Malta’s government has introduced a new scheme to grant citizenship to “high net worth” applicants in return for a significant contribution to a National Development Fund to be invested in social and national projects.
Applicants must qualify under a very strict due diligence regime and must contribute as follows:
- EUR 650,000 for the main applicant;
- EUR 25,000 for a spouse or partner in an established relationship;
- EUR 25,000 for each minor child;
- EUR 50,000 for each adult dependent child, aged 18 to 25 years or dependent parents above 55 years.
There will also be fees payable for the Due Diligence process:
- EUR 7,500 for main applicant;
- EUR 5,000 for spouses, adult children and parents;
- EUR 3,000 for children between 13 and 18 years of age.
The pilot scheme will be operational from 2 December 2013, and reports suggest that there may be initially about 60 applicants raising around 30m Euros in revenues, with up to 300 applicants in a full year.
An EU Commission spokesperson has been quoted as declaring that EU member states had full sovereignty on how, and to whom, they granted citizenship, adding that “The European Court of Justice has in several cases, confirmed the principle of international law, that it is for each member state to lay down their own conditions for the acquisition of nationality”.