Malta’s Residency by Investment Programme aims to attract quality foreign investment that contributes to the country’s economic development. Its success is due to a number of factors that include a combination of safety, climate, lifestyle, mobility and opportunity.
Malta’s people are English speaking and friendly, making communication with expatriates easy. It has a strong ever-growing economy, an important financial services hub, a stable political scenario and diverse business opportunities. The country’s property market continues to register growth. All in all, citizens enjoy a high standard of living with a relatively low cost of life when compared to other European countries.
Malta is a safe country with a low crime rate. People enjoy a relaxed daily life. Family in Malta is important, and this makes it ideal for foreigners wishing to settle their family and raise children here. Educational institutions are of the highest standards and accreditation, both for children and adults. The country’s mild climate means people enjoy an outdoor lifestyle across the seasons.
The Malta Residency and Visa Programme for non-EU citizens is a fast process to residency. Applicants given a residence certificate gain the right to live and stay in Malta indefinitely while being able to travel freely within the Schengen zone.
FACT BOX: ELIGIBILITY
- be 18 years of age
- be a third country, non-EU national
- have an annual income of €100,000 or a minimum capital of €500,000
- have a clean criminal record
- have a valid travel document
- be in good health
- have EU medical insurance cover
- pass due-diligence tests
- fulfill the monetary obligations established by the IIP
What are the benefits of the Malta Residency by Investment Programme?
A Maltese residence card grants its holder the right to settle and reside in Malta indefinitely. Permanent residency is granted for 5 years and is renewable indefinitely. For those wanting mobility across the European Union, holders can travel freely across the 26 Schengen member states.
The main applicant’s spouse or long-time partner is also eligible for Malta residency, as are their children under 18, economically dependent and unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 26, and economically dependent parents or grandparents.
New Maltese residents are taxed only on a Maltese source and remittance basis and there is no wealth, estate, inheritance or municipal tax.
Who is eligible for the Malta Residency by Investment Programme?
For a main applicant to be eligible under the Malta Residency by Investment Programme, s/he has to be at least 18 years of age and a non-EU national.
The main applicant needs to have regular, stable resources to maintain himself and his family, and needs to prove an annual income of €100,000 or a minimum capital of €500,000, and without resorting to Maltese social services.
Applicant should be of clean police conduct, and s/he and dependents should have valid travel documents as well as medical insurance covering all risks across the European Union. They should already be in good health and do not constitute an unreasonable burden on the Maltese health system.
Applicants also need to pass strict government due diligence tests.
A resident under this programme will cease to benefit from the certificate if he/she becomes a Maltese, EEA or Swiss national; becomes a long-term resident; stops satisfying the programme obligations of property and investment; and if his/her stay is not in the public interest.
What’s the taxation for new residents under the Malta Residency Programme?
The Malta tax regime works on domicile and residence. Residence is established by when main applicant shows an intention to live in Malta indefinitely. It may also be recognised on a physical presence in Malta of at least 183 days.
Non-dom residents are taxed on a remittance basis only, on foreign-source income. Applicable personal income tax rates apply to income and capital gains arising in Malta. Capital gains coming from outside Malta fall out of scope, whether remitted to Malta or not. Capital and savings remitted to Malta also fall out of scope of the Maltese tax regime.
Holders of a Malta residency certificate enjoy a number of other tax benefits that include the absence of tax on inheritance, estate and wealth. Moreover, there is no municipal tax and no rates.
The transfer of property and shares in Maltese companies are subject to stamp duty. Exemptions from stamp duty could exist on the transfer of shares in some Maltese companies. For example, for Malta Stock Exchange listed companies or if at least 90% of the company’s interests lie outside Malta.
What are the costs to become a resident under the Malta Residency Programme?
The main applicant for Maltese residency under this programme is required to invest in real estate in Malta, which property is to be held for a minimum of 5 years from date of issue of the residence certificate.
The property should have a minimum value of €320,000 or have a rental cost of €12,000 annually. If the property is situated in the South Region or is located in Gozo, minimum values fall to €270,000 for purchase and €10,000 in annual rent costs.
New residents of Malta are also required by the programme to invest in approved financial instruments, with an initial value of €250,000, to be held for a minimum of 5 years, from date of issue of residence certificate.
New residents are also required to pay a non-refundable contribution of €30,000.
How to apply for the Malta Residency Programme?
The Malta Residency by Investment Programme boasts a fast-track to Malta residency rights.
STEP 1: Submit application for residency
The main applicant starts the process by preparing the application and its supporting documents. The residency application is submitted.
STEP 2: Application is processed
Identity Malta processes the application, which usually takes a period of 3 months. The information in the application is verified and the government’s due diligence exercise takes place.
STEP 3: Application is confirmed
The application is confirmed by the authorities.
STEP 4: Compliance with programme’s obligations
A 3 month period of compliance kicks in, within which applicant is required to make a real estate investment or rent a property, invest in financial instruments and settle the contribution to the government.
STEP 5: Certificate is issued
The residency certificates and cards are issued.
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