The Malta Permanent Residence Program launched in 2021 by means of Legal Notice 121 of 2021 offers permanent residence in Malta upon successful completion of a four-tier due diligence process.
Residency cards are issued for 5 years and are renewable indefinitely provided the investor maintains a Maltese address and all other Programme requirements and eligibility. The MPRP is based on either a property investment or on the rental of property, together with the payment of a contribution to the government and a donation to charity. Processing takes between 4 to 6 months.
Malta Permanent Residence Programme: Benefits
- Maltese Permanent Residence grants families the right to reside and stay indefinitely in Malta: a Certificate of Malta Permanent Residence for Life is issued after approval upon complying with the investment requirements.
- Malta is part of the Schengen Area and investors enjoy visa-free movement within the Schengen Area, with no visa applications required prior to travel and freedom of movement within the 26 countries that form the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of a 180-day period.
- The Malta Permanent Residence Programme allows its beneficiaries the right to reside, settle and stay in Malta indefinitely.
Malta Permanent Residence vs Other Golden Visas
- The Malta Permanent Residence Programme is the only European residency program to allow a property rental option without requiring the purchase of property before applying for residence, making the process both easy and convenient in times when travel restrictions are the norm.
- The required investment need only be made on approval at the end of the process and not at the outset.
- Permanent residence is indefinite as long as all Programme obligations are maintained..
- Property ownership is not obligatory since a rental option is available.
- Residence cards are renewed every 5 years.
- English is an official language and is widely spoken in Malta. However, the Malta Permanent Residence Programme does not apply a language test at any stage.
Eligibility for Malta Permanent Residence
In order to be eligible for the programme, the applicant must show that he is in possession of €500,000 in capital, of which €150,000 must take the form of financial assets, such as bank deposits or stocks.
Family applications are allowed by the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. The following family members may be included in a family application for Maltese permanent residence::
- spouses or unmarried long term partners;
- dependent unmarried children with no age limit, as well as
- parents and grand parents on either side.
Investments Qualifying for Malta Permanent Residence
Subject to a non-refundable government administration fee of €10,000 payable on submission of the PR application, all investments and the government contribution are payable only on approval. The Malta government contribution is lower if the applicant chooses to buy rather than rent a qualifying property.
- The Property Investment Option
Permanent Residence under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme requires a fixed government contribution of €68,000 together with a minimum residential property investment in Malta of at least €300,000 in Gozo or the South of Malta, or at least €350,000 in the rest of Malta.
- The Property Rental Option
Property ownership is not obligatory, and applicants may opt to rent rather than purchase property in Malta – this attracts a higher non-refundable government contribution of €98,000. The minimum qualifying rent for property in the south of Malta is €10,000 and €12,000 in the rest of Malta.
Hence, an applicant must:
- Choose a property investment (rental or purchase)
- Pay a contribution of €68,000 when purchasing or €98,000 when renting a property
- Pay a €2,000 donation to an approved charity or NGO.
Malta Permanent Residence: Time Frame
From the Agency’s side, there is a renewed commitment towards increased efficiency, with a targeted processing time of 4-6 months, leaving due diligence of applicants as paramount over speed considerations.
Malta Permanent Residence: Contributions
The fees under the new MPRP regulations are as follows:
- €68,000 / €98,000 government contribution (in case of property purchase/rental respectively).
- Parents/grandparents: €7,500
A philanthropic donation of €2,000 to an approved charity or NGO in Malta is also to be paid after the approval.
Competitiveness of Maltese PR
Malta continues to take note of a competitive market place of European countries competing in their attractiveness for foreign investors. Accordingly, some competitive advantages:
- Permanent residence status is not lost if the resident does not reside in Malta in any given year.
- No need to purchase property if property rent is preferred to start with.
- Persons planning their tax resident status in Malta should seek tax advice on the minimum presence and other criteria required for tax residence.
Tax System for Malta Permanent Residents
The Malta Permanent Residence Programme is tax neutral and does not offer any tax benefits, nor does it create any adverse tax effects. Malta’s tax system applies independently of the MPRP.
Tax resident status is not an automatic consequence of acquiring permanent residence in Malta.
Tax resident status results from a residence in Malta of over 183 days, or where residents have spent less than the 183 days in Malta, they may demonstrate various connecting factors evidencing their intention to reside in Malta ordinarily. Permanent residents of Malta requiring formal confirmation of their tax residence status in Malta are able to obtain this through a separate procedure – prior legal advice is recommended. Contact us for a tax consultation.
Non-tax residents are only subject to tax on local source income. Tax residents of Malta enjoy a remittance basis of taxation, often referred to as res non-dom taxation, whereby they are only subject to Maltese tax on their foreign income only to the extent remitted to Malta, and not on their foreign source capital gains, whether remitted or not. The enjoyment of the res non-dom tax regime by persons having incomes sources abroad exceeding €35,000 are subject to a minimum annual tax of €5,000.
Under Maltese law, the connecting factors determining the taxability of individuals are domicile and residence, remnants of Malta’s British colonial history. Citizenship is not a factor that effects the taxation of individuals.
Income is taxable in Malta only if it arises in Malta. Income arising abroad, is only taxable in Malta if a person is tax resident in Malta and only on that portion that is remitted to Malta. Capital gains are taxable in Malta only if arising in Malta but are subject to various exemptions. Capital gains arising out of Malta are not subject to tax, nor are they reportable, whether remitted to Malta or not.
Malta has no wealth or capital taxes, no wealth reporting obligations, no inheritance taxation, no property taxes, no dividend taxes, and no system of rates.
Our Malta Permanent Residence Services
ACC is a Maltese Immigration Firm holding licence number AKM-ACCA-21. We guide high net worth international families and their businesses on subjects as diverse as residency & citizenship, corporate, tax, financial services, fintech, property. Over the last 20 years, our Malta Permanent Residence specialists have successfully represented hundreds of individuals and families ranging from expatriate retirees, emigrants seeking employment. We are committed to promoting Malta as a welcoming investment and relocation destination, with a history of hospitality and multi-culturalism.
We are able to advise you on the tax and legal implications and requirements of the residence application process and indicate expected time frames based on the specific circumstances and nature of your application. Our advice covers the rules applicable to immigrating to Malta under a number of available residence schemes as well as practical relocation assistance ranging from transportation and insurance to schooling and health insurance coverage.