Malta has long been a staple in the investment migration industry. Boasting a Citizenship by Investment Program (MEIN) and a permanent Residency by Investment Program (MPRP), it offers everything an investor migrant may need.
However, the MEIN and MPRP are vastly different in terms of requirements, benefits, and responsibilities, so it is crucial that anyone considering obtaining a global mobility asset in Malta understands the nuanced variances between both programs.
Citizenship vs Permanent Residency
Both citizenship and permanent residency refer to a person’s legal status within the country.
In essence, a citizen is free to do whatever they want in the country as long as it remains within the boundaries of the law. Citizenship is a perpetual status that isn’t linked to any certain activity or factor.
On the other hand, permanent residents get all the rights of citizens except for political ones such as voting or running for office. Also, permanent residency is linked to a specific factor which could be physical residence, an investment, or otherwise.
MEIN vs MPRP
Both MEIN and MPRP are streamlined ways of obtaining legal status in Malta, be it citizenship or residence, and both have similar requirements. An applicant must:
- Have a clean criminal record
- Make a qualifying investment
- Maintain an address for a specific period of time
And that is where the similarities end.
The MEIN and MPRP both have efficient processes, but the overall wait time until you receive your final status varies.
Starting with the MPRP, the process is simple, requiring you to collect your documents, make the investments, and submit an application. The average wait time until you receive your permanent residency under the MPRP is between 3-6 months.
The MEIN takes longer, depending on your investment amount. The process for the MEIN is similar to the MPRP, but before you are approved, you will have to wait for one or three years.
This makes the MPRP faster in terms of getting your final status, but if a person wanted to obtain citizenship through naturalisation (living in Malta) while on a permanent residency, then they would have to live as a tax resident for seven continuous years.
Hence, while the MPRP is faster for gaining legal status in Malta, the MEIN is much faster in its route to Maltese citizenship.
The costs for the MEIN depend on how long an investor wants to wait until they obtain their citizenship, that breakdown is as follows:
One year till naturalisation: €750,000, OR
Three years till naturalisation: €600,000
- Real Estate:
Purchasing real estate for €700,000, OR
Renting real estate for €16,000
- Donation of €10,000 to a pre-determined, approved NGO
The overall cost would come to about €690,000.
The MPRP, on the other hand, is one of the most affordable investment migration programs in the world, requiring a total initial outlay of just €110,000 as follows:
- Real estate investment:
- An investment in real estate in the amount of €300,000 in the South of Malta/Gozo or €350,000 in the rest of Malta; OR
- Renting a property for a minimum of €10,000 annually in the South of Malta/Gozo or €12,000 in the rest of Malta
- A government contribution of €28,000 if purchasing a property or €58,000 Euro if leasing a property
- An administrative fee of €40,000
- A donation of €2,000 to an NGO
In terms of initial cost, the MPRP is much more affordable, nearly 85% less than that of the MEIN. However, if citizenship is the ultimate goal, then the cost-to-citizenship isn’t very different.
The benefits of the MEIN and MPRP within Malta are very similar. Both citizens and permanent residents have the right to work, study, access state healthcare, access legal procedures, and much more. The only main difference within Malta are political rights such as voting and running for office.
Also, as EU citizens, Maltese passport holders have the right to reside, work, and study anywhere they want within the EU, adding another layer of benefits that the MPRP lacks.
Two Great Programs
The MPRP is faster and more affordable, but if a person is looking to obtain citizenship, then the MEIN is the better option.
Choosing between the two programs comes down to each investor’s personal objectives, needs, and budget.
At Savory & Partners, we can help you do just that, as we will look into the specifics of your case and provide you with the ultimate solution.
All you need to do to start your journey is to contact us today and book a comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.
We are available on every channel convenient for you.