It’s difficult to conceive why someone would trade in delicious Rogan Josh curry, motorcycle rides on high altitude dirt roads, and marvelling at the Taj Mahal in exchange for the unknown secrets of the Mediterranean. However, with the possibility of dual citizenship in both Malta and India, the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) is an avenue you should consider.
Operating on the tenets of parliamentary democracy, Malta isn’t too different from India. But in contrast to India, Malta offers a stable economy and political climate, a highly sought-after real estate market and ties to the European Union.
What’s On Offer?
The MIIP programme grants successful applicants the opportunity to do business in Malta accompanied by citizenship and a passport in the country. You’ll also get citizenship in the European Union which gives you a right to live, work and study in any of the 28 EU countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as visa-free travel in more than 160 countries.
The citizenship lasts you a lifetime unless it’s revoked due to dishonesty in your application, committing espionage or treason. It also doesn’t impose any tax ramifications, as you only pay tax on income you earn within the country. Children of Maltese citizens are automatically granted citizenship even if they weren’t born in Malta.
This means that you can pass this legacy onto future generations of your family and ensure they have access to the economic and political freedom offered by Malta.
Remember that Malta is part of the Schengen area which means citizens are allowed to travel through certain countries of the EU without going through the tedious process of border control and border checks. If this sounds too good to be true then you’re in for a treat, as this opportunity is officially and legally recognized by the EU.
Business Opportunities Offered By Malta
Malta is a well-positioned investment hub thanks to its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean. It hosts thousands of companies in the manufacturing, gaming, blockchain technology, IT and services sectors, similar to India.
This makes it an ideal destination for Indian startups looking to expand into the lucrative Euro-Med region. Businesses in Malta have access to attractive incentives, pro-business policies, international networking opportunities and a robust economy. This makes for the perfect environment for a fledgling startup seeking growth and expansion.
The t’s and c’s
The Malta Individual Investor Programme is like no other, but it also comes at a price. In order to qualify for the programme, you need to be 18 years or older and meet the following immigration requirements:
- Be of upstanding character
You need to be a reputable person with no criminal record or criminal investigations being ensued against you. Identity Malta, the body that reviews applications, has a very stringent expedition on background checks that include checking with Interpol, the International Criminal Court and other bodies. As such, a police certificate should accompany your application.
- Health is Wealth
You should be in good health and free from any communicable diseases. Furthermore, international health insurance cover is a requirement.
- Money, money and even more money
You need to purchase immovable property that you’ll reside in worth a minimum of €350 000. Alternatively, you can rent a house worth an annual rent of €16 000 and maintain ownership or lease of this property for 5 years. Applicants are required to provide proof of the above within 4 months of applying.
Furthermore, applicants must invest in government-approved bonds, stocks and debentures that are for the greater benefit of the nation worth €150 000 and hold these for a minimum of 5 years.
Lastly, a sum of €650 000 should be contributed towards the National Development and Social Fund that finances areas of social importance such as public health and job creation. For additional family members, a sum of €25000 should be given for spouses and each of the minor children.
Children above the age of 18 and up to 26 who are unmarried must furnish €50 000 each. Any other dependents such as parents, grandparents and adult children who have limited agency due to mental or physical impairments must also furnish an amount of €50 000 each.
Small contributions towards the sums are required throughout the application process. Additional fees for due diligence, bank charges and a passport fee is required too.
For best results, applicants are required to have an accredited agent assisting them with the application, preferably one who offers multiple immigration programmes.
Once the above requirements have been fulfilled, applicants are given an eResidence card. After a period of 12 months, you’ll be granted official citizenship. Although the price of admission seems awfully steep, granting your family a ticket to generational freedom is priceless.