2023
Reading Time: 6 min

Malta permanent residence for a Nigerian entrepreneur: running a business in Europe without intermediaries

I was attracting more and more European customers but had to work with all of them through a partner. I didn’t like the fact that my business depended on someone else too much. I needed a solution. I wanted to work with all the clients directly. So I decided to get a residence permit in Europe.

Ngozi

Ngozi,

Owner of an agricultural business in Nigeria

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Businessman from Nigeria obtained permanent residence in Malta

This case was provided by our expert

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Investment programs expert

Malta permanent residence for a Nigerian entrepreneur: running a business in Europe without intermediaries

Why Ngozi needed residency in Europe

Ngozi is a businessperson from Lagos, Nigeria. He owns an agricultural company that produces and exports cocoa beans, nuts, coconuts and other foods.

The entrepreneur had a partner in Germany, with whose help he conducted all payments and settlements with European clients. However, Ngozi had some misunderstandings with the partner about the commission amount. Moreover, the partner had already let him down several times, leading to a loss of profits.

Ngozi began looking for ways to work without intermediaries. For that, he decided to open a branch of his company in one of the EU countries. But it was a challenging task for a citizen of Nigeria, so Ngozi thought of obtaining European residency and turned to Immigrant Invest.

At the consultation with the investment programs expert, Ngozi formulated his goals as the following:

  1. Register a subsidiary in Europe.

  2. Open a business account in a European bank.

Ngozi could acquire a residence in any European country to achieve his goals. Among the EU countries that offer residence by investment and do not require relocation are Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta — and the investor chose the latter.

5 reasons why Ngozi chose the Malta Permanent Residence Programme

Ngozi opted for the Maltese program as it could help him solve his tasks and provide the most benefits.

Lifelong status. In Malta, investors can get permanent residence permits at once, skipping the stage of temporary residence.

Besides, the status of a temporary Maltese resident and the residence card must be renewed every year. In comparison, a permanent residence status is lifelong, with the card replacement once in 5 years.

Ngozi was attracted by the opportunity to obtain termless residency in Europe.

Low costs. The Malta Permanent Residence Programme requires the least investment. The expenses under the program can be as little as €150,000, while under other investment programs, applicants spend more than €250,000.

Visa-free access to Schengen. Maltese residents can enter 27 Schengen countries without visas and spend up to 90 days per half a year in the Area. This fact can help Ngozi hold business meetings with European customers.

Tax benefits. Maltese standard corporate income tax rate is 35%, but most companies are subject to tax refunds, after which the effective tax rate becomes 0—10%.

Individual income is taxed at a progressive scale of 0—35%, with tax refunds also applicable.

The value-added tax standard rate is 18%, the 2nd lowest rate among the EU countries.

Convenience. Nigeria and Malta are located in the same time zone, and English is recognised as an official language in both countries.

To apply for permanent residence and conduct business in Malta, Ngozi does not have to bother translating and certifying documentation.

Malta permanent residence to open a business in Europe | Sliema

Sliema is a business centre of Malta. Here are located representative offices of well-known international corporations. Ngozi also plans to open an office for his company in this town

Investment conditions under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme

Investors are obliged to make several non-refundable contributions:

  • pay the administration fee of €40,000;

  • the contribution fee of €58,000 if renting or €28,000 if buying real estate;

  • and donate €2,000 to charity.

Another requirement is financial solvency. Candidates must prove ownership of €500,000 capital, of which €150,000 are liquid financial assets.

All applicants for Maltese permanent residency must also have a registration address in the country. For that, investors buy residential properties or rent them for five years.

In the south of Malta or Gozo, the minimum rent is €10,000 per annum, and the minimum purchase amount is €300,000.

In the north of the centre of Malta, the minimum rent is €12,000 per annum, and the minimum purchase amount is €350,000.

Vladlena Baranova

Vladlena Baranova,

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

A distinctive feature of the Maltese program is that investing can be distributed in time. Those investors who choose to rent properties are not obliged to pay the rent for 5 years at once: they can do it monthly.

Ngozi opted for renting, so he would need to invest only about €100,000 when obtaining the status in Malta.

How Ngozi obtained permanent residence in Malta by spending €103,510 and 11 months

1

March 4th, 2022

Preliminary Due Diligence

Before preparing Ngozi’s application, our AML Compliance Officer ran internal Due Diligence on the investor. This check is needed to be certain of Ngozi’s eligibility for the investment program and reasonable chance of success.

After the check found no issues, Ngozi signed a Services Agreement with Immigrant Invest.

2

+ 1 month

Collecting documents and applying, €10,000

Immigrant Invest lawyers provided Ngozi with the list of documents he needed to submit. The documents confirmed the investor’s identity, clean criminal record, absence of tax arrears, the legality of business and all income, and availability of the required capital.

Assets of at least €500,000 were summed up from the following: €200,000 held in Ngozi’s savings account and €336,000 of his business value. As proof, the investor filed the bank statement and the company’s asset valuation performed by the licensed independent appraiser.

The lawyers also filled in all the necessary forms and applied to the Residency Malta Agency on behalf of the investor. Ngozi paid €10,000, part of the administration fee, for the Agency to process his application.

3

+ 6 months

Main Due Diligence

Ngozi’s candidacy for a Maltese permanent resident was considered for half a year, after which he received preliminary approval. To get final approval, he was to fulfil all the investment conditions.

4

+ 2 months

Fulfilling the investment conditions and delivering biometrics, €93,400

Ngozi paid the fees: the rest €30,000 of the administration fee and €58,000 as a contribution fee as he opted to rent housing.

Immigrant Invest real estate experts offered the investor several apartments for rent. Ngozi chose an apartment in the seaside town of Birzebbuga, in the Southern Region of Malta.

The rent was €850 a month. The investor signed a five-year contract and paid €3,400, the rent for the first three months and a refundable deposit equal to the one-month payment. The annual rent would be €10,200, which fitted the program’s conditions.

The investor also donated €2,000 to charity and took out an insurance policy.

5

+ 5 weeks

Receiving final approval

On the same trip that the investor took to look at apartments, he got fingerprinted — that was the last condition. After that, the lawyers provided the Residency Malta Agency with additional documents showing Ngozi met all the program terms.

Immigrant Invest received the final approval in a week, meaning Ngozi would be issued permanent residence cards.

6

+ 2 weeks, February 1st, 2023

Receiving a permanent residence card, €110

After another two weeks, the investor received a Maltese permanent residence card. For that, he paid a fee of €110.

Ngozi’s opportunities and obligations with the status of a permanent resident in Malta

Ngozi has already rented an office and applied for registration of his company. This process usually takes up to 2 weeks.

After that, the investor will turn to one of the Maltese banks to open a corporate account. Depending on the bank, this procedure will take several days to several months.

When everything is ready, Ngozi will get all the freedom of work with European customers and currency.

Before and after obtaining Malta permanent residency, the investor:

Before

After

❌ Had to work with European clients through the intermediary and thus pay commissions on transactions

✅ Can open a company and a bank account in Malta to do business directly with customers and not depend on the partner

❌ Had to get a visa to travel to Schengen

✅ Don’t have to pay commissions to the partner from trades

❌ Could live only in Nigeria

✅ Have visa-free access to the Schengen Area

✅ Can choose where to live — in Nigeria or Malta

Besides opportunities, Ngozi has acquired several obligations. For the first five years after obtaining permanent residence in Malta, the investor will have to undergo an annual review of compliance with the programme terms.

The Residency Malta Agency checks whether the investor rents or owns a residential property in Malta and has assets of €500,000 in the disposal. Immigrant Invest lawyers will remind Ngozi of the upcoming check and help prepare the package of documents.

After five years, Ngozi will need to renew his permanent residence card. Since that moment, he will still have to rent or own housing in Malta, but the minimum price conditions cease to apply. For the 5-year rent of the apartment in Birzebbuga, Ngozi will have spent €51,000.

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

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