Citizenship-By-Investment: Russian Businessmen Buying Maltese Passports
Dozens of wealthy Russians have bought Maltese citizenship. As RBC found out, according to information published on the website of the Government of Malta, more than 730 people with the well-known combinations of names, surnames and patrimonies in Russia became citizens of the country, which joined the European Union in 2004.
The Government of Malta publishes a list of naturalized citizens on the republic's official website every year. This document contains the names of people who received the Maltese citizenship during the reporting period. The last list was published in December 2017 – it contains data on people who have received the citizenship of Malta in 2016. The previous list contains the names of 258 Russians.
According to a Maltese newspaper Independent, by September 2017, the republic approved applications from 1500 investors for the program which grants the Maltese citizenship for investments in its economy. The program is designed to attract 1,800 new investors, who will bring the economy of the state more than € 1 billion.
The program was launched in November 2013. The investor can obtain the citizenship of Malta in exchange for a donation of € 650 thousand. 70% of the amount goes to the National Development and Social Policy Fund of Malta, the rest of the money goes directly to the state budget.
Also, the investor must purchase a property worth at least € 350 thousand – it can be sold only in five years. The other option is to conclude a long-term lease of housing for five years in an amount not less than € 80 thousand for the entire period. In addition, the applicant must acquire Maltese bonds, the list of which is approved by the government of the state, for the amount of not less than € 150 thousand, with maturity no earlier than five years.
The investor can issue passports for family members: for € 25 thousand for each minor child and spouse and for € 50 thousand for an adult child or his parent.
The decision on the application is made within four months, after which it takes two more months to make a passport. The Maltese citizenship gives the right to visa-free entry into most countries of the world. At the same time, its owner should not permanently reside in the republic. The issue of tax residency also remains with him. Children born after the parent had received the Maltese citizenship, become citizens of this state automatically.