As a member of the European Union, Malta is a party to the world’s largest free trade area known as the Single Market. It is an ideal island to trade from, as Malta’s structures encourage foreign direct investment through sound financial administration, the booming gaming industry as well as its legal system.
The Malta Residency and Visa Programme has had beneficial changes made to it by the Government of Malta, being recently issued in the Legal Notice 189 of 2017. This applies for all non-European nationals and their dependants, opting to apply for the Malta Residency and Visa Programme.
Malta is wanting to reflect it’s flexible approach by revoking a number of amendments of its previous restrictions towards third country nationals interested in investment and commerce using Malta as a platform and gateway from which to operate.The changes now enable the applicant and his/her dependants to obtain and retain their residence permits in Malta in a more simplified and appealing manner.
- 1. The € 30,000 fee that initially covered the main applicant, now includes the applicant, his or her spouse and the children. An additional € 5,000 non-refundable contribution has been introduced per parent or grandparent of the main applicant or of the spouse at application stage. .
- 2. There is now, no age limit for unmarried, economically dependent children to be considered. This previously stood at 27 years of age.This age restriction has now been removed and although the dependant must still be economically dependent on the main applicant and unmarried, he/she will not lose residency and visa rights once they turn 27.
- 3. Children, who were granted Maltese residency as a dependant, will retain their rights even after their 27th Birthday, marriage or economic independence.
- 4. Upon the marriage or union referred to in 3 and subject to due diligence, the spouse or partner and their direct dependants may also be granted residency under the same application for an additional contribution of € 5,000 per person.
- 5. The requirement for the applicant and his or her dependants to spend a period of time out of Malta no longer applies.Under 2015’s Legal Notice, the main applicant and dependants had to spend either 6 consecutive months or an aggregate period of 10 months, during a four-year period, abroad. This meant that if either the main applicant or his/her dependants resided in Malta for a continuous period of 5 years, they would have been deemed long-term residents and under the 2015 regulations, this would amount to a breach in the MRVP Programme and the forfeiture of their residency rights.With the 2017 amendments, this restriction is no longer in place. Once they have entered into Malta, and their respective certificates have been issued, those persons are granted the right under Article 7 of the Immigration Act, to permanently and indefinitely remain in Malta. Eventually, this may lead to eligibility for Long Term Residency status.
- 6. Subject to a non-refundable administration fee of € 5,000 and due diligence checks, the beneficiary certificate may now include;
* Children, born or adopted after the approval date of the application, belonging to the applicant or his/her spouse.
* Children, born or adopted after the approval date of the application, belonging to a dependant child of the applicant or his or her spouse.
Other benefits arising from the programme include, free movement within the Schengen area, eligibility to apply for a work permit, tax benefits and eventual naturalisation as a Maltese citizen after a prescribed period of residency and following certain conditions.
While the Malta Residence and Visa Programme has an already established success, there is no doubt that the recent amendments will make this Programme even more successful than it was before, allowing third country nationals to reside, settle and stay in Malta indefinitely more easily, while at the same time enjoying a vast range of benefits including amongst others visa-free travel within the Schengen area, safety and a Mediterranean quality of life.