Owing to its warm Mediterranean climate, full EU membership and favorable and efficient policies regarding investment residency and citizenship plans, Malta is quickly becoming one of the most popular European destinations for business immigration. Whether you’re looking to relocate on a more permanent basis or simply make the most of a favorable business climate, Malta deserves serious consideration as your country of choice.
Located at the very center of the Mediterranean, Malta is an archipelago of islands between Italy and North Africa. Only three islands of the archipelago are populated, with the total population currently at about half a million. Due to its geographic location, Malta is the warmest country in Europe, with a climate characterized by a long, hot summer and a mild winter. Even in winter the temperatures rarely drop below 10˚C, and Malta is regularly featured among the countries with the best climate in the world. That’s a big part of the reason why the country receives three times its population in tourist influx over the course of the year.
The country has a rich and turbulent history spanning 8 millennia of human presence. An intersection of various worlds, the archipelago has been under the influence of its numerous rulers – Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Phoenicians, French, British, they have all left their mark on Malta. This is reflected in the country’s languages. The two official languages are English and Maltese (a language from the Semitic family with a heavy Italian influence), while more than half of the population also speaks Italian, and the French language is also fairly widespread, making communication a non-issue throughout the country.
Overall, Malta is a very safe country with a high quality of life. Violent crime is the lowest in Europe, along with Cyprus, while non-violent crime is below the EU average. The cost of living is fairly low, and the country boasts a highly affordable public transport system and a public health system that’s consistently rated as one of finest in Europe.Investment immigration
There are two main models for investment immigration to Malta – residency and citizenship. We will give you a brief overview of each model, and you can thencompare Malta residency and citizenship by investment programsin greater detail.
The authorities of Malta have created favorable programs both for golden residency and passport. Bureaucracy has been reduced to a minimum in both instances, with clearly defined procedures. As usual, residency holds a lower entry price, but its benefits are also more limited, compared to the pricier citizenship program.Residency
The procedure to acquire the so-called Malta golden visa is the fastest in all of Europe. Residency through investment procedure lasts between a month and a month and a half. Once the procedure is conducted, you gain an indefinite right to live in the country, without any requirements for physical residence. This right is also transferable to your family members, and there is also a possibility of a tax exemption for your income from other countries.
Acquiring Maltese residency through investment is straightforward and extremely fast. You and your family members gain the right to live on Malta indefinitely, but there is no physical residence requirement. You will also have to possibility for a tax-exemption on your worldwide income.
The process itself is fairly simple and straightforward: you first pay a non-returnable advance fee of EUR 5,500 upon submission as coverage for due diligence checks. Once your application has been approved, you are required to make the remaining defined investments – a EUR 250,000 investment in government bonds for five years (which will be fully refunded upon expiration), and a non-refundable EUR 30,000 contribution, deducted by the initial EUR 5,500 advance. As the final investment, you will need to buy or rent property in Malta, with varying prices depending on a number of variables.
Initially, your Malta residency is valid for five years, but it can then be extended indefinitely, without any financial obligations. Residency allows you and your family members unrestricted travel within EU’s Schengen zone.Citizenship
In order to apply for citizenship, you must first have a residence permit active for at least 12 months prior to the application. Another prerequisite is a commitment to maintaining a residential property in the country for a five-year minimum. You will also be required to invest EUR 150,000 in projects approved by the government, make a non-refundable donation of EUR 650,000 minimum to the National Development Fund, and pay government fees which can be as high as EUR 70,000+. It may seem like a steep price to buy a Maltese passport, but the benefits are numerous.
The citizenship is granted for life, and your descendants will also have the right to a Malta passport. Additionally, your family members can also apply for citizenship for an additional fee. A Maltese passport grants you the right to live, study, work and own property anywhere in the EU, and you will also be able to travel visa-free to more than 150 countries in the world, including USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.
To conclude, Malta’s programs for foreign investors are extremely quick and efficient, and its general status as an EU member with strong institutions and a stable economy will certainly appeal to investors looking for certainty and transparency.