About Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) scheme

The Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment policy is a ‘citizenship-by-investment’ scheme that aims to attract the highest quality of investor from all over the world and requires the main applicant to make qualifying investments in Malta.

Generally known as Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN), the scheme is open to all non-EU nationals except those from certain sanctioned countries. An applicant and all adult dependants must have held Maltese residency status for a minimum of 36 months or, under an ‘expedited procedure’ option, for a minimum of 12 months.

The MEIN grants citizenship for ‘exceptional services’ to individuals and their families who make a direct investment in Malta that contributes to its social and economic development. Successful MEIN applicants gain the right to live, work or study in Malta – or any other EU member state by extension – as citizens of Malta.

Introduced by the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations [S.L. 188.06] in November 2020, MEIN replaced the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) which had reached its full quota of 1,800 investors. The number of MEIN certificates issued, excluding dependents, may not exceed 400 per year and may not exceed 1,500 overall.

Every application is subject to a stringent due diligence process, including thorough background checks. Community Malta Agency (CMA) is the Maltese government body responsible for administering the regulations. Applications for Maltese citizenship can only be handled by CMA-authorised agents.

MEIN Scheme Benefits

The MEIN programme is available to married couples, unmarried couples in a long-term relationship, their children under the age of 18, dependant unmarried children under the age of 29 and dependant parents on either side of the family. Successful applicants benefit from:

Maltese Citizenship for life, which can also be passed on to future generations by descent
The option to maintain dual citizenship
The right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta
As a full EU member state, Maltese citizens are entitled to live, work, study and set up business in all the 27 EU states, the European Economic Area (EEA) states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, as well as Switzerland
Maltese passport holders enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 183 countries, including the US, Canada and Australia
Maltese passport holders enjoy access to the Schengen Area, a grouping of 22 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland that operates without internal borders and within which citizens and many non-EU nationals staying legally in the EU can freely circulate without being subjected to border or customs checks
Gain access to excellent education and healthcare systems
Access to multiple personal and corporate tax benefits in Malta
Candidates that are resident but not domiciled in Malta are only required to pay tax on income that is earned or received in Malta
Malta has no municipal tax, no estate duty, no inheritance tax and no wealth tax
Malta has double taxation treaties with over 60 countries worldwide
The corporate tax rate in Malta is 35%, but special tax concessions apply to non-resident or non-domiciled company owners
Full commercial access to the European Union (EU), the world’s largest economic zone
Enjoy the ‘four freedoms’ of the European Single Market – the right that goods, services, capital and persons can move without restriction within the EU

MEIN Qualification Requirements

The main requirements to qualify for MEIN, are as follows:

  • Main applicant must be at least 18 years of age
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must acquire and hold a Maltese residency card for a minimum of 36 months or, under the expedited procedure, for a minimum of 12 months. Citizenship can only be applied for after the applicable period from acquisition of residency.
  • An eligibility application pack must be submitted prior to the expiration of the 12-month or the 36-month residency period or the residence card/s will be revoked
  • Main applicant must make a non-refundable exceptional direct investment of:
    1. €600,000 if applying under the standard procedure after 36 months of residence, together with an additional €50,000 for each dependant
    2. €750,000 if applying under the ‘expedited procedure’ option after 12 months of residence, together with an additional €50,000 for each dependant
  • Main applicant must either buy a property in Malta with a minimum value of €700,000 or lease a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000. In either case, the property must be adequate to accommodate the main applicant and dependants and must be retained for at least five years from the date of the certificate of Maltese citizenship
  • Main applicant must make a €10,000 donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must demonstrate that they do not have a criminal record or pose a potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health or public interest of Malta
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must pass all due diligence and background verification checks
  • Health Insurance for all members in the application

All-Inclusive Quotation

The total costs associated with an application for the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) are dependent on several factors, including the applicant’s chosen period of residency, the type of residential property selected, and the number of dependants included within the application.

Please contact Sovereign to discuss your application and receive an all-inclusive quotation for acting as your licensed agent.

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