MIIP Reform Update: Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services
By: GVZH Advocates
- By virtue of Legal Notice 437 of 2020 which was issued on Friday 20th November 2020, the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations has been launched.
The Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations shall substitute the Malta Individual Investors Program which was introduced back in 2014 and the Grant of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations enacted in 2017.
This new program is divided into two categories:
- Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Merit; or
- Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment.
The law establishes eligibility criteria which would need to be satisfied prior to applicant receiving approval to submit the full citizenship application. The eligibility criteria stage is very similar to the residence stage of the previous MIIP. It is important to note that this stage attracts fees due to the Community Malta Agency – a newly established Agency to process these applications.
NATURALISATION FOR EXCEPTIONAL SERVICES BY MERIT
The application for naturalisation for exceptional services by merit must be accompanied by:
- The authorisation from the Agency that a full application may be submitted (following the eligibility criteria);
- Proof of residence in Malta for 8 months;
- Title to residential property;
- Two recommendations from sponsors;
- The necessary administration fees.
An application by merit may be based on one of the following:
- The applicant has rendered an exceptional contribution to the Republic of Malta; or
- The applicant has rendered an exceptional contribution to humanity; or
- The applicant is of exceptional interest to the Republic of Malta.
NATURALISATION FOR EXCEPTIONAL SERVICES BY DIRECT INVESTMENT
On the other hand, in addition to the eligibility criteria, the application for naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment must be accompanied by the following:
- Proof of residence for 36 months but may be reduced to 12 months (there would attract a €600,000 or €750,000 contribution respectively for the main applicant and €50,000 for each dependent);
- A property valued at €700,000 if purchased and if leased a value of at least €16,000/ annum. All property must be maintained for 5 years;
- The application must provide an undertaking to carry out an exceptional investment;
- The application must provide an undertaking to donate at least €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO.
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