The chief executive of Henley & Partners, the company behind Malta’s sale-of-citizenship scheme, has said a Maltese passport has become a status symbol for rich people worldwide.
“If you have a yacht and two airplanes, the next thing to get is a Maltese passport,” Christian Kalin said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s the latest status symbol. We’ve had clients who simply like to collect a few.”
Henley & Partners CEO Christian Kalin
The Individual Investment Programme (IIP) requires applicants to pay €650,000 into a national development fund, invest €150,000 in government stocks or bonds, and either purchase property worth at least €350,000 or rent property for at least €16,000 a year.
The programme has been criticised for its lack of transparency, with the names of IIP citizens not disclosed separately but released within the annual list of naturalised Maltese citizens. However, the government has insisted that applicants are thoroughly scrutinised beforehand and must undergo checks against records at Interpol and the International Criminal Court.