2023
Reading Time: 5 min

How an American retiree moved to Malta and gets treatment covered by insurance

I have long wanted to live in a warm place by the sea. After retirement, I can finally implement this into life.

I dreamed of Italy and Spain, but these countries’ investment programs did not suit me. Malta, a small and pretty island with a pleasantly mild climate, has become a perfect place to move to, and I had not even known about this country before. I’m grateful to Immigrant Invest for broadening the list of options for me.

Tyler

Tyler,

Retiree from the USA

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Malta permanent residence for a US retiree

This case was provided by our expert

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Investment programs expert

How an American retiree moved to Malta and gets treatment covered by insurance

Why the investor wished to move abroad

Tyler is a former sales director at a real estate development company in the USA who has recently retired. The investor is also a shareholder of this company, so his income consists of pension and dividends.

After retirement, Tyler decided to move, seeking the so-called Dolce Vita life. The investor wished to live by the sea and enjoy the slow pace of a small town. At first, the retiree was looking for a suitable place within the States. Then he considered moving abroad, as he came up with the idea he could cut treatment costs that way.

Tyler underwent a kidney transplant, requiring him to take anti-rejection drugs every day so his immune system would not attack and destroy the transplanted organ. In the US, Tyler’s insurance cost quite a fortune. The investor wanted to find a country where healthcare was quality but more affordable. He expected there was such a place somewhere in Europe.

So, the retiree contacted Immigrant Invest for us to help him choose a country and get a residence permit. His requests were the following:

  • a mild warm climate and the outlet to the sea;

  • the opportunity to take an insurance policy and continue receiving the medicine but at a lower cost;

  • obtaining a residence permit in exchange for the housing purchase.

Choosing a country for relocation

Italy is strongly associated with Dolce Vita, so it was Tyler’s first pick. However, this country does not offer residency by investing in residential real estate, so it was unsuitable for Tyler.

Spain was Tyler’s Plan B, but the Spanish investment program required buying housing for €500,000. This would be over the investor’s budget.

We suggested Tyler considered four other European countries, which were less at the hearing but had a pleasant climate and aimed at attracting investors. These countries were Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.

Portugal suited the retiree in terms of climate and investment conditions. However, obtaining a residence permit in Portugal would take over a year, even a year and a half, and the investor did not want to wait so long.

Greece, Cyprus and Malta seemed to be matching options. These countries are in the south of Europe, have access to the sea and offer residence permits for property purchases under €400,000, which can be obtained within a year or sooner. The decisive factor became the cost and quality of healthcare.

According to the rating compiled by the Legatum Institute, Malta is ranked the highest, the 19th, in the category "Health". Cyprus holds the 29th position, and Greece is 41st among the countries worldwide.

Malta’s healthcare system is well-regarded for its efficiency, accessibility, and quality of care. More importantly, Tyler can get the necessary medicine if he purchases insurance in Malta, which will cost less than in the US. That’s why the investor chose to participate in the Malta Permanent Residence Programme.

Malta permanent residence | Blue Lagoon

Malta enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with sea temperatures higher than in any other part of Europe. The swimming season in Malta lasts from May to October

Real estate investment: first rent, then buy

Malta offers investors permanent residence, which is a termless status. Once obtained, it’s valid for life.

To participate in the Maltese investment programme, investors must do several things:

  1. Prove financial solvency. Their capital must be over €500,000, of which €150,000 are liquid financial assets.

  2. Get a residential address in Malta by renting or purchasing real estate in the country.

  3. Make three contributions — the administration fee of €40,000, the contribution fee of €58,000 if renting or €28,000 if buying real estate, and a donation to the charity of €2,000.

The only choice applicants have is renting or purchasing a property: all other requirements are mandatory. Tyler wanted to buy an apartment.

The minimum property purchase amount in the south of Malta or Gozo is €300,000, and in the north or centre of the country — €350,000. This fit the investor’s budget, but an issue arose.

Julia Loko

Julia Loko,

Investment programs expert

If an applicant buys real estate, obtaining Maltese residency takes 4 months longer than in case they rent housing. Tyler wanted to get a residence permit fast, so we proposed a compromise.

We suggested Tyler rent the property, obtain a residence permit, move to Malta, and then buy an apartment. Under the Malta program, switching from renting to owning real estate is allowed at any time. But note that changing from owning to renting is prohibited during the first five years after acquiring residency.

The minimum rent is €10,000 per year in the south of Malta or Gozo and €12,000 in the north or centre of the country. Immigrant Invest real estate experts selected several properties that meet Tylers’s expectations.

Tyler opted for an apartment with a sea view in St. Julians for €1,000 a month. The apartment is furnished and comprises an entrance hall, spacious living room, fully fitted kitchen, back yard, one bedroom and a bathroom. The flat has air-conditioning, a TV, telephone, microwave, and washing machine.

When Tyler settles in Malta, he will start choosing a property to buy. Our real estate experts will arrange for him excursions to different locations and properties on sale. Then we will provide legal support for the sale and purchase deal and notify the Residency Mata Agency of Tyler switching to the property ownership investment option.

How Tyler got a permanent residence permit in Malta

1

1 day, June 15th 2022

Preliminary Due Diligence

Immigrant Invest AML Compliance Officer ran internal Due Diligence on Tyler. This check was necessary to determine Tyler’s eligibility for the Malta investment program and reasonable chance of success.

The check found no issues, so Tyler signed a Services Agreement with Immigrant Invest, and we started preparing the investor’s application.

2

+ 1 month

Collecting documents and applying, €10,000

Immigrant Invest lawyers provided Tyler 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 all income, and availability of the required capital.

The capital of €500,000 was proven by €150,000 in savings and over €350,000 in Tyler’s apartment cost in the US. As proof, the investor filed the bank statement and an independent expert evaluation of the apartment price.

The lawyers also filled in the necessary forms and applied to the Residency Malta Agency on behalf of Tyler. The retiree paid €10,000 for the Agency to process his application.

3

+ 6 months

Main Due Diligence

Tyler’s candidacy for a Maltese permanent resident was considered for half a year, after which he received preliminary approval. To proceed, he needed to fulfil the investment conditions.

4

+ 1 month

Fulfilling the investment conditions, €96,000

Tyler paid the fees: €30,000 for the administration fee and €58,000 as the contribution fee. Then he signed a lease contract and paid the rent for six months, that is, €6,000.

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

5

+ 5 weeks

Receiving final approval

Tyler was invited to visit the Agency to deliver biometric data. When it was done, the lawyers provided the Agency with proof of Tyler having met all the program terms.

Immigrant Invest received the final approval in a week.

6

+ 2 weeks, April 10th 2023

Obtaining a permanent residence card, €110

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

Tyler’s life after moving to Malta

Tyler enjoys living in a small country, where everything he needs — beach, healthcare centre, park, shops and restaurants — is within walking distance to his home. What is more, the warm Maltese climate makes him feel better.

We helped Tyler find an insurance company which takes out suitable policies at an acceptable price. Now Tyler’s treatment in a private clinic is covered by insurance. The rare medicines the investor needs to take daily are also granted on an insurance basis.

The retiree has examined several apartments on sale and continues choosing a new home.

After obtaining permanent residence in Malta, Tyler will have to undergo an annual review of compliance with the programme terms for the first five years. 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 is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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