Changes to the Malta Residence and Visa Programme Regulations have been published to align requirements and eligibilities to the newly launched Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP).
Summary of changes
The following are a summary of the changes that have come into effect:
- a fee of €5,000 for the addition of a spouse after a residency certificate has been issued;
- the possibility of passing down a residency certificate in the event that a beneficiary passes away;
- health insurance is no longer needed across the EU but the policy is now only required to cover all-risks in Malta (Appendix 1);
- the qualifying criteria of having either an annual income of not less than €100,000 arising outside Malta or being in possession a capital of not less than €500,000 now needs to be held from the day of application until the lapse of 5 years from the date of issuing the certificate;
- monitoring of compliance will now be conducted annually for the first 5 years, and thereafter when deemed appropriate by the Agency; and
- a number of deadlines have been set for payments.
The amendments also provide the option to change from qualifying investment of €250,000 to making a direct contribution to the Government instead. The contribution amounts to €68,000 if applicants choose to lease a qualifying property or €38,000 if they opt to purchase a qualifying property. This contribution is in addition to the €30,000 contribution originally stipulated.
Timeframes of settlement of such contributions have been set out accordingly as seen below:
|Letter of Approval in Principle issues before the 26th March 2021||(1) Settle the additional contribution by the 31st of December 2021; or
(2) Make an investment of €250,000 in bonds, stocks and equities and provide the certificate of such qualifying investment by the 31st of December 2021.
|Letter of Approval in Principle issues after the 29th of March 2021||Applications are required to be concluded within nine (9) months from the date of issue of the Letter of Approval in Principle|
Additionally, applicants opting for such direct contribution are required to make a €2,000 donation to a registered NGO.
The MPRP, launched in 2021, is a programme open to non-EU national investors and their dependents who would like to acquire the right to reside, settle or stay indefinitely in Malta. The residency permit allows the applicant the right to travel within the Schengen Area without the necessity of a visa.
Residency Malta Agency (the “Agency”), the agency taking care of the MPRP, requires the main applicant, at application stage, to provide:
- A total non-refundable administration fee of EUR 40,000, of which EUR 10,000 is paid within 1 month from submission of application, and EUR 30,000 is payable within 2 months of issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle by the Agency;
- Evidence of possession of assets to the satisfaction of the Agency, having a value of not less €500,000, out of which a minimum of €150,000 shall be in the form of financial assets;
- An undertaking to acquire or lease the title to a qualifying property in Malta;
- An undertaking to remit the total contribution;
- A sickness insurance policy in respect of all risks normally covered for Maltese nationals;
- Evidence of a clean police record;
- A successful strict due diligence check;
- An undertaking to make the donation of EUR 2,000 to a local registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare or artistic non-governmental organisation;
- Any other necessary document as required by the Agency.
The title to a qualifying property in Malta is divided into either:
a. The residential property purchased or acquired by title of emphyteusis at a consideration of not less than EUR 350,000 for a property situated in Malta; or EUR 300,000 for a property situated in the South of Malta or Gozo; or
b. Rented property taken on lease for a rent of not less than €12,000 per annum in Malta or €10,000 if the property is in Gozo or in the South of Malta.
The main applicant may also include dependent family members in the same MPRP application, namely:
- The Spouse or Partner for an additional contribution of EUR 7,500;
- Unmarried and economically dependent children of the main applicant and of the spouse, who, if under the age of 18 years, there shall be no requirement for a contribution payment.
- Economically dependent parents or grandparents of the main applicant and of the spouse for an additional contribution of EUR 7,500 for every individual included.
Once due diligence checks on the main applicant and dependents (if any) are conducted successfully, a Letter of Approval in Principle is issued and the contribution can be paid up.
The contribution is the investment requirement in the Maltese economy by payment to the Agency within 8 months from the issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle and shall be in the amount of:
- Where the title to the qualifying property is through ownership or emphyteusis, the contribution by the main applicant is EUR 28,000 and where applicable, with the addition of EUR 7,500 for the inclusion of every parent or grandparent;
- Where the qualifying property is leased, the contribution is EUR 58,000 for the main applicant and where applicable, with the addition of EUR 7,500 for the inclusion of every parent or grandparent.
Resident Malta Agency shall annually monitor adherence to all the obligations and conditions of the residency-by-investment certificate by the applicant and his approved dependents for the first five years from the issue of the certificate, and thereafter, whenever the Agency deems it opportune in its sole discretion.
Any individual seeking an MPRP application shall take up the services of an authorised agent. The main applicant shall authorize such agent to act for and on his behalf in respect of all applications, correspondence, submissions, filings, declarations, notifications and other ancillary matters.