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CBI Power Rankings reveals Malta is most powerful passport

by LLB staff reporter
6th Aug 23 4:43 pm

The latest CBI Power Rankings Index by Astons, the international experts on residency and citizenship through investment (CBI), reveals that Malta is the best citizenship by investment destination based on a combination of factors including tax, crime, healthcare and passport strength .

The CBI Power Rankings Index by Astons reveals that Malta currently ranks as the best investment destination for high-net worth individuals, based on a comprehensive analysis of eight key variables generating an overall index score of 10.82, higher than any other CBI nation, followed by Antigua & Barbuda and Saint Kitts & Nevis.

How the Astons CBI Index was produced

To create the CBI Power Rankings Index, Astons analysed and ranked 12 nations that currently offer citizenship via direct investment (CBI) based on the following factors:

  1. Cost – The level of investment required to access the CBI program. Where a nation requires a lower level of investment than the average, this particular CBI index score is higher.
  2. Passport – Passport strength given by the number of visa free/visa on arrival/ETA locations accessible, where a higher number of accessible locations gives a higher CBI index score.
  3. Crime – Crime level and safety in a given nation, where a lower crime level is represented by a higher CBI index score
  4. Healthcare – Overall healthcare level accounting for prevention, detection, response and mitigation, general health sector capacity, state norms, as well as risk and vulnerability. In this case, a higher overall healthcare level is represented by a higher CBI index score.
  5. Tax – Individual highest marginal rate, where lower tax liability is represented by a higher CBI index score.
  6. Life Expectancy – Life expectancy at birth, where a greater number of years of life translates to a higher CBI index score.
  7. National Economy – GDP per capita, where a higher GDP per capita relates to a more developed and stronger national economy and is represented by a higher CBI index score.
  8. Education – Average mean years of schooling in the given nation, with a higher number of years resulting in a higher CBI index score.

Why Malta ranks top

Using the above criteria, Malta is revealed to be the best CBI destination for HNW investors. Here is a close inspection of exactly why this is.

With a minimum investment requirement of $759,360, Malta boasts the highest investment threshold of all the CBI nations considered and therefore ranks lowest with an index score of 0.2.

However, Maltese citizenship allows for visa-free travel to 172 nations. This gives Malta an index score of 1.3 in the Passport category, the strongest of all CBI nations.

As for local crime levels, Malta’s score of 1.03 suggests very low crime and is the second best score on the index, bettered only by Grenada (1.50).

Malta also ranks fourth best for healthcare (1.28), behind North Macedonia (1.34), Jordan (1.36), and Turkiye (1.59).

When it comes to tax, Maltese citizens paying tax at the highest marginal rate will do so at 35%, which gives an index score of 0.76. This ranks joint second worst with Dominica. Only Turkiye charges a higher tax rate of 40%.

In comparison, Antigua & Barbuda and Saint Kitts & Nevis – which rank second and third respectively on the Astons CBI Index – have a rate of 0% tax for high earners.

But with an average life expectancy of 83.8 years, Maltese citizens live longer than any other CBI nation.

Malta also ranks top when it comes to GDP per capita with $33,941 giving a score of 3.7, and top again for education with the highest average years of schooling (12.2 years) giving a top-ranking index score of 1.4.

As a result, Malta has an overall score of 10.82 on the Astons CBI Power Rankings Index. The rest of the nations score as follows:

Where do the rest rank?

2nd – Antigua & Barbuda (10.71).

3rd – Saint Kitts & Nevis (10.50).

4th – Saint Lucia (8.74).

5th – Grenada (8.68).

6th – North Macedonia (8.53).

7th – Vanuatu (8.06).

8th – Dominica (8.04).

9th – Turkiye (7.84).

10th – Jordan (6.64).

11th – Egypt (6.56).

12th – Cambodia (6.09).

Immigration Expert for Astons USA, Alena Lesina said, “While Malta may have one of the highest investment thresholds of all CBI nations, as well as a higher rate of tax for high-earners in comparison to other CBI nations, these factors are offset considerably by the other benefits Maltese citizenship provides.

The country is one of the safest within our index and the CBI landscape, it also boasts a great education system, good healthcare and a substantially high degree of visa-free travel.

These are often some of the most influential factors when it comes to the decision making process of high-net worth individuals , who tend to think with their family first and the provision of a better life for their children.

So while investing in Malta may come at a higher price than the other CBI locations , it’s certainly money well spent for those considering the full range of benefits that CBI investment can bring.

However, it’s important to note that while Malta is the only EU country to have retained its CBI program, this matter is being litigated with the European Commission. So those considering Malta as a pathway of investment should do so with a matter or urgency.”

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