Malta has world’s top citizenship-by-investment programme
Henley & Partners launches the Global Residence and Citizenship indicators for 2015
Malta shared first place with Portugal, Monaco and the UAE for the light tax burdens placed on residents and corporations in Henley & Partner’s 2015 Global Residence and Citizenship report.
The concessionaire of Malta’s own Individual Investment programme, which sells Maltese citizenships for a total €1.15 million in a combined cash, property acquisition and stock investment, analyses 19 of the most relevant residence-by-investment programmes and seven citizenship programmes from around the world to create the Global Residence Programme Index (GRPI) and the Global Citizenship Programme Index (GCPI).
The two indexes gauge the relative worth of residence and citizenship programmes around the world through a benchmarking process that considers immigration laws, taxation, quality of life, as well as transparency, risk and compliance issues.
In the GRPI, Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit programme emerged as the world’s best residence-by-investment program in 2015, followed by Austria and Belgium in second and third place respectively. Portugal ranked higher on the ‘total costs’ indicator since the total investment requirement is significantly lower than other residence programmes.
It shared first place with Malta, Monaco and the United Arab Emirates for the lighter tax burdens placed on residents on both personal and corporate levels.
Using a similar methodology to the one deployed for the GRPI, the Global Citizenship Programme Index ranked the Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) in first place with a score of 76. It ranked higher than Cyprus (63), Austria (61), Antigua and Barbuda (60), St. Kitts and Nevis (59), Grenada (48) and Dominica (45).
The seven citizenship-by-investment programmes were also ranked according to 10 similar but slightly different indicators from the GRPI: Reputation, Quality of Life, Visa Free Access, Processing Time, Compliance, Investment Requirements, Residence Requirements, Relocation Flexibility, Physical Visit Required and Transparency.
Russia and CIS countries had the highest demand for citizenship-by-investment programs, closely followed by the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
“The Malta programme continues to see high demand from the MENA region, with 30-40 per cent of total programme applicants being from the Middle East. Although Malta ranked consistently in the top three across all indicators, it emerged as the clear leader for compliance, the procedures and components with regard to due diligence requirements for profiling the backgrounds of applicants. Antigua and Barbuda came in second and Austria third,” Henley said.
It said that the Malta IIP is widely considered the world’s most advanced and most exclusive citizenship-by-investment program. “The position in the GRCI ranking confirms this based on solid research,” Henley said.
Interestingly, Austria was ranked the highest across the Reputation, Quality of Life and Visa Free Access indicators. But, it came in last on Residence Requirements and on Investment Requirements.
Cyprus also performed consistently well across the indicators emerging as the leader on Relocation Flexibility ahead of Malta and Austria.