EU Immigration: Malta Passes Bill to Grant Passports for €650,000

The Maltese government has approved plans to attract ‘high value’ migrants to the country by granting passports for €650,000 (£546,000). The scheme is targeted at wealthy citizens from countries such as Russia, China and Middle Eastern countries and will give non-EU applicants work and residency rights in the 28-member bloc. The initiative is expected to start within a week and could potentially attract up to 300 people each year.

Malta Sells Passports to Wealthy Non-EEA Nationals

The Maltese government has passed a bill to grant passports (and EU citizenship) in order to bring in cash and investment. The reasoning behind Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister’s rather welcoming attitude to wealthy foreigners has been said to be largely for financial gain. The scheme is expected to attract up to 300 people a year and is already understood to have 45 potential applicants raising the government €30 million in much needed revenue.

Malta is not the first country to offer this scheme; earlier this year Cyprus launched a similar passport scheme. The Cypriot government relaxed its citizenship rules for non-resident investors who had lost more than £2million through paying the levy imposed on them and in turn effectively stopped non-resident investors from leaving the country. It can also be said the UK has a Tier 1 Investor visa scheme which attracts wealthy investors and residency permits for non-EU citizens are more easily available to those with £1million.

EU Citizenship: Right to Live & Work in the UK

Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and so obtaining a Maltese passport would give the holder EU citizenship and so the right to live and work in the UK. This could mean that holders of Maltese passports have the right to bring their non-EEA family members such as their husband, wife, civil partner, children or grandchildren (under 21) and their parents or grandparents if they are dependent on them to the UK.

Once in the UK, as an EEA national, you have the right to live and work in the UK (known as the right of residence’) if you intend on working in the UK and have obtained permission to work or if you can support yourself and your family in the UK without becoming an unreasonable burden on public funds.

Successful Applications for EEA nationals

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making applications for EEA residence documents step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law. We specialise provide expert legal advice for those interested in making Tier 1 Investor Visa applications.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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