Golden Visa Update: Residency Program Malta

Golden Visa Update Malta

The residency program Malta is among the most popular global residency programmes due to the low cost of living on the island and its attractive environment.

Be a first mover and lift the potential of investment immigration freedom! An attractive location in Europe, visa-free access to the Schengen area, great healthcare, beneficial tax regulations, and an amazing lifestyle await you!

Immigration Explorer has all the golden visa updates 2021 on Malta, one of the best countries for expats and entrepreneurs. Especially for investors from Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Benefits of a Malta Residency

Malta, an EU & Schengen member, is a gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy). Its residents are multicultural and very welcoming. The political environment is stable and the economy continues to flourish.

Take advantage of a high standard of living in combination with a safe and accessible home base. Read up on all the perks of living in Malta on our country page.

Taxation

Individuals and corporations benefit from Malta’s favorable tax regime and many double tax treaties that the country offers. 

Personal income tax rates vary from 0-35%. Malta’s personal tax is based on a remittance system of taxation. Residents who are not domiciled in Malta are only taxed on income arising in Malta; foreign-sourced income is only taxed if remitted to Malta.

The corporate tax rate is 35%. However, upon distribution of profits to its shareholders, these shareholders are eligible to claim a full or partial refund of the taxes paid by the company. In Malta, there is no gift tax, inheritance tax, or wealth tax.

  • Taxation in Malta of residents: intention of residing in Malta indefinitely or physical presence in the country of at least 183 days
  • Taxation in Malta of non-domiciled individuals: only income and gains made in Malta must be taxed on remittance basis; minimum ~ 5,900 USD (5,000 EUR)

Healthcare

Malta is among the EU countries with the highest healthcare quality. People who work in the country and pay social security are eligible for free medical care through public health insurance. Besides, private insurance is very affordable.

Now, we will take a look at the Malta permanent residence program (MPRP). As a second step, we will reveal all you need to know about the route to Malta Citizenship for Exceptional Services in Malta.

Malta Residency By Investment

Get permanent and unlimited residence in Malta for you and your family. This includes access to the Schengen area. There is no minimum residency requirement and no language test. Plus, English is widely spoken by 90% of the population.

Residency Requirements

The “Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)” is effective from 29 March 2021. It was formerly known as the “Malta Residence and Visa Programme (MRVP)”. The main difference in the new MPRP program is that there is no investment in bond options anymore.

The MPRP has the following requirements with the financial investment for the Malta residency starting from ~176,000 USD (150,000 EUR) through five years of rental income, the charity donation, and the government fee.

  1. Real Estate Investment: Property in Malta (buy or rent)
    1. Rental with at least ~12,000 USD (10,000 EUR) respectively ~14,000 USD (12,000 EUR) income per year, depending on the location. The contract must be valid for at least 5 years. Government Fee: If renting a property, an additional ~115,000 USD (98,000 EUR) must be paid to the Maltese Government in two stages: ~12,000 USD (10,000 EUR) with the submission of the application (non-refundable). The rest is to be paid upon approval of the application. An additional fee of ~8,800 USD (7,500 EUR) applies for family members (parents, grandparents) included in the application.
    2. Purchase of real estate worth at least ~354,000 USD (300,000 EUR) or ~412,000 USD (350,000 EUR), depending on the location. You must keep the property for a minimum of 5 years. Government Fee: If purchasing a property, an additional ~80,000 USD (68,000 EUR) must be paid to the government in Malta. The same two stages as explained above apply.
  2. Personal capital/savings
    1. The applicant needs to show that he/she has at least ~589,000 USD (500,000 EUR) in capital, out of which ~177,000 USD (150,000 EUR) should be financial assets.
  3. Philanthropic contribution
    1. ~2,300 USD (2,000 EUR) minimum donation to an officially registered local philanthropic, cultural sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic NGO is required.
  4. Restrictions
    1. Citizens from Afghanistan, Iran, North Korean, Congo, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen cannot apply. 
    2. The main applicant has to be at least 18 years of age. Eligible dependents refers to spouse, children, parents, and grandparents (certain conditions apply).
    3. Keep in mind that with the Malta residence permit you are not allowed to work (except through a work permit). However, you can set up a business and pay yourself dividends.

A golden visa expert like Immigration Explorer can connect you to the most attractive investment property options to get your residency in Malta! Now, let’s look at the application process in more detail.

How to Apply

According to the government of Malta, the application must be prepared and submitted through a licensed immigration agency. 

A golden visa expert like Immigration Explorer can connect you to the best agencies on the island with vast experience and networks to prepare and submit your application quickly and efficiently.

To apply for the Residency Program Malta, you will need:

  • a cover letter
  • form MRVP6 (clearance form): must be completed by the main applicant and all dependents (12 years up). A copy of the biometric data of all passports must be attached to this form.
  • form MRVP1 (application form): must be completed by the main applicant only. The Commissioner for Oaths must sign, stamp and date the form.
  • form MRVP4 (adult dependent declaration): must be completed for every adult dependent.
  • form MRVP2 (personal details, funds & wealth): must be completed by the main applicant and all dependents. 
  • form MRVP3 (medical details): must be completed by the main applicant and all dependents.
  • supporting documents: bank statements, evidence of employment or business ownership, passports, birth certificates, military records, marriage certificates, etc. These background checks by the Malta government serve to prevent money laundering, which is a good sign of due diligence.

Next, let’s take a look at the timeline.

Timeline

The Maltese residence can be obtained in as little as 3 months (4 weeks preparation, 4 months processing, 4 weeks compliance time).

The application for the Residency Program Malta can be submitted remotely and there is no need for the applicant to visit the island beforehand (only once your application has been accepted). Once the documentation is submitted, the agency will conduct the due diligence on the application.

At this point, the non-refundable fee of ~12,000 USD (10,000 EUR) is due. Once the application is approved, the remaining investment balance must be settled.

If approved, the residence card is issued for five years. The respective EU residence card is renewed every 5 years as well.

In case, the applicant wishes to apply for Malta citizenship afterward, he/she can do so. Next, we will look at the citizenship route in more detail next.

Malta Citizenship Route

After living in Malta continuously for five years, individuals can apply for Maltese Citizenship through naturalization. The Maltese passport is the 7th-strongest passport in the world and Malta allows dual citizenship status.

As of 2021, there is an accelerated way of obtaining citizenship. This Malta Citizenship route is called “Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment”.

What’s great about the citizenship option is that it comes with the right to live, work and study in Malta and the EU. It also comes with 184 visa-free destinations, including the US, Canada, and the UK.

Under the new citizenship program, there are now two faster routes for naturalization through investment (3 years and 1 year). Besides, a donation to charity was introduced, whereas the investment in bonds was removed.

Requirements

The Malta accelerated citizenship program starts from ~811,000 USD (690,000 EUR) and has the following requirements:

  1. Direct investment
    1. 3-year route: ~707,000 USD (600,000 EUR)
    2. 1-year route (fast-track): ~883,000 USD (750,000 EUR) 
    3. Additional cost for each dependent: ~59,000 USD (50,000 EUR)
  2. Real estate investment
    1. This investment must be SEPARATE from the investment made under the Residency Malta Program, if that’s how Malta residency was acquired.
    2. Rent a property for at least ~18,800 USD (16,000 EUR) per year with a minimum 5-year contract.
    3. Purchase a property of at least ~824,000 USD (700,000 EUR) and keep it for at least 5 years.
  3. Philanthropic contribution
    1. ~12,000 USD (10,000 EUR) minimum donation to an officially registered local philanthropic, cultural sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic NGO is required.

Timeline

Your citizenship application starts with a visit to Malta to submit a residency application. After the residency card is issued, the citizenship eligibility application can be submitted. If this is approved, after 12 months or 36 months (depending on the route you choose), the full citizenship application can be submitted.

Alternatively, you can also apply for citizenship after 5 years of residency (without additional investments). For this, you first submit an eligibility application, and if this is approved you can submit your full citizenship application.

Apply for Maltese citizenship today!

Who Should Apply for a Second Residency And Passport? 

International HNWIs, business owners and entrepreneurs as well as retirees are the main groups to benefit from Maltese citizenship.

High-Net-Worth Individuals

HNWIs and their families can improve their standard of living and protect their financial assets at the same time. Malta is one of the best countries for tax optimization at a low cost in comparison. The obtained real estate can serve as a place of residence or to generate rental income through leasing (after the first 5 years).

Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Malta’s diverse culture and ease of doing business make it ideal for all types of business ventures. The corporate tax rate is 35% on locally-sourced income, whereas income sourced from abroad is taxed at a flat rate of 15%. 

With the right structure, this rate can even be reduced down to 5%. For example, upon distribution of the profits to the company shareholders, these shareholders are eligible for a refund on part of the tax. 

Income and capital gains may also be fully exempt from tax in Malta with a respective dual-tier structure – a Malta Trading Company (lower tier) and a Malta Holding Company (higher tier). If all of this sounds too complicated, the experts at Immigration Explorer are here to help.

Retirees

Malta with its sunny and mild climate year-round is an ideal place for retirees and pensioners. EU nationals can benefit from the Malta retirement tax program. 

It allows retirees to be eligible for a personal tax liability of 15% on any foreign income that is remitted to Malta. Besides, the high-quality healthcare in the country puts retirees and pensioners at ease.

The Takeaway – Residency Program Malta 

Enjoy the benefits of a second residency and passport in the EU. The Residency Program Malta is one of the most popular residency programs to gain more financial and personal freedom. 

The program is rather affordable in comparison to other investment immigration routes. Plus, with a Maltese passport, you can travel visa-free to the Schengen area and enjoy many more benefits.

Your next step: Contact Immigration Explorer for your FREE consultation.

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