Malta Tightens Passport Sale Terms under EU Pressure

BBC News, January 30, 2014

Malta has bowed to EU pressure over its controversial new passport scheme for non-EU nationals, saying applicants will now be required to spend at least a year in Malta in order to qualify.

The new condition was announced by Malta in a joint statement with the European Commission.

Applicants will still have to invest at least 1.15m euros (£944,000; $1.57m) in Malta to get a passport.

MEPs have condemned the Maltese scheme, saying it cheapens EU citizenship.

Earlier Malta had not set any residency requirement for rich foreigners wishing to get Maltese passports.

The new stipulation says “no certificate of naturalisation will be issued unless the applicant provides proof that he/she has resided in Malta for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalisation”.

It followed talks between EU Commission officials and the Maltese government. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has said applicants should have “a genuine link to the country”–not just the ability to pay.

‘Ultra-high net worth individuals’

Malta, like most of the EU’s 28 countries, is in the Schengen zone, where citizens can mostly travel without passport checks. The EU single market has made it much easier for citizens to settle in another member state.

Owning an EU member state’s passport entitles the holder to EU citizenship, with all the rights guaranteed under EU law.

Malta’s scheme, called the Individual Investor Programme (IIP), was initially to be limited to 1,800 people–not including their close relatives, who could also buy passports, for a lower fee.

But Malta is now considering raising that cap, so that more passports could be issued.

The scheme is being managed by a Jersey-based company, Henley and Partners. On its website the company says applicants will be subject to strict vetting and “only highly respectable clients will be admitted”. The scheme is aimed at “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide”.

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  • Spartacus

    “MEPs have condemned the Maltese scheme, saying it cheapens EU citizenship.”


    More than just giving it for free to every sub-saharan who manages to swim over here ?

  • NeanderthalDNA

    “Malta has bowed to EU pressure over its controversial new passport scheme for non-EU nationals, saying applicants will now be required to spend at least a year in Malta in order to qualify.”

    Issue passports for less than 365 days…

  • 4321realist

    The European Union was a scheme to create an economic power greater than any on earth, requiring an influx of warm third world bodies to fill the imperial coffers with tax revenues for the bureaucrats and consumer spending for the elites in the private sector.

    IMHO their plan was so badly thought out and illogical they didn’t foresee that they would be spending more on police, court costs, social benefits, and other costs associated with unskilled, uneducated people, than they obtained from revenues and consumer spending combined, especially since these hordes had no intention of doing anything other than creating a nation within a nation while they collected unearned benefits from a foolish group of out-of-touch schemers, who thought painting themselves into a corner was a brilliant idea.

    Today they’re talking about how to control mobs with various water canons and sound waves, and what they can do to garner enough revenue to keep them solvent, considering liquidity confiscation from private accounts in the banks as a kind of tax as they did in Cyprus.

    Now they’re not only facing an economic tragedy, but they’re looking at possible dissolution, along with fighting between third world tribes and their native people.

    And it couldn’t be happening to a nicer bunch.

    • captainc

      how would you get that if you select them for their ultra high net worth? the current troublemaking immigrants come from workers’ and asylums’ backgrounds.

      HK and Singapore have the same scheme.

  • Bantu_Education

    I believe it would be a very good thing if every country put a price on citizenship and there was an exchange where passports were traded and left it to market forces to determine the value thereof. Since the passports of white countries will be way more valuable than any others, that would prevent governments handing them out like baubles to undeserving people. I wrote a longer post outlining this idea in more detail when the Maltese passport issue was reported here late last year.

    • IstvanIN

      So crooked Nigerian internet scammers should be allowed citizenship but poor whites from SA would not? Doesn’t sound too good to me.

      • Bantu_Education

        I know it doesn’t sound right at first but the devil is in the details as they say. Of course its not going to happen in EXISTING countries but something similar COULD be a real possibility in the autonomous city states I am proposing as a solution to the current mess. (along the lines of Paul Romer’s “Charter Cities”, in case you’re interested).

        Anyway, you are also forgetting several things – 1) the base price of an EU passport (as established by Malta) is $1.5 million, whereas a Nigerian passport would be worth, well, zero? How many Nigerians have $1.5 million? 2) Criminal checks and how the applicant obtained the money would have to be passed. 3) S.African whites are already not allowed in the UK (unless they have ancestry rights, which many do btw).

        The principle I am expounding is a monetarist one, and I am playing devils advocate here because I’m not a believer in strict monetarism. If something is as obviously valuable as EU citizenship why not put a price on it, like everything else of value? In a world where body parts are traded and sold why not citizenship? Every citizen of such countries would then inherit that passport and value, and could trade it, just as some lucky people inherit a big house which they can later sell. Whats the difference?