Malta Government Lifts Ban on Nigerians for Citizenship by Investment

The Malta Government has recently updated its list of unqualified nationalities applying under its investor program for the “Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations”. This new decision, made in January 2021, effectively removes the ban on Nigerians along with other countries from applying for its citizenship programs.

Malta had initially banned these countries because of the United States’ (US) travel ban on said countries, to honour its visa waiver commitments with the US, where Maltese citizens can apply to travel to the US with ESTA for business or tourism up to 90 days.

The first US travel ban to select countries was introduced in 2017 and further extended by former US President Donald Trump in January 2020, where six other countries were added to the original ban, including Nigeria. Thus, countries that had signed a Visa waiver agreement with the United States, such as Malta, had to exclude countries listed on the US travel ban from applying for their Citizenship by Investment programs.

However, in one of his first acts as President of the United States, newly elected president Joe Biden issued an executive order reversing the US travel ban and by so doing, allowing countries like Malta to enlist Nigerian nationals and the other countries freed from the US ban, as eligible for their Citizenship by Exceptional services program. Thus, as from 21st January 2021, nationals of Nigeria, Libya, Chad, Eritrea, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan have been lifted from the US travel ban list and are eligible to apply for the Maltese citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment program.

Investment Migration and Alternative Citizenship Acquisition has become an opportunity of increasing interest among globally mobile businesspersons and investors, with Nigeria recently recognized as the biggest market for citizenship by Investment in Africa. Thus, this development affords Nigerians the choice of one additional pathway to being a Global citizen with access to visa-free travel, better healthcare, and wealth protection, amongst others.

When considering Investment Migration, strategic consultation, comprehensive advisory services, end-to-end transactional processing and support bespoke to your specific investment and immigration needs are some of the things to consider and the JEE Private Client Services unit is well-positioned to offer these.

For further inquiries, calls or meetings, please email: Afolasade Olowe and Busayo Gbenle.

The information provided in this document is for discussion purposes only. In depth information about each investment option and destinations will be provided on request.