Cyprus vs Malta Investment Citizenship Programs

Prabhu Balakrishnan Avatar
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Malta and Cyprus are the only official EU citizenship by investment programs running in Europe.   There are few subtle differences between the two citizenship schemes in Europe.

  • Malta is cheaper than Cyprus CIP
  • Malta has visa waiver with United States while Cyprus does not.
  • The time to acquire passport in Malta is 12-25 months while Cyprus is about 6 months.
  • Malta and Cyprus both requires residency before being granted citizenship (rent or lease a property) proving genuine link to the country.
  • Malta requires 650,000 euro donation to fund while Cyprus 2 million euros is purely recoverable investment in real estate or bonds, thus no money wasted
  • Malta is in Schengen zone but Cyprus is not a schengen country but irrespective of schengen status, the passports of both countries are EU passports which has visa free travel to EU/UK.
  • Application refusal rates of Malta much higher than Cyprus.
  • Both countries offer EU citizenship for family and children which can be passed on to future generations.



Citizenship by investment started in  2014   2012
Individual Investor Programme
of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2014
Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors by Exception on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013
Minimum investment € 900,000 € 2,000,000
EU member state Yes  Yes
Schengen membership Yes  No
Citizenship time 12-15 months 6 months
Processing time  90 days  90 days
Passport validity 10 years 10 years
EU citizenship for family and children  Yes Yes
 Residence requirements  12 months (e-residence card must)  6 months (PR must)
 Qualifying investments for citizenship  € 650,000 one time donation to National Economic Fund + €150,000 Bond shares + Renting a housing for €20,000 per yearNational Economic Fund Contribution(a) Main applicant: EUR 650,000 (six hundred and fifty thousand euro), of which a non-refundable payment of EUR 10,000 (ten thousand euro) shall be remitted as a non-refundable deposit prior to submission of the application;

(b)  spouse: EUR 25,000 (twenty five thousand euro);

(c)  for each and every child below 18 years of age: EUR 25,000

(d) for each and every unmarried child between 18 years of age and 26 years of age: EUR 50,000 (fifty thousand euro);

(e) for each and every dependant parent above 55 years of age: EUR 50,000 (fifty thousand euro).

 € 2,000,000 in real estate, cyprus businessesor€5,000,000 in bonds or bank deposits
 Additional fees (1) Due diligence fees:Main applicant: EUR 7,500 (seven thousand five hundred euro); EUR 3000 for children 13-17 of age and EUR 5,000  for children 18-26 years of age, EUR 5,000 (five thousand euro); for each and every dependant unmarried child between 18 years; for each and every dependant parent above 55 years of age: EUR 5,000 (five thousand euro).(2) Passport fees:

Passport: EUR 500 (five hundred euro) per person;

(3) Bank charges:

EUR 200 (two hundred euro) per application.

  •  Government processing fee € 2,000
  • Certificate of Naturalisation fee € 5,000
 Purchase of home  Must Rent or buy a private home for € 350,000 euros or more   Purchase of home worth atleast € 500,000 is required
 European Health insurance Coverage must for EUR 50,000 per dependent  Coverage must with coverage EUR 50,000 per person
Personal visit  required  required
Program limits 1800 applications  no limits
Real estate property  optional investment of atleast EUR 350,000 in Maltese real estate  € 2,000,000 euros
Refusal rates High Low
Business investment  option not available € 2,000,000 
 Dual citizenship   allowed  allowed
 Visa free travel countries *  167  158
Passport rank * 10  16
Permanent residency  yes yes
Visa free travel** United Kingdom, Canada, United States (esta), EU member states, Australia, New Zealand United Kingdom, Canada, EU member states, Australia, New Zealand
 Taxes  Based on residency (not citizenship) over 183 days of living Based on residency (not citizenship), usually  over 183 days of living in the country.
Permanent Living No requirement to live permanently in the country No requirement to live permanently in the country
Population  445,436  1.1 million
GDP (PPP) $16.3 billion $27.5 billion
Public Debt 73% of GDP (2013)  111.1% of GDP (2013)
About Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean south of sicily with fortresses, megalithic temples and the ?al Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C. The main coastal resorts and larger sandy beaches are in the northern part of Malta. Cyprus is known for beaches, it also has a rugged interior with wine regions. Coastal Paphos is famed for its archaeological sites relating to the cult of Aphrodite, including ruins of palaces, tombs and mosaic-tiled villas.