The first step for any applicant is to be properly vetted by the Approved Agent, who must conduct Tier 1 due diligence.
Upon determining the applicant’s prima facie suitability, the Agent will prepare a clearance application for submission to the Agency for it to then conduct its own Tier 1 due diligence, requiring clearance from Malta’s Police HQ.
Once the Agency gives the green light, the Approved Agent may prepare the required submission documents and set an appointment for the applicant (and all his/her adult dependants) to apply for their Maltese Residence permit. The applicants will then be granted a Maltese residence permit which take about fourteen (14) days to issue and will be valid for thirty-six (36) months.
Prior to setting a meeting for the application of a residence permit, all documents and residence requirements must be satisfied and compiled.
Applying for the Residence will involve the payment of an application fee to the Agency as well as administrative fees. Please refer to the attached ESDI Authority Fees schedule.
The applicant would also need to secure a qualifying property in Malta, as well as attain the required health insurance cover for the respective period.
At this stage applicant will be required to commit to one of two options:
- Residence for 36 months + €600,000*, or
- Residence for 12 months + €750,000*
Each option will have its own exceptional direct investment thresholds which the applicant will be expected to pay only after the respective time period has elapsed. Once selected the route cannot be changed.
The above figures are solely for the Main Applicant, with additional family members necessitating additional contributions as considered in the attached ESDI Authority Fees schedule.
Eligibility Test Application
After the Maltese residence permit is issued and within the first twelve (12) months of the residency, the applicant must submit their Eligibility Test Application to Community Malta Agency.
This stage will involve the preparation of the majority of information and documentation to support the details included in the official forms which will be expected from the Agency.
Upon receipt of the Eligibility Test Application the Agency will take between 120 and 150 days to process the submission; this time frame may increase in the event that the Authority reverts back with any queries, in which case the time frame will be considered to be frozen up until the Agency is satisfied with the Agents response and supporting documentation (if required).
Having passed the Eligibility Test and satisfied the selected residency period, the Main Applicant will be in a position to submit their Maltese Citizenship Application.
At this stage the applicants will be required to re-affirm his/her state of affairs, and establish whether any information has or has not changed appreciably since the submission of the eligibility test. Updated forms and documentation will be required when applying for Maltese citizenship.
Should the Minister determine that the applicant is suitable, a Letter of Approval in Principle will be issued. This will require the Main Applicant to satisfy the underlying Qualifying Criteria, within four (4) months:
- Prove physical presence in Malta. Boarding passes must be kept and filed for the proof of residency portfolio.
- Secure a qualifying property – with the thresholds being: €16,000 per year for a leased property and a total value of €700,000 for those seeking to satisfy this by acquiring a property. Although the Main Applicant will already have satisfied this requirement they will need to hold a qualifying property for a least five (5) years from the date of their naturalisation as a Maltese citizen.
- Make the Exceptional Direct Investment (depending on the selected residence period). The payment of this amount must be made withing four (4) months from the issue of the Letter of Approval in Principle.
- Donate not less than €10,000 to registered Maltese NGOs and/or Voluntary Organisations. These entities must be duly registered and up to date with the respective Commissioner for Voluntary Organsations and the applicant may choose to donate to any number of these to satisfy the criteria. Such Donations will need to be substantiated by way of receipt of payment to the same.
- Provide evidence of adequate health insurance policies. This will normally have been arranged for the residence application.
Once the documents are submitted, the Agency should take no more than thirty (30) days to process these, after which the applicant and dependants will be invited to take the Oath of Allegiance. The date of the Oath of Allegiance must be not more than 6 months from the date of the issue of the letter of Approval in Principle – to ensure against being turned down.