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EU citizenship by investment regulations

Price increases: Malta and Portugal

February 2020: Price Increases

In a previous newsletter we talked about an imminent change of government in Malta and how this might affect the Malta IIP citizenship by investment program. Now we learned that the program, while being continued, will probably become more expensive.

For background, the Malta Prime Minister, Mr. Joseph Muscat, who launched the IIP program in 2014, announced his resignation in December of 2019.

Of the two candidates running for office, one of the candidates, Mr. Fearne, stated that he would do away with the IIP program in its present form.

However, Mr Fearne did not win the election which was held in mid-January. Instead, the position of prime minister went to Mr. Robert Abela, a representative of the ruling party, who is committed to keeping the program alive.

At first glance this was very comforting to the community of aspiring investment immigrants because it promised a continuation of this popular path to Malta citizenship.

However, as we have said previously, there is ever increasing pressure from EU leadership in Brussels to tighten application standards, and we’ve expressed our concerns that this pressure could also lead to changes in Malta - changes that would not favor the applicant. Our fears were confirmed last week when the Sunday Times of Malta newspaper published an interview with the Malta's secretary for citizenship and communities, Mr. Alex Muscat, stating that a “revised” IIP program might be rolled out later this year. The major revision: an increase in the minimum property investment. The current minimum prices, for a rental or purchase, were established some six years ago, and - given Malta’s recent property boom – should thus be revised upward.

Forcing investors interested in Malta to shell out more cash for essentially the identical product mirrors recent events in other countries offering similar immigration by investment programs.

For example, we have witnessed Cyprus, Bulgaria, and the US significantly raising minimum investment amounts and/or tightening qualification criteria. And just a couple of weeks ago Portugal announced new restrictions to no longer allow property investments in the country’s popular coastal areas of Lisbon and Porto, but instead require more expensive job-creation investments in these locations.

In summary, we are witnessing a global push back against immigration by investment programs, and it now appears Malta will not get away unscathed. If you want to avoid the price hike, starting the process now might be a good idea because it usually takes a few weeks to collect all application forms and supporting documentation before an application is ready to be filed with the authorities.

If you have any questions about the aforementioned changes please send us an email; our teams are ready to start working with you.

Because immigration by investment programs can change over time please contact us to speak with an advisor or to receive a preliminary quotation. The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

Click here for the Malta citizenship by investment program. Click here for the Malta residency programs.

To start the application process online please register here.

For a detailed cost estimate or to schedule a confidential consultation please use our contact form.

Zenturo Ltd.

Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

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