Malta Immigration 2022

Malta is a spectacular country to live in with exceptional landscapes, friendly locals, freedom of speech, and property rights, there are many advantages to seeking residency or citizenship in Malta. Indeed, Malta immigration is open to high net worth individuals, and the pathway to residency or citizenship through naturalization by investment is fairly straightforward. 

If you are a resident or citizen of Malta you can enjoy all the perks of living in a European Union (EU) member country. With visa free access across the Schengen Area and the EU providing you with greater financial and personal freedoms for you and your family, Malta has proved to be a popular place for incoming investors. Indeed, obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence, or citizenship in France, Germany, or many other EU countries is much more difficult in comparison. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with important information on Malta immigration, including

  • How to immigrate to Malta in exchange for investment
  • A comparison of the different investment programs available to you
  • Non-investment options for Malta immigration
  • Opportunities for investors and the benefits of immigration to Malta

How to immigrate to Malta in exchange for investment

For investors thinking about immigrating to Malta in exchange for an investment, there are three options for you:

1.You can secure a residence permit for €30,000, provided you meet the criteria. 

2. You can obtain permanent residence under the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) for €120,000, provided you meet the criteria.

3. Citizenship by naturalization is granted for a minimum investment of €690,00 into the county’s economic development under the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) program, which is more accurately referred to as the Maltese Citizenship Act Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations.

This scheme requires an exceptional direct investment + an investment into real estate + a philanthropic donation. Applicants must maintain an immovable residence in Malta for at least five years. This can be accomplished by either purchasing a home in Malta for €700,000 or more and keeping ownership for at least five years or by leasing a house for at least five years at a minimum annual rent of €16,000. To be eligible, the investor must have a clean criminal record, be over the age of 18, and prove the legality of the income and his or her financial viability while being ready to fulfill all the terms and conditions of the program. 

Those who want to get Maltese citizenship by investing in the country must meet several investing requirements. An investor has no choice but to select whether to buy or rent a home or obtain a passport after one or three years. Alongside the investor, family members are also eligible. Family members include the primary applicant’s spouse, children, and parents. The children and parents must be financially dependent on the investor, and depending on the program certain age restrictions may apply. 

Investment amounts for applying for a Maltese citizenship

Condition  Passport after one year Passport after three years
Investor contribution to the state fund €750,000 €600,000
Real estate purchase €700,000 €700,000
Contribution to the state fund for relatives €50,000 €50,000 
Charity donation €10,000 €10,000
Rental property for 5 years €16,000 per year €16,000 per year

It is advantageous to acquire property in Malta. As an example, before the pandemic, rent ranged from 5 to 20% per year, with costs increasing by 5—10% per year, and it can be sold with a return on investment after five years.

There are three main ways to immigrate to Malta, and below we`ll go over them in more detail.

       1. What is the Malta Global Residence Program

The Malta Global Residence Program draws on Malta’s record for successfully attracting expats looking for alternative housing on the European Union’s warm Mediterranean island. Malta’s participation in and full implementation of the Schengen Area Treaty adds to the allure, as does the ease with which holders of the Malta Global Residence Program permit can travel inside the Schengen Area. The program is intended to attract individuals who are not EU, EEA, or Switzerland nationals, nor long-term residents.

Eligibility for the Malta Global Residence Program:

  • Buy or rent a residence;
  • Have a valid travel document;
  • Application is available for all nationals and their families;
  • The minimal annual tax for all family is €15,000;
  • Self-sufficient economically;
  • Health insurance by the EU covering all the family.

Non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss residents may apply under this program. The primary applicant and his spouse, financially dependent ascendants, and other non-family members and dependent relatives who are demonstrated to be genuine members of the household can all be included in a single application. Applicants must demonstrate financial self-sufficiency and have appropriate health insurance. Children under the age of 25 are automatically eligible.

       2. What is Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)

After completing a comprehensive application, the Malta Permanent Residency Program (MPRP) provides permanent resident status in Malta within 12 weeks. Malta has one of Europe’s most dynamic economies. As a result, this program is appropriate for those who have sufficient funds and wish to increase their mobility and quality of life.

The program is one of a kind among the Golden Visas in the world because it provides permanent residency from the outset. There are also no minimum physical stay requirements in Malta for the program. Applicants and their families can reside in Malta indefinitely under this scheme, however, they need to renew the permanent residence card every five years. They will also get lifetime access to the 26 Schengen nations.

Under some conditions, citizenship can be awarded in 5 to 6 years. The program is cost-effective since it includes means-testing, such as the renting option. A family of four, for example, would pay less than €40,000 per person over five years if they rented.

To be eligible for the program and receive a Malta permanent residence card, an individual must make three valid investments: real estate, a non-refundable contribution, and a donation. In terms of real estate investing, there are two options: investors can buy real estate or lease it out through a rental agreement. Regardless of the choice you select, the benefits are permanent.

       3. What is Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES)

This program grants a Maltese citizenship certificate to foreign individuals and their families who contribute to the Malta economic development fund and fulfill all the legislative conditions.

If candidates complete the citizenship program eligibility standards, CES leads to Maltese citizenship and a second passport. In other words, it is simply an upgraded version of Malta’s previous citizenship by investment plan.

Eligibility for Malta citizenship by investment

Some prerequisites must be met to be eligible for CES:

  • Meet all of the applicable investment requirements;
  • 18 years of age or older;
  • Have a clean criminal record and be willing to go through a due diligence procedure;
  • To be not from one of the “prohibited” countries.

Family members who can obtain a status

For a residence permit: Spouse, children under the age of 25, parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters. 

For permanent residence: Spouse or de-facto partner, children under the age of 18, including adopted children, children over 18 and under 29 who are completely or largely dependent on the main applicant or spouse, children over 18 and under 29 who is considered a person with a disability, and a parent of the main applicant provided they are completely or largely dependent on the primary applicant or spouse.

For citizenship by naturalization: Spouse or de-facto partner, unmarried dependents under 18 years old, parents or grandparents who are fully dependent on the primary applicant. 

 

Comparison of conditions for investors

There are three different options for Malta immigration by investment. A comparison of the routes to permanent residence by investment and citizenship by investment in Malta can be found in the table below. Note that you will need to make three separate donations for the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) and the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) Program.

Program Status granted Eligibility conditions
Malta Global Residence Program Residence permit Economically self-sufficient individuals who rent or own a permanent address in Malta are formally recognized as residents for tax purposes. The conditions are: (1.) a one-off administrative fee of €6,000 (2.) rent real estate worth €8,750 per year or purchase real estate worth €220,000, and (3.) annual payment of income tax (rate of 15%), with the first payment upon registration of status (4.) living in Malta is optional but you cannot spend more than 183 days in other districts.
Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) Permanent residence You will need to make three donations (1.) a real estate investment consisting of a rental (12,000 minimum annual rent) or a purchase of at least 350,000, both of which must be held for a period of 5 years. (2.) a non-refundable contribution of  €28,000 if purchasing property OR €58,000 if renting property, and (3.) a €2,000 donation to a local NGO. If the investor opts for the property rental route, it’ll cost the investor €120,000 over 5 years (note: you can save 10k if investing in South Malta/Gozo). Alternatively, if the investor goes for the property purchase route, it’ll cost the investor €380,000 (note: you can save 50k if investing in South Malta/Gozo).

More information on the MPRP can be found in our article here.

Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) Citizenship by naturalization You must make three separate investments. (1.) Make an exceptional direct investment of a minimum of €600,000 or €750,000 for the main applicant, depending on the residence period selected (12 or 36 months). (2.) buy a residential property lease for a minimum of €16,000 per year for a period of 5 years or the purchase of a property for a minimum of €700,000 that must be kept for at least 5 years. (3.) Donate €10,000 to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society as approved by the Community Malta Agency (CMA).

More information on CES can be found in our article here

 

Other ways to immigrate to Malta

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There are other means to secure a resident permit in Malta, without having to invest in the country. Here we’ll run over some of the non-investment routes to Maltese residency. 

Note that for any type of residence permit, you will need to rent or purchase property in Malta so that you can indicate the registration address. 

  • Employment: A job offer or employment contract from a Maltese company is required for you to secure a Malta immigration work permit.
  • Enrollment at the university: A residence permit for students issued if they have been accepted to study at a Maltese university. 
  • Family reunification: If your spouse or another close relative is a Maltese citizen.
  • Run a business: Some permits support entrepreneurs if you want to run a  business in Malta. Note that there are fairly high requirements for this.
  • Highly skilled worker: If you are a non-EU citizen, you can secure residency through the Malta skilled immigration pathway. 

Stages of obtaining Malta citizenship by investment 

  • Agent selection and preliminary check

The route to citizenship in Malta begins with the assistance of a licensed representative. Investors are not allowed to submit applications or papers on their behalf, according to the law.

Agents assist investors at every stage of the project. Lawyers help in preparing the paperwork, assist with insurance arrangements, find rental or purchase property, and adhere to all investing requirements following the regulations.

  • Getting a residence permit

Investors must apply for a residency permit. According to Europol and Interpol examinations of investors and their families above the age of 12, they have to provide personal documents, flat rental contracts, health insurance, and police clearance certificates.

The immigration investment lawyer assists in the preparation of all necessary paperwork and the acquisition of a residence visa for the entire family.

  • Eligibility Test

All investors and adult relatives listed in the application will pass due diligence procedures. This is to check the applicant’s background and source of income.

The verification documents must be submitted during your first year as a resident. This is also the program agent’s duty.

  • Documents for citizenship submission

If the due diligence procedure is positive, you will be able to apply for citizenship one to three years after getting your residence permit cards. Any modifications that have happened after the registration of the residence permit must be reported to the program department.

  • The investment condition fulfillment

The application will eventually be approved and the investor will be able to contribute to the funds, as well as confirm whether he or she has bought or rented properties in Malta.

  • Obtaining citizenship

Investors and their families take the oath, provide biometric information and receive a Malta passport.

During the citizenship procedure, you must have visited Malta at least twice. The first time is to apply for a residency permit. The second time – to pass the biometrics, take the oath and, finally, get a passport. Applicants may visit the country multiple times, for example, to pick the property to purchase.

Opportunities for Investors 

Investing in Malta provides high net worth individuals with a wide range of benefits, from increased mobility to a favorable tax regime. 

People are always looking  to reside in jurisdictions that ensure strong personal freedoms, good conditions for work, and overall high living standards. Families demand quick and simple access to effective healthcare that can save their lives. Entrepreneurs seek to operate in markets that are stable and where there are high growth possibilities, especially in the face of severe economic conditions. That is why residency in Malta seems to be an option. The Maltese passport offers attractive and quite easy conditions for securing these benefits  through investment, although the country has quite a strict due diligence process.

The proposition is at least attractive

Malta is an enticing place for investor migration, and there are several reasons why. Malta blends island living with European norms and a multicultural atmosphere. This is a Mediterranean archipelago located just south of Sicily. The nation has a moderate climate with over 300 days of sunlight, beautiful beaches, an active lifestyle, and rich history and tradition. In contrast, the country has highly regulated sectors, a robust economy, and participation in the Schengen Area, the European Union, and the Eurozone.

  • Location 

Malta’s strategic location and closeness to North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East allow the country to maintain strong connections with these critical regions, as well as fascinating marketplaces with various air and sea connections.

  • Healthcare 

Malta provides world-class healthcare services that are easily available through affordable health insurance. The country recorded remarkable Covid vaccination statistics that topped the EU tables – the outcome of a strategy that combined selecting for full allocation when purchasing vaccinations with a widespread understanding of the significance and advantages of getting vaccinated. At the height of the outbreak, health officials held daily public briefings to keep citizens informed, while also implementing general restrictions that helped slow the spread.

  • Safety

Malta is one of the world’s safest countries, with a low crime rate. This should appeal to families that wish to spend time in a safe atmosphere where their children can play outside and women may go jogging in the early morning knowing they will not be harmed.

  • Education 

With both Maltese and English being the official languages and languages of commerce, expats will have no trouble speaking with locals and settling there, working, and studying. Malta provides great educational options with a variety of governmental, religious, and independent schools, as well as a 400-year-old university and a college of arts and sciences.

  • Business

Entrepreneurs and investors who intend to get a second citizenship look for countries with stable and rising economies, strong government assistance, strict regulation, and significant industry demand. Malta possesses all of these features while maintaining consistently favorable credit agency ratings and leading the EU rankings for economic development. The government has a variety of intriguing business assistance organizations in place to assist entrepreneurs in starting or expanding their enterprises.

With its size and composition, Malta also serves as a fully-fledged test market for innovative products and services. Financial services, aviation, hotels, gambling, pharmaceuticals, marine, cinema, and the information industry are all thriving. These businesses benefit from a robust broadband infrastructure and e-government services in Malta.

Key benefits of Maltese statuses:

  • Visa-free travel to the EU and Schengen area: visit 170 countries visa-free, including Japan and the UK.
  • Live, study, and work in Malta: opportunities to live, study and work in Malta and the EU. 
  • Attractive return on investments: Dynamic real estate market with returnable rates.
  • Favorable tax regime: preferential tax rates.
  • Excellent travel opportunities: excellent air and sea connections to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • English-speaking country: a strong, reputable network of international schools and universities.
  • Quality of life: high performing economy, rich culture, and history.
  • Health system: Very good national healthcare system for residents.
  • Personal freedoms and sustainable development are highly regarded in Maltese society.

 

How we can help you

Moving to any country can be difficult, and investors can encounter many unexpected difficulties when applying for citizenship or residency. This is why it is a good idea to have a trusted expert on hand to provide you with personalized assistance throughout the process. 

Global Citizen Solutions are residency and citizenship specialists, offering a service that is tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Our team of experts will work diligently from start to finish to ensure that you have a successful application. Professionalism and integrity are at the core of all we do. 

A specialist can help you with the following:

  • Provide you with someone that you trust that will work solely on your behalf.
  • Reduce the hassle associated with the application and the application process.
  • Have insider knowledge and years of experience in the market.
  • Minimize the number of visits you will need to make to the designated country.

Let’s kickstart your application to obtain Maltese residency or Maltese citizenship by investment today. Or if you are still undecided on which route to take contact us today.

If you are looking to retire to Malta you can see our complete guide to retiring in Malta.

Frequently asked questions about Malta immigration:

How can I immigrate to Malta?

For Malta immigration, you can invest in the country to secure a residence permit, permanent residency (under the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)), or citizenship by naturalization (under the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) program, otherwise known as the Maltese Citizenship Act Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations). A residence permit will cost you €30,000, provided that you meet the requirements. 

Residency by investment is granted if you make three donations (1.) a direct investment, (2.) a non-refundable contribution of  €28,000 in purchasing property OR €58,000 if renting property, and (3.) a €2,000 donation into a local NGO. If the investor opts for the property rental route, it’ll cost the investor €120,000 over five years (you can save 10k if investing in South Malta/Gozo). Alternatively, if the investor goes for the property purchase route, it’ll cost the investor €380,000 (save 50k if investing in South Malta/Gozo). 

Citizenship is granted by naturalization if you make the following donations (1.) Make an exceptional direct investment of a minimum of €600,000 or €750,000 for the main applicant, depending on the residence period selected (12 or 36 months). (2.), buy a residential property lease for a minimum of €16,000 per year for a period of 5 years or the purchase of a property for a minimum of €700,000 that must be kept for at least 5 years. (3.) Donate €10,000 to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society as approved by the Community Malta Agency (CMA).

Non-investment routes to residency include being employed by a Maltese company, studying in a university in the country, having a spouse or other close relative that is a Maltese citizen, or running a business in Malta. 

Malta government immigration information can be found here on its website.

Is it easy to migrate to Malta?

Getting residency can be difficult as it is a respected program with a four-tier due diligence process to ensure only high-caliber individuals and their family members are accepted. This ensures the legitimacy of the investors that are welcomed to Malta. You will need to ensure that you follow the government of Malta immigration procedures and confirm your eligibility. 

The CMA (Community Malta Agency) is the Malta immigration office responsible for administering all citizenship-related matters in the country. The Central Visa Unit is the authority for the implementation of national visa policies.

How much money do I need to move to Malta?

Applicants need to contribute €600,000 or €750,000 to the Maltese government, donate €10,000 to national government charitable organizations, and rent or acquire qualified property in Malta for at least €700,000 or an annual rental of €16,000.

Is Malta a good country to migrate to?

According to the Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index, the Maltese passport is ranked 38th. Such a rate was calculated by the quality of life, enhanced mobility, and investment options indexes.


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