Malta Global Residence Program
The Malta Global Residence Program, also known as the GRP, is a residency program designed to increase interest among international citizens (non-EU, non-EEA, non-Swiss nationals) who are interested in pursuing a residency in Malta, by offering a special tax status of 15% on the receipt of foreign source income in Malta.
This program seeks to build upon the success of attracting high net worth individuals to the Mediterranean island by means of an attractive tax status and Schengen residency. The candidate is required to be an economically self-sufficient residence individual and is to maintain a permanent residency in Malta by means of renting or buying residential property in Malta or Gozo.
Individuals who have successfully benefitted from the Malta Global Residence Program do not receive a work permit automatically, however, they are able to apply and obtain a work permit provided they satisfy all the required documentation and conditions necessary for obtaining a work permit in Malta.
The Malta Global Residence Programme Rules are regulated by the provision of S.L. 123.148 to the Income Tax Act of Malta and by the Legal Notice 267 of 2014.
Benefits of a Maltese Residence Permit
Access to an established and stable property market, offering a large selection of quality property with investment options across the European Union.
Visa-free travel to the 26 Schengen countries in Europe including Switzerland, as applicable for all Maltese residents and citizens.
Quality of Life
Malta has excellent quality of life, coupled with favorable tax regimes. Additional, the country offers an excellent healthcare and education system.
Live in a country where English is an official language; Maltese is the national language. Some natives also speak Italian and French.
Easy access to all the major cities in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa via direct flights within a short distance, operated by leading, low-cost airlines.
Once you have your residence permit in Malta, you may apply for a work permit and begin working in Malta or its sister island Gozo.
The path to Citizenship in Malta
The Maltese Citizenship Act states that Maltese residents can acquire citizenship in Malta after five years of being a resident in Malta.
It is also possible to obtain Maltese Citizenship by naturalization when making a direct investment into Malta’s economy. This route allows applicants to obtain Maltese citizenship within 1-3 years.
Malta Global Residency Program Application Requirements
Conditions that must be satisfied for the application and thereafter are as follows:
The main applicant must either buy or rent property in Malta. If the main applicant opts to purchase property, the property has to be of a minimum value of €275,000 if it is situated in the North of Malta or €220,000 if it is situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta. If the main applicant opts to lease property, the lease must be of no less than €9,600 per annum if the property is situated in the north of Malta or €8,750 per annum if situated in Gozo or in the south of Malta. The property must be used as the principal place of residence worldwide.
Stable & Regular Income
Resources must be sufficient to maintain the cost of living for the main applicant and their dependents without recourse to the social assistance system in Malta.
Health and sickness insurance policy
The insurance policy must cover the main applicant and dependants in respect of all risks in Malta and also in all the EU member states, as is normally covered for Maltese nationals. The health insurance cover must be procured by a company licensed in Malta or by an international reputable health insurance company.
A thorough due diligence exercise will be undertaken on the main applicant and dependants.
Ability to communicate in Maltese or English
Valid Travel Documents
Eligibility Criteria for the Maltese Global Residence Program
Third-country nationals outside of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland can be eligible for this Maltese residency program. The rights granted through the Global Residence Program in Malta can be availed by:
the main applicant who must not be a long-term resident and
the main applicant’s dependents, being:
spouse of the main applicant or person with whom the main applicant is in a stable relationship;
children under the age of 25, provided that they are not economically active;
children who, because of circumstances of illness or disability of a serious gravity, are unable to maintain themselves;
dependant brothers, sisters and direct relatives in the ascending line of the main applicant, spouse of main applicant or person with whom the main applicant is in a stable relationship.
The term “children” is meant to refer to the children, including adopted children and children who are in the care and custody of the main applicant, spouse of the main applicant or the person with whom the main applicant is in a stable relationship.
The main applicant is also allowed to bring to Malta individuals who have been working with him in a systematic manner as household staff for at least 2 years prior to the date of submission of the application. They will not qualify for any tax benefits, however.
Malta Global Residence Program Application Process
The Application process may be divided into different stages:
Stage 1 – Submission of Documentation
The application form and supporting documentation is submitted by an authorised intermediary to the Director General at the Inland Revenue Department who will review the same for completeness. A thorough due diligence exercise will be made by the authorities. The application fee (€6,000) must be paid in full at this stage.
Stage 2 – Letter of Intent
If Stage 1 is completed satisfactorily, a face to face meeting will be scheduled. A letter of intent is issued after the meeting and will be accompanied by a notice of primary residence which will need to be filled in and signed by the applicant. The letter of intent will be valid for 12 months from the date.
Stage 3 – Property
The main applicant is to provide evidence of the acquisition or rent of real estate (as the case may be) which satisfies the minimum value criteria within the 12-month period indicated above.
Stage 4– Residence Permit
Once the Global Residence Program certificate is issued by the Inland Revenue, the main applicant and dependants are entitled to apply in person for the issuance of the residence permit. This will enable such applicants to reside in Malta and to travel within the Schengen Zone.
Important! Ongoing Compliance Requirements: If the main applicant no longer satisfies the conditions of the Global Residence Program in Malta, any permit issued in relation to the main applicant and the dependants will be withdrawn. The permit will also be withdrawn if the stay of the main applicant is deemed not to be in the public interest by the Minister of Justice. Furthermore, the main applicant must ensure that he does not stay in any other jurisdiction for more than 183 days in any calendar year. An annual declaration must be submitted confirming compliance with the stipulated conditions.
Once the application was successfully processed and approved, the main applicant will be subject to tax in Malta on a remittance basis, i.e. income that is received in Malta from foreign sources. The special rate is 15% on any income remitted to Malta subject to a minimum tax of €15,000 annually.
The special tax rate and minimum yearly tax will be applicable from the year in which the special tax status was approved until the year of cessation of status, both start and end years included. The spouse of the main applicant and the children of the main applicant (or the spouse) may also avail themselves of the benefits from this Global Residence Program.
Common Reporting Standards (CRS) require an applicant’s foreign bank(s) to report the client’s balance per end of each year to the Maltese tax authorities. Nevertheless, any income received outside of Malta and which was not earned in Malta is not being taxed in Malta.
Our Guidance & Assistance
Through our dedicated experience in the field and building our dependable network over the years, we are confident in our abilities to successfully guide and support you through Citizenship and Residency programs.
Citizen Lane respects every client’s unique situation and will be able to discuss details in confidence. We will provide you with comprehensive advice and find the appropriate solution for you and/or your family. Visit us at our offices located in Malta, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, or contact us by phone/email/contact form. Our team is ready to arrange a WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom call with you.
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