06 May 2020
On 24 April 2020, the Department of Information published Legal Notice 156 of 2020, Legal Notice 157 of 2020 and Legal Notice 161 of 2020. In this set of updates, we discuss the amendments made to the Malta Residency Visa Agency (Establishment) Order and the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, with particular emphasis on the Board of Approval and the National Development and Social Fund, respectively.
L.N 161 of 2020 amended the proportion of contributions from the Individual Investor Programme which are to be allotted to the National Development and Social Fund under the principal regulations, from seventy percent (70%) to twenty percent (20%). We can only assume that this Legal Notice was driven by the need to boost the government’s Consolidated Fund (essentially the Government’s main bank account) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s strain on the economy and the country’s coffers.
L.N 157 of 2020 amended the executive structure of the Malta Residency Visa Agency (MRVA) in such manner as to afford added autonomy, caused by the removal of members who are also involved in the direction of the Identity Malta Agency.
The MRVA will be moving into new premises as of Monday 4th May 2020. Its new offices will be located at: Malta Residency Visa Agency, Zentrum Business Centre, Mdina Road, Qormi QRM 9010, Malta. COVID-19 measures previously adopted for the safety of customers and staff will remain in place until further notice, as will the system of depositing files and documents.
L.N 156 of 2020 endeavors to introduce a new system of distribution of applications among the Approvals Board. The Legal Notice ensures that an equal number of cases is assigned to each Approvals Board, with the said assignment to be carried out by the Chief Executive Officer.
The Approvals Board has a final say on whether an application is favorably considered for approval or not, whilst ensuring that the decisions made are fair, objective and in terms of law. The decision of the Approvals Board shall be taken by a majority vote of the members present and voting. The Chairperson or any other person presiding at the meeting has a second or casting vote in the case of equal votes among the voting members.
The Chief Executive Officer, employees and the members of the Board of Directors are not eligible candidates to be members of the Approvals Board.