Updated: Citizenship scheme amended further with residency clause
The citizenship programme was amended further this evening with the Prime Minister announcing that the government would be adding a residency clause of one-year to the scheme.
The amendments to the scheme were introduced following technical talks with the European Commission.
Prime Minister Muscat said that the changes would be reflected in a legal notice that the government will be publishing. Applicants do not need to live in Malta for a whole year but they would still have to come to Malta.
"This is an agreement reached with who wanted to reach agreement with us. The same agreement was proposed to the Opposition but it had refused to agree," Dr Muscat said while addressing a press conference.
Following the latest changes, applicants will have get citizenship after one year instead of a minimum of six months. Applicants who purchase or rent property in Malta will receive resident status and an ID card.
Dr Muscat also said that the European Commission agreed that the government may increase the current capping of applicants from 1,800.
This is the third major change to the citizenship scheme. Initially the government had dropped the secrecy clause and eventually raised the fees that need to be paid while a capping of 1,800 applicants was introduced.
The Opposition had rejected the changes implemented so far by the government to the scheme.