The Maltese ‘MEIN’ – the Gold Standard of Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes

Acquiring a second or alternative citizenship provides individuals and families with a broad spectrum of lifestyle, business, investment and tax benefits, and has become an increasingly popular choice worldwide.

Many governments have taken notice of this increased demand. They understand and appreciate that offering citizenship programmes will enable them to:

  • Secure much-needed foreign investment without debt.
  • Attract people with proven business success and valuable networks.
  • Create local employment and associated economic benefits.
  • Enrich their economies and citizens.

Whilst there are several official Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes (CBI) programmes offered by governments across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe, in our view the Maltese programme provides qualifying applicants with the most comprehensive range of benefits and opportunities.

About the Republic of Malta

The Republic of Malta is a compact island nation at the heart of the Mediterranean, some 80 km to the south of Sicily. It is an archipelago composed of three main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – which have a combined population of around 500,000. The capital is Valletta.

Malta was a Crown Colony of the UK from 1814 until 1964, when it was granted independence and became a republic. It was admitted to the European Union in 2004, joined the euro zone in 2008. Its two official languages are Maltese and English.

Malta International Airport, located 5km southwest of Valletta, serves all the Maltese islands and offers direct flights to destinations all over Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East.

With a typically Mediterranean climate, Malta is also one of the world’s safest countries, with a low crime rate, a welcoming, friendly population and progressive policies and laws. It also provides access to quality educational institutions and medical facilities, excellent business opportunities and infrastructure, and an excellent quality of life.

The Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Programme

The Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Programme is a CBI programme that aims to attract the highest quality of investor from all over the world and requires the main applicant to make qualifying investments donations in Malta.

The MEIN is open to 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 programme 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.

Each 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.

Sovereign Services Ltd (Malta)

Sovereign Services Ltd (Malta) is a licensed agent of the CMA (licence number AKM-SOVE) and is extremely well placed to advise and support applicants who wish to establish citizenship in Malta.

We provide a full concierge service, working closely with qualifying clients through each step of the process, to ensure they can successfully qualify, apply and, ultimately, receive their Maltese Permanent Residence permit.

Benefits under the MEIN programme

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 will benefit from:

  • Maltese Citizenship for life, which may be passed on to future generations.
  • The right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta.
  • Visa-free or visa on arrival access to 186 countries including the USA and Canada.
  • Malta is a full member of the EU.
  • Excellent education and healthcare systems.
  • The option to maintain dual citizenship.
  • Multiple personal and corporate tax benefits.

MEIN Qualification Requirements

To qualify for the MEIN programme, applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Evidence that they have completed a residence period of 36 months in Malta (or 12 months under the exceptional investment route).
  • Undertaking to make a non-refundable direct investment of €600,000 if the application is submitted after 36 months of residence (or €750,000 if the application is submitted after 12 months of residence).
  • Undertaking to make a non-refundable direct investment of €50,000 for each dependant.
  • Undertaking to purchase a residential property in Malta valued at a minimum of €700,000 or rent a residential property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of €16,000.
  • Undertaking to donate at least €10,000 to a registered and compliant philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organisation.
  • 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.
  • Pass all due diligence and background verification checks.
  • Have worldwide medical insurance cover.

The CMA is responsible for the due diligence and verification process of the eligibility of the applicants. Government due diligence fees for an application under the MEIN route are €15,000 for the main applicant and €10,000 for each dependant.

* Property is required to be adequate to accommodate the main applicant and their dependants and must be held for a minimum period of five (5) years from the oath of allegiance.

Comprehensive Residency and Citizenship Planning Services

Sovereign works closely with applicants during each stage of the planning and implementation process. When combined and managed correctly, the following Sovereign Group services will enable individuals and families to develop and implement a comprehensive, flexible and tax efficient strategy:

  • International residency and citizenship programmes
  • Tax residency
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Estate and succession planning
  • International retirement plans
  • Wealth management
  • Corporate structures and banking
  • International life and medical insurances.

For further information, to discuss your requirements and/or to determine whether you qualify for the Malta MEIN Programme or any other residency or citizenship programmes, please contact Sovereign’s Residency and Citizenship Planning team below.

Contact Sovereign’s Residency and Citizenship Planning team
Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.