annual Global Retirement Index, ranked 7th in the list of top-ten retirement destinations in the world.
Another reason why Malta is a preferred destination for wealthy individuals seeking a retirement home along with a second passport is the country’s Investment Immigration Program. Launched in 2014, this program, which offers citizenship in lieu of minimum investment in the country, has resulted in inflow of FDI of more than €450 million into the country’s economy.
Since its inception, hundreds of wealthy individuals from more than 40 nations have applied for Maltese citizenship. Malta has begun issuing letters of approval-in-principle of citizenship, which means applicants will become eligible for receiving their Certificates of Naturalization once they submit proof of fulfillment of the investment and residency requirements.
The IIP offers citizenship for individuals contributing €650,000 to the country’s National Development and Social Fund. Further, they will have to either purchase a property for €350,000 or lease a property for not less than €16,000 per year.
Apart from inflow of FDI resulting from the mandatory contributions, the Maltese economy is beginning to benefit from various ancillary investments made by the applicants that go beyond the minimum requirements of the investment immigration program. This is expected to result in a significant boost to the employment situation in the country.
The country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, opined that the concept of citizenship was evolving at a very fast pace, and that the IIP was merely an attempt by the country to enjoy the benefits of the changes. Highlighting that Malta’s Individual Investor Program was the only program in the world to enjoy the sanction of the European Commission, the Prime Minister said that the program was focused primarily on attracting global talent to the country.
With most applicants coming from China, Russia, and the South-East Asian region, the Program has contributed to a significant growth in demand in the real estate market. According to property agents, close to half their total clientele in 2014 were from foreign countries, and that a third of their foreign clients were seeking properties that helped them comply with the requirements of the country’s citizenship by investment scheme.
Unlike other programs that have come under a cloud, Malta’s program has a reputation of permitting qualified and reputable investors who possess the capability of making a significant contribution to the country’s development. The Program will cease once the maximum limit of 1800 main applicants has been reached.
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