Residency

Benefits and drawbacks of Malta permanent residence

Investors can obtain Malta PR under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. It offers many advantages, such as an opportunity to freely live and work in Malta, travel to the Schengen countries without visas for 90 days in 180, and return a part of the investment. Obtaining permanent residence by investment usually takes several months; 4—6 months is the application processing time.
Advantages and disadvantages of Malta Permanent Residence

Benefits of Malta permanent residence

Life-long residency in Malta. Permanent residence in Malta is granted for life. You only need to renew it every five years; in comparison, this term is 1—2 years in the case of a temporary residence permit. 

Immigration to Malta. Permanent residence holders can immigrate to Malta at any time. They are allowed to live and study there; also, they can work or run a business if they get permission from local authorities. At the same time, they are not obliged to live in Malta all the time and can visit the country only on vacations. 

Visa-free entry to 25 other European countries. Malta is a Schengen country, so its residence permit allows its holders to enter all the Schengen states visa-free. The allowed period of stay in the Schengen Area is 90 days out of 180.

Countries that one can visit with Malta permanent residency

Austria Finland Iceland Luxembourg Slovakia
Belgium France Italy Netherlands Slovenia
Czechia Germany Latvia Norway Spain
Denmark Greece Liechtenstein Poland Sweden
Estonia Hungary Lithuania Portugal Switzerland

An opportunity to add close family members to the application. Relatives that can participate in the application alongside the main investor are:  

  • spouse;
  • children; 
  • parents;
  • grandparents. 

Spouses may be in official marriage or civil union with the investor. 

Children, parents and grandparents must be principally dependent on the investor. There are also no age limits for them; in comparison, in Cyprus, the permanent residency programme only allows adding children under 25.

Return of money invested in real estate. If an investor chooses to buy real estate under the Malta Permanent Residency Programme, they need to own it for at least five years after obtaining residency. After that time, the investor has a right to sell the property and return part of the invested money. 

Malta housing prices have grown by 4—6% a year from 2015, so purchasing real estate there may be a profitable investment.

The fast and simple process of obtaining. It usually takes several months to get Malta permanent residence; the ordinary non-investment path requires living in the country for at least five years.

The investor is accompanied by Immigrant Invest, a licensed agent of the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. Our lawyers help the applicants to collect all the required documents, fill in the government forms, choose a property to buy, and finally get a Malta PR permit.

Disadvantages of Malta permanent residence

Due Diligence for each family member. The requirement to undergo Due Diligence applies to every investor’s family member over 12 years old. The process includes checks against international databases and searching for information on the Internet. 

Immigrant Invest lawyers help investors to prepare for Due Diligence, gather all the required documents and file all government forms. We also answer additional requests from the Residency Malta Agency, responsible for the MPRP.

Due Diligence is an obligatory procedure for any person that wants to participate in a residency-by-investment programme in any country. However, Malta’s checks are among the most strict and thorough ones.

A limited number of visa-free countries. With a Malta passport, one can visit 180+ countries without a visa. Malta permanent residence allows visa-free entry only to the Schengen states.

Also, Malta citizenship allows one to stay in other Schengen countries for an unlimited time while with permanent residence — for 90 days in 180. 

Non‑refundable payments. Malta requires investors to fulfil several investment conditions. That includes renting or purchasing real estate, paying administration and contribution fees and donating to a charitable organisation. Every investment besides the one into buying property is not refundable.

Registered address needed. An investor and their family must be registered in Malta in a bought or rented property. They need to maintain this registration for the whole period of permanent residency. 

The address might be changed if the investor sells and then buys or rents another property. They need to provide the department of the program with a sales agreement and a new purchase or lease agreement. 

The need to prove the dependence of relatives on the investor. Every family member except the spouse or partner of the investor must be principally dependent on the principal applicant. Children, parents and grandparents cannot have their own source of income. 

Requirements to obtain Malta permanent residence

To obtain permanent residency in Malta, an investor needs to comply with certain requirements:

  • be over 18;
  • be under no sanctions and have no criminal records or prosecutions;
  • have no visa denials in countries that have a visa-free regime with Malta;
  • have legal income and be able to prove it;
  • confirm available assets of €500,000+ per year, including €150,000+ of liquid financial assets, such as deposits, stocks or bonds;
  • buy medical insurance.

An applicant needs to make several investments. It is required to fulfil all of them; the only choice the investor has is whether to buy or rent a property. 

The investments for permanent residence include:

  • administration fee — €40,000;
  • contribution fee — €28,000—58,000;
  • donation to the charity — €2,000;
  • rent for five years or the purchase of real estate — €50,000—350,000.

The administration fee and donations to the charity are fixed, while the contribution fee depends on whether the investor buys or rents a property. The minimum cost of the property also depends on where it is located. 

The difference in expenses on purchase and rent of a real estate

ExpensesCost of property in the South of Malta and on the Gozo islandCost of property in the North and Centre of MaltaContribution fee
Purchase of real estate€300,000+€350,000+€28,000
Rent of real estate for 5 years€50,000+€60,000+€58,000

Besides investment payments, an applicant will also need to spend money on legal services, such as the help of the licensed agent, translating, notarization, and apostille the documents. Also, they buy health insurance. These costs are not regulated by the Maltese authorities as an applicant chooses the service providers themselves. 

How to acquire Maltese permanent residency: step-by-step procedure

The process of obtaining Malta permanent residence by investment takes several months; most of this time is application processing for 4—6 months. Most steps are remote: the only time an investor and their family members need to come to Malta is to take fingerprints. 

1. Preliminary Due Diligence. In Immigrant Invest, preliminary Due Diligence is conducted by certified Anti Money Laundering Officers. They are aware of the details of such checks in Malta, so their expertise helps to reduce the risk of refusal to 1%.

An investor and their family members are checked against international databases that are later used in the main Due Diligence. The preliminary check takes one day.

2. Preparation of the documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers prepare a list of documents that the investor provides for the main Due Diligence. The list varies depending on the background of the investor.

Then the lawyers translate and notarise the documents and fill in the application forms. When the documents are ready and the application is filed, the investor pays a part of the administration fee — €10,000.

Collecting documents takes 4—5 weeks on average.

3. Main Due Diligence. The main Due Diligence is conducted by the Residency Malta Agency. Its experts check the investors’ and their family members’ biography against international databases. If they have questions, they ask for additional documents. 

The application processing lasts for 4—6 months. In our experience, it can sometimes take up to eight months.

4. Fulfilment of the investment requirements. When the investor’s application is approved, they need to fulfil all the investment requirements. They have two months to pay the remaining amount of the administration fee and up to eight months for other conditions.

As soon as the investment is made, Immigrant Invest informs the Residency Malta Agency and sends them supporting documents. 

5. Fingerprinting. The investor and their family members visit Malta to submit their biometrics. It can be done before or after fulfilment of the investment conditions and takes at least one day.

6. Final approval. After all the requirements have been fulfilled, the Residency Malta Agency issues final approval. It takes about a month to get it.

7. Obtaining permanent residence cards. To get permanent residence cards, the investor doesn’t need to come to Malta again. The documents are sent to the Immigrant Invest and then to the investor by courier. 

The Malta permanent residence cards are valid for five years for adult applicants. Minor children must renew their cards after they turn 14 and 18 years old. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Malta grant permanent residency to investors?

Yes, Malta grants PR by investment under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. To participate in it, one needs to: 

  • rent or buy a property for five years;
  • pay administration fee — €40,000;
  • pay contribution fee — €28,000 if one buys a property, €58,000 if they rent it;
  • donate to the charity — €2,000.

The required cost of a property depends on its location.

If you decide to purchase a property in the centre or north of Malta, its cost must be at least €350,000. The minimum price of the property on Gozo island or in the south of the country is €300,000.

In the case of renting a property in central or northern Malta, the cost of it must be at least €12,000 per year. The cost of renting the property on Gozo island or in the south of Malta starts at €10,000.

What is a Malta permanent residence permit?

Malta permanent residence is a permit that allows an investor and their family to live in Malta for a long time. The PR permit can be obtained under the Malta residency by investment programme

How long does it take to get PR in Malta?

Obtaining Malta residency by investment takes several months; the usual application processing time is 4—6 months. 

Can you travel with a Maltese residence card?

You can travel with a Maltese residence card. However, it gives free access to the Schengen countries only: Malta PR permit holders can spend 90 days in 180 there.

What are the benefits of PR in Malta?

Permanent residence in Malta offers its holders several benefits. They are:

  • visa-free access to the Schengen countries for 90 days in any 180;
  • no residency obligations;
  • opportunity to add close family members to the application;
  • opportunity to live, work, run a business and study in Malta;
  • the right to return the investment in the purchase of the real estate.
If you get a Malta PR, can you work in the EU?

No, it is not possible to work in the EU with Malta permanent residence. One needs to get a working permit from a particular country. 

It is allowed to work and run a business in Malta with a special permit, but you need to obtain it separately. 

Benefits and drawbacks of Malta permanent residence
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