How to get a residence permit in Malta in 2021: new conditions for investors

March 30, 2021
Permanent residence in Malta for investment: Renewal of the programme in 2021
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The Maltese government changed the terms and conditions of the Permanent Residence for Investment programme. The new rules exclude the purchase of government bonds – halving the cost to investors. Instead applicants make a direct contribution to the government. Its amount depends on whether the investor buys or rents the property.

Investors who applied before March 29, 2021 also can obtain the permanent residency under the new rules. Here is everything about the changes.

The new terms of the program took effect on March 29, 2021. They are stated in the Legal Notice 121 of March 26, 2021.

Between 2016 and 2021, the programme department received 2,542 applications from investors from all over the world. Around 70% of the applications were approved. Over the years of the programme’s existence, foreigners have contributed 49 million euros to the country’s budget.

How much and what to invest in under the new rules

Under the old rules, an investor had to fulfil several conditions in order to obtain a residence permit under the Malta Residency and Visa Programme. The foreigner purchased government bonds, purchased or rented a home, paid an administrative fee and proved the amount of annual income or assets.

The updated version of the programme is called the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. It has the same conditions but without the purchase of government bonds. However, the minimum transaction amount for the purchase of real estate and the administrative fee increase. Investor’s assets will be enough to prove solvency. The annual income is not taken into account.

The new rules only apply to the investors who will submit applications after March 29, 2021.

Conditions and cost of participation in the Permanent Residence Programme in Malta

Conditions Under the old rules Under the new rules
Purchasing government bonds 250 000 € No
Buying a property: North or South and the island of Gozo 320 000 € or 270 000 € 350 000 € or 300 000 €
Rental accommodation: north or south and the island of Gozo 12 000 € or 10 000 € 12 000 € or 10 000 €
Administrative fee 30 000 € , of which:
  • 5500 € 一 payment at the time of application;
  • 24 500 € — payment within 3 months from the date the application is approved
40,000 €, of which
  • 10,000 € - payment at the time of application;
  • 30,000 € - payment within 2 months from the date the application is approved
A non-refundable government contribution No 28,000 € for the purchase of a property;
58,000 € if renting
Annual income 100 000 € No
Assets in ownership 500 000 € 500 000 €,
of which 150,000 € are financial assets
88% of participants in the old programme rented accommodation. Therefore, the government charge for renting is twice as high as for buying a property. According to statistics from the programme department, the average cost of renting per month is 14,401 €, the average cost of buying a property is 510,144 €.
88%

of investors are renting accommodation in Malta

You must own or rent a property within 5 years of obtaining your residence permit. It is compulsory to have accommodation in Malta because the address is indicated on the residence card.

According to the old rules, the minimum investment amount was €290,000. Of that, €250,000 could be recovered by selling the bonds after five years. Under the new rules, the investor’s costs are halved. If renting accommodation in the north of the country, the cost of participation per applicant is €112,000. But all investments will be non-refundable.

112 000 €

minimum investment amount under the new rules

The new Residency Malta Agency deals with issues of the investment programme: it accepts applications, conducts Due Diligence and checks if all the conditions are met. Application processing time is from 6 to 8 months. The countdown begins from the moment the application is submitted and ends with the issuance of a permanent residence card.

You can only apply under the new rules through a licensed program agent. The license is issued by Community Malta Agency, the state citizenship agency in the country. We talked about this in the article “Why an agent’s license is important in 2021”.

Immigrant Invest is the only Russian company with a license from the Government of Malta. Our license number is AKM-IMIN-21

Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent

Apartments in a new beachfront development in Sliema.
Price — от 740 000 €

Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent

Apartment with private terrace in Marsascala.
Price — от 185 000 €

Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent

Three bedroom apartment with sea view in Marsascala.
Price — от 450 000 €

Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent
Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent
Permanent residence in Malta for investment: example of apartments to buy or rent

Who can obtain a residence permit with an investor

The investor may include the spouse, children, parents and grandparents in the application. The rules do not set age requirements for family members. But all additional applicants must be financially dependent on the investor, and adult children cannot be married at the time of application.

The investor additionally pays 7500 € for each parent or grandparent. The fee adds to the direct contribution.

An investor applies with two parents and a grandmother.
If he rents an accommodation in Malta, he will make a direct contribution in an amount of 80 500 €: 58 000 € + (7500 € х 3).
If he buys a house or an apartment in Malta, he will make a direct contribution in an amount of 50 500 €: 28 000 € + (7500 € х 3).

The investor may include the spouse, children, parents and grandparents in the application. The rules do not set age requirements for family members. But all additional applicants must be financially dependent on the investor, and adult children cannot be married at the time of application.

The investor additionally pays 7500 € for each parent or grandparent. The fee adds to the direct contribution.

The new rules also allow family members to obtain a residence permit in Malta after the investor has become a resident. But there is a fee for adding family members.

Fee for adding and joining family members

Relative Under the old rules Under the new rules
Resident's spouse 5000 € 7500 €
Spouse of a resident’s relative 5000 € 7500 €
Resident’s parents and grandparents 5000 € 7500 €
Other resident’s relatives, e.g. adult children or grandchildren under 18 5000 € 7500 €

If an investor passes away before he gets the permanent residency, a dependant will get a residency certificate. The certificate owner is responsible for meeting the conditions of the programme for the first 5 years after becoming a resident.

It is only possible to pass down the certificate if all the conditions are met and the dependant passed Due Diligence. If the dependant gets the certificate instead of the passed investor, it will not be allowed to add any other dependants in the certificate.

Conditions for investors who applied before March 29, 2021

The Maltese government provided an option for those investors who applied under the old rules. If an applicant hasn’t transferred the investments to Malta, he can choose the participation conditions.

The right to choose an investment option is regulated under the Legal Notice 122 of March 26, 2021.

In the next couple of weeks the Agency will issue letters for applicants with instructions on how to change an investment option from bonds purchase to making the direct contribution.

Terms for applications submitted before March 29, 2021

Investment option Purchase of government bonds for 250 000 €

OR

A direct contribution to the government:
• 38 000 € for purchase of property;
• 68 000 € for rent of property;
• 2000 € as a charitable contribution
Administrative fee 30 000 €
Payment deadline By December 31, 2021
Confirmation of solvency 100 000 € — annual income, or
500 000 € — assets in ownership

Adding family members after obtaining the permanent residency under such applications will cost 5000 €. It is allowed to add a spouse, adult children, parents and grandparents. Minor children under age of 18 can be added free of charge.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the Permanent Residence Programme in Malta. The company’s lawyers accompany investors at all stages: from collecting documents and selecting properties to forwarding ready-made residence cards.

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