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MT 31 July 2016

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MATTHEW VELLA THIRDCOUNTRY nationals from Asia and the subcontinent are using business visas to se- cure entry into Malta, without any guarantee that they are able to finance a permanent stay on the island. A government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, showed MaltaToday a list of third- country nationals who had companies set up for them in 2015 and 2016. The company owners had acquired legally in the United Arab Emirates a 90-day business or long-stay visa for Malta. The inexpensive visas however require 'mid- dle-men' who liaise with Maltese corporate ser- vice providers. Such agents were said to take up to €10,000 to submit the business visa applica- tion, create a company in Malta through the cor- porate services provider, and then arrange the flights to Malta. "We know this from statements made by these Asian 'businessmen' whose visa expired and then refused to return home to renew their visa," the source said. When the 90-day stay is up, visa overstayers refuse to return to their home country to renew their visa. "Some business visa holders even file asylum claims simply to win more time and stay in Malta," the ministerial source said. "Corporate service providers in Malta can open companies in just 48 hours. So these clients, usu- ally Pakistani nationals, are pooling their fam- ily's monies to raise the necessary capital to open a Maltese company and secure a visa." According to the list seen by MaltaToday, nu- merous companies are registered at various let- terbox addresses – which this newspaper has verified – which do not house any business ac- tivities but are domestic residences. In some cases, the address is purely fictional: for exam- ple, a terraced house's address gets an 'apartment number' added to it when this does not even exist. Newspaper post PHOTO RAY ATTARD SUNDAY • 31 JULY 2016 • ISSUE 873 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY SUNDAY • 31 JULY 2016 • ISSUE 873 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday INTERVIEW SUNDAY • 31 JULY 2016 • ISSUE 873 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY today • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY number' added to it when PAGE 3 SPORT Business visa trade opening UAE route for overstayers Corporate service providers in Malta create shell companies for Dubai agents to sell for €10,000 so that Asian applicants secure business and long-stay visas with intention to overstay RETURN OF THE MAVERICK? PAGE 3 Franco Debono open to invitation on Labour ticket High-rise: PA deputy chair had doubts on Mriehel's inclusion USA elections 'Trump le monde' How his presidential route could be made possible €1.40 YOUR FIRST READ AND FIRST CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT 10 11 11 How does a footballer get to cost over €100 million? PROFILE PAGE 4 John Bundy, PBS's new CEO (Had he thought about it for a long, long time?) Hello, it's me! FORMER PA deputy chairperson Franco Montesin raised doubts on whether government could add Mriehel to a high-rise policy when public consultation had ended. The government then instructed the PA not to publish exact maps delineating high-rise areas to avoid "land speculation". delineating high-rise PAGE 2 Hundred-million euro-man 'We were trying to get rid of Erdogan... but Gulen is worse' TOLGA TEMUGE 14 15 JAMES DEBONO

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