Moving to Malta from the US
Diverse, bustling and affordable, Malta offers fantastic opportunities for Americans seeking to relocate to Europe. Whether you are a US expat looking for a job, a family seeking a second home, or an American retiree longing to move to Europe, you will find what you need in Malta. This guide gives you useful information to successfully relocate from the USA to Malta.
A true gem of the Mediterranean, Malta is a small European nation located in the South, close to Italy. It has three islands — Gozo, Comino and Malta — covering an area of 316 km2 and a population of 514,564 inhabitants. Its official languages are Maltese and English.
Because of its rich history, Malta is filled with charming paved streets, stunning churches, and palaces. Gifted with a Mediterranean climate it has very agreeable sunny weather, and plenty of beautiful beaches to explore.
Malta’s size is perfect for those looking for a quality and relaxed lifestyle by the sea. For those looking for excitement, there are also many activities and festivities going on in Malta.
Moving to Malta from the US – Why do it?
Benefits of living in Malta as a US expat
Where to live in Malta as a US expat
Below is a list of some of the best cities to live in Malta.
- Valletta: the vibrant capital city of Malta and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- St. Paul: idyllic location and popular expats’ destination.
- Victoria: the peaceful and relaxed capital city of Gozo island.
- Mdina: A small, quiet and medieval city in the North of Malta.
- Birgu: The very tranquil and historic southeastern city of Malta.
Cost of living in Malta vs USA
Quality and affordability define the cost of living in Malta. Coming from the US, you will find that the cost of living in Malta is considerably lower.
Rental prices in Malta are very affordable. In the capital city Valletta you can rent a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment for €952. Compared to the US, rental prices in Malta are 34% cheaper.
Cost of groceries
Imported products can be more expensive than average in Malta. However, you can find cheap locally produced food at Maltese markets, and very affordable quality local and imported Italian products.
Famous for its excellent cuisine and the freshness of its products, eating out in Malta is a fantastic experience. There is an excellent price-quality ratio in Maltese restaurants. For example, a meal for two in a nice restaurant will cost around €33.
Moving to Malta from the US for Retirement
Malta is an excellent location for Americans looking to retire in Europe. Not only is the cost of living very affordable and cheaper than in the US, but the island is also small and easy to navigate, with a lively expat community, and free access to excellent health services.
Here are also some more benefits of relocating to Malta:
- Tasty pastries on every corner
- Parties all summer long
- 300+ days of sunshine
- Well-paid jobs are available
- English is an official language
- Cheap flights across Europe
- Tax benefits and incentives
- Thriving fin-tech sector
- Friendly cryptocurrency nation
How to move to Malta from the US
Obtain Malta residency
There are several visa options available for Americans wishing to reside in Malta:
- Malta Permanent Residence Program: The program allows US citizens to obtain Maltese permanent residency, provided that you own or rent property in Malta or Gozo, make a financial contribution to the Maltese Government, and make a donation. For more information, click here.
- Maltese Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services: The program allows US citizens to acquire Malta citizenship through investment. In order to do so, you must make an exceptional direct investment of a minimum of €600,000 or €750,000, depending on the residence period selected 12 or 36 months (extra €50,000 is required for each dependent). You must also invest €700,000 in residential real estate, or enter into a rental agreement at a minimum value of €16,000 per annum which must be maintained for five years. In addition, a compulsory donation of €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental approved organization or society must be made.
Get a Malta passport
Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services (CES), otherwise referred to as the Maltese Citizenship Act Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, gives qualifying investors and their families the incredible opportunity to obtain Maltese citizenship.
The benefits of having the Malta passport are multiple: freedom of movement within the EU and visa-free access to 168 countries worldwide, tax advantages, free and optimal healthcare treatments, and the ability to live in one of the most stable and safest countries in the world.
In order to qualify for the program, investors need to fulfill a series of financial requirements:
- Exceptional direct investment of a minimum of €600,000 or €750,000, depending on the residence period selected 12 or 36 months (extra €50,000 is required for each dependent).
- €700,000 investment in real estate, or hold a rental agreement at a minimum value of €16,000 per annum which must be maintained for five years
- €10,000 donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental approved organization or society.
To learn more about the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, take a look at our Malta Citizenship by Investment Ultimate Guide by local experts.
Immigration to Malta is possible under the nation’s Global Residence Program, and the Malta citizenship by naturalization program – which is often inaccurately referred to as the Malta citizenship by investment scheme. Economically independent people who apply to the Maltese Global Residence Program and rent or own a permanent address on the islands can formally be recognized as residents for tax purposes.
A few tips on moving from the US to Malta
A lot of US citizens moving to Malta have similar questions on their minds regarding their visit and relocation to the island-nation. The following short list of tips on how to move to Malta from the USA addresses some of those questions:
- Americans who want to relocate to Malta as investors or business representatives can get a Malta visa for commercial purposes. They will need an employment certificate to verify the purpose of their visit when submitting their application.
- To demonstrate that American citizens have not violated the law, they must hold a clean criminal record and show proof of it.
- In cases of relocation for medical reasons such as treatments, individuals will have to provide a medical report when applying for the Malta visa for medical purposes. US citizens must provide proof of accommodation in Malta in addition to other requested documents when submitting their visa application.
- After receiving the visa, individuals must continue with the required procedures to become permanent residents of Malta.
- A certificate of enrolment must be presented by the university which accepted the American citizen’s application for study in Malta.
- Applicants can open a bank account in Malta.
- In the case that a business relocates from the United States to Malta, the company must be de-registered in the USA, and supplier contracts must be completed. The business will then be registered in Malta.
Malta real estate
Purchasing property in Malta is a great asset to have, as well as a requirement to obtain Malta Citizenship. In the last few years, Malta real estate has been considerably growing and offers fantastic housing options such as apartments, farmhouses, terraced houses, villas, and bungalows.
Below is an estimation of Malta’s real estate current prices according to property types:
- €204,707 for a 1-bedroom studio
- €400,000+ for 3-bedroom apartments
- €723,000 for 3-bedroom duplexes
- €1.5 million for a 4-bedroom villa
American citizens can purchase a home in Malta in a pretty straightforward way. The following are key points to bear in mind:
- Before purchasing a property in Malta, real estate due diligence is necessary since this procedure can reveal if the property has debts or other issues.
- Working with a real estate firm is recommended for you to be certain that the price you pay is reasonable.
- A preliminary agreement will be completed along with a down payment for the property.
- The Acquisition of Immovable Property permit, or AIP, is required for American citizens to purchase real estate in Malta. Upon payment of the property, you will also need proof of your bank transfer.
- A notary then examines and signs all of the paperwork.
Expat communities in Malta
Due to the high quality of life it offers, Malta is very popular among expats. While there are few Americans in Malta, there is a large community of British, Australians, and European expatriates. There are always plenty of activities organized to connect and meet like-minded individuals such as lunches, lectures, and walks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Moving to Malta from the US
How to relocate to Malta from the US?
In order to relocate to Malta from the US you can either apply to the Malta Global Residency Program or to the new and updated Malta Citizenship by Investment Program, which is a citizenship by naturalization scheme.
What are the best places to live when moving to Malta from the US?
Some of the best places to live in Malta for US expats are Valletta, St. Paul, Victoria, Mdina, and Birgu.
Are the costs of living in Malta expensive for US expats?
The cost of living in Malta is one of the lowest in Europe. It is considerably cheaper than the cost of living in the USA.
Can I retire in Malta as a US expat?
Provided you obtain residency or Malta citizenship, you can retire in Malta as a US expat. Malta is a fantastic and popular place for retirees as it has a very high and affordable quality of life, as well as an excellent healthcare system.
How can I get the Malta passport as a US citizen?
As a US citizen, you can obtain the Malta passport by naturalization, marriage, or through the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program.
Is Malta a good place for Americans to live?
Malta is well-liked among American retirees. The country is among the top places to retire abroad since it is in close proximity to the continent, has a lovely environment, where there is a widespread use of the English language, and a laid-back lifestyle. These features are highly appreciated by American expats in Malta.
Where do American expats live in Malta?
The greatest areas for American expats to live in Malta include Birgu, St. Paul, Victoria, Mdina, and Valletta.
How long can an American live in Malta?
With a current passport, citizens of the United States are permitted to travel to Malta for up to 90 days every 180 days. You will be given a Schengen short-stay C-Visa upon arrival.
Since Americans are non-EU nationals, if they wish to stay longer in Malta they must apply for both a work permit and a residency permit, and the two procedures are related. A job offer is usually forthcoming, and the application procedure will begin based on it. EU individuals do not require a job offer to settle in Malta, in contrast to non-EU nationals.