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Malta permanent residence to move from the USA and start life from scratch after divorce

After the divorce, I got left with a dog and an apartment in Minneapolis. I decided to sell the condo and move from the city, which kept reminding me of my ex-wife.

At first, I thought about moving to another state but then chose to relocate to Europe. I have been working remotely for a European pharmaceutical company for several years and got tired of the difference in time zones.

I turned to Immigrant Invest on the advice of a colleague. He said it was a company with an individual approach to clients that could even help with the transportation of a dog.



Data engineer from the USA

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Malta permanent residence for the investor from the USA

This case was provided by our expert

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Legal and Compliance Officer

Malta permanent residence to move from the USA and start life from scratch after divorce

Why Grayson decided to move to Malta

Grayson is a senior data engineer at a pharmaceutical company: he develops digital devices for clinical trials. He worked remotely for Europe from the USA, where he lived in the north. So, when Grayson decided to relocate, he chose to get a residence permit in a warm country by the sea.

We presented to Grayson five southern European countries with residence by investment programs and access to the sea: Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.

Comparison of European investment programs


Investment amount


Official language


Permanent residence

English, Maltese


Residence permit



Residence permit



Permanent residence



Residence permit


Grayson opted for Malta thanks to the following:

  • it is the least expensive option;

  • he can obtain a lifelong status that doesn’t have to be renewed;

  • one of Malta’s official languages is English, meaning Grayson won’t have to learn a new language to fit into society.

Under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme, Grayson was to fulfil the three requirements: contribute to the state fund, make a charitable donation and buy or rent a property. All the conditions are mandatory; the investor only has a choice to rent or purchase real estate.

Malta permanent residence for an American | Golden Bay beach

Golden Bay beach is one of the most popular Maltese beaches. From Grayson’s place, it’s a 20 minutes drive

How Grayson met the Malta program’s terms and got his application pre-approved

Preliminary check. First of all, Grayson underwent a preliminary Due Diligence check run by our Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer. It is a crucial stage that helps increase the odds of success of application approval to 99%.

The check revealed no red flags: Grayson had no visa denials, criminal records, and tax arrears. Thus, Grayson concluded a contract with Immigrant Invest on legal support, and we started preparing documents.

Confirming solvency. One of the Malta Permanent Residence Programme terms was that Grayson needed to confirm he had assets of at least €500,000. Among them, €150,000 had to be liquid financial assets, such as deposits, stocks or bonds.

Grayson had an investment portfolio of several hundred thousand dollars and about $250,000 in his account after the apartment sale. When added together and converted into euros, his assets met the requirement.

Preparing documents. Our lawyers prepared the required documents, including identification records and proof that Grayson met the program’s requirements. The lawyers also filled in the application forms.

Immigrant Invest lawyer submitted Grayson’s application to the Residency Malta Agency on his behalf. Grayson did not have to come to Malta to apply because a licensed agent of the MPRP must file the application.

At this stage, Grayson paid part of the administrative fee: €10,000.

Getting approval. Grayson’s application was processed for 6 months, during which the Residency Malta Agency conducted Due Diligence. Then, the Agency sent a notice of approval to Immigrant Invest. Since it was received, Grayson had up to 8 months to make the required investments.

How Grayson fulfilled the investment conditions and became a Maltese permanent resident

Choosing real estate. Grayson decided to rent an apartment to participate in the program. He was unfamiliar with the country and did not want to rush into buying properties.

In the south of Malta or Gozo, investors are to rent a property for €10,000 per year and in the centre or north, for €12,000. They must rent real estate under these conditions for 5 years.

Grayson chose to settle in St Paul’s Bay: a large town compared to others in Malta and on the coastline, with sandy beaches. St Paul’s Bay is located in the Northern Region, so Grayson needed to rent an apartment for €1,000 per month to meet the program’s terms.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts found several options for Grayson. He came to Malta to see them live. When the investor made up his mind, we checked the legal purity of the apartment and signed a rent agreement on Grayson’s behalf.

Fingerprinting. To get final approval, all applicants for Malta permanent residency must provide their biometric data. So, Grayson got fingerprinted on the same journey he took to choose an apartment.

Making payments. Grayson paid the rest of the administrative fee: €30,000. Then made a contribution of €58,000 to the fund and €2,000 to charity. For real estate, he paid the rent for the first year and a refundable security deposit at the rate of monthly payment: in total, €13,000. Finally, he took insurance for €400.

Immigrant Invest lawyers submitted the supporting documents to the Residency Malta Agency. It took them a month to review the records and send a notice of approval.

Receiving a residence card. A permanent residence card for Grayson was issued in two weeks and sent to him by mail. For the issuance, he paid the fee of €110.

9 months and €117,510 were spent by Grayson on obtaining a permanent residence in Malta

February 2022

Preliminary Due Diligence

+ 1 month

Preparing documents€4,000

+ 6 months

Applying, undergoing the Due Diligence check€10,000

+ 1 month

Fulfilling the investment conditions, renting an apartment€103,400

+ 1 month

Fingerprinting, getting final approval€110

+ 2 weeks, December 2022

Receiving a permanent residence card

How Grayson moved to Malta with the dog

Preparation. While his application was processed, Grayson had time to prepare his dog, Loki, for entering Malta. First of all, the investor had his dog chipped.

It was essential to implant a chip recognized in the EU: a 15-digit chip with an ISO identification. Chipping had to be the first step, as the dog must be vaccinated against rabies only after that. If a dog is chipped after the last vaccination, it has to be revaccinated before entering Malta.

Shortly before departure to Malta, Grayson treated his dog with deworming pills. Then he obtained a health certificate for Loki stating it was in good health, chipped and vaccinated.

Deworming treatment must be performed between 24 to 120 hours prior to entering Malta. A federally accredited veterinarian must issue a health certificate within 10 days before you enter the EU. From the day of the vaccination to the day of the certificate issuance, at least 21 days must pass.

Finally, Grayson filed an online notification of the arrival of his dog to the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights of Malta.

Journey. To get to Malta from Minneapolis, one has to fly with at least two transfers. Grayson chose the following route: Minneapolis — New York — Paris — Malta. The flights lasted about 13 hours, but the whole journey took about 20 hours: Grayson chose to have not very short transfers to walk the dog between the flights.

Settling. When Grayson settled in St Paul’s Bay, he took Loki to a local veterinary clinic to be issued a European pet passport.

You must visit the animal clinic and get an EU passport for your pet within 4 months after relocation.

Grayson’s life and perspectives with a Malta permanent residence

The investor successfully obtained a residence permit in the European Union and moved to Malta, a warm country by the sea. Grayson enjoys swimming in the sea, surfing and sunbathing. He plans to travel around Europe to meet his colleagues from different countries in person.

A year after Grayson obtained a Malta permanent residence card, he will need to undergo a review of compliance with the program’s terms. They check whether Grayson still rents or owns a residential property in Malta and has assets of €500,000 in the disposal.

This check is conducted annually for the first five years. The investor won’t have to prepare for the review on his own. Immigrant Invest lawyers remind investors of the due date, help collect the documents and provide them to the Residency Malta Agency.

During 5 years, Grayson would spend €164,510 in total to comply with the Malta program’s terms. After the end of that period, we will also help Grayson to renew his residence card. Though, it’s just a formality: the status of a Maltese permanent resident is granted for life and does not have to be re-obtained. From then, Grayson will still be obliged to own or rent housing in Malta, but its cost will not matter anymore.

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

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