Malta Residence and VISA Programme Regulations

Malta has introduced a residency scheme in terms of which a residency permit is granted confirming the right to land and remain permanently in Malta, to individuals who satisfy specified conditions. The certificate entitles the beneficiary and his dependants to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta

and constitutes an e-residence card entitling the holder to travel within the European Union, together with a valid travel document, without needing to request a visa.

The certificate is monitored annually for the first five years from its issue, to verify adherence to the conditions and every five years thereafter.

Registered dependants for the purpose of the regulations are defined as individuals who have not benefited from any other residence scheme in Malta and have any of the following relations with the applicant:

the spouse of the main applicant in a monogamous marriage or in another relationship having the same or a similar status to marriage;
a child, including an adopted child, of the main applicant or of his spouse who is less than eighteen years of age; or is between the age of eighteen and twenty-six years, who is not married, is not economically active and is principally dependant on the applicant;
a parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his spouse who is not economically active and is dependent thereon; or
a special needs child of the main applicant or of the spouse of the main applicant.
An application in terms of the regulation must be completed through a registered approved agent or accredited person (BDO Malta is already registered as an approved agent) and requires the payment of a non-refundable administrative fee of €5,500.

Upon the issuance of a written determination by Identity Malta that the applicant qualifies as a beneficiary, prior to the issuance of the certificate, the applicant must pay a contribution of €30,000 (less the administrative fee already paid), plus present:

a title to a qualifying immovable property, which if owned was purchased at a consideration of not less than €320,000 (reduced to €270,000 if the property is situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta) and if rented, taken on lease for a rent of not less than €12,000 (reduced to €10,000 if the property is situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta) per annum;
a certificate to a qualifying investment which is an investment having an initial value of €250,000.

The certificate is issued subsequent to a due diligence procedure and the confirmation of the payment of the required contributions and proper background checks carried out by Identity Malta.

Annual review and verifications

Once the certificate is issued, Identity Malta annually monitors the applicant and his dependants to ensure that all the following conditions are met on an ongoing basis:

he is a third country national and is not a Maltese, EEA or Swiss national;
he is not a person who benefits under other residence schemes;
he holds a qualifying property for a minimum five (5) year period from the date of issuing of certificate;
he holds a qualifying investment for a minimum period of five (5) years from the date of issuing of certificate;
without prejudice to any other provision of this regulation, he is in receipt of stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain himself and his dependants without recourse to the social assistance system of Malta;
he and his dependants are, in possession of a valid travel document;
he is in possession of sickness insurance in respect of all risks across the whole of the European Union normally covered for Maltese nationals for himself and his dependants;
he provides an affidavit declaring that from the date of the application he either has an annual income of not less than hundred thousand euro (€100,000) arising outside Malta or has in his possession a capital of not less than five hundred thousand euro (€500,000).

If any of these conditions are not satisfied on an ongoing basis, the beneficiary ceases to benefit from the certificate issued under the regulations. The benefits of the programme are also lost if the applicant:

becomes a long term resident (that is a person who has long-term resident status in terms of the Status of Long-term Residents (Third Country Nationals) Regulations; or who applies for long-term resident status under the Status of Long-term Residents (Third Country Nationals) Regulations; or
after the appointed day such individual stays legally and continuously in Malta for a period of four or more years;
Following the death of the beneficiary, Identity Malta may at its full discretion determine that the certificate issued as referred to above is to be issued to a dependant of that deceased beneficiary.

Tax Status

Upon the issue of the certificate, once the beneficiary and his dependants take up residence in Malta, he will be deemed to be resident in Malta if on an annual basis he spends more than 183 days in Malta. Unless he expresses the intention of staying in Malta indefinitely he will not be deemed to have acquired a Maltese domicile. Therefore as a resident non domiciled individual he will be taxable in Malta at the resident tax rates (unless he is a beneficiary in terms of the Global Residence Programme which provides for a flat tax rate of 15% on foreign source income remitted to Malta and 35% on Malta source income), only on foreign source income which is remitted to Malta and on Malta source income.

Any foreign source capital gains are not brought to tax in Malta even if remitted to Malta.

The taxation on remittance basis is applicable as long as the beneficiary does not become a long term resident or applies for long term residence status.

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