How to Become a Citizen in Europe by Investment

November 5, 2018
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How to Become a Citizen in Europe

Some of the greatest advantages of investing in European citizenship programs are the Freedom of Movement and Right to Settlement within Europe.

Obtaining citizenship in one of the European countries whether for travel, settlement or business purposes, can work as a doorway to the entire European continent and even beyond the European borders.

Sometimes, investing in residency can also be a quick solution in acquiring Permanent Residence, eventually landing one on the path of becoming a European Citizen.

For any investor looking for opportunities to lawfully obtain citizenship or a second passport for better travel options, Citizenship-by-Investment is the fastest and simplest way.

Obtaining a European Union (EU) passport allows the holder to reside anywhere in the EU and reap the benefits of the high standard of living that Europe has to offer, including a safe environment, exceptional healthcare and a world-class education system.

Whether to carry overseas business from a new vantage point or a favourable taxation system or to capitalize on the lucrative real estate market, Europe has also become a destination of choice to design new investment possibilities in a competing business environment.

This article has been written with the purpose of giving an overview of How to Become a Citizen in Europe by Investment.

 Malta in a nutshell.


  1. List of European Countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs
  2. Why Choose Malta as your Second Home?
  3. The Malta Individual Investor Program (Malta Citizenship by Investment)
  4. Benefits of Becoming a Citizen of Malta
  5. Cost of Buying Malta Citizenship
  6. How to Become a Citizen in Europe (Malta Citizenship Application Process)
  7. Why Wahaat as your Relocation Services Advisor?

List of European Countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs

As the demand for a second passport has increased manifolds, several EU countries are offering a chance to Non-EU citizens to relocate themselves and their business to Europe. 

Having a second passport has become interlinked with one's identity, becoming a launchpad to invest, bank, travel, live, and do business in places one wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

The conditions for obtaining a passport via economic citizenship vary by country. The European countries that offer citizenship through investment include,

  • Bulgaria;
  • Cyprus;
  • France;
  • Greece;
  • Hungary;
  • Latvia;
  • Malta;
  • Portugal;
  • Spain; and
  • Switzerland.


Our team of experts can assist you at every step in obtaining your Malta citizenship. Contact us today to start the process.


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Why Choose Malta as your Second Home?

As a European Union (EU) Member State, Malta is identified internationally as a safe and secure place, with high political and economic security. 

An attractive cost and tax-efficient base for financial services operators looking for an EU-compliant but yet flexible domicile, enhance the country’s attractiveness as a centre for international business in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Related: Discover Malta


#1 Malta’s Strategic Location

Malta is right at the crossroads of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, located just 95 km South of Sicily and 290 km from the North African coast.

Malta’s coastline is picturesque with many harbours, bays, creeks, sandy beaches and rocky coves. 

As an EU country, Malta’s requirements on visas fall in line with EU policy. Malta also forms part of the Schengen area.


#2 No Language Barrier

The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English and both are recognised and given equal status and use in Government. Most business correspondence is usually in English.

Other languages, mainly Italian and French, are also widely spoken.

#3 Malta - 2nd Safest Country Worldwide

If one is looking for a country that is safe and secure in a majority of aspects, then Malta could be it.

The 2018 edition of the World Risk Report, once again named Malta, as one of the world’s safest countries.

The collaborative report lists Malta in second place in terms of its exposure to and ability to handle natural disasters. The Maltese islands have an overall 0.57% chance of falling victim to a natural disaster.

Malta, according to the report, has very low exposure to earthquakes, floods or rising sea levels and the societies and infrastructure are well prepared to tackle such events should they come to pass.

Additionally, the island also has one of the lowest crime rates to be found anywhere.

Why Choose Malta as your Second Home?

#4 The Maltese Economy

With a population of around 425,000, Malta has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of €12,320.0 million (as published by the National Statistics Office of 2018) an increase of €1,006.5 million or 8.9 per cent when compared to 2017.

The following economic activities generate Malta's GDP:  

  • Agriculture and Fishing; 
  • Manufacturing; 
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade; 
  • Transportation and Storage; 
  • Accommodation and Food Service; 
  • Information and Communication; 
  • Real Estate
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical; 
  • Public Administration; 
  • Education; 
  • Human Health and Social Work; and 
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation. 

Sustained by continued rapid growth, the Maltese economy retains a relatively low rate of unemployment. The economy is dependent on Foreign Trade, Manufacturing (especially Electronics and Pharmaceuticals), and Tourism. Major markets for Malta are Eurozone, USA and Singapore.

Relatively new sectors like Aviation, iGaming & Blockchain are also booming and thriving economic setup.


#5 Quality of Life in Malta

Malta enjoys culture, history and more than 300 days of sunshine.

Maltese islands have a rich history spanning over 7,000 years, mainly resulting from its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean.

The small archipelago boasts a Mediterranean climate and a top-ranked healthcare system (consistently ranked among the top five in the world by the World Health Organization).

Living in Malta could be a unique experience, especially if one is used to the hectic city life and long travels between work and home. Everything in Malta is close and easily accessible.

You might also be interested in knowing more about other Reasons to Choose Malta as your Second Home


Our dedicated team of experts can help you at every step of the way for obtaining your Maltese citizenship. 


Advantages of Malta Golden Visa & Malta Golden Passport

The Malta Individual Investor Program (Malta Citizenship by Investment)

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program which is also technically known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) is aimed at High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs).

In today’s world of economic and political instability, travel restrictions, and for many other reasons, more and more people from all walks of life are expressing interest. These include single individuals, married couples and families, retirees, investors and executives who are willing to make the necessary financial contributions and investments required.

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme is the first EU approved citizenship program and offers second citizenship/dual citizenship options to families wishing to relocate their personal or business affairs to an EU country.

Till this very day, this unique program designed by the Maltese Government for granting citizenship to Non-EU citizens is the most sought-after citizenship by Investment. Through the MIIP, when one obtains the Malta passport, not only becomes a Maltese citizen but also gains the legal right to European Union (EU) and Schengen Area.


Our dedicated team of experts can help you at every step of the way in obtaining your Maltese citizenship. Get in touch today.

Benefits of Becoming a Citizen of Malta

Maltese Citizenship by Investment has both immediate and long-term benefits.


  • Establish your business in the European Union’s fastest-growing economy;
  • Freedom to unrestricted access to the European Union (EU), the world’s largest economic zone;
  • Benefit from the tax-efficient system for both personal and corporate;
  • Complete freedom of capital and income movements;


  • Unwind in one of the safest countries in the world;
  • Access to leading health care institutions;
  • Protect your family legacy by passing on citizenship to future generations. Even if they are born outside of Malta they can attain citizenship by descent; and
  • Secure your children’s future through a world-class education system;


  • Citizenship in a well-respected, economically and politically stable EU country;
  • Citizenship status that is inherited by future generations;
  • Freedom to travel to 183 countries including the USA, Canada and Australia;
  • Right to the settlement in all 28 EU and 4 EEA member states; and
  • Right to own a second home in Malta. Make the most from endless investment options in a stable and booming real estate market.

Have a query? Please free to reach out to us.

Malta Golden Passport Requirements (MIIP Requirements)

Cost of Buying Malta Citizenship

The Malta Citizenship by investment program has a specific fee structure.

The entire amount is NOT required to be paid in one go.

Malta Citizenship Investment Requirements (Cost)

Contribution Fees

  • Main applicant: €650,000;
  • Spouse: €25,000;
  • For each and every child below 18 years of age: €25,000;
  • For each and every unmarried child between 18 years of age and 26 years of age: €50,000;
  • For each and every dependent parent above 55 years of age: €50,000.

Property Requirements (Qualifying Property)

  • Acquire a property in Malta having a minimum value of €350,000 and retain it for a period of at least 5 years; OR
  • Lease property in Malta for a minimum annual rent of €16,000 and retain it for a period of at least 5 years.

Investment Requirements

  • Invest in Malta an amount of at least €150,000, in amongst other stocks, bonds, debentures, special purpose vehicles, or other investment vehicles as may be identified from time to time, and retain the investment for at least 5 years.


Related: Buying a Property in the Special Designated Area in Malta.


To find out how much IIP will cost you,



Cost of Buying Malta Citizenship

How to Become a Citizen in Europe (Malta Citizenship Application Process)

The island nation forms part of the Schengen area as well as the European Union, so having a Maltese passport will not only open doors to one country but to the entire continent.

The process to obtain Maltese Citizenship is very thorough; taking around 12 months to complete. 

The application process starts with the submission of an e-Residence Application and ends with the issuance of a certification of naturalisation.

Step 1 - Eligibility Criteria and Documentation

Wahaat ensures eligibility of the applicant and takes care of the documentation and preparation of all the required documents.

Step 2: Residency Permit

An application for the residency permit is submitted to start the 12 - month residency requirement for citizenship. The physical presence of the applicant is required for biometrics.

Step 3: Application Submission

Post the Malta Police Approval, Initial Background checks followed by Compliance Approval and exhaustive Due Diligence Process, the application is submitted to the Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency (MIIPA) along with payments due. It takes approximately 21 weeks from step 1 to step 3.

Step 4: Application Process

After a 120 days review period, MIIP confirms if the documentation submitted is formally in order, subject to further investigative due diligence. Once the due diligence process is satisfied an approval letter is issued by MIIPA. It takes about 39 weeks from step 1 to Step 4.

Step 5: Contribution Fees Settlement

A formal request is issued whereby the applicant is required to settle the contribution (fees mentioned below) within 20 working days. It takes about 52 weeks to reach this step.

Step 6: Investment Requirements

Here the applicant has to provide evidence of qualifying property investment, portfolio investment, health insurance and genuine links. Monetary requirements for the same are mentioned below under the investment requirement section. The professional team of experts at Wahaat can help you in gathering all that is required at this stage.

Step 7: Oath of Allegiance

After all the IIP obligations are fulfilled, the applicant and all the dependents will be invited to take an Oath of Allegiance in Malta.

Step 8: Certificate of Naturalisation and Maltese Passport Application

The Government of Malta issues the Certificate of Naturalisation and the processing of Maltese Passport Application reaches its final stages.


So, all in all, it will be fair to say that the entire Malta citizenship process takes about 55 weeks to complete, post which, you are issued with the Malta Passport.


Our professional team of experts can support you at every step in acquiring your Malta residency or citizenship


Eligibility for the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) - Malta Golden Passport

Why Wahaat as your Relocation Services Advisor?

Wahaat is an advisory service firm that focuses on High-Net-Worth Individuals providing three distinct but related services:

Wahaat has a team of professionals and offices located in Malta and Dubai. 

Wahaat, through its affiliate, is proud to be the official concessionaire chosen by the Government of Malta to promote the Malta Residence and Visa Program throughout the Middle East.

Through Wahaat’s and our strategic partner’s presence in over 120 countries, represented by 565 offices, Wahaat has vast experience in the development and provision of holistic services that are tailor-made for each individual client.


Written by
Yashica K. Pathak
Editorial Content Manager

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