Emergence of the Nomad Residence Permit program in Malta
In the past three years, the work‑from‑anywhere model has increased worldwide, reaching an estimated number of 35 million people. Before 2035, that figure is expected to be 1 billion.
Considering the statistics, developed countries now offer residency perks for so-called digital nomads, including high-net-worth entrepreneurs and investors. The island of Malta was among the first states to introduce the Nomad Residence Permit program or the NRP.
The Maltese NRP is a type of a Schengen visa. Therefore, it allows third-country citizens to reside in Malta or Europe and work from there while conducting business in another country. Nomads must prove they can do their job remotely via telecommunication networks, such as the Internet, mobile communications, and phones. They also must either rent or buy property in Malta.
The NRP holders don't pay local income taxes — even if they stay in Malta for more than 183 days — nor do they need to list the taxes they paid in foreign countries. Generating income from any Maltese entity is prohibited. However, a resident can hold two statuses in Malta, so receiving an additional work permit may grant them the right to earn money locally. This will come with tax obligations, depending on the nature of the business.
What makes Malta attractive for digital nomads
- Durance of stay in the country under the NRP — up to 3 years;
- High-speed unlimited Internet access level — 92%, costing around $35.7 per month;
- 5G coverage level nationwide — 97%;
- Number of WiFi hotspots nationwide — 400;
- English-speaking population level — 88%;
- Digital Economy and Society Index — < 0.6, above the European Union's average. Shows a high level of digitalization and Internet literacy in the country, including developed e‑commerce, e‑health, and e‑government;
- Economic Freedom Index — 71.5, above regional and global averages, indicating adequate tax burden, strong property rights, as well as high business and monetary operation privacy;
- Crime Index — 40.39, making it the 82nd safest country in the world, according to the World Population Review.
How to choose the best long-term residency option in Malta
The Nomad Residence Permit has a profusion of advantages, but its temporary nature can feel limiting to some entrepreneurs.
Malta presents additional programs for high-net-worth cosmopolitans — such as obtaining residency through investing in the country’s economy. Those options allow the return of investment, international business operations, tax haven, and unobstructed access to European healthcare and education.
Comparing Maltese residency programs
|Program||Nomad Residence Permit||Permanent Residence Programme||Global Residence Programme|
|Validity period||Up to 3 years, with annual extension per request||Life-long, with renewal every 5 years||1 year, with annual renewal, if the investor continues to fulfil the program's requirements|
|Residency obligation||No||No||No more than 183 days outside Malta|
|Tax residency||No||Yes||Yes, obligatory. Tax reduction options are available, e.g. 0% on foreign income not transferred to Malta|
|Permission to work or register a company||No, but a second permit for work may be issued. That will make the holder a tax resident||Yes||Yes, after getting an extra permit|
|Visa-free entry to the Schengen Area||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free education and healthcare in Malta||No||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum expenses for obtaining the status||€300 for a permit application||€150,000+ if renting real estate |
€370,000+ if buying real estate
|€34,150+ if renting real estate|
€270,200+ if buying real estate
The main applicant's families can also receive a residency permit in Malta, with all the respective benefits. However, the eligibility depends on the chosen option:
- For the Permanent Residence Programme and Global Residence Programme — a spouse or a partner of at least 2 years and children under 18 are eligible. Children under 25, siblings, parents, and grandparents who are principally dependent on the applicant or their spouse can also apply.
- For the Nomad Residence Permit — only a spouse or a partner of at least 2 years, children under 18, or financially dependent children under 25 can be brought along.
Investors cannot apply for Maltese residency directly: a licensed third-party agent is required. Immigrant Invest holds the Malta Permanent Residence Programme license, issued by the Government of Malta. We will walk you through every stage and beyond, assisting in obtaining and renewing your residence card, receiving a tax number, opening bank accounts, conducting real estate operations, and more. Learn details of Malta Global Residence Programme for you, your family, and your business.