The Malta residency and Visa Programme (the “MRVP”) has been launched by parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth in 2015 through L.N. 288 of 2015. Recently it has been amended by L.N. 189 of 2017 which granted Maltese Residency by Investment. The Malta Residence and Visa Programme Regulations provide for investors of a good repute to receive Maltese residence depending on their contribution and investment in Malta.
Disclaimer: Readers of this newsletter should note that following the circulation of this article, the MRVP rules and regulations may be subject to further amendments by the Government of Malta and any relevant Government entities.
The MRVP derives serval benefits for investors or prospective investors with the intention of investing within Malta‘s Financial Market. The MRVP shall only apply to third country nationals, who are non-EU, EEA or Swiss Nationals.
An applicant who applies for the MRVP would benefit from several residency rights such as the right of permanent residency in Malta. The MRVP confers upon the applicant the right to reside in Malta for an indefinite period of time. The residency would be issued for five (5) consecutive years, after which it would be renewed with no minimum physical presence requirement. Investors as beneficiaries would be required to hold their investments for a minimum period of five (5) years.
Applicants who are successfully granted the MRVP would be granted an EU residency card which would allow the applicant a visa free travel within the Schengen area since Malta forms part of the Schengen. Such would grant freedom of mobility within the European countries. Applicants would also be able to apply for the golden visa in Malta which would allow for the applicant to work in Malta after being granted a working permit to be able to work in Malta.
The programme is regulated by the Immigration Act CAP 217 of the Laws of Malta. The programme is open to all non-European nationals as well as their respective family who are dependent on the applicant. The initiation process of the MRVP includes a proper background check on the main applicant and on any dependents who are over the age of twelve (12). When Identity Malta is satisfied by the background check on the main applicant and, if any, on the dependents, there are several requirements and qualifications which must be satisfied in order for the main applicant to be eligible for the MRVP.
The following qualifications and general requirements for the issuing of a certificate under these regulations are that such person:
1. is at least eighteen (18) years of age
2. meets the application requirements
- has a clean criminal record, has passed the due diligence test and is a fit and proper person
1. commits himself to provide proof of title to a qualifying property which may be either of the following :
- A qualifying owned property purchased at a consideration of not less than two hundred and seventy thousand euro (EUR 270,000) for property which is situated in Southern Malta or Gozo, or three hundred and twenty thousand euro (EUR 320,000) for a property situated anywhere else in Malta.
- A qualifying rented property, taken on lease for a rent o not less than ten thousand euro (EUR 10,000) each year for property which is situated in Southern Malta or in Gozo, or not less than twelve thousand euro (EUR 12,000) each year for property situated anywhere else in Malta.
1. Commits himself to a qualifying investment of an initial value of two hundred and fifty thousand euro (EUR 250,000) which must be held for a minimum period of 5 years from the date of certificate
2. Commits himself to pay in full a non-refundable contribution of thirty thousand euro (EUR 30,000) in accordance with these regulations. The contribution is split into five thousand five hundred euro (EUR 5,500) application fee and twenty four thousand five hundred euro (EUR 24,500) which are payable upon approval
- Has not had his application deemed to be against public interest.
Furthermore, the applicant shall submit a declaration stating that as at the date of application onwards the applicant is in receipt of an annual income of not less than hundred thousand euro (EUR 100,000) arising outside of Malta or else the applicant must have in possession as capital of not less than five hundred thousand euro (EUR 500,000).
The MRVP also provides for family applications which allows for the ‘dependents’ of the benefactor to apply for the MRVP. A beneficiary who would like to apply for the MRVP in Malta has the eligibility to apply for the MRVP of those persons who are economically active and principally dependent on the applicant. An applicant applying for the MRVP would have to list in the MRVP application any dependents who, if eligible and approved, would then be entitled for Maltese residency together with the main applicant.
‘Dependents’ include the following:
ii. parents of both the main applicant and spouse
·adult children provided they are not yet married and financially dependent on the main applicant.
Amongst other advantages derived by the Malta Residency and Visa Programme there is the tax system which is of an ultimate benefit to investors. who successfully apply for the MRVP would only be taxed under Maltese Law on local income. A tax residency status would be granted to applicants on showing that they are ordinary residents in Malta. Therefore, investors would be exempted from:
· foreign income which is not transferred to be used in Malta
· capital gains, even if transferred to Malta
· inheritance tax
· worldwide basis of taxation
· wealth taxes
· wealth disclosure obligations
· withholding tax
The MRVP grants to any applicant and any dependents Schengen freedom of travelling within the Schengen area. Applicants who benefit from the MRVP would also be entitled to live and stay for an indefinite period in Malta alongside with any dependents.