Maltese homes prove popular with Malta resident permit holders

Dr Jonathan Pisani | Published on 03 Apr 2012

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Luxury property developments have grown into a niche sector in Malta, attracting local and especially foreign interest.  The director of one of the islands’ premier property agencies has reported a surge in the demand for high-end developments offering residential, commercial and leisure facilities.  

Last year the government of Malta launched the High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) Scheme, replacing the Permanent Residency Scheme.  The HNWI Scheme provides competitive conditions for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and non-EU nationals alike to take up residence in Malta.  Obtaining Malta residence under the scheme is contingent on the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the purchase or lease of property in Malta, taking out a health insurance policy, and passing a fit and proper test.  However no minimum stay requirements in Malta are imposed and successful applicants to the HNWI scheme enjoy a flat tax rate in Malta of 15% on income when it is remitted to Malta.  Income which arises from employment or other activity in Malta is subject to a flat tax rate of 35%.  

Malta has proven a popular jurisdiction for expats to take up residence and a reported 4.5% of all residential properties are owned by foreigners under the HNWI scheme and its predecessor the Permanent Residence Scheme. 

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