Malta is Not For Sale and why it's important


The Individual Investment Programme is part of the scheme whereby Maltese Citizenship can be purchased for a flat rate one-time payment. This law was passed by Parliament by virtue of the Maltese Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2013 and is to be enabled by means of a legal notice.


Whilst the actual regulations have not yet been published or implemented, the Government has described the IIP as follows:

  • A financial contribution of €650,000 by the main applicant.
  • The applicant may also include in his application other dependents for an additional small contribution:
    • Spouses and minor children: €25,000
    • dependent children 18 to 25 years or dependent parents above 55 years: €50,000.
  • Due Diligence fees apply, and these have been set at the following levels:
    • for main applicant: EUR 7,500;
    • for spouses, adult children and parents: EUR 5,000;
    • for children between 13 and 18 years of age: EUR 3,000 each.
  • Henley & Partners have been appointed the sole concessionaire of the scheme so all applications have to be submitted through Henley & Partners and other professionals may only act as agents of Henley & Partners.
  • The initial due diligence is carried out by Henley & Partners who then make a recommendation to Identity Malta who carry out further checks. It is claimed that this will be a fast due diligence process which is anticipated to be no more than 3 months.
  • Once this is complete there is no further assessment on the main applicant or his/her dependents nor are there any other requirements that need to be complied with other than payment of the balance of the financial contribution.
  • Whilst an applicant needs to pass through what is claimed to be a rigorous due diligence process, the Minister of Home Affairs is being given the discretionary power to still grant citizenship to applicants who would not be able to pass the due diligence test, when they are persons who claim they face "politically motivated charges or convictions".

Important features of the Maltese Citizenship (Amendment) Act:

  • The new law revokes Article 25 of the Maltese Citizenship Act, which obliged the government to publish the names of all naturalised citizens every 3 months. It will now be impossible to know to whom government is selling citizenship for cash. (see D8 below)
  • A new Article 23(3) is introduced making it an offence subject to a penalty of Eur20,000 to advertise, publish or disseminate publicly any information regarding the IIP for gain without being duly authorized.


  1. The right to live and work in any EU member state and also EEA countries.
  2. The right to enjoy freedom of movement through Schengen areas.
  3. The enjoyment of the same rights as all Maltese citizens – right to free health care, free education (including the right after 5 years residence to receive a stipend), social services etc.
  4. The entitlement to vote in general elections if they are resident in Malta for the requisite period of time.
  5. No obligation to pay any further taxes in Malta unless they satisfy the components of residency and/or domicile.


  1. Citizenship is being sold for cash. It has been made into a mere commodity.
  2. This is the only scheme in Europe wherein citizenship can be sold simply for a one-time flat rate fee.
  3. There is no requirement for the new citizen to invest in the economy and create jobs; just a one-time donation to the State.
  4. There is no requirement for the new citizen to reside in Malta. In fact he/she doesn’t need to spend any time here at all; which in itself seems rather hollow considering the fact that the new citizens do not need to reside here or involve themselves in any way in the Maltese community.
  5. There is no requirement to rent or purchase property. This is a missed opportunity for the property market in Malta.
  6. There is no assessment period – as there is for example in the U.K. or U.S.A. where you become a resident for a period of time and then after that you are considered for citizenship. Under the IIP, the person is granted citizenship immediately after completion of the due diligence process, which is anticipated to be only a period of 3 months.
  7. Under no circumstance should there be any exception to a rigorous due diligence process. Moreover, it is dangerous to grant such discretion to an individual whosever that person should be. At most, such proposition should be put to Parliament and approved by a 2/3 majority or to a special monitoring committee of the House composed by both sides of Parliament whereby unanimity must be obtained to allow for such exception.
  8. The scheme as originally devised contemplates a high level of secrecy whereby the names of the new citizens will not be published in the Government Gazette. The Government has since indicated that it is prepared to retract its position on this point. However, until such time as the former Article 25 is reintroduced into the Citizenship Act, the position is that there is no such obligation on the Minister. The lack of a provision like the former Article 25 is dangerous and makes the scheme totally lacking in transparency and accountability.
  9. The new citizens are unlikely and certainly not obliged to pay taxes in Malta since the obligation to pay tax involves the components of domicile and residency. They and their dependents included in the application get all the benefits to which citizens are entitled for a life time for the one-time payment. On a family including elderly parents and children, the cost to the Government in for example, medical care and education, and thus the national coffers, could far outweigh the contribution made.
  10. By appointing Henley & Partners as sole concessionaires, the Government has given control over something as delicate as citizenship to a foreign, private, commercial firm. This is unacceptable. The explanation that this was done to control how the scheme is marketed is (by not marketing it) has proven to be both mistaken and unjustifiable. Indeed the marketing of this programme has been a catastrophic disaster. They could not have handled it any worse from promoting the scheme when the law had not yet been passed through Parliament to dangling our own Prime Minister in front of their audiences. The international uproar is evidence of this.
  11. The due diligence process is flawed particularly since recommendations to Identity Malta can only be made through Henley & Partners acting through a subsidiary company called IIP Malta Ltd set up for such purpose. Henley & Partners has a financial interest to make such recommendation as it earns a substantial commission on a success basis from the Government. There is a clear conflict of interest in that the same firm that advised the Government is also the sole firm permitted to “sell” the scheme and make recommendations to Government as to who is to be considered. The control of such a scheme and all the due diligence processes should rest purely with the Government.
  12. Henley & Partners has a monopoly over the scheme. Therefore, other professionals in spite of having a warrant, are unable to offer the service to their clients unless Henley & Partners accept them as an agent. This is demeaning to the professional. Even then such professionals will have no choice but to submit applications to IIP (Malta) Ltd. In turn this exposes these professionals as they would be disclosing details of their clients to a company which is their competitor in other fields in the financial services industry.
  13. The fact that Henley & Partners have a monopoly over the scheme puts them in a position that they can charge extremely high professional fees since there is no-one else to compete with them. Worst still there already have been indications that upon payment of a further fee to Henley & Partners the application to purchase Maltese Citizenship may be fast tracked. This is totally unacceptable and shows that Henley and Partners are not fit to participate in a programme like this, let alone control it.
  14. The fact that Henley & Partners began promoting the scheme through their website and organizing conferences and special events, even before it became law in Malta, is totally disrespectful to the democratic process in Malta. This again is evidence of the haste in which the Government and the promoters wish to push through this scheme in spite of all the cautionary advice to the contrary, from bodies such as the Chamber of Advocates, the Malta Chamber of Commerce and various NGOs and private individuals.
  15. The penalty that has been introduced for disseminating information on the scheme only serves to shackle local professionals and possibly local press (since one could argue that they run their newsroom for profit).



This scheme is intended to be put into effect in the year 2014 when Malta will be celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary from gaining Independence and it’s 40th Anniversary from becoming a Republic.  We feel that not only is the programme inappropriate but it is an insult to the hard work of our forefathers and of the historical leaders of both political parties, namely Gorg Borg Olivier and Dom Mintoff.

It is somewhat of concern that this scheme was not mentioned in the electoral manifesto of the Labour Party in the run-up to the election. That they then rushed this scheme through Parliament, without considering any of the proposals being made, heightened that concern.

Furthermore, the Government permitted, and even assisted Henley & Partners, through the very presence of the Prime Minister at international events, to promote the scheme before it even was implemented into law in Malta. This showed an utter disregard for democracy in Malta.

At an international level, this move has created a huge stir with newspapers across the world causing untold damage to Malta’s reputation.

Malta has also managed to upset the other Member States of the European Union and the EEA as effectively Malta is selling EU citizenship on terms determined solely by the Maltese State with benefits only to Malta.

Moreover, the lack of a residency requirement gives the new citizens to right to live and work anywhere in the EU, so Malta takes all the benefits, with other countries having to shoulder the burden of the new citizens.

The introduction of this scheme could weaken Malta’s position on burden sharing with request to the immigration issue.

The fact that Malta has taken advantage of being a member of the European Union and also of the Schengen area, with total disregard for the spirit of the relevant Conventions, may result in other member states applying pressure for Malta to lose access to Schengen which of course will have a consequence on all Maltese citizens.

Furthermore, to date the US Embassy has remained non-committal as to whether this could result in a withdrawal of the right of Maltese citizens to visit the USA without a visa. Again any action in this regard would have a negative effect on all Maltese citizens.

Individuals who originate from countries which do not allow dual citizenship (such as China) would have to renounce to their original citizenship. This means that they would become Maltese without having ever set foot in Malta.


This scheme has thrown a bad light on Malta with many international newspapers speculating that Malta is in financial trouble, thus causing damage to the financial services industry where reputation is everything; this so soon after the Cyprus aftermath.  The comparisons to Caribbean jurisdictions have pushed us back into the bracket of offshore jurisdictions which is only of benefit to our competitors and certainly not of benefit to Malta.

Malta was for many years considered a red flag country and it has taken a long time to disentangle ourselves from being considered an offshore jurisdiction to one with a sound and reputable financial services industry.

Malta has the largest shipping register in Europe and the economy is indeed stable. This industry contributes Eur300million into the Maltese economy and anything done to disturb that could cause irremediable damage to the Maltese economy and consequently every person living in Malta.


The discussion of citizenship should be much broader than this.

  1. There are many foreigners living in Malta, who have over time become an integral part of the Maltese community. They pay taxes and contribute to the Maltese economy, yet are not considered citizens and as such cannot, for example, vote in general elections. It is somewhat insulting to them that a wealthy foreigner can simply purchase Maltese citizenship and never even step foot here whereas they are not even considered.
  2. Many are mistaking the problem Malta has with irregular immigrants and the burden on the taxpayer with the sale of citizenship. They are two totally separate issues. However, there is one striking and somewhat obscene parallel to be made – that Malta is prepared to turn away those who are desperate and in need, whilst we would welcome on our shores those who have cash. This has led various media around to world to treat us with utter contempt.
  3. Some are of the opinion that since joining Europe, Malta has lost her sovereignty nonetheless and therefore there is no harm in introducing this scheme as Malta no longer belongs to the Maltese alone.

This is not the case. By joining the EU, people from other EU states did not automatically acquire Maltese citizenship. What was acquired was the free movement of persons and of goods with the EU. Never was citizenship up for sale.

The EU cannot rule over the sovereignty of a country. This is the reason why there has been an outpour of outrage from other member states of the EU since the EU Commission is helpless in the face of the introduction of this scheme.


Yes, there are other countries which offer citizenship. However, it is not correct to liken this programme to any one of those offered by other EU countries, save for one of the Cypriot options were the “investment” level is set much higher. If anything, it is more like the ones offered by certain islands in the Caribbean like St. Kitts & Nevis. However here again the latter also require a certain element of investment– unlike the IIP.

Even then, not even the Government of St. Kitts accepted Henley’s proposal to be the sole concessionaire, recognizing the intrinsic conflict of interests that such a proposal brings with it.

The following table shows how this scheme which has been announced by the Government of Malta is not like any other programme available in other European countries and other jurisdictions:

EU Countries:





Depending on individual circumstances citizenship can be obtained after 5 years of legal residence.
Applicant qualifies for citizenship by right after 7 years of legal residence.

Most residence applications concern persons who wish to establish business ties with the country.
Applications for work permits and/or professional cards must be considered before it is possible to apply for a residence permit. All applications for residence permits are subject to case-by-case approval by the government.
For the first three years, residence permits are issued on an annually renewable basis. Subsequently, an indefinite permit can be obtained.


After 6 years of residence it is possible to apply for a passport and citizenship.

Residence may be acquired   under the Golden Residence Visa Program. By doing one of the following:

  1. the transfer of capital to Portugal with a minimum value of Eur 1 million; or
  2. the acquisition of real estate with a minimum value of Eur 500,000; or
  3. the creation of at least 10 new jobs registered with the social security department


Minimum of €3 million in Austrian economy (public project or private project of public interest, recognized as providing extraordinary benefits).


Direct minimum investment of at least €10million in the Austrian economy.
Citizenship is only granted in rarely and in exceptional circumstances.


Minimum £1 million (UK Tier 1 Immigrant Investor Program) of which £750,000 has to be invested at least for 5 year term in Government bonds, loan or share capital but not in property or bank deposit. No employment is allowed.

Investor is free to invest the remaining £250,000 in whatever he likes.

Financing option is available but investor has to prove that he has at least £2 million in assets.

For investments over £5 million, ILR is received after 3 years, and for investments over £10 million, ILR can be received after 2 years.

Minimum £200,000 (UK Entrepreneur Program) to set up a new business in the UK and create two new jobs for UK residents. 

Applicant to work full time running his business, paying taxes, paying salaries to the above-mentioned two new employees of his for the whole 5 year period.

5 years before the date of citizenship application, and has not spent more than 450 days outside during such period.


Has not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months preceding the application.
No restriction on time spent outside the UK once citizenship has been granted.

May apply for British citizenship one year after being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), providing they satisfy strict residential requirements.


This Citizenship-by-Investment programme grants citizenship under one of the following options:

  1. A deposit of €2 million must be made with the Treasury of the Republic. Additionally, €500 000 needs to be donated to the Research and Technology Fund; or
  2. A direct investment amounting to at least €5 million including the purchase of real estate, businesses, shares or other financial assets; or
  3. Deposits in Cypriot banks or deposits of privately owned companies or of a trust minimum of €5 million. Held for a period no less than three (3) years.
  4. Involvement in local Business Activities
    A new company is to be established fully controlled by applicant. Applicant would have had to pay fees of up to €500,000 a year for the purchase of business services.
    for the 3 years preceding the citizenship application submission date.
    This amount may be less  depending on number of citizens employed.
  5. Combination of 2,3,4 above.
  6. If applicant had deposits in Bank of Cyprus or Laiki Bank cut by at least €3 million since March 15 2013 then they would also be eligible. If the money which was cut amounts to less than €3 million then applicant could possibly combine it with any of the other options.

In all cases except the last option, the applicant must hold a property worth at least €500,000, not including V.A.T, and must have a clean criminal record

Permanent residence permit may be granted provided that the following requirements are met: (i) residential or other property with minimum market value of €300,000 purchased in Cyprus; (ii) secured annual income from abroad and from sources other than employment in Cyprus; (iii) funds transferred from abroad and deposited in a Cyprus Bank in a 3-year Fixed Deposit Account.

The above table is meant for comparative purposes only for the purposes of comparing it to the IIP proposed by the Maltese Government. It is not meant to be a comprehensive description of all available programmes or the specifics of each one.

More information:


Buyers of the scheme should be aware that some of the very advantages that are attracting them to ‘purchase’ Maltese citizenship are not dependent on the Maltese Government and that effectively the Maltese Government is ‘selling’ something which is not its own to give. Namely:

  1. Freedom of movement through the Schengen Area
  2. USA visa waiver

The Opposition party in Malta has announced in Parliament that when it is elected to office, it will cancel the scheme and all passports granted under it will be withdrawn.

Legal opinion on this matter is divided. However, the fact is that a law that has been implemented as an ordinary law that only requires a simple majority in Parliament, can also be revoked by a simple majority.

It is our position that on an issue as delicate as the granting of citizenship, consensus should be sought in the House so that there is stability and certainty on the matter.

Who Are Henley & Partners?

Henley & Partners are a firm who claim to be leaders on citizenship and residence programmes.

They also have interests in various other aspects of financial services from the incorporation of companies, the establishment of trusts, ship registration, and so on.

At a local information seminar, Chris Kalin, a partner at Henley & Partners, claimed that their interest is solely on promoting and managing the citizenship programme, stating as an aside that they only have a small subsidiary involved on other matters.

This is simply not true. The following are the companies that Henley has incorporated in Malta. This list may not be exhaustive.  As one can see their interests range from citizenship and residency programmes, to trusts and the incorporation of companies and provision of tax advice, as also the selling of property.



Company Number

Incorporated on

Registered Office:

Main Shareholder/s:


IIP Malta Ltd


10th  October 2013

Level 4 Aragon House, Dragonara Rd St. Julians.

Henley & Partners Holdings Europe Ltd (C58006)

Michael Lucas
Eric Major

IIP Processing Ltd


7th November 2013

Mediterranean Conference Centre, Triq l-Isptar, Valletta

Henley & Partners Government Services Ltd
Henley house, 3rd floor,
9, hope street, st helier,
jersey je2 3ns
channel islands

Hugh Morsehead
Adrian Camilleri

Henley & Partners Holdings Europe Ltd


26th October 2012

Level 4 Aragon House, Dragonara Rd St. Julians.

Henley & Partners Holdings Plc
Brittanic House 3rd Floor
9 Hope Str
St. Helier, Jersey

Hugh Morsehead
Michael Lucas
Eric Major
Nadia Susan Lucas

Henley & Partners  Malta


10th October 2013

Level 4 Aragon House, Dragonara Rd St. Julians.

Henley & Partners Holdings Europe Ltd (C58006)

Michael Lucas
Eric Major



Company Number

Incorporated on

Registered Office:

Main Shareholder/s:


H&P Corporate Services


30th October 2009.

4 Independence Square, Valletta. 

H&P Trust Holdings AG
Postrasse 6


Hans Fraats
Barry Woestenburg





H&P Private Equity Partners AG
Postrasse 6






Daedalus Ltd
Maico Building
The Valley


H&P Structured Solutions


12th  February 2013.  

4 Independence Square, Valletta. 

H&P Structured Solutions 
Company No: CH-
Reg Office:
Postrasse 6
Zug 6300

H&P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd

H&P Trust Company (Malta) Ltd


20th October 2011 

4 Independence Square, Valletta. 

H&P Corporate Services (C48074)

Josianne Cardona Gatt
Cornelis Jan Quirijns
Barry Woestenburg
Roberta Galea



Company Number

Incorporated on

Registered Office:

Main Shareholder/s:


Henley Estate Holdings Ltd


30th May  2013.

Level 4 Aragon House, Dragonara Rd St. Julians.

Hugh Trelawny Morsehead
Andrew James Taylor

Hugh Morsehead
Andrew James Taylor
Michael Lucas
Nadia Susan Lucas

Henley Estates Iberia Ltd


12th June 2013. 

Level 4 Aragon House, Dragonara Rd St. Julians.

Henley Estate Holdings Ltd (C64609) 

Andrew James Taylor
Michael Lucas
Nadia Susan Lucas

Details of individuals involved as Directors/Shareholders:

  • Michael Lucas (British) Spring, Triq il-Gardell Mellieha
  • Eric Guy Major (Canadian) Longchams, Le Mont L’Evesque, St. Lawrence, Jersey JE3 1GE, Channel Islands
  • Hugh Morsehead (British) Green Parsley, La Rue Des Buttes, St. Mary, Hersey JE3 3DE Channel Islands
  • Nadia Lucas (British) Spring, Triq il-Gardell Mellieha
  • Adrian Camilleri (ID 942543) 203 Flat 5 Tower Rd., Sliema
  • Hans Fraats (Dutch) address: Obermuhle 7, 6340 Baar, Swizerland
  • Barry Woestenburg (Dutch) 25 Wynn Court, apartment 6, Cathedral Str, Sliema
  • Josianne Cardona Gatt (Maltese) 59 Falzon Flats, Salvu Psaila Str, Birkirkara
  • Cornelis Jan Quirijns (Dutch) Einberghohe 12, Zug CH 6300 Switzerland
  • Roberta Galea (MAltse) 55 Glen House, Triw il-Hobbejza, Rabat
  • Hugh Trelawny Morsehead  (British) Green Parsley, La Rue Des Buttes, St. Mary, Hersey JE3 3DE Channel Islands
  • Andrew James Taylor (British) 7 York Street London W1H1DP England
  • Michael Lucas (British) Spring, Triq il-Gardell Mellieha
  • Nadia Susan Lucas (British) Spring, Triq il-Gardell Mellieha