Malta Golden Visa

December 15 16:13 2015 by The Editor Print This Article

The Malta Golden Visa was launched in August 2015 by virtue of an amendment to the Immigration Act, Cap 217 of the Laws of Malta. Legal Notice 288 of 2015 was enacted with the aim of attracting individuals of impeccable standing and repute to receive a Malta Golden Visa on the basis of a one-time contribution of €30,000 to Malta and an investment of €250,000 for 5 years in Malta Government Bonds. Under this Malta residency by investment programme applicants and their registered dependents enjoy the opportunity to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta and to hold a Schengen card allowing visa-free travel within the Schengen area. 

Eligibility for the Malta Golden Visa

An individual shall be eligible to apply for a Malta Golden Visa on satisfying the following conditions:

  • The applicant is a non-EU/EEA national
  • The applicant is at least eighteen years of age
  • The applicant must provide a clean police conduct
  • The applicant must provide evidence that he/she holds an annual income of at least €100,000 or holds capital of at least €500,000
  • The applicant and his/her dependents must be in possession of a European Health Insurance policy. 

Qualifying Investments for the Malta Golden Visa

Apart from satisfying the above eligibility requirements, the applicant must also invest in Malta by satisfying these 3 requirements:

  • Contribution: Once an applicant is approved for the Malta Golden Visa, he/she must pay €30,000 to the Government of Malta (less the non-refundable fee of €5,500 payable upon submission of the application).
  • Property: An applicant must also buy or rent a property in Malta or in Gozo/South Malta. In terms of the Malta Golden Visa regulations, a qualifying property is an immovable property which is purchased for a minimum value of €320,000 if situated in Malta or €270,000 if situated in Gozo/South Malta. Alternatively an applicant may also rent a property for a minimum value of €12,000 if situated in Malta or €10,000 if situated in Gozo/South Malta. 
  • Investment: An applicant must also make a qualifying investment in the form determined by Identity Malta holding a minimum value of €250,000.

Advantages of the Malta Golden Visa

  • Right to reside, settle and stay indefinitely in Malta
  • Maltese Residence Card allows its holder free travel within 26 members of the Schengen Area
  • Malta is a member of the European Union since 2004 and part of Schengen since 2007
  • Malta is a neutral, safe and stable country having a European lifestyle but with a Mediterranean quality of life

Eligibiltiy for a Malta Golden Visa

Family eligibility includes:

  • Spouse or partner in a long and durable relationship of the Main applicant
  • Child or adopted child of the Main applicant or his spouse/partner below the age of 18
  • Economically dependent and unmarried children of the Main applicant or of the spouse/partner between the age of 18 and 26
  • Economically dependent parents or grandparents of the Main application or of the spouse/partner. 

Schengen Area

A Maltese Golden Visa allows its holder free travel within the Schengen Area, The Schengen agreement, implimented in 1985 allows freedom of movement betweeen the countries which are signed to it. At the moment the Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and border controls at their common internal borders. The Schengen Area comprises a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres. Out of the 28 member states of the EU, 20 member states form part of this area. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania are legally obliged to join this area while the UK and Ireland maintain opt-outs. 

An applicant for the Malta Golden Visa programme must be represented by registered and approved Malta Immigration Agents licensed to submit applications under the Malta Golden Visa programme. The more active licensed Immigration Agents are law firms who have specialised immigration law practices but can also provide pre-immigration tax advice to ensure the full benefits of tax residency in Malta are enjoyed while the pitfalls of a failure to plan are avoided.

Applying for a Malta Golden Visa

The regulations prescribe that applications are to be made via a lawyer licenced as a residency agent.  The processing fee of €5,500 is payable on account of the final contribution of €30,000, the balance of which is due only on approval.

The Author

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti is Tax & Immigration Partner at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, which he co-founded in 2001.   At Chetcuti Cauchi, Dr Chetcuti heads the firm's Private Client Practice across the firm's Malta and Cyprus practices.  He is a leading Malta citizenship lawyer and residency specialist.  He was the first to be licenced to handle Malta Citizenship applications under the Malta Individual Investor Program (with Malta Citizenship Agent licence IIP 001) and to handle residency applications under the Malta Global Residence program, the Malta Residency by Investment programme (Malta Golden Visa program).

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