Failing the MIIP Due Diligence: Am I a Criminal?

Taking Malta as an example, the agency responsible for admitting new Maltese citizens, the MIIPA, Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency, employs a four-tier due diligence which filters out those global citizens not deemed worthy. Being in possession of a criminal record, or even being the subject of criminal proceedings, renders one ineligible to even apply for a Maltese passport.

If criminals can’t apply, why else are applications rejected?

We speak to Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, a notable expert on the Maltese Individual Investor Program, the IIP.  From experience, Dr Chetcuti writes, there are alternative benign reasons for rejection, other than having a criminal background. The MIIPA also strongly considers the reputational profile of the applicant and their family, especially since successful business families are often subject to bad press. In situations like these, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates’s immigration lawyers take it upon themselves to assess, disclose and explain these issues.  Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates helps in attaining their citizenship in Malta and in over 15 other countries around the world.

Why else are applications rejected?

Speaking to the Investment Migration Insider, Dr Chetcuti explains why the IIP has unusually high rejection rates and expands on five possible reasons for rejection of a Citizenship Application.

Are rejected applicants criminals?

Contrary to common perception, applicants who fail the due diligence of the MIIP are not criminals.
This emerges from Article 5 of the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2013 which sets the eligibility criteria and specifically excludes the most obvious grounds for ineligibility including having a criminal record, appearing before the International Criminal Court, the ICC, or being listed on the INTERPOL.
Persons with a criminal record or who are the subject of ongoing criminal proceedings are not even eligible to apply and therefore are not able to undergo and fail the due diligence process.
No persons with a criminal background have ever applied under the MIIP. This is confirmed by a 2019 Report published by the Maltese Citizenship Regulator, the ORiip, which investigated unproved allegations made by a French journalist that Maltese citizenship was open to persons with a criminal background. In this report, the IIP Regulator confirmed that no IIP applications have been submitted to the Agency for Maltese Citizenship nor have any rejections been reversed.

Source: Chetcuti Cauchi on Misconceptions on IIP Rejections