There will be no annual cap on the number of people who can buy Maltese citizenship through the proposed Individual Investor Programme, the CEO of Henley and Partners, Eric Major, said today. Henley has won a public tender to market and manage much of the programme.

Mr Major said there was a “natural limit” to the amount of people who could purchase citizenship through the scheme “because it is quite expensive” and the processing will take time.

He said he would be disappointed if the annual number of beneficiaries was not “in the low hundreds”, adding that the Government was minded to increase the price if there was strong market interest.

Mr Major told that he was unsure if the government would reveal the number of people who gained citizenship through the scheme, but from his perspective there should be no objection to doing this.

“It is meant to be an open and transparent programme,” he said.

If the programme is approved by Parliament, applicants will be able to purchase Maltese citizenship for €650,000. They must also pay €25,000 for their spouse to acquire citizenship and a further €25,000 for each child under 18. Parliament votes on the programme tomorrow.

Mr Major also said that St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica were the only other countries in the world, apart from Malta, that sold immediate citizenship against a fixed donation.

Read an in depth interview in The Sunday Times of Malta.