Amendments will be presented for the renewal of Citizenship with Investment Programme
Malta stated that it is justified that international scrutiny is carried out on citizenship and residence programmes because they may be abused. Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli stressed on this need when addressing operators of the Investment Migration Council. Speaking with TVM, Mrs Farrugia Portelli said that amendment for the renewal of the citizenship programme with investment will be presented by the beginning of next year. Meanwhile, the residence and visa programme, which does not provide citizenship, is processing some 1,000 applications from foreigners who applied for residence.
A few days after two international reports on how some 100 countries are operating the citizenship and residence programme, Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia Portelli, said that Malta chose quality instead of quantity in processing of applications for the two programmes in this new industry.
During a conference on the Investment Migration Council, which is the world association for operators working in the industry, the Parliamentary Secretary reiterated that the Malta programmes are being operated with good governance and transparency, and added that OECD included Malta due to mistaken information in the list of countries with programmes which might serve for tax evasion. She said that the Government made representations with OECD on the issue.
On the issue, Citizenship Programme chief executive, Jonathan Cardona, insisted that Malta has a very rigorous programme, with an independent regulator who reviews each application and even the programme’s operation.
Mrs Farrugia Portelli told TVM that, following public consultation earlier this year, the Government will propose amendments to the Citizenship Programme legislation following an evaluation, even on the report that the European Commission is expected to issue. “We will look at these comments and recommendations, and gather them in one point; then the aim is to go before Parliament with the package for the necessary discussion”.
Meanwhile, the Residence and Visa Programme chief executive, Roderick Cutajar, stated that Malta has the seventh most powerful residence programme in the world. “Applications are constantly coming in; we have over 1,000 applications from around the world – a programme that is very attractive to persons of certain calibre”.
The Residence Programme was launched two years ago. Foreigners applying for residence and visa in Malta need, among others, to have an income of not less than €100,000 a year and a capital of not less than half a million euro.