New Citizenship Programme to be announced by Maltese Government
On the 24th April 2020, the Maltese Government issued a press release confirming that a revised Individual Investor Programme will be launched once the current scheme reaches its maximum limit – that of 1800 approvals.
Since its inception in 2014, the Malta Individual Investor Programme has attracted over 1800 applicants, with 1198 of them being approved and naturalised as citizens by November 2019. The scheme has also brought in over €1.4bn to the Maltese economy. According to the Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities, Alex Muscat, by the beginning of 2020 over 70% of the aforementioned maximum limit had been reached.
The government reiterated that it was currently engaged in discussions with the relevant stakeholders, both at a local and European level, in order to put forward an improved programme. The intention is to further boost the Maltese economy without compromising the high-level checks being conducted on all applicants.
Although no concrete amendments have been announced by the Maltese Government as of yet, a recent article published by Investment Migration Insider suggests that more due diligence obligations may be placed on the accredited agents. This echoes a comment made by Mr. Muscat in February of this year, where he also emphasised the necessity to have “certain checks and balances in place for a fixed period of time on successful applicants.” He also suggested that the price requirement for real estate investment may be adjusted to better reflect the current property market.