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Malta: A Dream Destination For Chinese Investors

Vertex Alliance

China is the world’s largest outbound investment migration market by far, as Chinese investors dominate the majority of applications under almost every citizenship or residency by investment programme.

That preponderance is even more apparent under Malta’s Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP), where Chinese applicants make up a staggering 87% of all the 2,273 applications the programme has received since its launch in 2015.

A recent study has shown that over 4,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) left China in the past year, and that same report forecasts a massive surge in 2023, expecting the overall number to be around 13,500, and a significant amount may choose Malta as their destination of choice.

But it isn’t a surprise that so many Chinese HNWIs apply to Malta. In fact, the numbers highlight the fact that Malta is an optimal investment migration for Chinese investors.

The Programme

One of the main reasons the MPRP garners so much attention from Chinese HNWIs is the program’s straightforward requirements and streamlined process.

The MPRP is highly affordable, as the initial outlay to obtain a Maltese permanent residency (PR) through the program can be approximately €110,000. 

The MPRP’s swift processing times are also a major factor, as the entire procedure usually takes between four to six months to process, so Chinese investors can do it over the summer period; this is especially important for those who want to plan for their children’s future.  

The programme allows the addition of family members, and since familial ties in China are a much more prominent matter than in the West, the programme’s allowance for adding an investor’s spouse, dependant children, parents, and grandparents aligns perfectly with the Eastern social structure.

By obtaining a PR through the programme, investors and their family members may settle and stay indefinitely in Malta by investing in the country. 

Though the MPRP does not have a physical residency requirement, meaning that Chinese HNWIs can obtain the PR without the need to actively reside in Malta to maintain their status; investors need to maintain €500,000  in financial assets, health insurance for cover in Malta, an address for the residency card, and a clean criminal record. Having said that, many Chinese families choose to settle in Malta, enjoying all that the country offers them – reputable education institutions, worldclass healthcare, and a safe and welcoming place to live.

Malta’s MPRP is an attractive solution for Chinese HNWIs 

While the MPRP’s straightforward framework and requirements are a significant draw for investors, Malta itself offers Chinese HNWIs potent solutions to some problems they may face in their home country.

While China’s active market seems highly capitalistic and some of the Government’s statements it has released in the past do hint at its efforts to bridge the gap between economic classes and if a new regulation to increase taxes on the wealthy arise, Chinese HNWIs with a PR in Europe would have more options to manage their wealth.

As an EU member with a strategic location between the MENA and Europe, Malta is a perfect place to set up a bank account, trust, or company and do business. 

Another gap that Malta can address is global mobility. The Chinese passport has very limited visa free travel capabilities, granting its holder visa free access to only 80 destinations worldwide.

A Maltese PR can unlock the entire Schengen Zone, that is 27 of the world’s most enticing countries entirely open for Maltese residents. Permanent residence card holders have the ability to travel visa free in the Schengen Zone for 90 out of 180 days.  

Malta also has an option to obtain a Maltese passport by investment which provides visa free travel to over 185 destinations worldwide including the EU, UK, USA, Canada and many more.

Obtaining a second passport is the ultimate way to protect against passport attack vectors, one of which was infamously applied by China during the pandemic when the government stopped issuing or renewing passports. After it resumed its operations, the backlog had grown so large the process became a massive point of concern for Chinese people, especially those who had global business affairs to manage.

By becoming a Maltese citizen or resident, a person can minimise political risks such as these, and due to the growing bipolarity of the world’s geopolitical spectrum, it can also hedge against large-scale instability.

China is the undoubted Eastern superpower, and while it maintains close ties with the West, there have always been tensions. The EU is one of the three major Western superpowers, so a person who has a foothold in the EU can have the best of both worlds or the ability to choose between the two if either one falters.

The best way to hedge against political instability is to obtain global mobility assets (such as passports or residency permits) from countries on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and Malta provides an excellent antipodal solution.

How Vertex Alliance can help

Vertex Alliance is an advisory licensed with the Malta Government Authorities. Over 90% of our client base is from China, and we have extensive experience working with clients from this region with an in-house team of Mandarin-speaking professionals. Our in-house private clients servicing team is dedicated to assisting clients at all stages of the process. 

We understand the obstacles, needs, and objectives of our clients and carefully analyse their cases before providing a comprehensive suite of solutions that will get them where they want to go.

Our extensive experience under the Maltese permanent residence and citizenship program allows us to streamline our clients’ cases and maximise their benefits.

We also have an experienced team with lawyers and accountants, allowing us to provide a wide array of services alongside investment migration applications, such as corporate solutions, tax advisory, and private client relocation services.  Vertex Alliance is a one-stop shop that provides investors with everything they need under one roof, and we do it with a keen eye for detail and a personalised approach.

To know more about how Vertex Alliance can help you benefit from what Malta has to offer, contact us today.

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