St. Julians, Malta
Dragonara Business Centre, Office 506, Dragonara Road,
Paceville, St Julian’s, STJ 3141 Malta
+356 (277) 811-04
Vienna, Austria
Doblhoffgasse 9, 1010
+43 (650) 540-49-79
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Malta permanent residence: benefits and disadvantages for investors

Malta Permanent Residence Program allows wealthy foreigners to obtain a golden visa by investment. Applications are considered in 4—6 months.

Travelling around the Schengen Area, working, studying and living in Malta with no limits is not a complete list of benefits. However, there are some disadvantages of the Malta residency obtainment process.

A harbour with blue boats in Valletta, the Maltese capital

Malta program investment options

Malta Permanent Residence Program offers to obtain the status of a Malta permanent resident by investment. An applicant fulfils mandatory investment conditions:

  • makes a charitable donation;
  • pays administrative and state fees, buys or rents real estate;
  • submits proof of capital of at least €500,000, including liquid financial assets of €150,000. 

In many ways, the Malta permanent residence program is more attractive than other non‑investment ways to get residency in the country. But there are also some limitations. We suggest that you weigh all the benefits and requirements before opting for Malta's permanent residence by investment.

Benefits of Permanent Residency in Malta

The Malta permanent residence program offers the fastest way to get permanent residency in the country. For comparison: permanent residence by naturalisation is expected for five to six years. Most government programs for investors of the EU countries grant only temporary residence permits, renewed every year or two.

4—6 months
The term of considering an application for obtaining Malta permanent residence by investment

The Malta permanent residence program benefits:

  • fast obtaining process;
  • members of an investor’s family can also apply for permanent residency;
  • investments under the program are paid after Due Diligence;
  • residency status is granted for the whole life;
  • possibility to gain profit from investment in real estate;
  • no obligations to live in Malta.

The Malta PR Program is the only one in the EU that does not impose age restrictions on family members. For example, in the Portugal residence permit program, children who are not older than 26 can participate.

The investor's spouse is eligible to participate in the Maltese program. Marriage which is not officially registered is also allowed.

Malta permanent residency for a not married couple

George and Catherine planned to get permanent residence in Malta. But their marriage was not officially registered. Immigrant Invest helped prove the clients’ marital status, confirming Catherine and George’s co-residence and other bonds.

Case study

After receiving Malta residency permit cards, the investor and his family members enjoy all the privileges of permanent residency status, including immigrating to Malta.

Living in the country. Malta PR program allows investors to live in the country without time limits. However, there is no condition to live in the country to remain a resident, so an investor may go there for vacation or not visit Malta for a long time.

Visa-free travel in the Schengen Area. A Maltese residence card allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Area without an additional visa. The allowed period of stay is 90 days every half a year.

Studying in Maltese schools and Universities. Diplomas of Maltese universities are valid in Europe and the USA. There are financial support systems in scholarships and tax deductions for talented students. For Malta residents, education in state universities is free.

High-quality healthcare. Holders of the residence permit have access to Maltese medicine. In terms of healthcare quality, the country is among the top 30 countries in the world: its scores are even higher than in the USA or Israel.

Doing business in Europe. Investors get an opportunity to expand their business and operate in Malta.

Profitable investment. Purchasing lucrative real estate allows you to capitalise on your future by generating rental returns, with the prerogative to sell your assets after five years. Renting out residential real estate generates an income of 5 to 15% per annum. 

Real Estate to participate in Malta permanent residence program

Malta permanent residency by purchase real estate

Apartments in a new residential high-rise project near the sea cost from 740 000 €. Malta’s real estate market has been growing for several years, with finished housing prices rising 5一7% per annum in particular residential areas by 10%

Malta permanent residency by purchase real estate

Apartments in a new residential high-rise project near the sea cost from 740 000 €. Malta’s real estate market has been growing for several years, with finished housing prices rising 5一7% per annum in particular residential areas by 10%

Malta permanent residency by purchase real estate

Apartments in a new residential high-rise project near the sea cost from 740 000 €. Malta’s real estate market has been growing for several years, with finished housing prices rising 5一7% per annum in particular residential areas by 10%

Malta permanent residency by purchase real estate

Apartments in a new residential high-rise project near the sea cost from 740 000 €. Malta’s real estate market has been growing for several years, with finished housing prices rising 5一7% per annum in particular residential areas by 10%

Malta permanent residency by purchase real estate

Apartments in a new residential high-rise project near the sea cost from 740 000 €. Malta’s real estate market has been growing for several years, with finished housing prices rising 5一7% per annum in particular residential areas by 10%

Disadvantages of the Malta residence permit program by investment

Due Diligence for each family member. All program participants undergo a Due Diligence check.

A Due Diligence fee of €10,000 is payable when applying. If the application is approved, the fee is counted in the amount of subsequent mandatory payments for the program.

The rental cost requirement in the south of Malta and on the island of Gozo is €10,000 per annum, and in other regions, €12,000. For five years of permanent residence, the non-refundable rental costs of housing may amount to €50,000+.

Non‑refundable payments. For any program of residence or citizenship, there are non‑refundable payments: these are duties and mandatory contributions to government funds.

Three non-refundable payments are made by the investor under the Maltese permanent residence program:

  • administration fee — €40,000;
  • contribution to the government fund — €28,000 when buying a property or €58,000 when renting;
  • contribution to a non-governmental organisation — €2,000.

The total non-refundable expenses for the real estate purchase are €70,000. When renting, non-refundable costs include the cost of the lease itself for five years — €150,000 or €160,000.

Children, parents, and grandparents must be principally dependent on the investor. They do not have to work and receive any income other than financial support from the primary applicant. Principal dependence has to be documented.

A registration address is needed at all times. To maintain the status of a permanent resident, you need a registered address. Housing can be owned or rented — it doesn't matter. 

The investor can change the registration address. For example, an investor bought a property worth €350,000 and sold it five years later. Then they bought or rented another housing, but without regard to the financial conditions of the program. The investor submits a sale agreement and a new purchase or lease agreement to the program department.

Malta permanent residence program requirements

Who is eligible to apply for a residence permit in Malta:

  • age over 18 years old;
  • no criminal record or criminal prosecution;
  • no visa denials to countries that have a visa waiver regime with Malta;
  • ability to confirm the legality of the origin of the invested funds;
  • owning a capital of at least €500,000, of which at least €150,000 must be financial assets.

Investors can choose between two investment opportunities — renting or buying real estate. The cost of purchase or rent stays the same no matter how many family members participate.

Malta residency costs

ExpensesReal estateAdministrative feeContribution feeCharitable donationTotal
If renting real estate for 5 years in the south of Malta or Gozo€50,000+€40,000€58,000€2,000€150,000+
If renting real estate for 5 years in the north or centre of Malta€60,000+€40,000€58,000€2,000€160,000+
If buying real estate in the south of Malta or Gozo€300,000+€40,000€28,000€2,000€370,000+
If buying real estate in the north or centre of Malta€370,000+€40,000€28,000€2,000€420,000+

The contribution fee is increased by an additional €7,500 to include a parent or grandparent in the application.

There are additional cost items such as translation and apostille of documents and notary services of at least €4,000, as well as medical insurance of at least €400 per person. The law does not regulate these expenses, and investors choose insurance companies, notarial offices and translation agencies by themselves. 

The Malta permanent residence program requires the following documents:

  1. Investor’s passport.
  2. Passports of all family members.
  3. Cover letter.
  4. Proof of having undergone the preliminary Due Diligence.
  5. Proof you have the necessary funds for the investment.
  6. Proof that you have obtained your funds legally.
  7. Bank statements from your country of origin.
  8. Marriage certificate.
  9. Birth certificates.
  10. Divorce certificate.
  11. Custody documents.
  12. Documents proving principal dependency for adult children, parents, and grandparents.
  13. Biometric data for yourself and all applicants over the age of 12.
  14. Police certificates, proving you do not have a criminal background.
  15. Medical reports for yourself and your family. Medical reports are required to prove that the applicants do not have any contagious disease that could endanger public health in Malta.

The exact documents list will change depending on investment and family background.

How to buy property in Malta and get residency

Under the terms of the program, the investor rents or buys residential property in Malta. If the investor chooses to buy, then the property's value must be at least €350,000 for the north and the centre of Malta and €300,000 for other country regions.

Real estate in the north and the centre of Malta is more expensive than in other regions because they have a well-developed infrastructure. If an investor buys a property there, the real estate costs amount to 83% of the total costs of getting a residence permit. After five years of maintaining the status, the property can be sold. Therefore, the investor will return 83% of the program costs.

By purchasing a property, it is possible to cover all the program's costs. The cost of housing in Malta is growing by about 4% per year. If you buy new apartments in a modern business-class residential complex, then in five years, their cost can rise by 20%. The investor will return not only investments in real estate but also cover some costs of obtaining the status.

The main advantage of renting over buying is speed. Registration of the sale and purchase lasts a couple of months. Finding suitable accommodation and concluding a lease agreement in two weeks is possible.

How to get Malta permanent residency

If you decide to acquire a Maltese permanent residence by investment, please contact Immigrant Invest

The experts will carefully study your circumstances and aims, select the appropriate option and accompany you throughout obtaining a residence permit in 6—8 months.

Immigrant Invest office contacts

Dragonara Business Centre, Office 506, Dragonara Road, Paceville, St Julian’s,
STJ 3141 Malta
+356 (277) 811-04

1. Preliminary Due Diligence check. The investor undergoes an initial check against international legal and business information databases. They are also checked for harmful or compromising information materials on the Internet. 

Our certified Anti-money Laundering Officer conducts a preliminary check to avoid rejection during the application process. Immigrant Invest has its compliance department, and our verification reduces the risk of rejection to 1%.

2. Collecting all the necessary documents. Immigrant Invest's lawyers give an investor a list of required documents and help fill them out. They compile a history of the applicant’s assets, translate documents into English if necessary, certify copies through a notary and fill out application forms correctly.

3. Due Diligence is conducted by the Residency Malta Agency. Sometimes, the agency asks for additional information about the investor’s biography, business and finances. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers prepare the documents, answer any questions together with the applicant and submit the answers to the agency.

The Due Diligence check takes about 6—8 months on average.

4. Fulfilment of investment conditions. The Residency Malta Agency sends a notice of approval of the application to Immigrant Invest’s lawyers. As soon as the approval is received, the applicant must fulfil the investment conditions within the stated period.

At the same time, the applicant needs to take out medical insurance with minimum coverage of €30,000 per person.

5. Visiting Malta to give biometrics. All people included in the application must travel to Malta and give their biometric data to the Residency Malta Agency. This procedure takes place after the application has been approved. However, it can be done before all the investment conditions are fulfilled.

6. Obtaining final approval. The Residency Malta Agency reviews the additional documents that the lawyers submit after the investor has fulfilled all the program conditions. Then Immigrant Invest receives final approval of the application, which means that permanent residence cards will be issued for the applicants.

7. Obtaining permanent residence cards. The Residency Malta Agency issues a Certificate of Residence and permanent residence cards and sends them to Immigrant Invest’s lawyers in Malta. These documents are then sent to the main applicants — they are not required to visit Malta to collect them.

The permanent residence cards for adult applicants are valid for five years. A new permanent residence card is issued a month after they turn 14 or 18 years old for younger family members.

Frequently Asked Questions

What opportunities does a Malta residence card give an investor?

The investor and their family will no longer worry about applying for a Schengen visa. A permanent residence card in Malta gives the holder free movement around the Schengen area. They can stay in any country of the agreement for up to 90 days in six months.

Permanent residence in one of the EU countries makes it easy to open an account with a European bank — for example, to keep savings in hard currency.

The status allows you to live, study and work in Malta. The country has a developed economy, a comfortable business environment and a beneficial tax policy.

Permanent residence owners can travel to Malta even within closed borders. Having permanent residence status in one EU country, it is not difficult to apply for a residence permit in another, e.g. to study.

The speed of obtaining status distinguishes the Malta Permanent Residence Program. Applications are considered within 4—6 months.

The peculiarity of the program is that the applicant does not need to live in the country. Living in Malta depends only on investors. This is convenient for wealthy people who cannot spend much time in one place.

How is the Maltese permanent residence program different from obtaining citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment?

Maltese citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services through direct investment and permanent residency differ in time, costs and procedures. Permanent residence is issued in four to six months, and for citizenship, this term is at least 14 months. Costs for permanent residence start from €150,000, and for citizenship, they are around €1,000,000.

The statuses of permanent residence and citizenship also differ. Citizens of Malta can live, work, and study in any country in the European Union. Permanent residence status allows you to live, work and study only in Malta.

Citizens of Malta can travel to 186 countries without a visa. Holders of permanent residence can only visit the Schengen states without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days out of 180.

How much does it cost to apply for permanent residence by investment in Malta?

The cost of obtaining permanent residence in Malta consists of four expenses:

  1. Administration fee — €40,000.
  2. Buying or renting real estate — from €300,000 or €10,000 per year, respectively.
  3. Contribution to the government fund — €28,000 buying real estate and €58,000 renting.
  4. Contribution to a Maltese non-governmental organisation — €2,000.

In addition, the investor pays for health insurance. Its cost is approximately €1,500 for a family of three.

The cost of a permanent residence program in Malta depends on the composition of the investor’s family. Immigrant Invest lawyers calculate the costs of the program for every specific case.

Is it possible to return the money invested under the Malta Permanent Residence Program?

Yes, the applicant can return a part of the funds invested. For this, the investor buys real estate worth €300,000. After five years of permanent residence, they can sell it.

If the property is liquid, the five-year increase in its value will offset some of the sunk costs of the program. On average, Maltese residential property is growing at 4% per year. Thus, the investor will return all the money spent.

To maintain the permanent residence, the investor will still need real estate in Malta. But after five years, they can buy or rent any housing without considering the program’s requirements for the cost of real estate.

Who can get permanent residence in Malta by investment?

The status can be obtained not only by the investor but also by his family members.

Requirements for an investor under the program of permanent residence in Malta:

  • age from 18 years;
  • lack of convictions and references in criminal cases;
  • no refusals to issue visas by states with which Malta has a visa-free regime;
  • capital of €500,000;
  • confirmation of the legality of the capital and funds that the investor invests in the program.

A spouse, children, parents, and grandparents can apply for permanent residence with the investor. Relatives of both partners are accepted, including children from the first marriage. There are no age restrictions. Such requirements are rare, making the Malta residency program stand out from other citizenship and residency investment programs.

Can my application be refused after payment?

No. An essential step in any government investor program is Due Diligence. Under the Maltese program, the investor is screened first and only then bears the program’s costs.

The situation when the investor incurred expenses and the program department refused to issue permanent residence is excluded.

What are the disadvantages of the Malta permanent residence program?

All program participants, whom the investor has included in the application, undergo a Due Diligence check. If the application is approved, the fee is counted towards the amount of subsequent mandatory payments for the program.

For the Malta permanent residence program, there are some non-refundable payments: these are duties and mandatory contributions to government funds.

Children, parents, and grandparents must be principally dependent on the investor. They cannot work and receive any income other than monetary support from the main applicant. Principal dependence has to be documented.

 A registration address is needed at all times. To maintain residency in Malta, you need a registered address. Housing can be owned or rented — it doesn’t matter.

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Malta permanent residence: benefits and disadvantages for investors