EU residence is a prestigious and profitable long-term option for prosperous businessmen who aim to protect themselves and their businesses and search for the opportunity to quickly change their tax residence in case of unforeseen circumstances in the sphere of tax legislation. Malta noticeably distinguishes itself from the numerous countries providing this opportunity.
Since the year 2013, Malta’s Government has worked actively on attracting high net worth individuals to the country. At the moment, Malta has several official programs that allow one to receive Malta’s temporary residence, permanent residence or citizenship by investment.
The term of document processing both for temporary and permanent residence is quite short — 2-3 months for MRVP, and 3-4 months for GRP. But it will take one from 12 to 14 months to receive Malta’s citizenship. It is clear that the cost of Malta’s passport is noticeably higher than that one of temporary or permanent residence document. The applicant must make a non-refundable contribution of at least €650,000 in the state fund. However, this status provides numerous advantages: the opportunity to live and work in the countries of the European Union, the opportunity to travel without visa to 167 countries around the globe and the right to register a business in Malta under reduced tax rates.
One should take into consideration that passport issuance under IIP (by one-time investment) is carried out according to quota limitations (1,800 permits). Meanwhile, the demand for this program increases every year.
According to the data of The Third Annual Report of the Government of Malta regarding the IIP, 723 citizenship application forms were filed within the period from the program launch to June 2016. Sixty (60) applicants were rejected. From July 2015 to June 2016, the number of those who submitted applications reached 450. The majority of program participants came from Europe.
Malta’s citizenship is in high demand especially among the British people: only within the first half of the year 2017, 492 people filed applications. This number exceeds the number of applications submitted in 2016. The Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat alleges it might be due to Brexit voting results.
How much financial resources does it take to receive residence? The major part of the expenses will go to purchasing or renting immovable property. If you decide to purchase a real estate object, the minimum investment should be at least €275,000 for the property located in the north or in the center of Malta and €220,000 for the property located in the south of the country or in Gozo. Another option, least expensive, is to rent property. To meet the program’s rules, one needs to rent a real estate object in the north or in the center of Malta for at least €9,600 per year, while in the south or in Gozo for at least €8,750.
Apart from purchasing or renting real estate, one must fulfill several other conditions:
There are also some limitations. A real estate object can be used only by the applicant and the applicant’s family members. That is why one shouldn’t count on renting out the purchased property. In order to keep the special tax status, one must own or rent property.
Even if your major goal is to obtain a travel document to move across Europe or to create a “safe haven” in a EU country, it’s still good to know if it’s worth investing in Malta’s real estate. Will one be able to sell the purchased property after a while and multiply the income at the same time? Let’s see the advantages of purchasing a villa or another residential property in Malta:
Malta offers houses within various price categories. In the majority of cases, luxurious resort real estate like villas, bungalows, townhouses are being purchased to meet the requirements for a residency. A two- and four-bedroom house in a small quiet town would cost €400,000-600,000. Small villas in popular resort towns, such as Sliema, St Julian’s, Valletta, High Ridge, Victoria Gardens, Mellieha, Madliena, located at a certain distance from the beach, cost approximately €500,000-900,000, while a price tag for bigger houses would be around €1,000,000. Beach-front real estate objects would cost on average €2,000,000. For two- and three-story houses of the luxury segment with a sea view, swimming pool and yacht berths one will need to pay at least €7,000,000.
The process of obtaining residence usually takes not more than 3 months. For the successful outcome, the applicant must have all the means required for investment and must also be and act in compliance with the following criteria:
Apart from the main applicant, his/her relatives can also apply for the resident status: husband or wife, children under the age of 25 (provided that they are not married and are financially dependent on the applicant) and parents over 55 years of age. So Malta’s program is a reasonable solution for those who seek a comfortable place for the whole family.
The process of receiving resident status is clear and simple:
Malta’s residence opens doors to great opportunities: to live in the European country with a pleasant climate, travel without visa across Europe and have special tax status. One should also keep in mind high standards of medical and educational services in Malta. Tax optimization is another reason to consider this country for residence. All this makes it desirable and prestigious for one to obtain the official status in the country, be it either temporary or permanent residence, or citizenship.