Taking up residence in Malta
EU nationals may take up residence in Malta without any formality. As from 1st May 2011, EU nationals may take up employment in Malta without the need to apply for an employment licence. An EU national may also set up a business or a company in Malta.
All EU and Non-EU nationals living in Malta must apply for an E-Residence Document which as from January 2013 has been introduced in replacement of the Maltese ID cards and the Registration Certificate and/or the Non-EU Residence Permit. The E-Residence Document in the case of EU nationals has to be applied for within ninety (90) days from date of arrival in Malta with an intention of taking up residence here.
EU nationals need to apply for the E-Residence Document according to their purpose of residence in Malta. Retired EU nationals may apply as Economic Self-Sufficient. This requires proof by the applicants for themselves and for all their dependants that they are in a stable financial position and they do not require any financial support from the Government of Malta. The current thresholds for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are retired are of weekly income of €92.32 for single persons and €108.63 for married couples. Other applicants must proof that they are in receipt of income in excess of €23,000 of which they are in a position to remit to Malta €14,000 plus additional €2,300 for each dependant annually.
EU nationals, as well as nationals of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland wishing to benefit from The Residence Programme or the Malta Retirement Programme or the United Nations Pensions Programme, will need to submit an application for ‘Special Tax Status’. The applications may only be submitted to the Commissioner for Revenue through the services of a person that qualifies as an Authorised Registered Mandatory.
Individuals, who are not nationals of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, can benefit from the Global Residence Programme which was announced in June 2013.
Non-EU nationals may also take up residence in Malta if they set up a business or a company subject to various criteria that need to be met. Non-EU nationals require an employment licence / residence permit referred to as a Single Permit to be able to work and reside in Malta. A Single Permit is issued from the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. The permit’s validity period is based on the nature of the employment contract presented by the applicant and endorsed by the employer. Candidates qualified in the financial services and information technology fields are sought after and therefore it will be easier for third country nationals to be issued with a Single Permit.
Non-EU nationals as well as EU nationals who are employed with a company which is licensed and/or recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority may benefit from a flat tax rate of 15% in terms of the Highly Qualified Persons Scheme. This 15% flat tax rate applies for those who have a minimum employment income, have a qualifying contract of employment and do not fall under the exclusions from the scheme.
Non-EU nationals, who are residents of Malta under the Residence Scheme Regulations, 2004 referred to Permanent Residence Permit holders, or benefit from a Special Tax Status as applicable, are obliged to apply for an E-Residence Document from the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. This document will be valid for a period of twenty-four (24) months from date of application and gives the Permanent Residence Permit or Special Tax Status holders the right to reside in Malta as well as the right to travel to all schengen treaty countries without the need to apply for a schengen visa. The Permanent Residence Permit or the Special Tax Status on its own does not give the right of residence to Non-EU nationals. The E-Residence Document for Non-EU nationals needs to be renewed ideally three months before the lapse of the current permit's validity to ensure continuity in the right to reside in Malta.
With effect from January 2013, EU nationals, who are residents of Malta under the Residence Scheme Regulations, 2004 or as these are referred to Permanent Residence Permit holders, or benefit from a Special Tax Status as applicable, are obliged to apply for an E-Residence Document from the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. In the case of EU Nationals, the document will be issued for a period of five (5) years. The Permanent Residence Scheme or any other Special Tax Status does not give the right of residence to any EU national unless the applicant is in possession of an E-Residence Document.