The Maltese government is planning to sell Maltese citizenship to foreign investors, as part of an Individual Investor Programme in new amendments to the Citizenship Act.
New applicants under this programme will have to pay €650,000, of which €10,000 will be a non-refundable deposit, as well as €25,000 for their spouses and individual children below 18 years of age; or €50,000 for dependant parents aged 55 or over, and unmarried children aged between 18 and 25.
According to the draft bill, the IIP will allow "for the grant of citizenship by a certificate of naturalization to foreign individual and families who contribute to the economic development of Malta."
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had told Bloomberg in an interview that his government was interested "in bringing in all those who are reputable people, who are willing to take up residence in Malta."
"We however, don't do the hard selling. An address in Malta, residence in Malta, comes at a premium. So we are not into selling this right cheap. We have limited space in our country so we have to choose people carefully, no matter what nation they come from. In the next few months we will be issuing what I believe will be new exciting programs on residency and even citizenship. Again, due diligence and choosing the right type of person will be paramount."
Any dependants of the applicant - spouse, children or parents - must be certified not to be suffering from any contagious disease and must be in good health, according to the due diligence application form.
The programme will be specifically addressed at non-EU citizens who do not avail themselves of other tax exile schemes and property acquisition programmes.
Applicants must have a clean criminal record, and cannot be considered a "potential threat to Malta's independence, national security or reputation".
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will also appoint a regulator - a former judge or magistrate, a former Attorney General or permanent secretary, or someone who has practiced law for the past 12 years - to oversee the correct implementation of the IIP.
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