The Malta Golden Visa, officially known as the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP), is a highly sought-after residency by investment program introduced in 2021. Designed to attract non-European Union (EU) and non-European Economic Area (EEA) foreign nationals, this program offers an opportunity to obtain Maltese residency in exchange for a qualifying property investment or government contribution. This initiative has taken the place of the Malta Visa and Residence Program (MVRP).
Malta, renowned for its pristine beaches, warm climate, and hospitable local population, has not only been a favorite tourist destination but also an appealing choice for individuals seeking a more permanent residence. As an EU and Schengen Zone member, Malta combines a thriving economy, a robust real estate market, and top-notch social services.
Under the Malta Golden Visa program, applicants can typically expect a swift decision on their residency permit application, often within just four (4) to six (6) months. Once approved, investors are granted a five (5)-year renewable residency permit. Importantly, this residency permit also serves as a potential pathway to Maltese citizenship for both the main applicant and their eligible dependents, subject to meeting all necessary qualifications.
Holders of Maltese residency gain the right to live on one of the most stunning island nations in Europe, as well as visa-free access to all 27 Schengen Zone member states. Golden Visa holders can also access Malta’s quickly growing economy, as well as world-class healthcare and education. Furthermore, the MPRP allows investors to include their dependents in the same application so they can benefit from residency as well. The Malta Golden Visa program, established under the Immigration Act, offers a pathway for third-country nationals to obtain a Residence-by-Investment Certificate as outlined in Legal Notice 121 of 2021. This certificate grants them the right to reside, settle, or stay indefinitely in Malta, along with their registered dependents, as long as they adhere to all obligations and conditions set forth in the regulation.
To be eligible for the Malta Golden Visa program, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
Investors in the Malta Golden Visa program are able to include dependents in their application as long as they fall into one of the following eligible categories:
The Malta Golden Visa program offers attractive investment channels for applicants to choose from. To encourage growth and foreign direct investment, Malta offers options to invest in real estate property alongside a government contribution and a donation to a local NGO.
Renting real estate in Malta offers investors the benefits of a more flexible living situation, while those who choose to purchase real estate can take advantage of Malta’s robust real estate market and rapid property appreciation, consequently making profitable returns on their investment.
Investors can choose between the following options to obtain Maltese residency, and eventually citizenship, by investment through their Golden Visa program:
To qualify for the Malta Golden Visa program, investors must also make the following contributions:
Make a donation of €2,000 to a local NGO that is registered with the Commissioner of Voluntary Organizations in Malta.
Obtaining residency through the MPRP has many advantages. The following are some of the primary benefits that investors and their dependents can access through the Malta Golden Visa program:
Through the Golden Visa program, investors and their dependents obtain the right to settle and live permanently in Malta.
Golden Visa holders enjoy visa-free travel to all 27 Schengen Zone member states for stays of up to 90 days within 180 days.
Golden Visa holders can participate in Malta’s robust, and quickly growing, real estate market.
Investors can include up to four generations of family members on a single application.
Investors can access excellent healthcare services and education systems, which is especially beneficial for applicants with children or elderly dependents.
Malta is known for being one of the safest countries in the world and having a highly stable society.
Many people in Malta speak English and the local population is very accustomed to tourists, making it a great destination for new foreign residents.
Investors are only required to make the qualifying investment for the first five years of residency.
On top of the original investment, Golden Visa holders can also participate in Malta’s rapidly expanding economy, expanding their investment opportunities beyond real estate.
A major perk of obtaining Maltese residency through the Golden Visa program is that it paves the way for Maltese citizenship, provided they meet all the eligibility criteria. If they meet all the requirements and the appointed Minister approves their application, they can obtain Maltese citizenship and a Maltese passport. This would give them access to 187 visa-free destinations around the world, as well as opportunities to travel, study, and do business internationally.
Applicants must select the investment option that best suits their needs and financial capabilities.
The applicant, or an authorized agent on their behalf, will submit a letter of intent detailing their reasons for seeking residency through the Malta Golden Visa program.
After selecting and making the qualifying investment, applicants will gather and submit all the required documents for the program. This may include a passport or travel document, financial records, a criminal background check, proof of health insurance, and more.
Applicants or their agents must make an appointment with The Residency Malta Agency Customer Care to submit their application materials to the relevant officials. They will be given a receipt of submission to use in paying the application fees.
• Once the application is submitted, applicants have one (1) month to pay the €10,000 application fee. This amount will be deducted from the €40,000 administrative fee. Applicants can pay the remaining €30,000 later on (within two months of the issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle).
• The processing fee must also be paid at this time. The amount is currently €137.50 per person for the first 5 years and €27.50 for each annual renewal. This fee covers the application processing. Fees must be paid using direct debit from a bank account.
Malta employs a four-tier due diligence process to ensure that all investors have a clean criminal and professional record. If approved, the applicant will receive a Letter of Final Approval in Principle from the Board of Approvals.
At this time, applicants will pay the remaining €30,000 for the administrative fee and make their qualifying investment. They will select the property they are interested in and begin the process of buying or renting it. They should also make the government contribution and the NGO donation.
If the application is approved and all payments are made successfully, the applicant will receive a Letter of Final Approval. It can take around seven (7) days to receive final approval.
Applicants must travel with any included dependents, with the exception of children up to 2 years old, to provide their biometrics, including a photograph and fingerprints, at The Residency Agency offices in Malta.
Once all previous steps are completed, the new investor and their dependents will receive their residence certificate and card. Residence cards are initially valid for five (5) years and must be renewed annually after that period. The current processing time for printing residence cards is two (2) weeks.
All applicants for the Malta Golden Visa program must submit several required documents that are verified and approved by the Board of Approvals.
The following is the basic required documentation all applicants should include in their application packet:
This will serve as the letter of intent stating the applicant’s motivation for applying to the Malta Golden Visa program.
The main applicants and any dependents must provide clear copies of the bio-data pages of their international passports that clearly state the primary identification information. They must also provide copies of their national ID card.
The main applicant and their dependents must submit their valid birth certificates as certified copies or originals.
There are several forms that must be completed in the correct order by the main applicant and their dependents. These forms are intended to establish the profile of the applicant and allow them to choose their investment option.
All applicants must undergo the due diligence process and the findings must be provided by a licensed agent.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive statement attesting to the source of their funds/income.
Statements in the name of the main applicant from the previous three (3) months must be provided.
Applicants must provide information about all businesses they own in part or in whole.
All applicants who are not self-employed must provide documents including payslips, an employee contract, or a reference letter that shows their employment status.
Applicants and dependents must obtain their police records to include in the application packet.
For each dependent over 18, an affidavit must be submitted stating that they are primarily dependent on the main applicant at the time of application.
Documents must be submitted as certified true copies or originals depending on the document type. All application forms must be completed or marked “N/A” if the information is not applicable. Forms should be typed and signed with blue ink. Certified copies and translations must have the correct apostille or legal approval.
Additional documents such as marriage certificates, death certificates, military records, or copies of other residence permits may be requested depending on the applicant’s unique case. Applicants must review the full list of required documents before submitting their application packet. Due to the number of forms and documents required for the Malta Golden Visa application packet, it is advised to work with legal experts to ensure compliance with the program’s guidelines. These experts can help streamline the application process and verify that all documents are submitted correctly.
The Malta Golden Visa residency permit is valid for an initial period of five (5) years. Provided all requirements are met, the residency card can be renewed at the end of that period. After that, it should be renewed once a year.
Golden Visa holders should retake their biometric data after the first five (5) years of residency. Each renewal will cost €27.50. Children who turn 14 or 18 during the residency period must also renew their permits even if their birthday falls before the end of the initial residency period. The renewal process can be done through The Residency Malta Agency. While the process is subject to change, the following are the basic steps to renew the Malta Golden Visa:
Applicants must complete all official forms to request the renewal of their residency permit.
All required documents must be gathered and provided with the renewal application. Applicants must provide certified copies or originals of documents as requested.
The renewal form and all required documents must be submitted to The Residency Malta Agency before the initial expiry date of the Golden Visa.
There is a €27.50 renewal processing fee for the main applicant and each included dependent.
If the Golden Visa renewal application is approved, the applicant will receive a residency permit that allows them to reside in Malta for another year. They must renew this permit annually for each subsequent year.
It’s important for all Golden Visa holders to renew their Golden Visa permits to maintain their residency. Investors are advised to prepare for the renewal process in advance and complete all required steps with plenty of time before the expiration date of their initial residency permit.
The Malta Golden Visa program can be a pathway for many investors to Maltese citizenship. To transition from Golden Visa holder to Maltese citizen, investors must fulfill the requirements including the minimum residency period. If these conditions are met, they can apply for Maltese citizenship and a Maltese passport.
The minimum residency time to qualify for citizenship in Malta is five (5) years. The years spent in Malta with a Golden Visa residency permit will count towards this qualifying total. It should be noted that in order to apply for citizenship, the applicant must have been residing in Malta continuously for 12 months prior to the date of application and four (4) years out of the previous six (6) years.
Maltese citizenship has many advantages for investors including full access to EU services and rights. Citizens of Malta can travel, reside, work, and study in any country in the EU. Maltese citizens can access the educational systems and healthcare services through the EU as well. They also gain visa-free access to 187 countries, providing a whole new world of international business and travel opportunities.
To be approved for Maltese citizenship, applicants must speak and write both English and Maltese and be of “sound mind and good conduct”. It’s also advised that they attempt to integrate into local society as much as possible, learning about local customs and holidays. Background checks and interviews regarding their knowledge of Maltese society will be conducted as part of the application process.
While the Malta Golden Visa allows investors and their dependents to reside in the country, it does not have the same commitment and conditions as citizenship. Golden Visa holders can enjoy the benefits of residing in an EU country and are able to travel around the Schengen Zone visa-free for short periods. Obtaining Maltese citizenship can have the expanded benefits of broader EU rights, the ability to live, study, or work in any EU member state, and access to over 180 new international travel destinations. Golden Visa investors should consider their long-term goals carefully to decide which option is best for them, particularly those from countries that do not allow dual nationality.
Life in Malta is a combination of history, culture, and beautiful natural landscapes. An island nation in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta is a rich tapestry of ancient traditions that coexist with modern amenities. It is one of the safest countries in the world and has world-class infrastructure for healthcare and education making it a stable and family-friendly place to live.
Malta’s rich history has roots in ancient civilizations including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Knights of St. John. Malta is home to some of the world’s oldest monuments like the megalithic temples that date back over 5,000 years.
For nature lovers, Malta offers landscapes ranging from rugged cliffs to stunning beaches. The archipelago of Malta actually consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Gozo is famous for its lush vegetation and idyllic villages. On the island of Malta, visitors can find active vineyards, charming towns, rolling hills, and some low mountains. Due to their excellent tourism industry, Malta offers outdoor excursions into all its various types of terrain.
For the more urban inclined, Malta has vibrant cities that offer excellent cafes, boutique shopping, and well-organized cultural sites. From modern districts to medieval winding streets, there is something for everyone in Malta’s diverse urban centers. Valletta, the capital city, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its Baroque architecture and incredible history.
The healthcare system in Malta is well-known for its quality and accessibility. Medical institutions in Malta provide excellent care and comprehensive services. Malta also has a well-regarded education system, including both public and private schools, that will ensure all resident children receive a good education from primary school until university.
Every year Malta hosts cultural events and festivals of all kinds. Carnival celebrations are a crowd favorite, but the traditional village festas and music festivals are also very popular. Residents can also enjoy recreational activities, including water sports, trekking, and exploring historical sites.
The cost of living in Malta generally offers good value for money compared to other European countries. Transportation is convenient due to the compact size of the islands and there is plenty of public transportation available. Residents will also enjoy trying Maltese cuisine which is fresh, delicious, and includes a rich blend of Mediterranean flavors. Local favorites include pastizzi and rabbit stew.
The Malta Golden Visa program, also known as the Malta Permanent Residence Program, is an immigration scheme that allows non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their dependents to obtain residency in Malta in exchange for investing in the local economy.
Fortunately, there is no strict minimum residency requirement. However, Golden Visa holders must continue to make their qualifying investments and are expected to stay connected to the country as residents. For investors interested in eventually obtaining Maltese citizenship, other minimum residency requirements apply.
While the application process for citizenship is separate from that of the Golden Visa program, the Golden Visa does help facilitate Maltese citizenship. Provided the applicant meets all the residency and naturalization conditions, they can apply for citizenship after five (5) years of residency.
No, there are no specific language requirements for the Malta Golden Visa program. However, proficiency in English or Maltese can be beneficial for daily life and integration.
Yes, spouses or permanent partners, children under 18, and dependent adult children can be included in the application. Parents and grandparents of the main applicant or the spouse/partner can also be included.