Malta Residency and Citizenship Planning

A licensed agent of the Residency Malta Agency and Community Malta Agency (license number AKM-SOVE), Sovereign Services Limited Malta is best placed to advise, and support applicants who wish to establish residency and/or citizenship in Malta.

Our Malta team provide a concierge service, working closely with each client to determine which programme and associated planning services are most suitable for their personal requirements. Once agreed, they lead clients and their families through each step of the process, to ensure they successfully prepare, submit, and process their application and overall strategy.

Malta Residency and Citizenship Programmes

Offering residency and citizenship programmes catering for most personal requirements and budgets, Malta offers non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals and their qualifying dependents a wide range of benefits, including:

  • The right to reside, settle and stay in Malta.
  • Visa-free travel across the EU Schengen Area, and to those with citizenship, visa free or visa upon arrival access to 187 countries and territories.
  • The option to include qualifying dependants.
  • Safety and stability.
  • No language requirements.
  • Access to high quality educational institutions and medical facilities.


These are the different types of residency options:

  1. Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Programme
  2. Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)
  3. Malta Global Residency Programme
  4. Malta Start-Up Residence Programme


Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Programme

The Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment policy is a ‘citizenship-by-investment’ programme that aims to attract the highest quality of investor from all over the world and requires the main applicant to make qualifying investments in Malta.

Generally known as Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN), the programme is open to all non-EU nationals except those from certain sanctioned countries. An applicant and all adult dependants must have held Maltese residency status for a minimum of 36 months or, under an ‘expedited procedure’ option, for a minimum of 12 months.

The MEIN grants citizenship for ‘exceptional services’ to individuals and their families who make a direct investment in Malta that contributes to its social and economic development. Successful MEIN applicants gain the right to live, work or study in Malta – or any other EU member state by extension – as citizens of Malta.

Introduced by the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations [S.L. 188.06] in November 2020, MEIN replaced the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) which had reached its full quota of 1,800 investors. The number of MEIN certificates issued, excluding dependents, may not exceed 400 per year and may not exceed 1,500 overall.

Every application is subject to a stringent due diligence process, including thorough background checks. Community Malta Agency (CMA) is the Maltese government body responsible for administering the regulations. Applications for Maltese citizenship can only be handled by CMA-authorised agents.


MEIN Programme Benefits

The MEIN programme is available to married couples, unmarried couples in a long-term relationship, their children under the age of 18, dependant unmarried children under the age of 29 and dependant parents on either side of the family. Successful applicants benefit from:

Maltese Citizenship for life, which can also be passed on to future generations by descent
The option to maintain dual citizenship
The right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta
As a full EU member state, Maltese citizens are entitled to live, work, study and set up business in all the 27 EU states, the European Economic Area (EEA) states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, as well as Switzerland
Maltese passport holders enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 183 countries, including the US, Canada and Australia
Maltese passport holders enjoy access to the Schengen Area, a grouping of 22 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland that operates without internal borders and within which citizens and many non-EU nationals staying legally in the EU can freely circulate without being subjected to border or customs checks
Gain access to excellent education and healthcare systems
Access to multiple personal and corporate tax benefits in Malta
Candidates that are resident but not domiciled in Malta are only required to pay tax on income that is earned or received in Malta
Malta has no municipal tax, no estate duty, no inheritance tax and no wealth tax
Malta has double taxation treaties with over 60 countries worldwide
The corporate tax rate in Malta is 35%, but special tax concessions apply to non-resident or non-domiciled company owners
Full commercial access to the European Union (EU), the world’s largest economic zone
Enjoy the ‘four freedoms’ of the European Single Market – the right that goods, services, capital and persons can move without restriction within the EU

MEIN Qualification Requirements

The main requirements to qualify for MEIN, are as follows:

  • Main applicant must be at least 18 years of age
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must acquire and hold a Maltese residency card for a minimum of 36 months or, under the expedited procedure, for a minimum of 12 months. Citizenship can only be applied for after the applicable period from acquisition of residency.
  • An eligibility application pack must be submitted prior to the expiration of the 12-month or the 36-month residency period or the residence card/s will be revoked
  • Main applicant must make a non-refundable exceptional direct investment of:
    1. €600,000 if applying under the standard procedure after 36 months of residence, together with an additional €50,000 for each dependant
    2. €750,000 if applying under the ‘expedited procedure’ option after 12 months of residence, together with an additional €50,000 for each dependant
  • Main applicant must either buy a property in Malta with a minimum value of €700,000 or lease a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000. In either case, the property must be adequate to accommodate the main applicant and dependants and must be retained for at least five years from the date of the certificate of Maltese citizenship
  • Main applicant must make a €10,000 donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must demonstrate that they do not have a criminal record or pose a potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health or public interest of Malta
  • Main applicant and all adult dependants must pass all due diligence and background verification checks
  • Health Insurance for all members in the application

Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) is a ‘residency-by-investment’ programme that requires the main applicant to make qualifying investments in Malta. Introduced in March 2021, it enables third-country nationals – non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss citizens – to reside, settle or stay indefinitely in Malta. With a four to six-month application processing timeframe, the MPRP provides numerous benefits to applicants who wish to make Malta their home away from home.


MPRP Benefits

Successful applicants to the Malta Permanent Residence Programme receive the following benefits:

Permanent Residency – the right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta.
Visa-free travel throughout the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within any 180 days
Open to four generations – the MPRP is available to married couples, unmarried couples in a long-term relationship, dependent unmarried children of any age, as well as dependent parents and grandparents on either side of the family


MPRP Qualification Requirements

To qualify for the MPRP, applicants are required to:

  1. Establish a Residential Property in Malta, either by
  • Renting a property for a minimum of €12,000 per year in Malta, or €10,000 per year in the Southern Region or Gozo; or
  • Purchasing a property for a minimum of €350,000 in Malta, or €300,000 in the Southern Region or Gozo.
  1. Make a Direct Contribution to the Maltese government, either of
  • €58,000 if you choose to rent a property in Malta; or
  • €28,000 if you choose to purchase a property in Malta.

The direct contribution must be settled within eight (8) months of the issuance of a Letter of Approval in Principle and can be paid in tranches.

  1. Pay Non-Refundable Administration Fee

Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable administration fee of €40,000. An initial fee of €10,000 must be settled within one (1) month of submission of the application, and the €30,000 balance must be settled within two (2) months of the issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle.

  1. Donation to Voluntary Organisation

Applicants are required to donate €2,000 to a local philanthropic, cultural, scientific, artistic, sporting or animal welfare non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is registered with the Maltese Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations.

  1. Demonstrate sufficient net worth

Applicants must be in receipt of a stable and regular financial income, sufficient to maintain themselves and their dependants, without the need to depend upon the social assistance system of Malta.

The main applicant must demonstrate a minimum net worth of €500,000, of which €150,000 must be in the form of financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, funds or bank deposits.

  1. Meet the ‘Fit and Proper’ requirement

All applicants must demonstrate that they do not have a criminal record or pose a potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health or public interest of Malta.

  1. International Health Insurance

All applicants must be covered by a qualifying health insurance policy that provides all risks cover both in Malta and the Schengen Area. Sovereign Insurance Services provides a wide range of qualifying health insurance policies.

Malta Global Residency Programme

The Malta Global Residence Permit (GRP) is a residency programme that offers applicants a special tax status. It is designed to attract individuals who are not nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and who are not long-term Maltese residents. Individuals benefitting from this programme may work in Malta, provided they satisfy the requisite conditions for obtaining a work permit.

Eu nationals who wish to reside in Malta and receive the same tax efficient benefits available under the GRP programme, can do so under The Residence Permit or TRP programme.

The main applicant, his/her spouse and children under the age of 25 are automatically eligible for inclusion. Additional qualifying individuals include financially dependent relatives and non-family members who are bona fide members of the household.


Qualification Requirements

In order to qualify applicants are required to:

  • Invest in property valued at a minimum of €275,000 (€220,000 in Gozo or the South of Malta)


  • Hold a rental contract for at least €9,600 per year (€8,750 in Gozo or the South of Malta)
  • Be economically self-sufficient
  • Not spend more than 183 days per annum in any other country
  • Pay a combined minimum annual tax contribution of €15,000
  • Hold health insurance covering the EU
  • Hold valid travel documents
  • Establishing Tax Residency in Malta


Establishing Tax Residency in Malta

Global Residents are not required to provide a minimum day count of their physical presence in Malta. They are however required to declare that they are not resident in another country for more than 183 days per year.

Qualifying applicants are issued with a residency certificate and a Tax Identification Number (TIN).


Tax Benefits

Malta has over 60 double tax agreements, ensuring that tax should not be paid twice. Income and capital gains generated from activities or assets within Malta are subject to personal income tax, but non-domiciled tax residents benefit from the following:

No income tax on foreign sourced income, unless it is remitted to Malta
A flat rate tax of 15% on foreign-source income remitted to Malta
No tax on capital and savings remitted to Malta
No capital gains tax on assets held outside Malta
No inheritance taxes

Malta Start-Up Residence Programme

The Malta Start-Up Residence Programme grants a three-year residence permit, extendable for an additional five years. After five years’ residency, applicants may also apply for long term residency in Malta.

Intended for qualifying non-EU nationals, the programme is specifically designed to facilitate the setting up of innovative start-ups and scale-ups in Malta, whilst supporting the immigration process of their founders, core employees and respective immediate family members.

The programme offers support measures administered by Malta Enterprise, which offers an array of funding opportunities and assistance without the requirement to give up equity or company ownership.

A Malta-incorporated start-up company is required to have a minimum tangible investment and/or paid-up share capital of €25,000. In cases where more than four co-founders apply, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional co-founder. The maximum number of eligible co-founders is six.

Founders and/or co-founders benefitting from this programme are required to have a physical and tangible presence in Malta, not only from a business perspective but also personally residing in and paying taxes in Malta.

Applicants must also have health insurance covering themselves and any dependants in Malta.


Qualification requirements

To qualify, founders and co-founders must:

  • Have a concrete intention to develop and/or expand a highly innovative business in Malta.
  • Be the founder or co-founder of an enterprise that has been registered for not more than seven years anywhere globally, has not taken over the activity of another enterprise, or been formed through a merger.
  • Be fit-and-proper and of good conduct.
  • Be able to support themselves and any dependants.
  • Be in possession of sufficient financial resources.
  • Not have previously had applications for permanent residency, residency-by-investment or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.


Eligible industries

Start-ups will be considered eligible if they are, or intend to be, engaged one of the following activities:

  • High-end manufacturing.
  • Manufacturing industrial services.
  • Software development.
  • Health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.
  • Eco start-ups involved in blue, green and sustainable industries.
  • Other innovative economic activities that are enabled through knowledge and technology’ providing services or products that are currently not readily available in the relevant market or which will be provided through a novel process.


Eligible business projects must also meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Propose products and/or services that have the potential to generate income from various geographical markets.
  • Produce products and/or services that are new, innovative or substantially improved compared to complementary products on the market.
  • Utilise processes that are new or substantially improved compared to those adopted in current complementary activities.
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