Is there any difference?
Firstly, Malta Citizenship by Investment programme offers all the benefits of being a Maltese citizen. For instance, the Maltese passport is the 9th strongest passport in the world, giving visa-free access to 182 countries across the globe, including the US and Canada. On the other hand, the Malta Residence and Visa programme only offer residence status. While this still grants you freedom of movement across all Schengen counties (28 European countries), it doesn’t give the same travel advantages as having the passport.
Secondly, the Individual Investor Programme gives citizenship for life to the beneficiaries. This right is also passed down to future generations so they can enjoy the same freedoms. On the other hand, the Malta Residence and Visa Programme only offers a visa. While this visa is indefinite, it cannot be passed down through generations.
However, the Malta Residence and Visa Programme does have a significant advantage over the Malta Individual Investor Programme. In short, it is the cost. The MRVP requires €30,000 contribution to the National Development and Social Fund and €250,000 in investments, whereas the MIIP requires applicants to contribute €650,000 and invest €150,000 in local investments. In the same vein, the cost is in the eye of the beholder. Do the enormous benefits of the MIIP outweigh the investment required?