Malta and Cyprus provide simplified schemes for non-EU nationals who wish to obtain a Permanent Resident permit in the jurisdictions. A procedure has been put in place to attract foreign investment under which simplified procedures and easily met conditions are applied to non-EU nationals. Both Cyprus and Malta are very attractive places to consider for residence and citizenship. They are both EU countries situated in the Mediterranean, with warm, pleasant climates, active financial centres, and convenient air links to travel both within and outside of Europe.
The Malta Golden Visa was launched in August 2015 by virtue of an amendment to the Immigration Act, Cap 217 of the Laws of Malta. Legal Notice 288 of 2015 was enacted with the aim of attracting individuals of impeccable standing and repute to receive a Malta Golden Visa on the basis of a one-time contribution of €30,000 to Malta and an investment of €250,000 for 5 years in Malta Government Bonds.
Under the Malta residency by investment programme applicants and their registered dependents enjoy the opportunity to reside, settle, and stay indefinitely in Malta, and to hold a Schengen card allowing visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.
The Global Residence Programme is a scheme designed to attract individuals who are not nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and who are not long-term residents. Individuals benefiting from this programme are not precluded from working in Malta, provided they satisfy the requisite conditions for obtaining a work permit. Beneficiaries may also have household staff providing a service in their qualifying property, as long as all the requisite procedures are satisfied.
The application process for this programme is relatively fast, it can be completed in three months. To qualify for this programme, the applicant must satisfy certain criteria including, but not limited to:
The Malta Retirement Programme (MRP) is a programme designed to attract nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland who are not in an employment relationship and are in receipt of a pension as their regular source of income. The applicant should be in receipt of a qualifying pension, which entitles the applicant to periodic pension payments, all of which are received in Malta, and which should constitute at least 75% of the beneficiary’s taxable income.
The applicant should hold a qualifying property (immovable property purchased for not less than €275,000 for a property situated in Malta, or €250,000 for a property situated in Gozo; or rental property – a leased property of not less than €9,600 per annum for a property situated in Malta or €8,750 per annum for a property situated in Gozo).
The objective of the Highly Qualified Persons Scheme is to attract experts of top level skill to occupy positions within companies licenced or recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Such highly qualified personnel can be entitled to a low Malta tax rate of 15% on employment income. These tax benefits are applicable to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.
Malta and Cyprus are both sovereign European countries with rich cultural heritages, offering a unique quality of life. Both countries are situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, and are ideal places to raise a family in a secure environment.
The introduction of Citizenship by Investment programmes rendered both jurisdictions ideal places to live, invest, and set up businesses. Both countries provide a window of opportunity wide open to a potential EU market of 508 million inhabitants — the world’s third largest population after China and India.
The Malta Individual Investor Programme grants Maltese citizenship to foreign individuals who contribute to the economic development of Malta. Investors can also gain citizenship for their dependents with this scheme. Malta has been a member of the EU since 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007. Citizenship obtained under this program gives the rights of full citizenship for life and can be passed on to future generations by descent. Maltese citizenship grants access to all investment opportunities in Malta and throughout the EU open to European Union citizens.
Maltese Citizenship by Investment may be granted under an amendment passed in November 2013 to the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta. These amendments provided the framework for the enactment of LN 47 of 2014. The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) rules provide Maltese citizenship on the basis of a contribution to and investment in Malta.
70% of the initial contribution will be deposited into a fund set up by the Government of Malta, held by a board of trustees. This fund finances projects in Malta linked to education, public health, innovation, job creation, and other social projects.