Malta’s citizenship-by-investment programme is the “most expensive in the world” and only “the best” applicants need apply, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told a migration conference in Los Angeles.

Speaking to an audience of migration agents, immigration lawyers and other prominent industry stakeholders, Dr Muscat pitched Malta’s Individual Investor Programme as “the gold standard” among such citizenship programmes.

Those after a quick deal need not apply, he said, adding that successful applicants would also have their name made public.

To receive a Maltese passport, IIP applicants must fork out €650,000 and provide a €150,000 investment in government stocks or bonds, as well as satisfy property requirements and pass Identity Malta due diligence procedures.

“If your clients have failed other programmes, do not even bother since our due diligence is the toughest in the industry. Actually, we are aware that some of our new citizens are using the fact that they successfully completed our process as a sign of their clean bill of health”, the Prime Minister said.

READ: Passport buyers' origin remains a secret

“We have been very careful how and where to position our Individual Investor Programme within the Citizenship by Investment market. We were one of the most recent entrants, but today there is little arguing that we set the gold standard for industry”, said the Prime Minister.

He said the success of Malta's IIP scheme could not be quantified, as it had created a "melting pot of business know-how, experiences, skills and funding". 

Dr Muscat was speaking at the 2018 Uglobal Immigration Convention in Los Angeles on Tuesday – the latest in at least a dozen occasions during which the Prime Minister has travelled overseas to promote the Henley & Partners-run cash-for-passports scheme.

The Prime Minister was accompanied in Los Angeles by the Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar and Member of Parliament and legal consultant to the Prime Minister Robert Abela.

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