When it comes to making life-changing decisions like considering relocation options for a better quality of life or international investment for the advancement of business and/or for freedom to travel, both Malta & Cyprus have been attracting individuals from all corners of the world.
This article has been written with the intent to provide a comparative overview of the citizenship by investment programs offered by two Mediterranean countries, Malta and Cyprus.
Both citizenship by investment programs are considered to be advantageous in many ways with the flexibility to add dependent children, spouse, parents and/or grandparents.
The Cypriot program requires the main applicant to acquire a separate residential property if parents or grandparents are included, at a minimum value of not less than €500,000.
Whereas, The Maltese program does not apply any such property requirement for dependents, however, an additional non-refundable contribution of €50,000 per parent or grandparent, and €25,000 per minor dependent are payable upon approval.
Other than that, if we talk about freedom of travel, both the citizenship programs are at par.
The Malta Individual Investor Program grants the Maltese nationals the freedom to travel to 183 countries including the USA, Canada and Australia whilst Cypriot nationals enjoy travelling to about 170 countries excluding the USA.
As an added advantage, Malta forms part of the Schengen area so one can travel without border checks to 26 Schengen countries. Cyprus does not form part of the Schengen area.
As a leading immigration agent, Wahaat can offer bespoke advice to individuals who may be considering the two immigration programs. Get in touch today.
The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program underwent significant amendments which came into force in 2019.
The introduction of the requirement of a non-refundable contribution of €150,000, to be allocated against research and development, and land development organisation;
Minimum investment holding term extended from 3 to 5 years;
The possession of a valid Schengen visa by the applicant was also introduced as a requirement;
The possibility of investment in government bonds is no longer available, whilst investments in the shipping sector are now permitted;
If the residential property to be acquired, has already been used for the purposes of the Investment program by a previous applicant, then the total amount of the investment must constitute € 2.5 million;
If an application for citizenship in any other EU Member State was rejected in the past, the person will be considered ‘not eligible’ for Cypriot citizenship by investment; and
The due diligence process has been enhanced.
A comparison of the property and investment obligations under the Maltese and the amended Cypriot citizenship by investment programs.
|Malta Citizenship by Investment||Cypriot Citizenship by Investment|
|Non-Refundable Contribution||€650,000 to be allocated to the National Development and Social Fund.||€150,000 to be allocated to Research and Development, and Land Development Organisation.|
|Types of Investments||
The applicant is required to:
3 options are available to the investor:
Immovable Property: 5 years;
Securities Investment: 5 years.
Options 1, 2, and 3: 5 years
Residential property acquired at a minimum value of €500,000 must be retained for life
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When it comes to Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program, the overall financial requirement for potential applicants increased post the amendments. While the amount of the non-refundable contribution under Cypriot program remained less than that required under the Malta Citizenship by Investment program.
Additionally, it should also be taken into consideration that the obligation period to own/lease an immovable property under the Malta program is 5 years whereas under the Cypriot program one is required to retain ownership of a €500,000 property for life.
In terms of the investment holding period, the amended Cypriot program has been raised to 5 years from 3 years, thus equalising the Malta program requirement.
Read about the updated and ever-growing list of the Malta passport visa-free countries..
It is now possible to acquire second citizenship from many countries. However, the question remains; why do people consider second citizenship?
Tax in Malta on the basis of residence is charged on income & capital gains. Businesses set up in Malta enjoy full imputation system & refundable tax credit.