Malta is planning to grant Maltese Citizenship of Merit to foreign nationals who have given “exceptional” service to the country. This Citizenship of Merit will be given Maltese citizenship to deserving individuals who are of exceptional interest to Malta by amending Citizenship Act (Chapter 188 of Laws of Malta)
The proposed Citizenship of Merit initiative is a published by Government of Malta
The Citizenship of Merit will be given to talented individuals in sectors like Science, Research, Sport, Art and Culture which will result in substantial benefit to Malta.
It is worth to note that Malta also gives citizenship for cash for rich individuals who can pay € 1,150,000 euros under Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP). Times of Malta reported The funds generated from Malta’s cash-for-citizenship scheme account for almost three per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. A total 723 applications were received in 3 years.The Revenue from IIP is expected to be high in 2015 and 2016 (€75 and €80 millions), and to decline since 2017 (€37 millions), which 3.4% of GDP in 2016 and projected to 5.7% of GDP in 2017. [Source: IMF report (page 22).
Unlike IIP which requires lot of money, Citizenship of Merit requires no money (citizenship for free) given to such outstanding individuals with special talents in technology, science, research, sports and art. The initiative also requires genuine ties to Malta and must have legally lived in Malta for 12 months or more before being granted citizenship.
All applicants have pass due diligence and background checks before being approved.
The names of all individuals who received Maltese citizenship by registration, merit, naturalization or under investor programme will be published in Government gazette on annual basis.
There are several other countries in Europe grant citizenship based on merit (ie. citizenship for free) [Source: EUDO working paper], such as significant contribution in various fields such as research, art, sports, technology etc.
The citizenship laws of the Denmark, Finland, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom do not contain provisions on naturalisation on grounds of special achievements.
- Austria (11(4)) Person has been resident in Austria for 6 years and acquisition of citizenship is in the interest of the country in the field of science,commerce,, the arts or sport. Austria(10(6))Person has past or future achievements that are in the special interest of Austria (constitutional provision). No residence or secure income requirement and no renunciation of previous citizenship.
- Belgium(19) – Person legally resides in Belgium and has demonstrated exceptional achievements (scientific, sports,culture) that are in the special interest of the country.
- Bulgaria(16)Person has special achievements in the social and economic sphere, in science, technology, culture or sports.
- Croatia (12.1) Person is someone whose acquisition of citizenship wouldbe in the special interest of Croatia.
- Cyprus (CYP 111, Schedule 3 Article 2(f))- Person has performed special services to Cyprus for
- reasons of public interest.
- Czech Republic (16) Person whose naturalization is of benefit to the Czech
- Republic in the fields of science, education, culture, sports, or if it serves to implement the international
- commitments of the Czech Republic, humanitarian purposes, or another state interest.
- Estonia (10) Person has special merits in the area of science,culture, sports or in other areas (maximum of 10 persons per year).
- France (21-19(6), 21-18(2), 21-21) Person is someone with exceptional services for France or a case of special public interest, has rendered or could render importance services for France because of her/his Investment
- Germany (8) Person has been resident in Germany for 3 years and his or her acquisition of citizenship is in the special interest of the country, e.g. in the field of science, research, trade and industry, arts, culture, media, sports or public service.
- Greece (13,5(3)) Person has provided extraordinary services to Greece or his/her naturalisation would serve the country’s extraordinary interests.
- Hungary (4(7) Person serves an important interest of Hungary.
- Ireland (12) Person has done signal honor or rendered distinguished service to Ireland, or is the child or grandchild of such a person.
- Italy (9 (2)) Person has rendered distinguished services to Italy or the acquisition of citizenship would serve outstanding public interests.
- Latvia (13) Person has rendered special meritorious service for the benefit of Latvia.
- Lithuania (20) Person makes a substantial contribution to strengthening Lithuanian statehood, to increasing the country ?s might and to promoting its authority in the international community.
- Luxembourg (8) Person has rendered exceptional services to Luxembourg.
- Malta (10(9)) Person has rendered exceptional services to Malta or to humanity.
- Netherlands(10) Person is a special case
- Portugal (6(6)) Person has rendered or is called to render relevant services to Portugal or to the Portuguese community.
- Slovakia (7) Person is someone of special benefit to Slovakia in the area of economics, science, technology, culture, sport or society, or the person’s acquisition is otherwise in the interest of the country.
- Slovenia (13) Person is an adult whose acquisition of citizenship is beneficial for the country due to scientific, economic,cultural, national or other similar reasons.
- Countries offering free citizenship on special merit or achievements
- Austria economic citizenship program is closed
- Irish Immigrant Investor scheme requires €1,000,000 investment
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