Case Studies

Extending a Malta residence permit a year after getting it

On October 28 Immigrant Invest’s lawyers reminded me that our Maltese residence permits needed to be extended as they were due to expire in two months. It was a good thing that they called me in good time. It took me two months to notify my tax agent and collect all the documents required without being in a rush. By the New Year, with Immigrant Invest’s guidance and support, we managed to extend our residence permit cards.

Extension of Maltese residence permit
Amir, 47,
owner of a network of car dealerships
Extension of Maltese residence permit

Background: Malta residence permit for a family from Kazakhstan

In December 2020, Amir, his wife and his son Nursultan were granted a Maltese residence permit by investment under the Malta Global Residence Program. 

Conditions for obtaining a Malta residence permit under the Malta Global Residence Program

1
Rent or purchase real estate in Malta:
annual rental cost €8,750;
purchase price, €220,000
2
Property tax:
€15,000
3
Administrative fee:
€6,000
4
Obtaining mandatory GRP tax status:
filing documents at the Maltese tax office before obtaining a residence permit
5
Confirmation of financial solvency:
each family member included in the application must have a minimum bank account balance of €15,000
6
Living in Malta:
Cannot leave the country for more than 183 days in a year

Amir owns shares in a network of car dealerships and receives income in the form of dividends in his account in a European bank. He wanted to move to the European Union, buy a house by the searnand spend time with his family. 

He chose to move to Europe because he wanted to give his son a European education.

As a citizen of Kazakhstan, Amir could not obtain a second citizenship without renouncing his original citizenship. Since his parents, friends and other relatives are all living in Almaty, he also decided not to renounce his citizenship of Kazakhstan. 

Consequently he considered applying only for residence permit programs. In the end, Amir chose the Maltese residence permit program as it was the least expensive one in Europe.

Amir has still not decided where he wants to live in Malta: he is traveling around different parts of Malta before deciding where to buy his own home. At the moment, he is renting an apartment. During the course of the year, Amir and his family managed to explore the islands of Gozo and Comino, as well as parts of the northern region.

In Malta, the whole family has been attending a language school in order to learn Maltese. Amir's wife Amina has been taking refresher courses related to her specialization. Her qualification is the equivalent of a Ph.D. in history and she wants to teach at a Maltese university.

Amir and his family needed to renew their Malta residence permits

Extension of Maltese residence permit
46 years old
investor
Amina, 38 years old
Amir’s wife
Nursultan, 12 years old
their son

Renewal procedure for a Malta residence permit

Two months before the expiry of Amir and his family’s Maltese residence permits, Immigrant Invest’s lawyers called them and reminded them that they needed to prepare the documents required for renewal of the residence permits.

A Maltese residence permit by investment is issued for a year and then has to be extended. This process also entails updating the GRP special tax status of the residence permit holders.

To renew a Malta residence permit, the investor needs to do the following:

  • renew their GRP tax status;
  • renew their residence permit;
  • obtain a new residence permit card.

To renew their tax status, the residence permit holder must submit an annual returno the Malta Tax Authority and pay the tax due.

A special tax regime is applicable to investors who have become Maltese residents under the Global Residence Program: foreign-source income remitted to Malta is taxed at a flat rate of 15%, subject to a minimum tax of EUR 15,000 per annum. If the investor has no income in Malta, their core costs/expenses in Malta are considered to be equivalent to their “income”.

Виктория Атанасова — Директор мальтийского офиса, Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer
Victoria Atanasova,
head of the Maltese office, lawyer in international and economic law

Amir handed over receipts related to his core expenses in 2021 to his tax agent. These expenses included the purchase of two cars, renting an apartment, and paying for the education of his wife and son. As a result, his tax charge for the year was calculated to be  €17,723, which he duly paid.

Calculation of tax payable for Amir in 2021

ExpensesTax 
Total €118,150€17,723
Including €100,000 of which:
• €24,000 rental cost of housing on the seaside;
• €60,000: cost of buying two cars; 
• €5,750: annual school fees; 
• €2,250: annual fee at the Maltese language school for the whole family; 
• €8,000: trips to Gozo and Comino
 €15,000
Above €100,000:
• €12,000 Amina’s refresher course to raise her qualification; 
• €1,800: annual utility bills;
• €1,350: ten boat trips in Malta; 
• €3,000: annual subscription to a luxury fitness club for the whole family
€2,722
(at 15% rate)

Amir’s tax agent submitted an annual returno the Malta tax office and at the same time an application for an extension of the GRP. The package of documents submitted by the agent on behalf of Amir included documentary proof that Amir had paid the tax due for the year, certified copies of a valid medical insurance policy, a rental agreement and Amir’s passport.

Two weeks later, through his tax agent, Amir received notice that his tax status had been renewed. The agent handed over a copy of the tax declaration and confirmation of the extension of Amir’s tax status to Immigrant Invest.

Extension of residence permit. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers collected the documents required to extend the residence permit and uploaded them to Identity Malta’s online platform.

List of documents required for renewing a Malta residence permit

  • Copy of the tax return for the past year
  • Copy of confirmation of the extension of the resident’s tax status
  • Bank statement for the past three months
  • Utility bills for the past three months
  • Copy of the rental agreement on residential property
  • Copy of the holder’s international passport

The Maltese Immigration Service reviewed the investor's application for a fortnight. Immigrant Invest received an e-mail confirming that the application to extend Amir’s residence permit had been approved. Amir and his family needed to submit their biometrics.

New residence permit cards. Immigrant Invest’s lawyers informed Amir that the government had approved the extension of his family’s residence permits and booked the family in for fingerprinting on a convenient day for the family. They were accompanied by a lawyer from our Maltese office, who guided them through the procedure at the Maltese Immigration Service.

Their residence permit cards were ready two weeks after their biometrics were taken. According to the rules of the Maltese program, the investor has to personally collect the new residence permit cards. Amir came to the Malta Immigration Service and collected all three residence permit cards. 

Stages of Malta residence permit extension for Amir's family

1
October 28, 2021
We reminded the investor to extend their residence permits
60 days before the expiry of their residence permits
2
+ 3 days
Agent calculated the tax due, which Amir paid
57 days before the expiry of their residence permits
3
+ 5 days
Agent submitted the tax return
52 days before the expiry of their residence permits
4
+ 2 weeks
Amir’s GRP tax status extended
38 days before the expiry of their residence permits
5
+ 1 week
Our lawyers applied for an extension of the family’s residence permits
31 days before the expiry of their residence permits
6
+ 2 weeks
Residence permits extended
17 days before the expiry of their residence permits
7
+ 1 day
Submission of biometrics
16 days before the expiry of their residence permits
8
+ 2 weeks
Residence permit cards issued
2 days before the expiry of their residence permits
9
December 27, 2021
New residence permit cards obtained

Living in Malta with a residence permit

Amir's family moved to Malta in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. At that time, there were severe entry and exit restrictions in place in Malta and as a result they were not even allowed into other EU countries. Amir and his family were “locked in” on the island.

Despite the pandemic and the fact that we spent a year in a country and culture that was new to us, neither I nor my family ever regretted the move. Even our son didn’t say that he wanted to go back home.

Amir
47, investor

In the first year that the family spent in Malta, they visited different parts of the country. Amir has still not decided where he wants to buy a house and settle down. First, Amir rented a three-bedroom apartment in the northern part of Malta along the coast. He is now renting an apartment in Central ​​Malta.

Nursultan is preparing to change schools. His parents have found a better option for him. He will now start studying at a school which is part of a British college. This will expand and improve the prospects for his further education.

In 2022, Amir's wife Amina will start working at the University of Malta in Valletta. Professor Amina has set herself the goal of starting to lecture in Maltese in 5 years. Amina feels at home in a country where historical architecture and sculpture are present everywhere.

Amir's family has visited the island of Comino ten times already. His son, Nursultan, especially liked the island. He was particularly attracted by the lagoon there with its clear blue water, white sand and the diverse marine life.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Victoria Atanasova
Head of the Maltese office, lawyer for international and economic law
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