A small island in the Mediterranean Sea with no natural resources that fits completely in the view of your airplane window, is not the first place you would think to look for big investment returns. Yet Malta’s size is evocative of its own economic landscape which is proving that even small investments in the country have big returns. The country’s pro-business mindset has continually worked towards sustaining growth, and this has seen an influx of foreign investment to the island’s shores looking to cultivate their wealth. In 2018 alone, 43,000 expats and a steady rise of foreign workers were recorded in Malta. Whilst investment opportunities range from corporate structuring to blockchain related ventures, one of the country’s most popular investment options is investing in the country itself.
With the launch of the island’s citizenship by investment programme in 2014 as well as its residency programmes, applicants have yielded the benefits of their choice to look towards Malta by securing an investment that lasts for life. The investment is comprised of different areas, each having their own benefits and opportunities for growth.
An Investment In Property
Property in Malta is one of the country’s booming sectors, with the value of property in Malta steadily rising. Statistics show that between Q1 2015 to Q3 2018 the Property Price Index increased by 16%, and by almost 28% when compared to 2013. In fact, Malta was the third best location to invest in property within the EU in the last quarter of 2018, and the value of property on the island is continuing to appreciate. The return is quite steep when compared with other jurisdictions in the region.
Apart from this large return, an investment in property, when paired with other requirements, is also an investment in citizenship or residency on the island. As part of the application, an investor of the citizenship programmes is required to make an investment in property of at least €350,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least €16,000 p.a., both on five-year contracts. Alternatively, investors can apply for a residency programme where the minimum investment required is even less at €270,000 or a minimum rental value of €10,000 p.a.
An Investment In Mobility
As part of the citizenship investment, the applicant is also asked to contribute at least €650,000 to Malta. The country’s recorded surplus of 3.9% in 2017 and ranking as the highest economic growth within the Eurozone, not only establishes Malta as a prime location for corporate and business ventures. Malta’s EU, Schengen and Commonwealth memberships also guarantees investors of the citizenship programme visa-free travel to over 166 countries as well as the right to live, work, study in any EU jurisdiction. Similarly, investing in the residency programme will provide investors with a Certificate of Permanent Residency for Life and visa free travel within the Schengen zone, with the minimum contribution investment at a much lower rate of €30,000.
An Investment In Family
Both the citizenship and residency programmes are a means of investing in family and their future. Both programmes allow for spouses and young children, as well as economically dependent adult children and parents to be part of the programme. With a requested contribution of €25,000 each for spouses and children, and €50,000 for unmarried and dependent parents, through the citizenship by investment programme such dependents are given access to high quality and free healthcare as well as high standards of education.
Citizenship is passed down through birth, so any additional children born to parents of Maltese citizenship will automatically retain Maltese citizenship themselves. As for investors of the residency programme, a €5,000 application fee is to be paid per dependent included in the application in exchange for residency in a safe and stable country that enjoys a Mediterranean quality of life.
Labelled fondly as a melting pot of cultures and peoples, Malta has surely created the right economic environment to meet the demands of the global investment market. With thriving industries such as financial services, tourism, gaming, pharma, shipping and yachting to mention a few, as well as a solid real estate platform, the island has placed itself as a very desirable setting for real estate investment of any type.