The Maltese Residency Programs
Malta is a very attractive destination, not only as a tourist location but also from a business and financial hub. As a member of the EU and the OECD, the Maltese passport is ranked as one of the top 10 in the world. Due to its strong reputation and stable economy, Malta is an attractive financial destination for investors and families alike. In recent years we have seen a significant increase in South Africans acquiring residency in Malta as well as moving to Malta permanently.
Malta has two residency programs: the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP) and the Global Residence Program (MGRP). See below for details.
The Global Residence Program is attractive to investors who are looking to reside in Malta and pay a fixed annual tax.
The Residence and Visa Program is aimed at investors who are looking to acquire a second residency through investment and not necessarily wanting to live in Malta.
The university of Malta is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
English and Maltese
UN, EU, Eurozone, Commonwealth, Council of Europe, OSCE
316 km2 (122 sq mi)
GDP per capita
22,779.91 USD (2013)
Drive on the left
Malta: Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)
In 2016, the Government of Malta launched its new Residence and Visa Program, which offers investors Maltese residency in only 3 to 4 months. The program is aimed at non-EU foreigners who are looking for a straight forward route to obtain Maltese residency.
This program is very attractive to families who are wanting to get a second residency in the EU, but are not necessarily looking to physically immigrate and live in Malta.
In comparison to other countries' programs such as that of Portugal or Spain's Golden Visa programs, Malta offers a far simpler and more straight forward route to residency. The application time frame is also much quicker with investors achieving residency in 4-8 months (as of end of 2018, applications typically have been taking 6 months).
As Malta has been offering residency in exchange for investment successfully for many years now, the Government has extensive experience in the management and running of its programs. This can also be seen in the ongoing demand and success of its exclusive Individual Investor Program for Citizenship as well as its Global Residence Program.
In order to qualify for the Residence and Visa Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Purchase or Rental of property
In order to qualify for the residency program, applicants are required to purchase immovable property in Central and Northern Malta with a minimum value of EUR 320 000, or EUR 270 000 if in Gozo or the South.
Alternatively, applicants can choose to rent a property provided that the minimum annual rental is at least EUR 12 000 or EUR 10 000 (Gozo or South)
2. Make an investment into Government bonds
Capital investment of at least EUR 250 000 into Government bonds. This must be held for 5 years.
3. Make a non-refundable Government contribution of EUR 30 000
On submission of the application, a non-refundable Government administration fee of EUR 5500 must be paid. Once the investor has been qualified, the remainder of the EUR 30 000 (less the initial fee) must be paid.
The requirements for the Maltese Residence and Visa Program are relatively straight forward. Applicants must pass a due diligence test and prove legitimate source of funds and source of wealth.
The applicant must have a clean criminal record;
Main applicant must be over the age of 18;
Applicants must be in possession of valid travel documents;
The applicant must be a third country national. They cannot be a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland;
Global health insurance: A valid global health insurance policy with medical expense cover. We can assist with this.
Malta’s due diligence processes are strict and applicants that do not meet the criteria can be declined.
Malta allows dual citizenship. This can be found in the Maltese Citizenship Act. South Africa also allows dual citizenship provided an application is made to the Department of Home Affairs.
Please note that both of these are residency programs and do not lead to citizenship. In order to acquire citizenship in Malta, you should consider the Individual Investor Program (IIP).
TRAVEL AND BENEFITS
Maltese residency allows the holder visa free travel to all the Schengen zone countries as well as the right to live, study and work in Malta. It allows the investor to spend a maximum of 90 out of every 180 days in any of the Schengen zone countries allowing freedom of travel and mobility within most of the EU.
Please note that Maltese residency does not give the right to live and work in Europe, only Maltese citizenship will give this freedom and access. With a Maltese passport, one can travel visa free to more than 165 countries including the USA.
Malta is a family friendly country and allows the spouse and dependent children to be included in the application, provided you can show they are dependent .
Malta has a double taxation agreement with many countries, including South Africa, which can add an attractive advantage for some investors.
Acquiring Maltese citizenship does not in itself trigger tax residency. Individuals who are resident but not domiciled in Malta pay tax on income arising in Malta as well as income remitted to Malta from outside.
In Malta, personal income is taxed at progressive rates up to 35%. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is levied on immovable property and shares, but it is not levied under certain prescribed conditions. Malta does not have estate duty or gift tax. Corporate tax is 35% and standard VAT is 18%. Malta has special tax concessions that apply for non –resident or non-domiciled persons.
Property Tax in Malta
There are no property taxes in Malta, i.e. no levies or rates and taxes; only water and electricity which is based on usage.
Stamp duty is 5%, and notarial/legal fees between 1-3%.
There is no inheritance tax.
Please note, we strongly encourage clients to obtain professional tax advice.
PROCESS AND TIMELINES
The Residence and Visa Program has a relatively straight forward process. The initial non-refundable deposit of the contribution (EUR 5 500) is paid along with the application submission. Once thorough due diligence checks have been done, successful applicants must complete the remaining qualifying investments. They will then be issued with a Maltese Residency Certificate which is monitored annually for the first five years and then only every 5 years thereafter.
Malta - Country Info
Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is an archipelago of 7 islands located in the Mediterranean Sea. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants.
Malta is the largest island and known as the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo, the second largest island, is more rural, and can be characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, which is the smallest of the trio, has one hotel and is largely uninhabited.
The country lies 80 km south of Sicily and 284 km East of Tunisia. With a tiny area of 316 square kilometres, it is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries and has the smallest capital city in the EU. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and then became a republic in 1974. Malta and Gozo more famously known as investment and lifestyle destinations and the country is known to have one of the best climates in the world.
The University of Malta is one of the oldest universities in Europe and was founded in 1592.
Malta’s Grand Harbour boasts of being one of the best natural deep-water harbours in the world.
The megalithic temples in Malta boast of having a lineage older than England’s Stonehenge.
Malta is believed to have served as the site of the legendary city of Atlantis.
Mosta Dome is the third largest unsupported church dome in Europe.
Calypso Cave is said to be the cave that Homer wrote about in The Odyssey.
Valletta, its current capital, is one of the most concentrated historical areas in the world, according to UNESCO.
Malta receives almost triple of its population in tourist arrivals per year: from slightly more than 414,000 people working and living on the island to 1,242,000 of tourist arrivals.
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