Immigration in Malta – what you need to know

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 18 Sep 2016

Immigration in Malta  what you need to know

Are you considering moving to Malta but you are unsure how to go about it? Here you will find what you need to know with regards to Immigration in Malta.

Why move to Malta?

Foreigners from all walks of life are increasingly choosing Malta as an ideal relocation base. Malta vaunts a moderate climate which is popular among retirees, particularly British pensioners, for its many days of sunshine.

With easily accessible high-quality health care and education, and an English speaking population, Malta offers a fine European standard of living with the flair of a calm Mediterranean lifestyle, offering an abundance of leisure activities, including night life, diving and various cultural events.

Moreover, it is now a hub for iGaming as well as financial services, with several other budding industries which offer various business opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to relocate together with their businesses within our shores. Malta’s financial and political stability, coupled with the robustness of its banking system which managed to weather global financial crisis whilst maintaining economic growth shows that Malta has a lot of potential as a place to do business.

Malta’s EU and Schengen memberships allow for unfettered business within the EU. Moreover, Malta is located in a strategic geographical position which allows for facilitated access to the Middle Eastern and North African market, the latter being relatively untapped, thus presenting a number of possibilities to entrepreneurs who want to broaden their horizons.

Malta’s lure as a popular residency destination can also be attributed to Malta's highly advantageous remittance basis of taxation for resident non-domiciled persons, and other beneficial tax schemes, as well as an extensive network of double taxation agreements. Additionally, Malta residency law allows for a straightforward monetary repatriation through its excellent banking infrastructure, thus further simplifying the relocation process. 

Residency Programmes

Malta offers a wide range of Relocation Programmes which suits the needs of different individuals. These programmes can be bundled into the following specific schemes or types of residence:

Whilst the application process for residency is rather straightforward, it is highly advisable to consult a legal professional for guidance with regards to which programme best suits your needs. Our Immigration lawyers have 15 years of experience and can guide you throughout the immigration process and offer you the optimal advice you need for a hassle-free and smooth relocation.

Immigrating to Malta?

Despite the fact that most residency programmes, apart from the Ordinary Residence Programme, do not require a minimum stay in Malta, permanent immigration to Malta is becoming an increasingly popular option for a whole plethora of private, business of financial reasons.

Immigration Considerations: Buying/renting property in Malta

When you buy residential property for relocation purposes, you are not just investing in an immovable asset; you are investing in your future home.

It is always recommended to get adequate guidance if you are unfamiliar with the location and its language, customs and law, even though the process of buying property in Malta is relatively straightforward, with contracts always written in English and a safe, undemanding legal framework through which transfers are made in a binding manner and security of title is guaranteed. Non-Malta residents should note that in order to purchase immovable property in Malta, they will need an AIP permit unless they are purchasing property in Specially Designated Areas for HNW investors.

In respect of Residential leases, there are no restrictions as to who can lease property from a lessor as long as the parties entering into the agreement draw up a lease agreement whereby they set out clearly the conditions on which the premises are being leased.

We understand that the entire process might be confusing and time consuming to those who are not very familiar with the jurisdiction. Our Property Law practice group is geared towards assisting clients in all aspects of relocation post immigration, be it with the drafting of deeds or agreements or the attainment of any permits, as well as other ancillary matters. Our team can ensure that your rights are being respected throughout the transaction and may act as a point of reference and refer you to the best service providers in the country, as well as liaise with architects and other parties to ensure a smooth transaction. 

Additionally, we also extend our services to corporate immigration.

Immigration Considerations: Employment and Work Permits in Malta

Whilst Malta has firmly established itself as a hub for funds, financial services and iGaming, it is continually broadening its horizons by introducing modern legislation that favours the promotion of innovative business. A case in point is the Fintech sector, particularly Payment Service Providers, which is thriving in Malta.

EU/EEA/Swiss residents who would like to benefit from Malta’s employment opportunities may reside and work in Malta without acquiring a permit, however third country nationals will need a Single Permit Application in order to reside and work in Malta.

Thinking about citizenship?

There are a number of reasons why one would consider immigration, and acquiring a secondary citizenship may be one of them. One may acquire Maltese Citizenship by Descent or Maltese Citizenship by Marriage.

Alternatively, affluent persons of impeccable standing and good repute may choose to acquire Maltese Citizenship by Investment within a year on the basis of a contrubution to and an investment in Malta.Our firm's managing partner, Jean-Philippe Chetcuti stands as a point of reference on all Immigration Law matters, and was the first to be promoted as 'Approved Agent' for the handling of citizenship by investment applications, in recognition of the firm's unblemished track record of quality and success in the handling of citizenship applications and ancillary immigration law matters. 


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