There can be many reasons why successful individuals from third states would seek to obtain a residence permit or naturalisation in on of the EU states. In this blog, we tell case stories that illustrate some of the most typical ones. Recently, for example, our company helped a couple of keen travellers, in the autumn of their years, to obtain permanent residence permits for Malta, in order to continue enjoying their travels around Europe and look after their real estate in Germany. Here is how it went.
- Vladislav, 70, a renowned Russian scientist and university professor. After his recent retirement he dedicates his time to sports, scientific research, and continues to teach at Russian universities.
- Natalia, 67, his wife, a housewife, also retired
Goals and Objectives
- Vladislav is often invited to scientific meetings in Europe. And up until now, every invitation meant lengthy visa application processes. In fact, more than once he had to miss important academic events because of the visa delays. Therefore, obtaining a permanent residence status in one of the EU states would rid his scientific work of the unsavory bureaucratic processes
- Two years ago, the couple purchased a real estate property in Germany. Currently, the house is occupied by their son, who is working in Germany. The couple would like to visit their house at will, without any hassle or preparations in advance
- Vladislav and Natalia receive annual medical check-ups and treatments in Swiss and German clinics. The success of these treatments largely depends on punctuality and regularity of the the visits and should not be impeded by visa restrictions.
Looking for a SolutionHaving met with Vladislav and Natalia and heard about their goals and wishes, we proposed a series of possible solutions.
- Residence permit of Portugal. This EU State operates a clear and fairly straightforward programme of residency in exchange for EUR 350,000 in real estate investment. The conditions and the price were acceptable for the Clients. They were also attracted by the fairly brief waiting time until naturalisation – permanent residents can apply for a Portuguese passport (offering all the benefits of EU citizenship) after as little as six years of residency in the country. However, permanent residents (and naturalisation applicants) are required to learn the Portuguese language. Another impediment for our Clients was the predominantly hot climate of the country – they would have preferred something in Central Europe.
- Residence permit of Austria. This country suited Vladislav and Natalia perfectly, they have already visited it several times and enjoyed its sporting and lifestyle opportunities. However, the couple were not sure their life plans could accommodate the strict requirement of residing in the country for at least 183 days per year. Additionally, residency in Austria would mean having to pay Austrian taxes on their income from all other countries. Despite being retired, Vladislav is still active scientifically and academically in Russia, and his work brings the couple a sizeable income. Our Clients were not prepared to submit this income to the notoriously high taxes of Austria.
- Citizenship of Malta. Naturalization in Malta, an EU Member State, removes all travel restrictions within the Schengen Area and gives unlimited residency rights in Germany (on par with other EU States). However, this programme requires around EUR 1 mln in investments (650,000 of which are non-refundable, i.e. into investment objects that cannot be sold later for profit), which seemed very demanding to our Clients. In addition, the naturalization procedure has a 14 to 16 months’ waiting time.
The SolutionThe best solution, able to tackle all of our Clients’ needs, was the Maltese Permanent Residence Programme. Both Vladislav and Natalia remained fully satisfied with its requirements and benefits.
- Invest EUR 250,000 in the Maltese Government bonds, for a period of five years. After this period, the securities can be sold to recover (or even increase) the sum invested. With that, this investment gives life-time permanent residency rights to the investor and his/her family members included in the application. This ability eventually to regain the invested funds was very attractive to our Clients.
- In addition to the Government bonds, also purchase a real estate property in Malta for EUR 350,000 or rent a property for 10 to 12 thousand Euros (depending on the area). In both cases, the property must be kept for a period of five years. Vladislav opted for buying, content that in five years’ time he will be able to sell the property at a profit and thus cover a part of his administrative expenses.
- The administrative fees of the Malta Government are EUR 30,000 – these expenses are not directly refundable.
- The review and naturalisation procedure lasts as little as three-four months, and for that period the applicants receive permanent residency documents for Malta, which can be used to travel throughout the Schengen Area.
- There is no obligation to permanently reside in Malta, nor to learn its language or pass any kind of exams.
- The permanent residence permit of Malta allows its holder to reside in Malta for as long (or as little) as they want, and travel visa-free throughout the Schengen member states.
Additional AdvantagesAfter a thorough and careful discussion of all the details of our Clients’ plans, including the cultural and lifestyle prospects of their new home-state, Vladislav decided to take a closer look at the University of Malta. It turns out, the University has a strong academic leaning towards Vladislav’s specialisation and was highly interested in collaborating. This was another aspect tipping our Clients’ decision in favour of Malta. Due to their advanced age, the couple was very much interested in the aspects of medical insurance and services in the country. They were pleasantly surprised by the relatively low cost of Maltese medical insurance (which, by the way, is mandatory under the Residency Program). Furthermore, its effect extends to almost every country around the world and is not limited by the 90 days stay in the EU.
The CollaborationWith no further ado, we set about our work. To assist them in their decision, we analysed the costs of living on Malta, the possibilities of scientific collaboration with the Maltese academics, the costs of medical insurance and medical services for our Clients. Once Vladislav and Natalia have made their decision, another month was spent preparing and approving the documents proving availability of funds and eligibility to participate in the Programme. As a keen and experienced scientist, Vladislav loves to examine every aspect of the problem and analyse all risks. So he was often at our office, discussing the details, reviewing documents, brightening up our work days with his sizzling sense of humour, and slowly making his way into our hearts. Having worked out all the details, we signed our cooperation agreement and began preparing the application documents for the competent agency Identity Malta. The process went fast, because our company is a licensed agent of the Maltese State investment programmes and has a considerable experience in this field. Thanks to Vladislav’s thorough style, all documents were quickly prepared, and we accompanied the couple to the Consul of Malta in Moscow, to authenticate them in person.
The ResultsWhile the application was being processed, the couple received their temporary residence permits for Malta, which they could already use to travel to Germany. In just four months Identity Malta approved Vladislav and Natalia’s applications for permanent residency; in two more weeks they performed their part of the investment requirements and received the residency documents.
- Now Vladislav and Natalia are travel without hassle and delays around Europe, be it for leisure, health treatments or scientific events. The best clinics and health resorts are now within an easy reach!
- Vladislav never has to worry about missing another conference. Visa-free travel means he just needs to be in the airport on time to catch the flight.
- The couple now often visits their lovely home in Germany, and spend more time with his son. They even invited us to visit them in this area of unique natural heritage!
- Vladislav continues to develop his academic work, and now collaborates with the University of Malta, which brings him both an immense satisfaction and an extra income!