Malta, alongside with Cyprus, Malta was also harshly criticized by the European Commission for its policies on providing investment citizenship. As result, Malta has crippled its program seriously, so it is now feasible only for the most determined applicants. Still, as the Maltese passport is one of the most prestigious in the world and provides visa-free entry to the USA, the Maltese authorities are anyway able to attract certain ultra-high-net-worth investors.
It is still possible, albeit very difficult, to get Maltese citizenship through a qualifying investment. In order for this to happen, the applicant must go through three separate investments stages.
The first step is to make a “direct” payment of minimum 600 000 EUR or 750 000 EUR for the main applicant. The amount is dependent on the residence period required (12 to 36 months).
The second step is to invest in residential property lease for a minimum of 16 000 EUR per year for a period of five years or to purchase real estate for 700 000 EUR or more. These need to be kept for at least five years.
In the third stage, a charity donation of 10 000 EUR is required.
All in all, the Maltese CIP has always been very expensive, but after the latest amendments, it is feasible only for people with substantial net-worth. Still, the country provides some unique tax arrangements and especially those who require visa-free travel to the USA can still benefit from the Maltese program.