The Maltese Individual Investor Programme

NBLO is a Bulgarian law firm, but in our experience in the field of citizenship by investment over the years, we have learnt of other European programmes in addition to the Bulgarian one.  While we do not advise on these, we wish to offer clients all options which we feel comfortable are suited to their circumstances and are perhaps complementary to Bulgaria’s. Where clients wish to explore these, we can recommend firms and advisors in the relevant jurisdictions.

We share here details on the Maltese Individual Investor Programme (MIIP).

MIIP was introduced by the Government of Malta in 2014. This programme targets high to ultra-high net worth individuals and their families.

To be eligible, an Investor must

  • donate €650,000 to the Maltese Government, deposited in the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF), with €10,000 of this payable at the start as a non-refundable administrative fee
  • lease a property for a minimum rent of €16,000 annually, or buy a property for a minimum value of €350,000, both in Malta. These cannot be let or sublet; and
  • acquire €150,000 worth of stocks, bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles or other investment vehicles as may be identified from time to time by MIIPA (for  which we understand financing is available)
  • be over the age of 18.

Benefits of obtaining a Maltese passport:

  • The programme allows for citizenship acquisition for the Main Applicant and eligible dependants.
  • up to 24 months application
  • Immediate visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, right to stay in one location for up to 90 days in any 6 months
  • visa-free travel to 168 countries including the UK, USA & Canada
  • Upon grant of citizenship, the investor and qualifying dependants can work, study and travel within all 27 EU member states;
  • Access to Western education

Process

The application process to acquire Maltese Citizenship is perceived as thorough and takes approximately 12 months to complete. It starts with the submission of an e-Residence Application and ends with the issuance of a certification of naturalisation. Throughout the process, due diligence team reviews carefully all aspects of the application.

The names of all new citizens (irrespective of the basis for naturalization) are published by the Maltese Government once a year.

Prohibited countries

The programme does not accept applications from nationals of the following countries (as at 03/01/2020):

  • Afghanistan
  • Chad
  • Eritrea
  • Iran
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Libya
  • Myanmar (Also known as Burma)
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tanzania
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

The MIIP in its present form will be available to investors until the 30st of July. For more information, please see: https://iip.gov.mt/https://iip.gov.mt/

A separate residence programme is the Maltese Residence and Visa Programme (MRVP), introduced in 2015. This gives successful applicants the right to stay in Malta indefinitely. The requirements include all of the following:

  • An investment of EUR 250,000 in government bonds - to be kept for at least five years
  • A non-refundable donation to the government of EUR 24,500
  • A advance government fee of EUR 5,500
  • A property purchase of EUR 320,000 (EUR 270,000 in South Malta or Gozo), or a property lease of EUR 12,000 per annum (EUR 10,000 in South Malta or Gozo)

For more information, please contact us at malta@newbalkanslawoffice.com and we will gladly answer any question you may have.



Recent work:

Advising on an LCIA claim

Suppliers with less bargaining power sometimes accede to arbitration clauses which make bringing or defending a claim prohibitively expensive.

In such cases, it is especially important when acting for the potential claimant (and subject to a judgement on the overall viability of the claim), to offer a cost-effective solution to allow the claim to get off the ground. This may include assessing whether the arbitration clause is likely to be found effective or pathological, and whether it may be permissible and advisable to launch court proceedings instead (which can be more economical especially in their early phases).

It is also helpful to be able to rely on advice which is simultaneously excellent in relation to both the jurisdiction in which enforcement is likely to be sought (e.g., Bulgaria) and the jurisdiction whose governing law the parties have agreed to apply or which applies for another reason.

NBLO recently acted for a potential claimant in such a situation alongside the client's existing Bulgarian counsel to advise on the interplay of the arbitration rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Bulgarian law and on the mechanics and prospects of a claim. We regularly and successfully collaborate with clients’ existing counsel to achieve the best results for such clients.

© New Balkans Law Office 2020