New Malta Permanent Residence Programme expected

Stakeholder meeting discusses reform of MRVP

Dr. Priscilla Mifsud Parker co-authored with Antoine Saliba Haig | Published on 12 Jan 2021

Malta Permanent Residence Programme ccmalta

The Hon. Alex Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities, announced the intention to introduce a new Permanent Residence Programme to be proposed to parliament over the coming weeks.  This is expected to replace the Malta Residency and Visa Programme (MRVP) over the next 3 months.   After 5 years of the MRVP, raising €50m in revenues of which €24m went directly to the Consolidated Fund, the Government was considering a new name, "Permanent Residence", which was more akin to what the MRVP really entailed.  

The junior minister was addressing an official consultation meeting with accredited agents today.  He also announced the establishment of a new agency ‘Residency Malta Agency’, that would be responsible for administering the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme.  The Parliamentary Secretary shared his ongoing work in view of "possibly linking the new Permanent Residence Programme with the Maltese Citizenship Regulations."  In his introduction, the Parliamentary Secretary expressed that he "expected the immigration market to grow Post-Covid”, and that the idea behind these proposed changes is to “attract more investment to Malta” while also keeping a close eye on similar programmes operated by other European Union countries.  The Government plans, even after the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme is approved by Parliament, to keep listening to industry feedback and reform and improve Malta's Residence Programme, over time.

Changes Considered

  • Commitment to process faster while keeping high standards of due diligence.
  • MRVP to be replaced by Malta Permanent Residence.
  • Termination of Concessionaires' role.
  • Removal of bonds investment requirement;
  • Increase of Contribution to €68,000 or €98,000 if investor buys / rents property respectively. 
  • Property purchase minimum increased to €300,000 (South of Malta or island of Gozo) and: €350,000 for the rest of Malta.
  • Property rental minimum rates remain €10,000 and €12,000 respectively.

Qualifying Investments

It is being proposed that under new regulations, the requirement to invest in government bonds would be removed altogether, while a mandatory donation to a Maltese registered NGO is being recommended, set at €2,000.. 

The government contribution is considering an increase from €30,000 to €68,000 should the applicant choose to buy a qualifying property; or €98,000 should a property be leased instead. Qualifying property in the south of Malta must be purchased for a minimum of €300,000 or rented for €10,000; while properties in the rest of Malta must have a minimum value of €350,000 or €12,000 in the case of rent.  Stakeholders seem to converge on a moderate increase in the government contribution in cases where applicants choose the rental of property over buying a qualifying property.   Studies have also shown that an increase in the minimum property purchase values would be sustainable but a change in the minimum rental value was discouraged.

Eligibility

Family applications continue to be favoured by the Malta Permanent Residence Programme, allowing the following to be included in a family application for permanent residence::

  • unmarried couples in a long term relationship and
  • dependent unmarried children with no age limit, as well as
  • parents and grand parents on either side

The current eligibility criteria are also being considered to remove the requirement for interested applicants to have a minimum income of €100,000; however, a capital of €500,000 (of which €150,000 must be financial assets) is now mandatory. From the Agency’s side, there is a renewed commitment towards increased efficiency, with a targeted processing time of 6-8 months from start to finish.



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