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Why Malta Offers the Best Solutions for Investor Migrants from Both East and West

DZ Advisory

Investment migration outbound markets have primarily been Eastern countries: China, Russia, and the Middle East have dominated the applicant nationality pools of the world’s citizenship by investment programs.

And while those regions maintain their status as gargantuan outbound markets, the Western high-net-worth individual (HNWI) is quickly awakening to the benefits of investment migration.

However, the needs and objectives of Western and Eastern HNWIs differ, and some programs remain more beneficial to people coming from certain areas, as these programs were molded to benefit them. But one country offers HNWIs everything they need, wherever they may hail from, and that country is Malta.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the largest nationalities from each hemisphere, Americans from the West, and the Chinese, who dominate Malta’s citizenship and residency by investment applicant nationality pools, as the main protagonists of their regions.

Growing awareness and need

The main thing Western and Eastern HNWIs have in common is an increasing need for global mobility assets, but why they need them is all in the details.

The Chinese have notoriously weak passports with limited visa-free travel capabilities, a problem a second citizenship (or EU residency, for that matter) can easily remedy. But this isn’t the only driver for pursuing investment migration solutions, even if it is the most apparent.

Americans, on the other hand, have one of the most powerful travel documents in the world, so their objectives go beyond visa-free travel to more nuanced issues such as hedging against political and economic turmoil or, of course, finding a solution to help ease the burden of US taxation.

So let us take a closer look at what Malta offers through its Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization citizenship policy (MEIN) and its Permanent Residency Program (MPRP) and how they can benefit applicants from either part of the globe.

A simple route to citizenship or residency

One crucial point we need to address before going into more detailed benefits is the simplicity of both the MPRP and the MEIN.

The MPRP is one of the most affordable residency by investment programs in the world, as an initial outlay of €110,000 would be sufficient to obtain a Maltese permanent residency for an investor and his/her family members. Its process is straightforward, and there is no residency requirement to maintain the status; all that is needed is to maintain an address through rent or purchase.

The MEIN policy is equally simple, as an initial investment as low as €690,000 is enough for an investor and the accompanying family members to obtain Maltese citizenship. There is a residency requirement that essentially equates to the time needed to process the application and, depending on how much the applicant invests, he or she will receive citizenship in one or three years, making MEIN the fastest route to obtaining an EU citizenship and passport through investment.

The simplicity and affordability of the MPRP and MEIN make them great options for investors no matter where they are from, and if those investors happen to be Chinese or American (the two largest economies in the world) and do not want to relocate because they prefer to look after their business or investments in their home countries, they can remain in their countries without having to worry about losing their Maltese status as permanent residents or citizens.

The political environment

Another major draw of Malta is its political landscape. Malta is a unitary multiparty republic, emphasizing democracy and human rights. What is more interesting about Malta is that although it is technically a civil law country, it has absorbed aspects of common law into its system to create a high-functioning legal and governing system that fits its needs.

Malta’s government and political environment is welcomed by Americans, as it is something familiar that they can quickly adapt to. Many US HNWIs do not only pursue investment migration as a backup plan but activate it when they want to retire abroad, and they can easily integrate into Malta’s legal system.

Many Americans have become wary of the internal political divide within the US, and this has been a catalyst for obtaining legal status in other countries, Europe being the main destination. Malta offers Americans an excellent alternative within a familiar, human-rights-forward legal system.

For the Chinese, the matter is more about risk-prevention, as Malta’s economic and political framework sits at the other end of the global spectrum from the Chinese. And by obtaining a residency or citizenship in Malta, they establish a strong foothold within the other camp.

If global geopolitical bipolarity and tensions continue to grow, Chinese HWNIs can hedge against instability by simply switching their base of operations to the other side, allowing them to access either global axis at any time and maximize their benefit.

Global mobility

As mentioned above, the enhanced global mobility provided by a Maltese passport or residency is another critical factor driving demand.

The Maltese passport is a massive upgrade on the Chinese one, the former granting visa-free entry to 187 destinations worldwide including the EU, UK, USA, Canada, and many more.

For a Chinese passport holder – who can only enter 80 destinations worldwide visa-free, none of which are in the EU or Northern America – the enhanced global mobility of a Maltese passport is an outstanding benefit.

Even a Maltese residence permit can help boost their mobility, granting visa-free access to the Schengen Zone, one of the most desired travel destinations and a central economic hub.

Americans, though, do not need the Maltese passport to elevate their visa-free travel ability, even if it has a slightly higher ranking and edges out its American counterpart in the total number of visa-free destinations.

However, the elevated global mobility of the Maltese passport can be a vital factor for Americans looking to invest in a citizenship. In 2020, US citizenship renunciations hit an all-time high, and the first three quarters of 2022 saw more renunciations than the entirety of 2021. The trend of US nationals forgoing their citizenship is growing and for a good reason.

Benjamin Franklin eloquently summarized the woe of Americans when he said the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, but he could’ve avoided the latter if Malta’s MEIN was open at the time.

Many Americans, especially expats who want to hang up their gloves and retire, consider renouncing their US citizenship to avoid the tedious American tax regime. To do so, however, they need a second citizenship, and not just any citizenship will do.

Maltese citizenship offers a great alternative. It comes with a robust passport that crucially has visa-free access to the US for those who want to come and go, and it opens up the entirety of the EU, allowing former Americans to choose which EU country to live in.

Malta also has a non-dom tax regime that can help alleviate an investor’s tax obligations through astute structuring. This is crucial for Americans but also for the Chinese, as those in the upper socioeconomic echelons in China also have to deal with hefty tax rates that can really put a dent in their wealth.

For Americans and Chinese nationals looking to ease their tax burden, Malta’s MEIN and MPRP are the perfect way to do so.

Strategic location and welcoming culture

Finally, Malta’s location in the middle of the map helps make sense of why it is a perfect option for investors from the West and East. It isn’t too far away from home and is close to all the action around the Mediterranean.

It provides quick access to the European and MENA markets, is part of one of the world’s largest economic and political superpowers, and has always been a crucial trade hub in the region.

More interestingly, however, is the massive cultural diversity compared to the humble number of residents. Malta has long been a melting pot of cultures, even deriving its official language from those of the various cultures that lived on the island.

Foreigners feel at home in Malta because it is so internationalized. The Maltese government, and its people, are so welcoming to foreigners that it is unsurprising to see holiday celebrations of various ethnicities throughout Maltese neighborhoods.

The culture of acceptance and welcoming is what makes Malta so unique, and it is what helps those who come from abroad integrate seamlessly. It provides familiarity with a flair of diversity for everyone, so whether an investor comes from Chicago or Shanghai, they’ll quickly feel at home in Malta.

What DZ Advisory Can Do For You

Malta is the best place for investors wherever they’re from. Its acceptance, diversity, cosmopolitanism, serenity, and high living standards mean that everyone can easily integrate into the community quickly.

At DZ Advisory, we understand what it takes to make a new place feel like home. We have served clients from every corner of the globe, and that experience gives us a better understanding of what obstacles, objectives, and needs people from different sociopolitical spheres have.

This understanding allows us to provide unparalleled services to our clients. At DZ Advisory, we are dynamic, flexible, and emphatic, taking into consideration all the needs of our clients and providing them with optimal solutions to meet them.

DZ Advisory provides a one-stop-shop with solutions ranging from immigration advisory to corporate services and more. Whatever our client needs, we can provide, and we do so in a profound manner that all of our clients find comforting and comprehensive. 

Our goal with each client is not merely to help them get a Maltese residency or citizenship but to actually make Malta feel like their new home by addressing all of their immediate and future needs. And that is what sets us apart from the rest. 

To know more about Malta’s MEIN and MPRP, contact us today via our website and we will be happy to help you in every way we can.