In February 2016, Identity Malta Agency issued the MRVP guidelines and application forms which provide international investors with the right to take up residency in Malta indefinitely. These rights apply only to non-EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals. On the 4th of July 2017, the Government of Malta issued a new Legal Notice whereby a number of changes were announced to the MRVP. The program falls under the Immigration Act and is available to both the applicant and their dependents, provided the following conditions are satisfied.
The qualifications and general requirements are that the applicant must:
- be at least eighteen years of age;
- meet the application requirements;
- have a clean criminal record, have passed the due diligence test and be a fit and proper person;
- commit himself/herself to a qualifying investment of an initial value of €250,000 which must be held for a minimum of period of 5 years from the date of the issuance of the certificate;
- commit himself/herself to pay in full a contribution of €30,000, which fee covers the main applicant, spouse, and the children of the main applicant and/or the spouse at application stage;
- commit himself/herself to provide proof of title to a qualifying property which may be either of the following:
- A qualifying owned property purchased at a consideration of not less than €270,000 for a property situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta, or €320,000 for a property situated elsewhere in Malta
- A qualifying rented property, taken on lease for a rent of not less than €10,000 per annum for a property situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta, or not less than €12,000 per annum for a property situated elsewhere in Malta.
The rules establish that dependants shall comprise:
- the main applicant’s spouse 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. The changes introduced in the Legal Notice issued in July 2017 removed the age limit of 27 at application stage for unmarried economically dependant children over the age of 18. This means that qualifying children over the age of 27 at the time of application can be included. Children of the main applicant and/or his/her spouse, who would have qualified as dependants at application stage, will not lose the residency rights on their 27th birthday, or if they become economically active or get married. If they marry, or enter into a similar relationship they may also be able to add their spouse/partner and their direct dependants for an additional non-refundable contribution fee of €5,000 per applicant and subject to successful due diligence checks;
- a child, including an adopted child, of the main applicant or of his spouse, who at the time of application is not yet born or not yet adopted;
- a parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of his spouse who proves that he is not economically active. In this case the contribution will increase by €5,000 per parent/grandparent;
- 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.
An additional non-refundable fee of €5,000 (per dependent) would be required from the main applicant should he/she like to add the following as dependants on the Certificate of Residence:
- the spouse of the beneficiary’s or his spouse’s approved child, who would have been previously accepted as a dependant in the residence certificate;
- any dependant who, after the appointed day is born to or adopted by an approved child, or his spouse, where the letter is already a beneficiary under the MRVP rules;
- the spouse or minor/child of a dependant;
- a child born or adopted after the approval date, of a previously approved dependant child of the main applicant and/or the spouse, or of the previously approved dependant child’s spouse;
- a child born or adopted after the approval date, of the main applicant or of his spouse.
The applicant must pay a non-refundable administrative fee of €5,500 on application, which will be deducted from the above-mentioned contribution of €30,000. The applicant will need to provide an affidavit declaring that from the date of the application onwards he either has an annual income of not less than €100,000 arising outside Malta or has capital of not less than €500,000.
The applicant must be a third country national i.e. not a Maltese, EU, EEA or Swiss national.
The applicant must not benefit from any other scheme applicable in Malta i.e. the Global Residence Programme Rules, the High Net Worth Individuals – EU / EEA / Swiss Nationals Rules, the Malta Retirement Program Rules, the Residence Program Rules, the Qualifying Employment in Innovation and Creativity Rules or the Highly Qualified Persons Rules.
The beneficiary must hold both the qualifying property and the qualifying investment for a minimum five (5) year period following the appointed date. The certificate of residence will give the applicant and the registered dependents the right to reside, settle or stay indefinitely in Malta.
An application in terms of the MRVP rules must be submitted through the services of a registered accredited person or a registered approved agent with Identity Malta. ACT Advisory Services Limited is able to offer this service as it is registered as such with Identity Malta.
For more information about the program, please contact one of the firm’s partners, either Stephen Balzan ([email protected]) or Liana Falzon ([email protected]), the latter being the partner in charge of the firm’s private clients.