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Appointment and functions


The appointment of the Regulator (Individual Investor Programme) and the functions of his Office are regulated by the provisions of Article 25 of the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap 188)​.  Indeed such person shall be appointed by the Prime Minister after consulting the Leader of the Opposition.  The main requisites for such person are that he/she would have held the office of Judge, Magistrate, Attorney General or Permanent Secretary or who would have practised as an advocate in Malta for a period of at least twelve years.  It is also stipulated that in any interim period during which a Regulator is not appointed, the Ombudsman (appointed under the Ombudsman Act) shall act ex Officio as Regulator.

The Regulator shall hold office in accordance with the terms of his appointment.  In addition to his functions under this Act (and such other functions as may be assigned to him under any law), the Regulator shall keep under review all aspects of the individual investor programme.  In particular, as provided by Article 25A of the Citizenship Act, he is empowered to investigate complaints made about the Individual Investor Programme.  

Furthermore the Prime Minister may, by regulations, assign to the Regulator any other function related to citizenship.




Autonomy and Powers



Article 25(5) of the Citizenship Act specifies that, in the discharge of his functions under the Act, the Regulator shall act in his individual judgement and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.  It shall also be the duty of any person involved in the administration of the individual investor programme (or of any other matter in relation to which the Regulator is assigned functions) to disclose or give to the Regulator such documents or information as he may require for the purpose of enabling him to discharge his functions.







The Regulator may, at any time, report to the Minister on any matter relating to the discharge of his functions under the Citizenship Act.  In particular the Regulator shall make an annual report on the discharge of his functions to the Minister.  Such report shall not include personal data relating to individuals who have acquired Maltese Citizenship under the individual investor programme.  The Minister shall lay a copy of each annual report as soon as possible after the report is made to him.


The Regulator shall be required (if so requested) to attend meetings of the Monitoring Committee (set up as per provisions of Article 25B of the Citizenship Act) and to report to it on matters related to the individual investor programme.  The Committee (which shall regulate its own procedures) consists of the Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for matters relating to Maltese Citizenship and the Leader of the Opposition.  The meetings, to be held at least once a year, are presided over by the Prime Minister.




Appointed Regulators



Dr Godwin Grima April 2014- January 2016



Dr Godwin Grima was appointed as the first Regulator when the Office was set up in April 2014.  

Having joined the Public Service as Notary to the Government in 1979 he subsequently held a number of senior positions which included Director General (Land and Public Registry), Permanent Secretary (Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs) and Permanent Secretary (Office of the Prime Minister).


In January 2005 he was appointed as Principal Permanent Secretary and also as Cabinet Secretary in January 2006.


Dr Grima retired on 28 January 2016 having reached retirement age.




The Present Regulator


Mr Carmel De Gabriele February 2016-


Mr Carmel De Gabriele is the present Regulator (IIP), having been appointed for a two-year term through Government Press Release 160249 issued on 6 February 2016.  He replaced Dr Godwin Grima, former Head of the Public Service, who had reached retirement age.

Mr De Gabriele was born in Zejtun on the 8th of December 1943.  He joined the Public Service in 1964 where he enjoyed a distinguished career spanning over forty years, rising through the ranks and being ultimately appointed as Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Social Welfare.  It was in such area (social welfare) where he gained vast experience and expertise.  This led him to be appointed as Government’s representative on various renowned international Organisations, namely the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Social Affairs, the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Social Security and the United Nations Commission on Social Development.  During such time he frequently participated in and/or chaired related international conferences, meetings and symposia.

Furthermore he was appointed Chief Negotiator on behalf of the Maltese Government in discussions with a number of countries in connection with the formulation of respective Reciprocal Agreements on Social Security. Similarly he was appointed Chief Negotiator on behalf of the Maltese Government in discussions held in connection with the adoption of Romanian and Albanian children by Maltese families.

Between 1998 and 2005 he served as Chief Electoral Commissioner under different administrations, where he was responsible for the organisation of the General Elections of 1998 and 2003, the EU Referendum of 2003, the European Parliament Elections of 2004 and various Local Council Elections.  During such time he participated in the EU Governing Body on Electoral matters (as an Observer during the period 1998-2003 and as a member during the period 2003-2005).

On 2 February 2018 Mr De Gabriele was re-appointed as Regulator (Individual Investor Programme) for an additional period of two years.


 Contact Name 
The Office of the Regulator, Individual Investor Programme
2nd Floor, Evans Building,
Merchants Street,

+356 22004381