Malta Residency for EU Nationals: A Comparison Between The European Ordinary Residence Programme and The Residence Programme (TRP)

Malta has some of the most attractive residency programmes in the EU for European, Swiss and EEA nationals. The island is a popular destination for a second home among EU nationals due to its Mediterranean lifestyle, favourable climate, and unique culture. EU nationals can obtain a Malta Residency Permit by applying for either The Ordinary Residency or The Residency Programme. The two programmes have different requirements but both permits can be renewed every five years.

Malta EU Residence permit

The Malta EU Residence Permit also known as the Ordinary Residence programme can be applied for by EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who are looking to relocate to Malta and exercise their right of freedom of movement in the European Union. This is obtained through an application for an E-residence card and an application for an income tax number.

Whilst there is no minimum stay requirement, as per the EU Directive, an e-residence card is only issued to an applicant after residing in Malta for more than three consecutive months. Thus, when applying for the e-residence card, one has to show a strong intention to reside in Malta which should be evidenced with documentation.

Malta EU Residence permit: Eligibility

EU nationals are eligible to apply under this residence route if they are financially stable, or are working or studying in Malta, or family members in Malta, and have physically stayed in Malta for at least 3 months. If an applicant is applying for a residence permit by showing economic self-sufficiency, he or she should have a minimum bank balance of €14,000. If applicants are applying as a married couple, they are required to have a minimum bank statement of €24,000.

Malta EU Residence permit: Property Requirement

Applicants are required to have a physical address in Malta prior to applying for the Ordinary Residence permit. This means that the applicant must buy or rent a property in Malta but there is no minimum or maximum value for the property in order to qualify.

Malta EU Residence Permit: Tax Regime

Applicants under this programme are taxed on a source and remittance basis, thus taxed on income arising in Malta and income arising abroad if remitted to Malta. Non-domiciled residents are however subject to pay a minimum annual tax of €5,000, if earning at least €35,000 of annual income outside Malta.

The Residence Programme – TRP

The Residence Programme (TRP) is a special tax programme that EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals can apply for. Beneficiaries of this programme are granted a special tax status and a reduced tax rate of 15% on foreign income remitted to Malta.

The Residence Programme: Eligibility

Anyone wishing to apply for The Residence Programme in Malta should have a stable financial income, a health insurance, a valid travel document, and pay a minimum annual tax of €15,000. Furthermore, the applicant should rent or purchase a property in Malta and pay a one-time government application fee of €6,000.

Applicants under this programme are not allowed to spend more than 183 days in another jurisdiction in one year.

The Residence Programme: Residential Property Requirement

Unlike the EU Residence Permit, The Residence Programme has a fixed minimum property value that applicants need to abide with in order to qualify for the permit.

  • Property purchase should be at a minimum of €275,000 if situated in Malta or €220,000 if situated in the south of Malta or Gozo.
  • Property should be leased at a minimum of €9,600 annually if situated in Malta, or €8,750 annually if situated in the south of Malta or Gozo.

The Residence Programme: Tax Regime

Beneficiaries of the TRP are not subject to tax on foreign source income which is not remitted to Malta. The special tax status grants applicants a flat rate of tax of 15% on income that is received in Malta from abroad.

Individuals under this special tax status will be required to pay an annual minimum tax of €15,000.

The EU Residence Permit and The Residence Programme: A Comparison

Malta EU Residence Permit The Residence Programme (TRP)
Annual Minimum Tax 0* €15,000
Tax Rate 0% – 35% Special Tax Status (STS)

  • 15% flat rate on foreign remitted income
  • 35% flat rate on income derived from Malta
Property Purchase Any value Central/North €275,000

South/Gozo €220,000

Property Rental Any value Central/North €9,600

South/Gozo €8,750

Official Application Fee €6,000
Dependants Spouse & dependant children up to the age of 21 Spouse, Children up to 25 years, brothers, sisters and parents

(If financially dependant)

Application Process 4-8 weeks 3 months

*Minimum tax may be applicable in some cases.

Our expert team of advisers can help EU/EEA/Swiss nationals understand which programme is better suited for them to obtain a Malta Residence Permit. Get in touch with us today to explore your options and learn more about Malta Residency for EU nationals.

Our Firm is an Authorised Registered Mandatory with the Commissioner for Revenue and holds licence number ARM 04407.

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