Citizenship Law Firm promoted 1st Approved Agent

February 27 00:00 2014 by The Editor Print This Article

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates have announced their status as citizenship agents to be promoted from accredited person to approved agent status.   This makes prominent Malta citizenship specialist law firm Chetcuti Cauchi the first Malta citizenship agent to be promoted to privileged "Approved Agent" status, having satisfied the quality, reliability and volume requirements established by the Malta IIP Agency.  The law firm's Residency & Citizenship lead partner is the first to be promoted to "approved agent" status, after enjoying 'accredited person' status under citizenship accreditation licence IIP 001.  

Investment attracted to Malta by the MIIP

We spoke to Dr Antoine Saliba Haig, a senior lawyers at the firm, for comment on how he saw the impact of the Maltese citizenship programme on foreign direct investment in Malta:

"Based on a conservative estimate of at least 900 Malta citizenship applications filed to date, the Malta Citizenship program has netted the country at least €1bn in contributions and direct investments."  

Speaking to Mr. Victor Zammit at Chetcuti Cauchi, who leads the Malta FDI Research working group within the firm.  "Every year we conduct research and draw up a report on the impact of Citizenship by Investment programmes as well as Residency by Investment programmes on the Maltese economy.  We seek to quantify the financial benefits to Malta through the foreign direct investment generated by the residency and citizenship programmes."  These estimates have been computed based on assumptions including that none of the applicants purchase property in Malta.  It is therefore expected that the financial benefit to the Maltese economy is actually larger than the report estimates.

Who is Chetcuti Cauchi?

Before the IIP, Chetcuti Cauchi rose up the ranks of Maltese law firms and financial services firms on the strength of Malta's newly acquired EU membership and a flourishing financial services sector.  In a relatively short span, the unconventional and business oriented law firm grew into a 150 strong firm playing with the big firms in the legal and professional services sector.

Chetcuti Cauchi rose to fame in the IIP with the announcement in early 2014 of its investor clients being the first Maltese citizenship approvals under the MIIP.  The firm continues to publish extensive research in the area of investment promotion, including publications on global citizenship programmes such as the Dual Citizenship Report, edited by Dr Chetcuti. 

Over its long history, the law firm has handled in excess of 1,000 residency and citizenship applications "Chetcuti Cauchi's leadership in the citizenship by investment sector has been very hard earned," says Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, lead partner in the law firm's Citizenship and Residency practice group.  "Firstly, we have dedicated a team of over 30 lawyers and immigration specialists out of the firm's 100+ professionals, who exclusively handle Malta's citizenship and residency by investment programmes.  This specialisation has built unrivalled know-how in this field."  

The law firm continues to enjoy an enviable success rate.  What is the firm's secret formula?  Managing partner Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti replies: "We can maintain our success rate by personally applying our experience to each case individually, but also by being honest at the outset on our clients' eligibility under a residency or citizenship program.  We run thorough due diligence and background checks even before on-boarding a client. Our client's legal advisors often approach us when they have a doubt on their client's eligibility or want a second opinion, as we are able to guide them and assess their chances of success very accurately even before an application is lodged with the relative authorities."

We asked why he would say the firm is a preferred Malta law firm for Malta Citizenship matters.   "Our clients can expect to find the most experienced specialists in the relevant areas of law, and this is viable only for the larger firms.  At the same time, the firm's five partners and their most senior associates continue to emphasise the key values of personal service and individual attention that have been at the core of the firm's exponential growth into an international legal practice of over 100 professionals."

At the same time, we offer our affluent clients' a holistic approach to immigration in Malta, supported as it is by the firm's other specialised teams: International Tax Planning, Succession & Estate Planning, Property Law services and more industry-specific practice groups covering financial services, technology, pharma, energy, maritime and aviation."

The Malta Individual Investor Programme

The Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta, the MIIP, was introduced in early 2014 with a view to attracting the most reputable of the worlds affluent to make significant contributions to the Maltese economy.  Investors are not automatically eligible for citizenship by making the required contribution.  First, applicants must undergo a thorough due diligence process by the Maltese citizenship agent, the Maltese Immigration Police as well as the Maltese Citizenship Agency.  This is a process that takes approximately 6 months that sees the investor undergoing the scrutiny of his background, reputation and clean source of wealth. Only upon the issue of a letter of in principle approval to a successful applicant can the investor proceed with making the required contributions (€650,000 - 850,000 depending on the size of the family).  Citizenship is received after a period of one year of residence in Malta.