World Bulletin / News Desk
In a joint statement with the European Commission, Malta announced that it had given into EU pressure on its passport sales scheme to non-EU nationals.
Previously, Malta had been criticized for selling its citizenship for around €1.15 million. Although it claimed that this was a scheme to attract rich investors to the country, the scheme was condemned by other EU countries as it would allow purchasers the right to reside in whichever EU country they pleased.
However, from now on, Malta has said that applicants will now be required to live in Malta for at least a year to qualify for the scheme.
"No certificate of naturalization will be issued unless the applicant provides proof that he/she has resided in Malta for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalization," states the new stipulation.
Henley & Partners, a British private company registered in Jersey which specializes in “citizenship solutions”, has been fulfilling the role as the designer and principal contractor for the scheme.
Chairman Hugh Morshead told The Independent, “We are taking a lot of risks, as the political debate around the program now shows, and this must be adequately rewarded over time. After all, we want to remain a profitable business even though we work for the benefit of countries.”
H&P’s Canadian chief executive Eric Major has said the company has received “hundreds” of expressions of interest.
Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2014, 13:47