Malta Residency Programmes

Continuing our series of less well-known European residency programmes, this month we’ll be exploring the options available in Malta.

The primary reason Malta residency programmes are not often considered or discussed with potential applicants is that, unlike other European programmes, only firms licensed by the Maltese government are permitted to prepare and submit applications.

Residency Malta Agency (RMA) is the government entity responsible for creating and managing Malta’s residency programmes. The RMA offers three excellent programmes, each providing numerous benefits to those who wish to make Malta their primary or second home.

The RMA’s team liaises with its licensed agents, to ensure the fastest and smoothest possible processing of applications. Sovereign Services Limited (SSL) is a licensed agent (AKM-SOVE) and is therefore well placed to advise, assist and support applicants throughout the application process.

About the Republic of Malta

The Republic of Malta is a compact island nation at the heart of the Mediterranean, some 80 km to the south of Sicily. Malta is an archipelago composed of three main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – which have a combined population of around 500,000. The capital is Valletta.

Malta gained independence from the UK in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. It was admitted to the European Union in 2004 and joined the euro zone in 2008. Malta has two official languages – Maltese and English.

Malta International Airport, located 5km southwest of Valletta, serves all the Maltese Islands and offers direct flights to destinations all over Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East.

Malta’s climate is typically Mediterranean; a pleasantly sunny climate with a daily average of 12 hours of sunshine in summer and five to six hours in mid-winter.

Malta is one of the world’s safest countries, with a low crime rate, a welcoming, friendly population and progressive policies and laws. It also provides access to quality educational institutions and medical facilities, excellent business opportunities and infrastructure, and an excellent quality of life.

Malta Residency Programmes

Offering residency programmes catering for most personal requirements and budgets, Malta offers non-European nationals and their qualifying dependents with a wide range of benefits. A Malta residence permit provides holders with:

  • The right to reside, settle and stay in Malta.
  • Visa-free travel across Schengen countries for 90 out of any 180 days.
  • The option to include qualifying dependants.
  • Safety and stability.
  • No language requirements.
  • Access to high quality educational institutions and medical facilities.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) is available to non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals. Successful applicants receive a MPRP certificate, which is valid for life. Provided all eligibility criteria continue to be met, the residency permit is renewable every five-years. The RMA will review, process and complete applications within four- to six-months of receipt.

To qualify, the main applicant is required to rent or purchase a property in Malta and make qualifying donations to the Maltese government.

Qualification Requirements

  1. Establish a Residential Property in Malta:

– Either rent a property for a minimum of €12,000 per annum in Malta, or €10,000 in the South of Malta or Gozo.

– Or purchase a property for a minimum of €350,000 in Malta, or €300,000 in the South of Malta or Gozo.

  1. Make a Direct Contribution to the government of Malta of:

– €58,000, if you choose to rent a property in Malta.

– Or €28,000, if you choose to purchase a property in Malta.

  1. Non-Refundable Administration Fee: €40,000.
  2. Donation to a Voluntary Organisation: Donate €2,000 to a local registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation or society.
  3. Provide evidence of Sufficient Net Worth: 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.
  4. Provide evidence of Minimum Net Worth: Assets of at least €500,000, of which €150,000 is to be in the form of financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, funds or bank deposits.
  5. Be a Fit-and-Proper Individual: 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.
  6. Provide evidence of Health Insurance: All applicants must be covered by a qualifying health insurance policy, which provides cover in Malta and the Schengen Area.

Please contact Sovereign for a full set of the terms and conditions applicable, a quotation, answers to your questions and for further advice.

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.

Please contact Sovereign for a full set of the terms and conditions applicable, a quotation, answers to your questions and for further advice.

Nomad Residency Permit

Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit is an ideal solution for remote workers looking for a new place to call home while working. It allows applicants to live and work in Malta for a year, it is renewable twice for a maximum of three years, and is available to anyone who is self-employed, freelance or employed by a foreign company.

Qualification requirements

Qualifying non-European applicants must prove they can work remotely, using telecoms. They must also prove they fall under any one of the following three categories:

  • Work for an employer that is registered in a foreign country and have a contract of work.
  • Conduct business activities for a company that is registered in a foreign country and of which applicant is partner/shareholder.
  • Offer freelance or consulting services to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country, and with whom the applicant has contracts.

Applicants must also demonstrate they have a gross monthly income of €2,700, or €32,400 per annum.

Please contact Sovereign for a full set of the terms and conditions applicable, a quotation, answers to your questions and for further advice.

Two additional Market Leading Programmes

Malta offers two additional market leading programmes, the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Programme, which ultimately provides citizenship to investors once they have held residency in Malta for either 12 or 36 months, and the Global Residency Programme (GRP), which provides applicants with residency and a special tax status.

However, these programmes are not offered by the RMA but by the Community Malta Agency and the Commissioner for Revenue respectively.

Please contact Sovereign for a full set of the terms and conditions applicable, a quotation, answers to your questions and for further advice.

Comprehensive Residency and Citizenship Planning Services

Sovereign works closely with applicants during each stage of the planning and implementation process. When combined and managed correctly, the following Sovereign Group services will enable individuals and families to develop and implement a comprehensive, flexible and tax efficient strategy:

  • International residency and citizenship programmes
  • Tax residency
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Estate and succession planning
  • International retirement plans
  • Wealth management
  • Corporate structures and banking
  • International life and medical insurances.

For further information, to discuss your requirements and/or to determine whether you qualify for the one of the Malta or any other residency or citizenship programmes, please contact Sovereign’s Residency and Citizenship Planning team at:

Contact Sovereign’s Residency and Citizenship Planning team
Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.