Maltese Citizenship by Investment Review: Is It Worth It? (2024)

How to Get Malta Citizenship by Investment

Malta, one of the southernmost points in Europe, is a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea just south of Italy.

A population of just 476,000 people calls this beautiful place home, and you can too through Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (NESDI).

The country started the program in 2020 to attract foreign investors to Malta by granting Maltese citizenship.

As a member of the European Union (E.U.), a Maltese passport holds great weight internationally while its great location means Mediterranean weather all year round.

If having a Maltese passport sounds appealing to you, let’s take a closer look at its Citizenship by Direct Investment and examine what you need to do to ensure your application proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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Key Takeaways

  • Maltese Citizenship by Investment is the fastest way to obtain an EU passport.
  • It only takes 2 years to acquire citizenship, whereas other EU programs take at least 5 years.
  • The required investment is either EUR 600,000 or EUR 750,000.
  • A Maltese passport allows you to travel to over 180 countries worldwide visa-free, including the Schengen areas, the UK, and the USA. You can extend Maltese citizenship to your entire family.
  • There is a cap of 1,500 successful applicants, or 400 applicants per year.
  • You must apply for the program through a licensed agent only.
  • To start applying for the Maltese citizenship or find out more, please fill in this form.

What is Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (MESDI)? 

Malta’s golden visa, officially known as Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (MESDI), has started in 2020 and became a new opportunity for anyone hoping to get a new Europe passport.

Like other nations that have instituted a citizenship by investment program, Malta is also looking to bring foreign investment into the country in return for a country passport and many perks.

Malta flag
Malta is a small island country in Europe. Its citizenship program is open to anyone willing to invest in the country.

Malta’s Citizenship by Investment program is recommended for anyone looking to get an E.U. passport because of the following reasons:

  • It only takes a year or two to get citizenship, which is among the shortest timeframes in Europe.
  • You can apply for citizenship for your family without having to make additional investments.
  • You don’t need to learn a new local language.
  • You only need to stay in Malta for 12 days in your first year.
  • The process is streamlined and straightforward.

If you’re interested in getting Maltese citizenship, you’ll need to apply through a licensed agent, which will then be processed by officials. We will talk about this more later on. 


Here’s the exact list of benefits you get from Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment.

Maltese Citizenship 

The key benefit of the MESDI is that you will obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalization at the end of the program. 

By having Maltese citizenship, you will possess the Maltese passport, which is one of the most powerful passports in the world, allowing you to travel to over 185 countries visa-free. 

You can enter Europe’s Schengen Area, the U.S., Canada, and many other nations without having to apply for a visa. 

Additionally, Malta also has an attractive tax scheme for its citizens. For example, there is no inheritance tax or wealth tax here.

Citizenship for Your Entire Family

You can add your parents, spouse, and children to your MESDI application without having to make extra investments.

Your parents need to be older than 55 years old, and your children must be younger than 29 years old. They must also be fully dependent on you. You just have to pay an additional EUR 50,000 per dependent.

This perk is very attractive to those who plan to get an EU passport for their entire family since Malta is one of the few countries that allows this. All of them receive the same benefits of having a Maltese passport and access to Europe, which is considered to have the best healthcare and education system in the world.

Additionally, if you have children after obtaining Maltese citizenship, they too will automatically have Maltese citizenship.

Less Waiting Time

If you want to get a second passport through an investment program in another E.U. countries, you could spend at least 5 to 10 years doing so. 

With Malta, it’s possible to get it within 24 months. 

In the first 12 months, you just need to hold Maltese resident status by staying in Malta for at least 14 days. Then you can process for your Maltese citizenship, which takes another 12 to 18 months. 

Streamline Process

All of Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment applications will be handled by the Community Malta Agency. 

They are known for being competent and making the process streamline. 

Investment Requirements

As part of the Malta Citizenship by Investment program, you’re expected to make a sizable investment and donation to the Maltese government in order to qualify for the program.

To get Maltese citizen, you should expect to invest between EUR800,000 to EUR1.5 million.

To sum up, here’s what you need to do:

  • make a direct investment to the Maltese government of EUR600,000 or EUR750,000
  • invest EUR700,000 into a property or lease a property of EUR15,000 per year; you can sell your property after five years 
  • make a donation of EUR10,000 to a non-profit organization in Malta

Let’s take a look at each one individually. 

Direct Investments

You need to complete a non-refundable contribution to the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF). The amount depends on your residency status per the following: 

  • If you have resided in Malta for 36 months, you must make a direct investment into the NDSF of EUR600,000. 
  • Otherwise, if you’ve resided in Malta for 12 months, then you can get your citizenship sooner by making a direct investment of EUR750,000.

An additional EUR50,000 is required for each dependent.

Property Investments

You have two choices for property investment. 

  • purchasing a residential property in Malta worth a minimum of EUR700,000 OR
  • lease a property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of EUR16,000.

This property must be adequate for you and any dependents for five years from the date of issue of the certificate of citizenship.

You cannot sublet your property during this five-year period. 


The Maltese government also requires a EUR10,000 philanthropic donation to a Malta-registered non-profit organization that deals with anything from philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, artistic issues or goals, or as otherwise approved by the agency.

Other Requirements

In addition to investment requirements, there are other requirements for the MESDI. 

Age and Criminal Background Checks

The main applicant must be over 18 years of age.

When it comes to criminal background checks, it’s quite strict. All applicants must:

  • Have no prior criminal record.
  • Not have been denied a visa for countries with a visa-free agreement with Malta.
  • Not pose a potential national security risk or be subject to criminal immigration.
  • Not be a citizen, have business relationships, or personal ties with several countries, including Afghanistan, Congo, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

During the application, Malta conducts four tiers of due diligence checks to ensure that you are free from these activities.

Residence Status

You need to have a valid residence card showing that you have been in Malta at least 12 to 36 months before being able to apply for citizenship. 

The required duration of stay differs based on your direct investment as mentioned earlier. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to stay in Malta for 12- to 36-straight months. Instead, you just need to stay for at least 14 days per year. 

Additional Fees

Beyond that, you’ll also have to cover all other fees related to getting your application duly processed, such as:

  • residence permit fee
  • citizenship eligibility due diligence fees 
  • citizenship eligibility administrative fee
  • citizenship administrative fee 

These fees amount to EUR26,000 to EUR 30,000 and can increase based on the number of dependents you have. 


To have your application processed successfully, you’ll need to provide a number of required documents to prove your identity and satisfy local officials.

Pay close attention to which documents are required specifically for you, as different forms apply to different people.

There are applications for

  • e-residency forms
  • residence permit
  • residence documentation
  • electronic identity registration forms
  • declaration for submission of the citizenship application
  • other forms that can change as the program changes 

Next, you need to complete eligibility and citizenship application forms. 

Again, you need to carefully ensure you find the documents you’re required to fill and submit them as part of your application. 

The Maltese government may ask you to procure other supporting documents so they can better perform their due diligence checks, so double check with them.

Application Process

If you’ve read through the previous sections and have decided to apply for citizenship, below are the steps you have to take. 

Although Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is straightforward, it’s very strict and heavily monitored by the Community Malta Agency (CMA). 

Apply for a Maltese Residence Card 

The first step is to apply for a Maltese residence card. 

During this step, the CTA will perform the due diligence for the first time and background checks on you for the first time to ensure that there are no issues.

Once it’s approved, you’ll be given a residence card so you can begin your legal residence in Malta.

Check Eligibility

Your next step is to complete the citizenship eligibility application and comb over them thoroughly in case there are any errors.

Then, produce the relevant fees and supporting documents for yourself and your family. 

This includes your spouse, dependent adult children, dependent children under 29 years of age, and parents and grandparents over the age of 55.

Your application will be checked many times. The CMA may contact you from time to time to request additional information and documents to ensure that they have everything they need for the approval. 

After that, your citizenship eligibility application will be sent to by the Minister of Malta for approval.  

Apply for Citizenship

Next, you need to wait for 12 or 36 months for your residency status before you can apply for Maltese citizenship. 

You need to be in Malta for at least 14 days per year during this stage. 


Your Maltese citizenship application will be reviewed at the CMA and approved by the Minister of Malta. 

Contribute and Invest

Once you receive a letter of approval in principle from the government of Malta, you need to fulfill the direct investment, property investment, and donation promises as mentioned earlier in the article. 

Get Your Citizenship

Finally, the Maltese government will provide you with an invitation letter to visit Malta to swear its Oath of Allegiance and get a Certificate of Naturalization. 

At the end of all this, you’ll be naturalized as a Maltese citizen, with the CMA conducting continuous monitoring for five years. 

Dual Citizenship

Malta allows dual citizenship, so you can keep your old citizenship(s), and any future offspring of yours (and their offspring) will be Maltese citizens.


Malta has set a limit where only 1,500 applications will be successfully granted Maltese citizenship, with a maximum of 400 applications per year.

Is the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program Worth It?

While the investment requirement and due diligence for Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment can be quite high compared to other similar programs in Europe, it is one of the fastest ways to get an EU passport, not just for you, but for your entire family as well.

So, if you have the net worth to afford investing anywhere from around EUR800,000 to EUR1.5 million and the benefits of Maltese and E.U. citizenship are important to you, then it’s a great choice for you.

Alternative Ways to Get Maltese Citizenship 

The MESDI isn’t the only way you can get Maltese citizenship. There are other alternatives such as:

  • You are born in Malta and your parents are Maltese.
  • You can prove that your parents or grandparents are Maltese.
  • You are married to a Maltese citizen and have lived in Malta for at least 5 years.
  • You have lived in Malta for at least 5 years and have well integrated into Maltese society.

More About Malta

Let’s take a quick look into why Malta is a good place to live. 


Situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has beautiful beaches, access to the open sea, and great yearly weather to make it an attractive destination.

The climate is typical Mediterranean weather, warm almost all year round with just a small dip in the winter. Temperatures range between 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F) depending if it’s summer or winter.

Also, the country doesn’t have any extreme cold or hot seasons and stays temperate all year.

The country is home to a number of bays and beach fronts, with the weather permitting beach life well into October.

All sorts of water activities can be enjoyed in Malta, such as swimming, windsurfing, jet and water skiing, para-kiting, and snorkeling. 

All these wonderful activities and beautiful vistas will be at your fingertips once you live in Malta. In fact, you can enjoy them all year-round once you’re living there.

Living Standards

Another really attractive aspect of life in Malta is the high standard of living.

Citizens of Malta have access to great private schools and medical facilities, and the country has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

Malta port
You can enjoy clean air and good weather in Malta all year round.

It also has a low cost of living index to go with its great standard of living. 

The country is blessed with great weather, but the country also ensures that there is a lack of pollution with clean air to be enjoyed by its citizens.

Malta has all the forms of modern infrastructure you would expect, like phone and internet service as well as secure banking.

It also has air and sea routes to Europe and other international destinations, so you can travel without any issues.

Raising a Family

As a former British colony, Malta’s school system still has its roots in British education systems.

The country has state schools that are free for all students, with transportation and books paid for by the government.

There are also private international schools that charge tuition fees but serve as a community hub for expats who’ve made Malta their home — it’s a great way to meet other people for both parents and kids alike.

The language of instruction is English in private schools, so that’s a major advantage for any children who are already used to schooling in the language.

Access to Europe

Located smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta is a prime location to reach everywhere quickly. You can get to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East with a quick flight or by sea.

How to Start the MESDI Application

To start your application for Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, you need to contact a licensed agent approved by the Community Malta Agency. 

You cannot apply on your own without an agent. 

Afterward, the licensed agent will assist you with your application throughout the process. You can also give a Power of Attorney to a licensed agent to act on your behalf. 

If you are interested in obtaining Maltese Citizenship through the MESDI, simply fill out the form below, and a licensed agent will get back to you. You can ask any questions you may have or apply for the MESDI with an agent directly.

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Before immigrating to Canada, Zain had the great fortune to live in places around the world and values the experiences he gained along the way. He's now based in Waterloo, Canada but you'll often find him in Thailand, a country he's fallen in love with.

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