Prior to 2013, under Maltese Law, there were three ways by which Malta citizenship and Maltese Passports can be acquired, namely:
- By Birth – People born in or outside Malta need to satisfy certain criteria for them to be eligible for Maltese citizenship, depending mainly on their date of birth;
- By Registration – A person has the right to acquire citizenship upon application under the provisions of the Maltese Constitution; and
- By Naturalisation – A person may acquire Maltese citizenship by naturalisation through the Maltese Citizenship Act which complements the provisions made under the Maltese Constitution.
In 2013, amendments were introduced to the Maltese Citizenship Act by the Government of Malta, thereby establishing the ‘Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta’ (IIP) as another way of acquiring Maltese citizenship. This Malta Investor Programme grants Maltese citizenship by naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families, by contributing to the economic development of Malta.
The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme is the first EU approved citizenship Programme to be launched. Citizenship granted through this programme is valid for life and it is passed on to future generations by descent.
Malta is a member European Union since 2004 and part of Schengen since 2007 and is considered to have one of the lowest tax rates in Europe. Any individual that has been granted Maltese citizenship is entitled to benefit from all the rights which are granted to all Maltese nationals, including the right to enter, remain and reside in Malta, take up employment in Malta, enjoy rights of free movement derived under European law and the right to travel without a visa to more than 160 countries worldwide.
An application for those seeking naturalisation as a citizen of Malta under the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) must be submitted by an Accredited Person. CSB is now accredited by Identity Malta, and may assist you with your application. CSB Group advises clients on the best options relating to the acquisition of an alternative citizenship and assists clients with their real estate requirements. Click here for information about the Malta Residence and Visa Programme
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In 2014, the Cypriot Government has established a number of incentives to attract foreign direct investment into Cyprus, one of which is the citizenship-by-investment program that grants full Cypriot citizenship to those that invest more than €2 million in real estate and who meet certain other requirements. Successful applicants gain the right to live, work and study in all 28 EU member countries.
In September 2016, the Government of Cyprus introduced changes to its citizenship-by-investment program in Cyprus, of which included the possibility to include the parents of the main applicant provided that an additional €500,000 (excl. VAT) will be invested in the purchase of a private immovable property in Cyprus.
Any non-Cypriot citizen may apply for Cypriot citizenship through Naturalization by Exception if they meet one of the investment criteria options presented.
Another important requirement that applies, regardless of the investment option chosen, is the purchase and life-time possession of a property in Cyprus that will be declared as the applicant’s main residence in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Scheme for the Naturalisation of Investors by Exception provides freedom of movement within the EU Schengen area, benefits of dual-citizenship, and visa-free travel to 158 countries worldwide and more. With this programme, Cyprus offers the fastest Citizenship-by-Investment Programme in Europe.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has a long running “Citizenship-by-Investment” programme, which has been established since 1984, attracting foreigners, who make a substantial contribution to the development of the country in exchange for full citizenship.
Investors along with any family members, can directly qualify for citizenship through investment, either by making an investment of at least USD 400,000 in one of the approved real-estate developments in addition to paying government fees, other fees and taxes, or alternatively making a contribution to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF, a public charity) starting from USD 250,000 (for a single applicant), or a non-refundable contribution to the Hurricane Relief Fund (HRF) of an amount starting from USD 150,000 for an applicant with up to three dependents (available until 31 March 2018).
When one acquires citizenship under the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship program, this may be enjoyed for life and also passed on to future generations by descent.
As a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, one is issued with a passport which allows visa-free travel to 140 countries and territories worldwide, including all of the EU.
Saint Lucia is one of the latest Caribbean countries to introduce the Citizenship by Investment Programme. The St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme, introduced in 2016, offers a range of investment options in exchange for a St Lucia passport.
The program was officially launched in Monaco in October, 2015. The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program allows qualified individuals and certain of their dependents to apply for St. Lucian citizenship by either investing in approved real estate projects, making a donation to the Government of St. Lucia or engaging in an approved enterprise project.
The Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program was created with the aim of driving the growth of the local economy, create employment and further opportunities for St. Lucians.
This Citizenship by Investment does not impose residency requirements, meaning there is no interview, nor is one required to reside or be in St Lucia at any point in time.
As a St Lucian, a citizen is provided with access to over 100 visa-free countries including the Schengen area, UK and Hong Kong.
CSB Group assists international clients in obtaining citizenship and residency. Contact us for further information or to arrange for an initial personal consultation.