Second Citizenship
April 9, 2024
Reading Time: 10 min

Malta Digital Nomad Visa: how to get a residence permit and work remotely by the sea

Malta is a coastal country that is part of the EU, the Schengen Area, and the eurozone. Digital nomads receive a special residence permit to live by the Mediterranean Sea and work remotely.

To obtain a residence permit as a digital nomad, working in IT is unnecessary: an applicant can be a programmer, a designer, or an entrepreneur. Moving to Malta under the Nomad Residence Permit is possible with the family.

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Told how to get a residence permit in Malta for remote work

Malta Digital Nomad Visa

Malta Digital Nomad Visa: how to get a residence permit and work remotely by the sea

3 key benefits of the Malta Digital Nomad Visa, or the Malta Nomad Residence Permit

The Malta Digital Nomad Visa is an unofficial name for the Malta Nomad Residence Permit, NRP.

A foreigner can work as a staff member of a foreign company, freelance, or manage their own company. Entrepreneurs who run their own businesses are called self-employed in Malta. Applicants can only earn income from outside Malta.

The Residency Malta Agency reviews applications for the Nomad Residence Permit.

1. The right to live in the country for up to four years. The residence permit for digital nomads is valid for one year, with the right to renew it three times for the same period. To renew a residence permit, a foreigner must only spend 5 months a year in Malta.

The Malta Nomad Residence Permit does not provide the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. For permanent residence and citizenship, the time the foreigner lived in the country with a Malta remote work visa is not considered.

Maltese permanent residency is issued after 5 years of living in the country with another type of residence permit, for example, a work permit.

2. Visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. A digital nomad can spend up to 90 days within 180 days in other Schengen countries without additional visas.

3. Income tax exemption in Malta. The digital nomad doesn’t pay taxes on the income from remote work in another country unless they transfer it to a Maltese bank.

Double taxation arises if the digital nomad spends more than 183 days a year in Malta. In this case, the foreigner becomes a Maltese tax resident and must pay taxes in both the source country and Malta.

Taxes paid in the source country can be offset against taxes in the country of tax residence if the states have entered into a double taxation agreement, DTT.

Under new rules, effective December 7th, 2023, digital nomads pay income tax in Malta at a flat rate of 10% instead of a progressive scale of up to 35%. In this case, the digital nomad is exempt from paying foreign income tax in Malta for 12 months from receipt of the residence permit or January 1st, 2024, whichever date is later.

A non-domiciled tax resident with a Nomad Residence Permit must pay income tax of at least €5,000 in Malta if the family income exceeds €35,000 per year. The minimum tax is paid even if the income is not transferred to Malta, and a DTT is concluded between the countries.

Will you obtain Malta Nomad Residence Permit?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Malta Nomad Residence Permit?

Malta Digital Nomad Visa requirements

The application will be accepted from a foreigner over 18 from a country that is not part of the EU or the EEA. Malta also does not accept applications from citizens of:

  • Afghanistan,

  • Belarus,

  • Democratic Republic of Congo,

  • Iran,

  • North Korea,

  • Russia,

  • Somalia,

  • South Sudan,

  • Sudan,

  • Syria,

  • Yemen,

  • Venezuela.

The Malta Immigration Agency may revise the stop list of countries: exclude some or include others.

You don’t have to be an IT specialist to get a residence permit. A foreigner can work in any field: design, provide business consulting, or manage a company — from a marketplace to a factory.

The Malta Digital Nomad Visa does not give the right to conduct business in Malta, work for a Maltese company or provide services to Maltese clients as a freelancer.

The applicant’s income must be €3,500+ per month before taxes. The conditions for obtaining a visa indicate an income of at least €42,000 per year, but in practice, they check the average monthly income for the last 3 months.

Only the income from professional activities counts; dividends, interest on deposits, and income from rental real estate are excluded.

The family of the main applicant can also obtain residence permits. Eligible family members include:

  • a spouse in an official marriage or a partner, including the same-sex couples;

  • children under 18, including adopted;

  • children over 18 if unmarried and don’t have income of their own.

The number of family members on the application does not affect the minimum income requirement. An application for residence permits for family members can be submitted immediately or later.

Individual cost calculation of the Paraguay permanent residence

Individual cost calculation of the Paraguay permanent residence

Documents for obtaining a Malta Nomad Residence Permit

An applicant for a Digital Nomad Visa fills out a set form, attaches personal documents, and confirms employment and income.

Documents for residence permits are translated into English and notarised. Certified documents are legalised: it confirms the legal force of the document abroad. To do this, they put a special stamp — an apostille. Documents are apostilled only in the country where they were issued.

The following documents confirm information about the applicants:

  1. Completed application forms with information about the main applicant and family members receiving residence permits.

  2. A motivation letter explaining why the applicant wants to obtain a Malta residence permit. The letter lists the details of bank transactions related to income from work: salary, bonuses, and fees for services.

  3. Autobiography, or a CV — the applicant lists where they have worked and studied.

  4. Scans of all pages of the main applicant’s passports and family members' passports.

Applications must be completed in English online. The documents are printed, signed, and scanned.

Confirmation of place of work is done with one of the documents, depending on the category of the main applicant:

  • hired workers provide an employment contract. If the employment contract does not indicate the opportunity to work remotely, it is confirmed by a letter from the employer;

  • self-employed freelancers provide a service agreement that determines the list, content, and cost of work;

  • entrepreneurs provide an extract from the register of legal entities and the register of founders.

A necessary condition is that the contracts guarantee an average monthly income of €3,500+ for 5 months from submitting the visa application. For example, an employment contract is valid for at least another six months, or a service contract provides for fixed payments six months in advance.

Confirmation of income requires a bank statement for the last 3 months proving that the applicant has received an income of €3,500+ per month. The minimum amount includes salary, business income, and self-employment income.

The applicant downloads a statement from the banking application in PDF or scans a paper document. The Residency Malta Agency does not accept screenshots or edited files.

Documents of the applicant’s family members are the following:

  • for a spouse — a marriage certificate;

  • for an unregistered partnership — documents that confirm that the couple has been living together for at least two years;

  • for children — birth certificates;

  • for children over 18 — a notarised certificate that the child is financially or physically dependent on the main applicant;

  • a court decision regarding guardianship or adoption.

Notarised certificates from friends or neighbours, joint lease agreements, bank statements about a joint account, or mutual transfers are suitable to confirm an unregistered marriage.

If a child moves to Malta with only one parent, the applicant must provide a court decision to determine the child’s place of residence after divorce. If there is no court decision, for example, the parents have not divorced, the Residency Malta Agency will request additional documents individually.

If the main applicant or family members have changed their name, a certificate of name change is required. If one of the spouses changed their last name when registering the marriage, it is enough to provide a marriage certificate.

Additional documents after approval of the residence permit. The applicant confirms their place of residence in Malta and purchases health insurance for a year.

The place of residence is confirmed by a rental agreement or a reservation on Airbnb. For trips within the Schengen Area, additional travel insurance is purchased.

7 steps to obtaining a Malta Nomad Residence Permit

Getting a Malta Digital Nomad Visa takes at least 5 months. The applicant submits documents to the Residency Malta Agency online. The Agency reviews the application and notifies the digital nomad of the decision by email.

1

1+ weeks

Prepare documents

Documents are scanned into PDFs, each in a separate file.

2

1+ weeks

Submit documents and pay the application fee

The applicant submits documents to the Residency Malta Agency online.

The Agency checks the list and format of documents in the application, after which it issues an invoice for processing the application — €300 per person. After payment, the application is submitted for consideration.

3

Up to 6 weeks

Get approval for a residence permit

The Agency reviews the application and sends preliminary approval or refusal.

The application will be approved if the applicant meets the conditions and does not threaten national security or public order. They may be refused if the applicant was denied a Schengen visa or if he violated the law in one of the Schengen countries.

The reason for the refusal is not stated; the visa application can be re-applied for a year later.

4

Up to 4 weeks

Book accommodation in Malta and buy health insurance

The applicant informs the Agency of the address where they will live in Malta — it will be indicated in the residence permit card. It is enough to send a hotel or apartment reservation, for example, from an online service.

The applicant purchases health insurance for a year with coverage starting at €30,000 per person. The policy is sent to the agency by email.

5

2+ weeks

Obtain a visa to travel to Malta, if necessary

The applicant receives a national visa D for Malta based on the approval of the residence permit by the Immigration Agency. A visa is needed to enter the country and obtain a Malta Nomad Residence Permit.

Obtaining a D visa is unnecessary if a foreigner has a valid Schengen visa.

6

Up to 3 weeks

Come to Malta and submit biometrics

The foreigner arrives in Malta and notifies the Residency Malta Agency by email. The agency sends the appointment time to Identity Malta, where the applicant submits biometrics and documents for a residence permit card and pays a state fee of €27.5 per person.

7

2—3 weeks

Get residence permit cards

The applicant receives an email about the readiness of the residence permit cards. The letter indicates when and from which Identity Malta office they can be collected.

Getting a Malta residence permit by purchasing a property

Buyers of real estate in Malta can obtain residence permits or permanent residency, depending on the investment amount. Buying residential property for a residence permit is unnecessary; it can be rented for a long period. On the island of Gozo and in the south of Malta, investor property costs are lower than in other areas.

Additionally, the applicant pays an administrative fee and contributes to the National Development and Social Fund and a charitable organisation.

Residence permits and permanent residency allow one to live in Malta, travel without visas across the Schengen Area, and optimise taxes.

Minimum costs for Malta residency by investment

Expenses

Renting real estate

€8,750+ a year — in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo

€9,600+ a year — in the north or centre of Malta

€10,000+ a year — in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo

€12,000+ a year — in the north or centre of Malta

Purchasing real estate

€220,000+ — in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo

€275,000+ — in the north or centre of Malta

€300,000+ — in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo

€350,000+ — in the north or centre of Malta

Administration fee

€6,000 when renting or buying real estate in the north or centre of Malta

€5,500 when buying real estate in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo

€40,000 

Annual tax

€15,000+

Not charged

Contribution fee

Not charged

€58,000 when renting real estate

€28,000 when buying real estate

Charitable donation

Not charged

€2,000 

The investor can obtain Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment.

First, the foreigner receives a residence permit and undergoes a strict Eligibility Test. Then, they make mandatory contributions to the National Development and Social Fund and a Maltese non-profit organisation.

A residential address in Malta is also necessary: rented or purchased real estate is suitable.

Citizenship is granted one or three years after receiving a residence permit.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Best cities for digital nomads in Malta

Malta is a beautiful destination for digital nomads, offering a mix of rich history, stunning Mediterranean landscapes, and a growing digital infrastructure. Here are some of Malta’s best cities and areas for digital nomads.

Valletta. The capital city of Malta is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its historic charm, beautiful architecture, and a growing number of coworking spaces and cafes suitable for remote work.

Sliema. Located just across the bay from Valletta, Sliema is a popular destination for expats and digital nomads. It offers a vibrant atmosphere, seaside promenades, and many dining and entertainment options.

St Julian’s is another coastal town close to Sliema and offers a range of amenities for digital nomads, including coworking spaces, restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene.

Gzira is a quieter option near Sliema, with affordable accommodations and good access to the seafront. It’s a great place to focus on work while close to urban conveniences.

St Paul’s Bay. Located in the northern part of the island, St Paul’s Bay offers a more relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for those who prefer a quieter environment for work and leisure.

Mellieha in the northwestern part of Malta is an excellent choice if you prefer a coastal village with stunning views and tranquillity. It offers a slower pace of life, making it easier to concentrate on your work.

Gozo. While technically not a city in Malta, the island of Gozo, which is just a short ferry ride away, is another excellent option for digital nomads seeking a more rural and peaceful environment. It’s known for its natural beauty and slower way of life.

Malta Digital Nomad Visa — best places for expats

The darker the area, the more expats live there. Source: Malta Statistics Authority

Living costs for digital nomads in Malta

The cost of living in Malta is at least €800 per month per person, excluding rent. It is less than in Germany or Austria, but more than in Spain and Portugal.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Malta costs €1,000—1,500 per month. Rental prices in Gozo are 40% lower than the average in Malta: €600–900 per month.

Mobile connection in Malta is provided by three operators: Melita, Epic, and Go. They offer prepaid traffic packages, including via 5G networks.

Cafes and restaurants use Wi-Fi with an average speed of 85 Mbit/s.

Average spending of digital nomads, according to the Residency Malta Agency

Services

Costs

Mobile connection

€20 per month

Internet

€30 per month

Coworking

€30 per day

Lunch

€15

Cappuccino

€2.25

Why digital nomads move to Malta

Prevalence of the English language. The Maltese speak two official languages: Maltese and English. English is understood in a city cafe, a village shop, or an intercity bus.

There are international English language schools in Malta, which are chosen as an alternative to the British ones. The cost of education in Malta is lower, while students are immersed in an English-speaking environment in everyday life.

Malta has a mild Mediterranean climate with hot summers and rainy winters. The hottest months are July and August; the coldest are January and February. In summer, the temperature is +19…31°C; in winter, it is +9…17°C.

Most tourists come to Malta from June to August. The season with comfortable temperatures without an influx of tourists lasts from March to May and September to October.

Developed public transport. The dimensions of Malta are 27 by 12 km. The road from St Paul’s Bay on one end of the island to Marsaskala on the other takes 1 hour by car or 2 hours by bike.

In the central region around the capital, Valletta, cities flow into one another as metropolitan areas. For example, it is a half-an-hour walk from St Julian’s to the centre of Sliema.

Ferries operate through Valletta harbour on two routes: Sliema — Valletta and Valletta — “Three cities”. The ferry also runs between the islands of Gozo and Malta. The fare ranges from €1.5 to 7.5, depending on the route.

Public transport is well developed in Malta: buses run within and between the cities. The trip costs €2 during the day and €3 at night. If you use transport regularly, it is more profitable to buy a Tallinja Card — they are sold at electronic kiosks at bus stops.

Transport cards for digital nomads in Malta

Passengers are offered cards with prepaid or unlimited trips for a day, week or month. Source: Malta Public Transport

Key points about the Malta Digital Nomad Visa

  1. The digital nomad is a foreigner who works remotely and receives an income from abroad of €3,500+ per month before taxes.

  2. The Malta Digital Nomad Visa allows a foreigner to live in the country for up to 4 years.

  3. To renew a digital nomad residence permit, one must spend 5 months a year in Malta.

  4. The main applicant’s family can obtain residence permits, too.

  5. The Malta Nomad Residence Permit allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area without visas.

  6. The application for a residence permit is submitted online to the Residency Malta Agency.

  7. The residence permit card is obtained in person in Malta. You will need a national visa D or a Schengen visa to come to the country.

Will you obtain Malta Nomad Residence Permit?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Malta Nomad Residence Permit?

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the easiest digital nomad visa in Europe?

    Malta has one of the easiest-to-get Digital Nomad Visas. Foreigners with an income of €3,500+ per month can obtain it. The visa allows the holder to live in the country for up to 4 years if they spend at least 5 months a year in Malta.

    Portugal, Germany, Greece, and Croatia also issue Digital Nomad Visas.

  • Can I come to Malta for a digital nomad residence permit with a Schengen visa?

    A foreigner comes to Malta to obtain a residence permit card with a Schengen visa or receive a national D visa. The basis for a D visa is the approval for a Malta Nomad Residence Permit.

  • How much is a Digital Nomad Visa in Malta?

    The applicant confirms a monthly income of €3,500+ and a remote workplace. The application fee for a Digital Nomad Visa to Malta is €300.

  • How long does it take to process a Malta Digital Nomad Visa?

    Obtaining a Malta Digital Nomad Visa takes 5+ months. The applicant collects documents from the list, translates them into English, notarises them, and submits them to the Residency Malta Agency online.

    The immigration agency reviews the application within 30 working days and sends approval or refusal.

    The digital nomad receives a D visa and comes to Malta to obtain a residence permit card. If they have a Schengen visa, then it is not necessary to obtain a D visa after approval of the digital nomad’s residence permit.

  • Can I travel with a Malta Digital Nomad Visa?

    The Malta Nomad Residence Permit allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area without visas.

    Foreigners with Malta Nomad Residence Permits can freely leave the country and enter. They must spend at least 5 months a year in Malta to renew their residence permit.

  • How much do you need to earn for a Malta Remote Work Visa?

    The minimum income for a Malta Digital Nomad Visa is €3,500 per month before taxes. Income includes income only from professional activities, not including dividends, interest on deposits, and income from rental real estate.

    A bank statement confirms income, and the source of income is an employment contract, a service contract or an extract from the register of legal entities and founders.

  • How is income verified for the Malta Digital Nomad Visa?

    The foreigner provides a bank statement for the last 3 months to confirm an average monthly income of at least €3,500.

  • Can I work in Malta with a Digital Nomad Visa?

    A foreigner can work as a staff member of a foreign company, freelance, or manage their own company. Entrepreneurs who run their businesses are called self-employed in Malta. Applicants can only earn income from outside Malta.

  • Is Malta Digital Nomad Visa tax-free?

    Malta digital nomads do not pay taxes in Malta on income from remote work in another country unless they transfer it to a Maltese bank.

    Double taxation arises if a digital nomad spends more than 183 days a year in Malta. In this case, the foreigner becomes a tax resident of Malta and must pay taxes in both the source country and the country of temporary residence.

  • Can I bring my family members?

    The main applicant’s family can obtain residence permits. Eligible family members include:

    • a spouse in an official marriage or a partner, including same-sex couples;

    • children under 18, including adopted;

    • children over 18 if unmarried and financially dependent on the main applicant.