Real Estate
Real Estate in Malta

All ways to obtain a Malta residence permit

Malta boasts beautiful nature, tons of historical sights, an expat-friendly environment, and good weather all year long. No wonder so many people want to move there and live permanently.

To be able to live in Malta with no limits, one needs to pick an appropriate way to obtain a residence permit in the country.

6 possible ways to obtain a Malta residence permit 

  • by investment; 
  • by starting a business; 
  • by marriage;
  • for family reunification; 
  • by employment;
  • for studying. 

Let’s go through each of the options. 

Malta residence permit by investment  

The Malta Global Residence Programme was launched in 2013. It allows foreign nationals to obtain residency in around 4 months. 

Investors are not obliged to live in Malta permanently to retain the permit. However, they are required to spend no more than 183 days a year outside of the country. 

Non-EU citizens who obtain a residence permit by investment pay taxes according to a special regime. Their income from outside Malta is subject to a 15% flat tax. The minimum tax due for a family is €15,000 per year.

To participate in the programme, the main applicant has to be over 18, have no criminal record, and be able to communicate in English or Maltese. Aside from that, the investor is required to provide proof of stable and legal income and get medical insurance for each family member in the application.

Expenses for obtaining a Malta residence permit by investment

Type of expenseReal estate in the centre or north of the island of MaltaReal estate on the island of Gozo or in the south of Malta
Non-refundable contribution€6,000€5,500
Real estate price Purchase€275,000+€220,000+

Benefits of the Malta residence permit for investors

Life in Malta. Investors and their family members have an opportunity to visit Malta at any desirable time and stay here for as long as they want. 

Visa-free travel through Europe. Residents of Malta can enter all the Schengen states without visas for short stays of up to 90 days every 6 months. 

Family members get residency too. The main applicant’s spouse, as well as their principally dependent children under 25, siblings and parents, can also obtain residence cards. 

A special taxation regime. The applicant pays a 15% tax for income earned abroad and transferred to Malta with the minimal tax due for a family of €15,000 per year. 

Access to high-quality healthcare and education. Investors can take advantage of local clinics and hospitals — the medical insurance acquired to obtain the permit will allow them to do so.

Aside from that, investors and their children can enrol in Maltese universities without obtaining a special student visa.   

Malta residence permit | Valletta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta. It is only 0.61 km² in size, which is roughly the size of California’s Disneyland park. Valletta is Europe’s smallest capital city

Malta RP | Mdina

Mdina, with a population of only a few hundred people, was the country’s former capital. It is now the seat of the Maltese nobility and religious authorities

How to get Malta residency | Sliema

Sliema is a town on the east coast of the island of Malta. Expats love it — every third resident of Sliema is a foreign national

How to obtain Malta residence by starting a business

To obtain residency in Malta by opening a business, the applicant needs to invest at least €500,000 in the Maltese economy within six months of the employment licence being issued. This sum is required to purchase commercial real estate as well as the necessary equipment.

An investor can do a couple of things to increase their chances of getting approved. First, they can commit to employing at least three EEA, Switzerland or Malta citizens in the newly formed company within 18 months of its establishment.

Investment required to obtain residency for business in Malta

Aside from that, investors will increase their chances of getting accepted by obtaining official approval of their business plan from the Malta Enterprise economic development agency.  

Applications for residence permits in Malta by establishing a business are processed in 2 months.

Malta residency by marriage and for family reunification

Foreigners who are married to Maltese citizens can obtain residency permits. For that, they need to register their marriage and get a marriage certificate. After that, the foreign national can apply for residency. 

Close relatives of the applicant can obtain residency, too. For that, the main applicant needs to provide proof of the following: 

  • accommodation for each family member;
  • stable income no less than the average wage in Malta, which is €1,060 per month. 

Residency for family reunification can be obtained by spouses of Maltese citizens no younger than 21 years old and children under 18 years old. 

Malta residency for students

International students who enrol in Maltese universities can obtain a special residence permit that is valid for the duration of their studies. 

For short courses lasting up to 90 days, they apply for a Schengen short-stay C visa.    

For more extended studies, a national long-term D visa is required. Students must provide a university admission certificate, their class schedule, proof of the tuition fee payment, and the availability of funds to live in Malta.

Those applying for a short-stay visa need to provide biometric data. For a long-term visa, this requirement does not apply. 

Most applications are reviewed within 7 to 15 business days. In some cases, the consideration period may be extended up to 30 days and up to 60 days in exceptional circumstances. 

Students' residence permits must be renewed on a regular basis at the Central Visa Unit of Malta or through the Expatriates Unit of Identity Malta Agency. 

A student residence permit allows its holder to both study and work in Malta. The work hours with this permit are limited to 20 hours per week.

Residence permit in Malta for students
For non-EU students, tuition fees in Maltese universities are from around €2,000 to €10,000 per year. In the American University of Malta, for example, one semester costs €2,500  

Malta residence permit for employment

Professionals specialising in in-demand industries in Malta, such as medicine, tourism or IT, can obtain permits for residence and work in the country. 

The applicant needs to provide an invitation from their employer indicating the need for employment. It is essential to mention in the invitation that the company couldn’t find a fitting candidate for the job in Malta or other EU countries. 

The processing time for the applications is around 3 months. If the applicant is an IT specialist with over 3 years of experience and a salary of at least €30,000, they can get their approval in 5 days. 

The permit is valid for one year. After that, it has to be renewed. 

Frequently asked questions

How to get a resident permit in Malta?

There are a number of ways to obtain residency in Malta, including making an investment, funding a business in Malta and enrolling in a Maltese university.

Investors can obtain a permit in around 4—5 months by joining the Malta Global Residence Programme. Applicants must rent or purchase housing in Malta and pay an administrative fee.

Is it easy to get residency in Malta?

The time frame and costs of obtaining residency in Malta depend on the chosen path to it.

Spouses of Maltese citizens can obtain residency permits pretty quickly and without significant expenses.

Another fast way to obtain a residence permit is to join the Malta Global Residence Programme. The applicants rent or purchase real estate in Malta and pay an administration fee. The obtainment period is 4—5 months.

Can foreigners get RP in Malta?

There are multiple ways for foreign nationals to obtain a residency permit in Malta:

  • by investment;
  • by starting a business;
  • by marriage and for family reunification;
  • by employment;
  • for studying.
What are the benefits of a Malta residence permit?

A residence permit allows its holder to live in Malta and travel visa-free to all the Schengen states.

Investors who obtain the permit by joining the Malta Global Residence Programme get additional benefits, such as a special tax regime. They will pay a 15% tax for income earned abroad and transferred to Malta with the minimal tax due for a family of €15,000 per year.

What are the conditions for obtaining residency in Malta by investment?

To join the Malta Global Residence Programme, the applicant has to meet the following requirements:

  • be over 18 years old;
  • have no criminal record;
  • be able to communicate in English or Maltese.
  • All the applicants are required to get medical insurance, have a stable legal income and pass Due Diligence.

    The programme implies purchasing or renting housing in Malta and paying an administration fee.

    The price for real estate and the administration fee depend on its location:

    Location Rent Purchase Administration fee
    Island of Gozo and south of Malta €8,750+ €220,000+ €5,500
    The central and northern parts of the island of Malta €9,600+ €275,000+ €6,000
I am not a student at a Maltese university and don’t have relatives in Malta. Can I obtain a residence permit anyway?

In this case, you can obtain a residence permit by starting a business in Malta or by investment.

How long does it take to obtain a residence permit in Malta?

The timeframe depends on the chosen way of obtaining a permit. Students’ applications take up to 60 days to process. Entrepreneurs can obtain their permits in 2 months. The investment path takes around 4 months.

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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