Second citizenship

Moving to Malta: what are the benefits of Malta investment immigration

The main reason wealthy people choose Malta for immigration is an opportunity to move to one of the EU countries in several months. For example, obtaining a residence permit under the Global Residence Programme takes 3—4 months. In comparison, getting a residence permit in France, Germany, or The Netherlands may be much more difficult.

To move to Malta, wealthy foreigners may take advantage of immigration programmes: Malta Global Residence Programme and Malta Permanent Residence Programme. They allow obtaining a residence permit and permanent residence, respectively. Investors can also apply for citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.

Benefits and requirements of Malta investment immigration

How to immigrate to Malta by investment

An investor interested in Malta immigration must be a well-to-do person over 18 years old without convictions or visa refusals. They can confirm the legality of income and financial viability and are ready to fulfil the program’s conditions.

Investors can obtain a residence permit in Malta for an investment of around €30,000, including renting a home and paying taxes annually. Permanent residence can be obtained after an investment of €150,000 or more. Citizenship is granted to investors who had a residence permit for three years and invested at least €690,000. If the investment amount is higher, citizenship may be granted after a year of residence.

Comparison of conditions for the investors: Malta residence, PR and citizenship

StatusMalta immigration rules
A residence permit under The Malta Global Residence ProgrammeExpenses: €30,000+
Conditions:
1. Rent of real estate for €8,750 if it is located in the south of Malta or the island of Gozo, or €9,600 per year in other regions. Or purchase real estate worth €220,000 if it is located in the south of Malta or €275,000 in other areas.
2. Payment of a one-time administrative fee of €6,000 or €5,500 if the property is located in the south of Malta.
3. Annual payment of a tax on foreign income at a rate of 15%; the minimum sum is €15,000. The first payment is made upon registration of a status.
4. Moving to Malta is optional, but the investor must spend less than 183 days a year in any other country.
A permanent residence permit under The Malta Permanent Residence ProgrammeExpenses: €150,000+
Conditions:
1. Payment of a one-time administrative fee of €40,000.
2. Rent of real estate worth €10,000 or €12,000 per year or purchase of real estate worth €300,000 or €350,000 depending on the location: the minimum price is lower in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo. After five years of maintaining the status, you can rent or purchase housing without any restrictions on value.
3. Non-refundable contribution to the state fund; €28,000 or €58,000 depending on the rental or purchase of the real estate.
4. Donation to a non-governmental, non-profit organisation — €2,000 €.
5. Confirmation of assets worth €500,000, of which €150,000 are financial assets.
6. Relocation to Malta is optional.
Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment Expenses: €690,000+
Conditions:
1. A non-refundable contribution to the national fund is €600,000 if the investor plans to submit the citizenship application after 36 months. Or €750,000 if you plan to apply for citizenship after 12 months. Another €50,000 must be paid for each family member, except for the investor himself.
2. Rent of real estate worth €16,000 per year or purchase of real estate worth €700,000. After five years of maintaining the status, you can rent or purchase housing without any restrictions on value.
3. A charitable contribution of €10,000.
4. Passing Eligibility Test for all family members over 18 years of age.
5. Immigrating to Malta after getting citizenship is optional.

Receiving Malta citizenship is the most expensive and time-consuming of all the options. It also requires investors to have a residence permit in Malta for one or three years beforehand. Still, it is quite a benefit: with a residence permit, you may live in Malta and travel visa-free to the Schengen Area.

To apply for a residence permit, permanent residence, or citizenship, an investor needs the help of a licensed agent experienced in Malta investment immigration.

Aside from the investor, family members can also get a residence permit or citizenship. This includes spouses, children, and parents. Children over 18 and parents must be principally dependent on the investor. Age restrictions also depend on the status the investor applies for. 

Family members who can obtain a status

Status in MaltaInvestor’s family members
Residence permitSpouse
Children under 25
Parents, grandparents
Siblings
Permanent residenceSpouse
Children without age restrictions
Children of any age, not married if over 18
Parents and grandparents
CitizenshipSpouse
Children under 29, not married if over 18
Parents and grandparents over 55

Benefits of Malta residence permit or citizenship 

Wealthy people choose Malta investment immigration to gain freedom of travel, develop international business and find a favourable tax regime. Additionally, a Malta residence permit or citizenship allows you to enter the country even in conditions of closed borders.

Key benefits of the Maltese statuses

BenefitsResidence permit in MaltaPermanent residence in MaltaMalta сitizenship
Visa-free travelTo the Schengen states for 90 days in 180To the Schengen states for 90 days in 180More than 180 countries, including the UK, the USA and Japan
Living in Malta or other countriesOpportunity to live, study and do business in MaltaOpportunity to live and do business in MaltaOpportunity to live, work, study and do business in Malta or any other country in the EU
Access to the European quality health and educational system
Tax benefits
Reduced income tax rates: 15% on income earned abroad, 0% on income abroad and not transferred to Malta
A life-long status for investors and their family members

Also, the Malta Global Residence Programme is the most affordable path to a residence permit for investors: the minimum investment amount is about €30,000, including the rent of an apartment and an annual tax. 

Benefit of moving to Malta: a warm climate

A promenade in Sliema, a town on the northeast coast of Malta. The climate there is warm, as it is in the whole country: in summer, the air warms up to an average of 30℃, and the water is up to 26℃

Moving to Malta: enjoy plenty of restaurants and cafes

Valletta, the capital of Malta, offers a variety of restaurants with Maltese and foreign cuisines. In 2022 two Valletta restaurants, Noni and Under Grain, have a one-Michelin star status

Moving to Malta, a country with a rich history

A street in Valletta, the capital of Malta. The city was founded in 1566, and you can see historical buildings of different centuries in its narrow streets

How to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment

Malta citizenship can be obtained only by naturalisation. For that, an individual must have a residence permit and live in Malta for a particular time. 

Wealthy people can apply for Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment.  The process consists of several essential steps.

  1. Preliminary Due Diligence. Investors must turn to licensed agents to apply for Malta citizenship. The agent conducts a preliminary Due Diligence: they check the information about the applicants through law and business databases and on the internet. Based on these data, a licensed agent concludes whether it is possible to get Malta citizenship or if it’s better to choose another option.
  2. Police clearance. The police check all the applicants over 12 against the Europol and the Interpol databases.
  3. Gathering of all required documents. At this step, a licensed agent’s lawyers help the investor collect the necessary documents for a residence permit. Also, the investor needs to rent or buy a property and get health care insurance. 
  4. Biometrics. An applicant needs to come to Malta to submit biometrics. It must be done no later than six months after the police clearance. After that, the applicants submit the documents for a residence permit.
  5. Collecting residence permits. They are issued 14 days after the application is submitted. The residence permit is valid for 36 months.
  6. Gathering and submitting documents for the Eligibility Test. The application must be submitted within 12 months after receiving a residence permit.
  7. Eligibility Test is a Due Diligence check. The applicants’ biography, business and origins of funds are strictly checked. The Eligibility Test lasts for about 120—150 days. If the application is approved, investors apply for citizenship.
  8. Fulfilling all the conditions. This includes an investment of €600,000—€750,000 to a state fund, a donation of €10,000 to the charity, and renting or buying property. An applicant must also prove their connection to Malta, and living there for some period of time is the only way to do it.
  9. Biometrics and taking oaths. It must be done within six months after receiving approval from the Minister.
  10. Collecting passports in Malta. The passport can be collected in the passport department of Malta four days after submitting biometrics. 

Requirements for ordinary naturalisation are different and depend on each case. 

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Due Diligence process in Malta

Each investor interested in immigration and living in Malta must undergo Due Diligence. Maltese checks are one of the most strict and meticulous in the world. They consist of four steps. 

Preliminary Due Diligence by the licensed agent. The agent checks all the documents provided by the applicant and tries to foresee the questions that can arise during the primary Due Diligence. Lawyers attach required documents to answer them. Then all the documents are sent to the department responsible for granting residence or citizenship.

Main Due Diligence by the government department responsible for permanent residence or citizenship. The government department starts a deep examination of all the submitted documents and the applicant’s personality. It checks the reputation of the investor and their family members and looks for any instances of visa, residence permit, or citizenship rejections. It also examines the sources of wealth belonging to the applicant.

The department submits a request to the licensed agent if it needs additional documents. It retards the process. Therefore, it is essential to submit all the necessary documents at once. 

To make a decision, the department must receive conclusions from international organisations and independent companies. 

Due Diligence checks by Interpol and Europol. Interpol and Europol confirm that the applicant has no criminal records and is not prosecuted in any country. They submit their conclusions to the department responsible for citizenship. 

Due Diligence checks by international compliance specialists. International compliance specialists from independent companies look through the applicant’s biography and check their documents one more time. Then they send their conclusion to the department responsible for citizenship.

Due Diligence risk factors

Several factors can put an application at the risk of not being accepted. They include:

  1. Identification. Some countries of origin may put an applicant at the risk of denial, for example, China, Kazakhstan or Arab states. The examiners also check in which countries the applicant resided before. 
  2. Business and corporate affiliations. The examiners consider the type of business and industry it is working in. Some of them are examined more strictly than others: for example, those producing gas and oil or making cryptocurrency investments.
  3. Political exposure. The applicant is at the risk of denial if they were a politician or civil servant or were under sanctions. 
  4. Legal and regulatory matters. The examiners check whether the applicant has a criminal record or has participated in trials. 
  5. Reputation. This category requires checking whether any negative information about the applicant is circulating on the Internet or in the media. 

Some risks may be neutralised if the submitted documents provide complete and transparent information on the applicant and their income. If you want to find out if you can pass the Due Diligence successfully, please answer ten questions in our test to find out the main points of the check and evaluate your chances.

Other ways to immigrate to Malta

You can get a residence permit without investment, but only a residence permit by investment would not oblige you to move to Malta.

At the same time, renting or purchasing housing must indicate the registration address for any residence permit.

Non-investment ways to obtain a residence permit in Malta:

  1. Employment. Malta immigration for skilled employees requires a contract or a job offer from a Maltese company.
  2. Education at a university. A student residence permit is issued based on a study agreement concluded with the university.
  3. Family reunification. This type of residence permit can be obtained if the applicant’s spouse or other close relatives are citizens of Malta.
  4. Marriage. A spouse of a Maltese citizen can obtain a residence permit.
  5. Birth and descent. An individual can obtain a residence permit by birth or descent if they were born in Malta or their mother or father was a citizen of Malta at the time of the individual’s birth. 
  6. Business. To profit from a Malta business immigration, an applicant must register a company with the required share capital.
  7. Refugees and political asylum. Those seeking asylum must prove that it is dangerous for them to stay in the country of their former residence.

From the moment of obtaining a residence permit, it is necessary to comply with the Malta immigration requirements of not living in the country for more than 183 days a year. As a result, the applicant becomes a tax resident of Malta.

ABesides a Malta investment visa, there are five ways to get a residence permit in Malta: employment, education, family reunification, business, investment
St Julian’s is a coastal town in the central region of Malta. It is popular among tourists, and some foreigners choose it for residing when they get a residence permit

Tax conditions in Malta for individuals with dual citizenship

Malta residents pay taxes on:

  • wage, salary and other income received from labour activity;
  • profit from business activities;
  • dividends, interest, royalties and other investment income, including rental income;
  • pensions and regular receipts.

There are no taxes on property, but if you decide to sell it, you would need to pay a 5 to 8% tax. 

The income tax rate depends on the individual’s total income and marital status. It may vary from 0 to 35%.

Income tax rates in Malta for unmarried people

Income (€)Rate
0 – 9,100 0%
9,101 – 14,50015%
14,501 – 60 00025%
Over 60,00135%

Income tax rates in Malta for married people 

Income (€)Rate
0 – 12,7000%
12,701 – 21,20015%
21,201 – 60,00025%
Over 60,00035%

Income tax rates in Malta for people with children 

Income (€)Rate
0 – 10,5000%
10,501 – 15,80015%
15,801 – 60,00025%
Over 60,00035%

Malta has double tax avoidance agreements with 81 countries; Egypt, India, Morocco, and many others are among them. These agreements help individuals with dual citizenship avoid double taxation on their income. 

If you want to obtain a residence permit or citizenship in Malta but cannot decide on the program, please contact Immigrant Invest. Our experts will carefully study your situation and offer the best solution for your tasks. Immigrant Invest provides full legal support from the start until the return on investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to migrate to Malta?

There are several ways to get Malta resident permits: employment, education, business, and marriage. Depending on your situation, you will need to provide the necessary documents and meet the requirements. For example, rent an apartment, make an investment, sign a contract with an employer and fulfil other conditions. 

After you gather all the documents, you must submit them to the agency. When your application is approved, you will receive an invitation to take your fingerprints. Then you will be granted a residence permit.

How much does relocating to Malta cost?

The cost depends on the type of residency you choose. 

If you apply for the Malta Global Residence Programme, you will need to spend €30,000+, and if you apply for the Malta Permanent Residence Programme — €150,000+.

If you’re planning to get citizenship, your spending will be around €1,000,000+. 

Malta citizenship allows visa-free travel to 180+ countries and territories, run a business in a European country and benefit from high-quality medical and education systems for an unlimited time.  

With a residence and permanent residence permit, investors can visit Schengen countries visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180 days and live in Malta for the duration of their residency card. 

How much do you need to invest in Malta for citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment?

To get Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment, you need to invest in the National Development and Social Fund €600,000 if you plan to apply three years after getting your residence permit. If you want to do it after one year, you would need to invest €750,000. 

Other spending includes investing €10,000 in charity and renting real estate worth €16,000 per year. Instead of renting a house, investors can also purchase it. The cost of the property must be at least €700,000.

Is it easy to get a residence permit in Malta?

When applying for each type of residence permit, one needs to meet requirements and provide necessary documents. A licensed agency will help figure out Malta immigration policy and support the whole process of immigration to Malta. 

 

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Moving to Malta: what are the benefits of Malta investment immigration