Malta was in pole position in the latest citizenship by investment (CBI) power ranking index by Astons, an investment and immigration firm offering citizenship and residency solutions.
The index analysed and ranked 12 counties offering CBI based on a combination of criteria, including each country’s economy, tax structure, healthcare services, life expectancy, education, crime level, passport strength, and the cost to acquire said passport.
Malta obtained an overall index score of 10.82, beating Antigua & Barbuda which came in second with 10.71, and Saint Kitts & Nevis which came in third with 10.5.
The company’s immigration expert Alena Lesina commented, “While Malta may have one of the highest investment thresholds of all CBI nations, as well as a higher rate of tax for high-earners in comparison to other CBI nations, these factors are offset considerably by the other benefits Maltese citizenship provides”
With a minimum investment of €700,000, Malta had the highest threshold to obtain a citizenship among all CBI countries analysed by the firm.
However, Maltese citizenship granted individuals visa-free access to 172 nations, beating every other country in the index. Saint Kitts & Nevis came in second with visa-free access to 144 nations.
From the 12 countries analysed, the index found that Malta also had the highest GDP per capita, with the highest average years of schooling (12.2 years) and at 83.8 years, had the best life expectancy.
Malta then ranked fourth regarding healthcare services and had the second lowest crime levels among the 12 countries.
“The country is one of the safest within our index and the CBI landscape, it also boasts a great education system, good healthcare, and a substantially high degree of visa-free travel. These are often some of the most influential factors when it comes to the decision-making process of high-net worth individuals, who tend to think with their family first and the provision of a better life for their children,” added Ms Lesina
The country ranked poorly when it came to tax, due to Malta’s highest marginal income tax rate of 35 per cent. It came second to Turkey, where the highest rate was 40 per cent.
The firm added that Malta is the only EU country to have retained its CBI programme, and it is a matter which is being litigated by the European Commission.
However, it is of note that Austria also has a CBI programme which is recognised by the Henley and Partners, albeit it is far more restrictive. It not only requires knowledge of the German language, references, and a CV, but also a €10 million investment in a business based in the country, or a €3 million contribution to a Government development fund.
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