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  • Residence in Malta

    Malta Residence

    The island of Malta is an optimal place to take up residence and local laws encourage foreigners to live in Malta under agreeable financial conditions, including low taxation rates.

    The worldwide income of foreigners living in Malta is not taxed. Only income earned in Malta or income remitted to Malta is taxed. Some foreign income remitted to Malta is entitled to a reduced withholding rate of foreign tax. This typically applies to interest, royalties and dividend. Remittance to Malta in the form of private pensions or certain capital gains may also be exempt from foreign tax.

    Individuals with very high income who intend to bring the income to Malta are advised to apply for the Global Residence Programme as they would benefit from a flat taxation rate of 15% on the added income above the minimum income remitted to Malta.

    Double taxation is also not in effect, whether via negotiated double tax agreements with a number of worldwide counties or through unilateral provisions.

    The provisions of the individual agreement entered into by Malta must be discussed to decide upon eligibility.

    Ordinary Residence

    Foreigners living in Malta physically for a period of at least six months may obtain an ordinary residence permit in Malta.

    When an individual intends to stay in Malta for more than three months, he is obligated to apply for a permit with the DCEA (Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs).

    Upon receiving the Ordinary Residence permit, the individual is not eligible to Maltese government aid and must either work or be self-sufficient.

    Non-EU citizens applying for the permit may be required to also apply for an employment license to work in Malta.

    The transfer of an individual’s residence to a lower tax country from a high tax country is obtainable for both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA citizens.

    There is no minimum value property condition for non-Maltese residents looking to attain ordinary residence.

    Individuals holding the permit are required to abide by Malta income taxation laws, which include being taxed at gradually increasing rates that will not exceed 35%. The tax is calculated on chargeable income and gains earned in Malta and on foreign income remitted to Malta.

    There are no specific tax benefits for Ordinary Residents.

    EU/EEA Nationals

    Any EU/EEA nationals who remain in Malta for three or more months are required by law to obtain a permit from immigration authorities. These permits are granted on the following grounds:

    • Be economically self-sufficient – Must be able to provide for themselves and their family without support from the local government. The present limits for EU/EEA nationals are set at a minimum capital of € 14,000 or a weekly income of €92.32 for single individuals and at a capital of at least €23,300 or a weekly income of €108.63 for a married couple. Additionally, an extra €8.15 is required for each extra dependent.
    • Employment – May either work in Malta as an employee or set up a business.
    • Education – Residence may be allocated for the duration of time required to finish one’s education that is undertaken in Malta.

    Third Country Nationals

    The criteria for third country national (non-EU/EEA) to acquire residency in Malta differ from those applicable to EU/EEA citizens:

    • Education – Residence may be granted for the duration of education in University or private schools.
    • Employment – An employment permit is needed to work in Malta. Potential employers must submit an application for an employment license in order for the third country national to begin working for the said employer.
    • Self-employment – A third country national might be entitled to apply for self-employment status upon fulfilling the following: investment of at least €100,000 of which expenditure must consist of fixed assets used for purposes that are reflected in the business plan submitted, status of a highly skilled innovator who plans to employment of at least 3 EU/EEA nationals within 18 months of establishment or ownership of a directorship in a company authorized by Malta Enterprise.

    Long-Term Residence

    • A permanent residence permit is applicable to EU nationals who have been living in Malta for a minimum of 5 years.
    • Individuals applying for permanent residence must be employed, economically sufficient or a student, throughout the five year period.
    • They must not be away from Malta for a period more then 6 months a year.
    • Long absences on grounds of military employment will not affect the acquisition of the permit.
    • A single absence of a maximum period of 12 months for reasons including serious illness, education or training and childbirth will also not affect the acquisition of the permit.