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How far back does the background check go for the Maltese vetting process?

I am an American interested in permanently relocating to Malta. I am in my 70s now, but when I was a young adult at 18, I was convicted of a theft-related felony and served a few years in prison. However, in the many decades since my youth, I have become a model citizen. Are people like me eligible for Maltese citizenship-by-investment for wrongdoing some 50 years ago? Is there anything I can do to improve my application? I know Malta is extensive on its due-diligence background checks.

  • January 17, 2019

    You as the applicant can apply. However, the outcome of the application depends on what results have come out from the due diligence conducted by the authorities. Based on the fact that you have spent more than a couple of years in prison, you will be ineligible. Nonetheless, the regulations go on to say basically that if you can put a strong case forward to prove that you are now a model citizen, you may have a chance of being successful.

  • Grant Thornton
    January 14, 2019

    The applicable IIP regulations state that: The applicant and, or any of his dependents, shall not be an individual who at any time was found guilty, or, at the time of the application, is being interrogated and suspected, or has criminal charges brought against him for any criminal offence, other than an involuntary offense, punishable with more than one year imprisonment. Since you noted that you have spent more than a couple of years, then you would strictly speaking be ineligible. However, there is also regulation 6, which then states that: If the agency is satisfied that the applicant is still worthy of being considered for approval due to special circumstances to be demonstrated by the applicant, in such case, the agency shall issue a reasoned opinion as to why such applicant should still be considered for approval and shall refer such application to the minister, who shall have sole authority for the approval. It therefore stands to reason that there is a chance you may be accepted. However, you will need to provide a strong case to show that you have become a model citizen (employment, education, lack of repeat offenses etc.).