The New Malta Residence & Visa Programme Regulations

By virtue of a Legal Notice, issued in August 2015, the Government of Malta has issued new regulations in terms of The Malta Residence & Visa Programme Regulations. These regulations will apply solely to third country nationals, who will be entitled to a Certificate conferring them the right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta, provided that certain rules and regulations are satisfied.

 Beneficiaries  

A beneficiary under these regulations is an individual who proves to the satisfaction of Identity Malta that:

  1. he is a third country national and is not a Maltese, EEA or Swiss national;

  2. he is not a person who benefits under the Residents Scheme Regulations, the High Net Worth Individuals – EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals Rules, the High Net Worth Individuals – Non-EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals Rules, the Malta Retirement Programme Rules, the Residence Programme Rules, the Qualifying Employment in Innovation and Creativity Rules or the Highly Qualified Persons Rules;

  3. he holds a qualifying property for a minimum five (5) year period from the date of issuing of the certificate;

  4. he holds a qualifying investment, in a form determined from time to time by Identity Malta, for a minimum period of (5) years from the date of issuing of the certificate. The said investment must have an initial value of €250,000;

  5. he is, and his dependants are, in possession of a valid travel document;

  6. 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;

  7. he provides an affidavit stating that from the date of application he has either an annual income of not less than €100,000 arising outside Malta or has in his possession a capital of not less than €500,000; and

  8. he is a fit and proper person.

Beneficiaries of the Global Residence Programme are allowed to apply for the issuance of this Certificate, provided they satisfy all the additional eligibility requirements of these regulations.

Dependants 

The rules establish that dependants shall comprise:

  1. the main applicant’s spouse in a monogamous marriage or in another relationship having the same or a similar status to marriage;

  2. a child, including an adopted child, of the main applicant or of his spouse who is less than 18 years of age;

  3. a child of the main applicant or of his spouse who is between the age of 18 and 26, who is not married and not economically active;

  4. a parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his spouse who proves that he is not economically active;

  5. a child of the main applicant or of the spouse of the main applicant who is at least 18 years of age, and who has been certified by a recognised medical professional as having a disability in terms of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act and who is living with, and is fully supported by, the main applicant.

 Immovable Property

If the beneficiary opts to acquire immovable property, the minimum value must be of at least €320,000. However, when the property is in the south of Malta or in Gozo, the minimum value can be of €270,000.

A beneficiary under the programme has the option to rent instead of buying immovable property. The minimum annual rental payment has to be at least €12,000 if the immovable property is situated in Malta or €10,000 if in Gozo or in the south of Malta.

 Rights conferred by the Certificate to the Beneficiary

As mentioned above, the Certificate issued by Identity Malta in terms of these rules would entitle the holder to reside, settle and live in Malta for an indefinite period of time. This certificate is subject to an annual monitoring exercise for the first five years from its issue, and every five years thereafter.

A holder of such Certificate will not be automatically entitled to any other rights mentioned in the Immigration Regulations. 

Submission of applications

An individual, who wishes to submit an application in terms of the Malta Residence & Visas Programme Regulations, must be represented by a registered approved agent or an accredited person.  A non-refundable administrative fee of €5,500 has to be paid upon application.

Upon receipt of the application, Identity Malta would review it and determine whether the applicant qualifies as a beneficiary. If Identity Malta decides that he does qualify, a letter of approval in principle is issued, following which the applicant is asked to pay a contribution of €30,000 less the non‑refundable administrative of €5,500 referred to above.

Once Identity Malta is satisfied that the contribution has been paid in full and that all the necessary supporting documentation is presented, the Certificate would be issued to the applicant accordingly.

ACT Advisory Services Limited is a registered approved agent with Identity Malta and can advise and assist you in the preparation and submission of the application and the pertinent documentation.  At ACT, we will advise our clients with any tax planning opportunities which may be applicable as well as ensure (together with our foreign tax advisors) that there will be no negative tax implications in the departing country. Through our in-house tax specialists we will also be able to advise and assist our clients with their annual income tax compliance requirements.

For more information about the various residency schemes applicable in Malta and on the tax aspects thereof, please contact either Stephen Balzan ([email protected]) or Liana Falzon ([email protected]).

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