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Global Citizen • Second Passport

Malta’s Permanent Residence Program: The Ultimate Guide

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Arriving in Malta at the break of dawn, the first glimpse of the island emerges from the quiet Mediterranean, a silhouette against the early morning light. 

As the ferry approaches the Grand Harbour, it’s impossible to avoid the blend of ancient fortifications and modern structures that dominate the cityscape and define the island’s place in history. 

Legend has it Malta’s name is derived from the Greek word for honey – a legacy of the Phoenician civilisation that lasted from approximately 1550 to 300 BC. But while the island retains a deserved reputation for its sweet welcome to tourists, it also presents a more formidable challenge – navigating the complexities of the Maltese permanent residence program.

Fortunately, Nomad Capitalist is here to help. We’ll map your journey along a path lined with legal intricacies, economic commitments and cultural integrations. In this comprehensive analysis, we’ll look beyond the postcard images and delve into the substantive and sometimes daunting process of becoming part of a strategically significant, yet intimately close-knit society.

Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Malta offers 300 days of sunshine a year, favourable taxes, and a laidback lifestyle, all on the edge of mainland Europe.

It is a safe, low-crime, business-friendly island with good prospects for both work and play. Perhaps that’s why it has a thriving international community of businesspeople, investors, and expat families, all drawn to its abundant charm.  

With a little over 500,000 inhabitants, Malta may be a relatively small island, but it punches well above its weight in economic terms. Its export-friendly economy in goods and services attracts significant investment and is dynamic and flourishing. 

An archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, Malta lies 80 km south of Sicily and 284 km east of Tunisia. Its location and access to logistics corridors constitute a significant boost for businesses based here in what’s effectively the most important crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. 

Malta Tax Haven or Not

Expats who are lucky enough to call it home praise Malta for its high standard of living, excellent education opportunities and advanced healthcare system.

Malta is a Mediterranean island with stunning weather, ancient temples, thrilling scuba diving, beaches and limestone cliffs. Quite the package for those who’ve always dreamt of living in an enjoyable, safe and stable country close to the European mainland.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is that Malta also offers a number of personal tax breaks and exclusions for specific types of income for those who choose to become residents. There are several ways to access these through a temporary or permanent residence permit.

What is the Malta Permanent Residence Programme?

The Malta Permanent Residency Program (MPRP) is a straightforward residency-by-investment programme based on investments in property and government contributions.

With the promise of a four to six month processing time from the submission of a complete and correct application, the programme offers considerable value to those wishing to make Malta their home away from home.

The MPRP allows qualifying applicants to obtain Maltese residency, provided an investment is made in the nation. This gives applicants the right to settle and permanently live in Malta. 

The MPRP program is available to non-EU nationals and their dependents. They can apply for a Maltese residence permit that allows free travel within the Schengen Area and grants the right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta. 

How do I Qualify for the MPRP?

Here’s what you need to know about the MPRP requirements:

  • You must be a third-country national, non-EEA, and non-Swiss. 
  • You can’t hail from a sanctioned country (the current list includes Afghanistan, Belarus, Congo, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen). 

Other requirements include having enough money to live comfortably in Malta, including owning capital assets of no less value than €500,000, with a minimum of €150,000 in financial assets. These cannot be crypto assets.

You need to hold a clean police record and can’t be deemed a security threat. You must either buy or rent a property, make a non-refundable government contribution, and, finally, donate to a registered charity.

So, there are three investment boxes to be ticked here with some wiggle room on your property route. 

Let’s look at the investment requirement in more detail. To make a qualifying property investment, you can either rent a property with a minimum annual rent of €10,000 in the south of Malta and the nearby island of Gozo or rent a property with a yearly tariff of €12,000 if the property is located anywhere else in Malta. 

Should You Establish Tax Residency in Malta

The second option would be to buy a property valued at least €300,000 if located in the south of Malta and Gozo or €350,000 if located in the rest of Malta. A critical thing to flag here is that a property’s title of purchase or a lease must be held for at least five years.

Once you’ve picked your property investment route to Maltese residency, the next step is to make a government contribution. This will cost you €28,000 if you’re buying a property or €58,000 if leasing or renting a property. 

An additional contribution of €7,500 is required for each extra adult family member. The final step is to donate at least €2,000 to a local charity – that can be a philanthropic, cultural, scientific, artistic sports or animal welfare organisation.  

Overall, you’re looking at either forking out €120,000 over five years if opting for the property rental route or €380,000 if opting for the property purchase route. In both instances, you save money if investing in the South of Malta and Gozo. You must pay administration fees starting from €40,000 for the principal applicant and your spouse or children if added at the time of the application. After that, there’s an additional fee of €7,500 for each additional adult dependent you add.  

You must also have a valid travel document and an active health insurance policy and submit proof of your investment within eight months of getting the pre-approved green light.

Benefits of the Malta Permanent Residence Programme

Whether for an individual or those with a family, the MPRP is an ideal route to a better quality of life and an excellent way to protect your personal and financial future. Its key benefits include the right to permanently live in Malta and enjoy visa-free travel across the Schengen region for 90 out of 180 days in a calendar year. 

Another benefit is that a single application can include up to four generations. This is also an opportunity to tap into Malta’s healthy property market, build your future in a safe and stable country, live in a nation renowned for being an investment hub and access free education and healthcare.

7 Reasons to Consider Malta Citizenship

The MPRP benefits individuals looking to live in Malta and effectively settle down there, but there is no physical presence requirement. It’s also an ideal option as a Plan B second residence for those exploring expatriation from their country. Once Maltese residence is acquired, it can be used straight away or kept as an option for the future.

MPRP beneficiaries have the right to:

  • Settle, stay and reside permanently in Malta
  • Enjoy visa-free travel across Schengen
  • Access Malta’s affordable real estate market
  • Include up to four generations in an application

Does the MPRP Grant Citizenship?

Officially, to be considered for citizenship, you will need to reside in Malta for a full 12 months immediately preceding the date of application and live there for an aggregate period of a minimum of four years during the preceding five years. 

Citizenship is not automatic and can take a long time, as the Government has the discretion to make a decision at its own pace and is usually not in a hurry. So, if citizenship is your primary aim, bear in mind it can take 10 to 15 years to obtain if you’re applying via the MPRP route.

Pay Low Taxes in Malta

Malta has a personal tax system based on a progressive tax rate, with a maximum tax rate of 35%. Moreover, Malta provides a number of personal tax breaks and exclusions for specific types of income. If you’d like to learn more, this article considers whether Malta is a tax haven and discusses Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Once you gain Maltese tax residence through the MPRP, you become taxable on a source-and-remittance basis only. This means you are taxed on income and capital gains arising in Malta and on income arising outside Malta but remitted to or received in Malta. 

Transportation and Utility Costs in Malta for Expats

All assets or capital gains arising outside of Malta would not be taxed, even if remitted to Malta. However, if you have an annual income arising outside of Malta of at least €35,000, a minimum tax liability of €5,000 per annum is payable. The minimum tax due for a family is €15,000. 

Documents Needed to apply for the MPRP

The following essential documents must be submitted with the application pack:

  • International passport and ID card
  • Residence permit
  • GDPR declaration
  • Birth certificate 
  • Marriage/divorce certificates (if applicable)
  • Military records
  • Statement of the source of funds & wealth
  • Evidence of residential address abroad
  • Medical certificate 
  • Police certificates
  • Evidence of business ownership, employment.

Plan Your Next Step Carefully

The MPRP will work for non-EU citizens who want to have the right to settle, stay and reside permanently in Malta and include up to four generations in an application.

While it grants those rights, there is no requirement to live or stay there at all. So, this is also a route for those who want to enjoy visa-free travel across the Schengen area and hold an excellent back-pocket second residence. 

As well as effectively getting access to Europe, gaining Maltese residence is also about accessing investment opportunities there and enjoying the benefits of a personal and corporate tax-friendly environment. 

Should you wish to visit, stay a while, or ultimately relocate and live there, Malta is also a warm, friendly, charming place with a vibrant international community. 

You will need to plan this carefully, however. This is where Nomad Capitalist comes in. We help seven- and eight-figure entrepreneurs and investors create a bespoke strategy using our uniquely successful methods. We’ll help you keep more of your own money, create new wealth faster and be protected from whatever happens in just three steps. 

At Nomad Capitalist, we have a network of attorneys, estate agents, accountants, and tax and company formation specialists worldwide. All that expertise and real-world experience come together when we create your holistic, bespoke action plan. Discover how we do things here


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