Malta: Introducing The Citizenship By Investment Programmes Index

Last Updated: 3 June 2019
Article by Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates is pleased to launch the first edition of the Citizenship by Investment Programme Index (CIP Index). The CIP Index accentuates the firm's stronghold in Residency and Citizenship by serving as an objective guide to prospective investors intrigued by the prospect of attaining citizenship in a foreign country.

The Citizenship by Investment Programmes Report

The CIP Report provides a comprehensive analysis of Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs), highlighting each programme's core features while also giving an overview of living and economic standards within the country. The pinnacle of the report, however, is the CIP Index which ranks the citizenship programmes of 12 different countries - Malta, Cyprus, Austria, Moldova, Montenegro, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Turkey, and Jordan.

The report itself highlights the benefits, eligibility criteria, and investment requirements of all CIPs. For an even more immersive overview, the report also includes 'Living In' chapters for each CIP country, which give a brief and clear of lifestyle, economy, real estate, health, education, and security.

Although CIPs offer immeasurable benefits to investors, both in their business endeavours and their personal lives, investing in one is not a decision to be taken lightly. To add to this, CIPs have proliferated across the world in the last decade, and a variety of programmes are now available, catering to all needs and resources available to investors. The CIP Report is therefore an ideal initial reference point for investors in distinguishing programmes from each other, finding the value in each one, and developing an idea of which CIPs are best suited towards them. The report is also relevant to experts within the investment migration industry, and governments interested in developing their own CIP.

The CIP Index

The CIP Index, found within the report, is a composite index made up of four sub-indices - Programme, Freedom, Quality of Life, and Economy. All of these represent important aspects that determine the attractiveness of a citizenship by investment programme when compared to others.

The Programme sub-index, as the name suggests, is calculated by looking strictly at characteristics which define the programme itself. Freedom refers to the liberties that an individual would acquire upon gaining citizenship. The Quality of Life sub-index assesses the quality of life within the CIP country. Lastly, the Economic index calculates the economic stability and prosperity of the countries analysed. Fifteen different indicators are dispersed amongst these four sub-indices selected on the basis of importance to investors. To eliminate any element of subjectivity, only quantifiable data was used in constructing the Index.


Malta ranked first out of the 12 countries analysed. According to the CIP Index, the Malta Individual Investor Programme offers the greatest overall value to investors. Malta did exceptionally well with regards to Programme, Freedom, and Quality of Life, and it also had an impressive ranking for Economy. Notably, despite its longer processing time and relatively higher investment requirements, Malta came in 2nd place for the Programme Index in light of its extremely robust due diligence procedures and complete transparency. Malta also ranked in second place for the Freedom index and the Quality of Life index, justified by the allowance of multiple citizenships, extensive-visa-free travel, European settlement rights, and vast political and civil freedoms for the former, and an advanced standard of living for the latter. In terms of Economy, Malta ranked 4th, reflecting its favourable business prospects, high GDP per capita PPP, and moderate tax rates.

As regards to the rankings in each individual sub-index, for the programme sub-index, Caribbean countries performed best overall - with the exception of Malta – namely Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Dominica. Caribbean CIPs have the lowest investment requirements and some of the shortest processing times, and many of them have also established an excellent standard for due diligence procedures and transparency measures.

In relation to Freedom and Quality of Life the European countries of Austria, Malta, and Cyprus scored highest as they grant the most rights to their citizens and provide advanced levels of healthcare, education, and working conditions.

Lastly, Austria, Cyprus and Turkey ranked the highest in the Economy index, making them the most attractive for investors who are interested in doing business, having financial security, safeguarding wealth, and operating within favourable tax regimes.

Ultimately, each CIP has its own comparative advantage. Investor priorities differ, and in reality, no single programme can claim to be the best match for every individual.

To download the report, please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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