On 2 March 2022, the Community Malta Agency and the Residency Malta Agency have decided to suspend the submission and processing of applications from Russian and Belarusian nationals to Malta’s citizenship by investment and Malta’s residency by investment programs. This is because due diligence background checks can’t be properly carried out in the current scenario.

In a press release by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Citizenship and Communities of Malta, the Maltese authorities confirmed that they have been performing thorough checks and verified that no beneficiaries of Maltese citizenship or residence status are on the EU Sanctions List.  They have also checked that no applications from individuals on the EU Sanctions List are currently in process.

Moreover, they have clarified that due diligence checks will continue and if they find individuals who feature on sanction lists, the Maltese agencies will accordingly apply the law to revoke any status granted to them.

As for the citizenship or residence status renewals, the Maltese authorities declared that they will process them on a case-by-case basis to make sure that beneficiaries are still eligible for their granted statuses over time.

Malta is the third European country that takes this kind of measure affecting Russian nationals applying to CBIs and RBIs. Portugal and Greece have also suspended the issuance of their own golden visas to Russian citizens in late February 2022.