Friday, 29 May, 2015

The Maltese Individual Investment Programme: a rise in interest from the Middle East

Malta introduced the Individual Investment Programme (IIP) in 2014. The first of its kind to receive EU approval, the IIP grants full Maltese citizenship for life to individuals (and their dependants) who invest in Malta's economy. Gerard Jan van Spall, Commercial Director at Vistra Malta, recently presented details of the IIP at a highly successful private networking event in Bahrain. The IIP is proving popular in the Middle East and the event generated significant interest.

Close ties between Malta and the Middle East
Malta is only a short plane journey from many Middle Eastern countries, making Maltese citizenship attractive for individuals with relations in the Middle East or who travel to the region for business purposes. The Maltese language has roots in the Middle East, which creates close cultural ties, but it is the widespread use of English in Malta that makes it particularly easy for Middle Eastern residents and visitors.

Individuals who gain Maltese citizenship benefit from Malta’s membership of the EU and Schengen Area. Malta also has a strong economy and an advantageous tax framework, including over 70 double tax treaties.

The programme is highly competitive and there is a strong due diligence process in place to assess prospective candidates. Applicants are granted the right to temporarily reside in Malta once the IIP application process has started.

Eligibility for the IIP
Candidates must satisfy strict criteria to be eligible for programme approval.

The ‘fit and proper’ test
This assesses candidates’ integrity, competency and solvency.

Good health
Applicants must show that they do not suffer from any contagious disease. All applicants must be covered by an international health insurance policy.

Financial contribution
The main applicant must contribute a maximum of €650,000 to Malta. Spouses and children must contribute €25,000 each, and unmarried children between 18 and 25 and dependent parents must contribute €50,000 each.

Real estate purchase or rental
Applicants need an investment in property in Malta of at least €350,000 or a rental contract for at least €16,000 per year for a minimum period of five years.

Bond investment
Applicants are required to invest at least 150,000 in bonds or shares sanctioned by the Maltese government, which need to be held for at least five years.

Residence requirement
Applicants need to have a genuine link with Malta for at least 12 months and to commit to some presence in Malta before citizenship is granted.


Vistra Malta has been approved to submit applications under the Maltese IIP on behalf of clients.

 

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