Malta Global Residence Programme

Schengen Residency in 4 months

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 31 Mar 2020

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The Malta Global Residence Programme builds on the success of Malta’s reputation in attracting expatriates seeking an alternative residence base in a warm Mediterranean Island in the European Union. Malta's membership and full implementation of the Schengen Area Treaty offers further attraction on the basis of the ease of travel within the Schengen Area enjoyed by holders of the Malta Global Residence Programme permit. It also offers special tax status by setting the personal tax rate on foreign source income remitted to Malta at 15%.

Benefits of the Malta Global Residence Programme

Malta Global Residence benefits

Basis for Malta Global Residence Programme

The aim of the Malta Global Residence Programme is to formally recognise as tax resident for Maltese tax purposes those foreign nationals satisfying the eligibility criteria of the Malta Global Residence Programme. The Maltese Residence Programme requires that an economically self-sufficient residence candidate maintains a permanent address in Malta in the form of residential property purchased or rented in Malta or Gozo.

Taxation of Maltese Global Residents

Maltese residents are not subject to tax in Malta on foreign sourced income not remitted to Malta. Nor are they subject to tax on any foreign-sourced capital gains whether remitted to Malta or not. Permanent Residents of Malta are entitled to taxation at the flat rate of 15% on remitted income.

Malta enjoys over 60 double tax treaties, persons who take up residence in Malta can receive just their pensions in Malta free of tax at source and subject to a mere 15%. Global residents also benefit from Malta’s double taxation agreements existing with most European countries, Canada, Australia and the USA, ensuring that tax is never paid twice upon the same income. Overseas capital funds invested locally are of course only taxed on any interest or dividends generated thereon, again at a 15% flat rate.

For EU and EEA nationals, in the absence of significant remittances of income, it may be more feasible to opt for the Ordinary Residence Scheme which imposes no minimum tax liability.

The following is a summary of the tax system applicable to residents under the Malta Global Residence Programme:

Summary of Malta Global Residence Tax Rules
Basis of TaxationLocal Source, Remittance
Tax Rate for Foreign Source Income remitted to Malta15%
Tax on Capital Gains outside MaltaNil
Tax Rate for Local Personal, Business, Investment Income35%
Minimum tax (per family)€15,000
Taxation per dependentNil
Double Tax Treaty Reliefapplicable
Taxation per dependentNil
Tax Residence CertificateProcess available.
Inheritance TaxNone
Malta Global Residence Programme

Eligibility for the Malta Global Residence Programme

Applications under the Malta Global Residence Programme are open to non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals. One application can include the main applicant as his spouse, financially dependent ascendants and other non-family members and dependent relatives that are shown to be bona fide members of the household. Children under the age of 25 are automatically eligible for inclusion. Applicants must demonstrate their financial self-sufficiency and must be in possession of valid sickness insurance cover.

Within 12 months of taking up residence under the Malta Global Residence Programme, the residence permit holder needs to comply with the requirement of acquiring or renting property in Malta. Residence candidates are required to demonstrate that an address is available to them in Malta by buying or renting property in Malta. Candidates for the residence programme need to meet minimum property value requirements at €275,000 for property in Malta and €220,000 for property in Gozo and the Southern Region of Malta. Candidates have the option to rent property in Malta at €9,600 or property in Gozo and the Southern Region of Malta at €8,750 in annual rent.

The following is a summary of the programmes rules on eligibility of applicants:

Summary of Malta Global Residence Programme
Eligible for inclusion in application:
Main Applicant’s spouseYes
Dependants< 25 years
Non-Family MembersDiscretionary
Taxation per dependentNil
Minimum Property Purchase Price / Annual Rent
Malta:€275,000 / €9,600
Southern Region of Malta, Gozo€220,000 / €8,750
Sickness Insurance CoverageRequired

Malta Global Residence Programme: The Rules

Permit holders are required to reside not more than 183 days in any foreign jurisdiction in any year. The programme does not impose any formalities for evidencing any minimum residence requirement. Residents also need to demonstrate a valid sickness insurance coverage for all EU risks including Malta.

Malta Global Residence Programme Permits are issued subject to the following conditions:

Residence Permit Conditions
Maltese domicileNot allowed
Maximum Residence in OTHER countries< 183 days
Employment, Business, Office in Maltaallowed

Malta Global Residence Programme Applications

Applications are to be processed via Mandataries authorised by the Maltese Government to handle application process and act as liaisons between the applicant and the Maltese authorities. Our law firm is registered as an authorised mandatary by the Maltese immigration and tax authorities according to Maltese law. Led by Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti and Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker, Chetcuti Cauchi's award winning Immigration & Relocation Law team is the oldest specialised immigration law practice in Malta. We have successfully represented individuals and families ranging from expatriate retirees, emigrants seeking employment, applicants for work permits, to HNW individuals on the Forbes List.

We are able to advise you on the tax and legal implications and requirements of the residence application process and indicate expected time frames based on the specific circumstances and nature of your application. Our advice covers the rules applicable to immigrating to Malta under a number of available residence programmes as well as practical relocation assistance ranging from transportation and insurance to schooling and health insurance coverage.


Read also: Residence Options in European Malta, STEP Journal, December 2012, Dr JP Chetcuti, Chairman, STEP Malta

Malta offers significant advantages to foreign entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals and investors seeking a safe yet attractive business environment. A full member of the EU, Malta acts as a gateway to Europe, providing visa-free access to the European Schengen Area to non-EU nationals taking up residence.

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