Malta became a member of the EU in 2004. Since then, foreigners who were not citizens of EU or EEA countries wanted to be able to live in this island nation because, in addition to access to the Schengen area, Malta also has a strong economy and a pleasant tax regime.
At the moment, there are two programs in Malta for foreigners who want to live and work in the country: MRVP and IIP. The first makes it possible to obtain permanent residence, and the second — Malta citizenship and residency for investors. The conditions, as well as the benefits for a foreigner, are different.
Differences in requirements between Maltese residency and citizenship
If a foreigner wishes to obtain a Maltese passport, the required investment amount is 650,000 euros. In addition, you need to buy real estate worth 350,000 euros and shares or bonds of Malta in the amount of 150,000 euros or more. If an investor does not want to buy property, they can rent it. The minimum rental price is 16,000 euros per year. The minimum lease term is 5 years.
The applicant can also include their relatives in the program. In this case, they will have to pay an additional amount of money:
- For a spouse and children under 18 — 25,000 euros each.
- For children over 18 years old and parents — 50,000 euros each.
At the same time, children over 18 years old can participate in the program only if they are under 27 years old, unmarried, and economically dependent on the applicant. The applicant’s parents may participate in the IIP program provided that they are over 55 years of age.
The Malta investor visa through participation in the MRVP program is not so expensive. First, the mandatory contribution is 30,000 euros. The amount of 250,000 euros must be allocated for the purchase of government bonds, and the property must be worth a minimum of 270,000 euros. The rental method in this case is also relevant and costs 10,000 euros per year. All investments should be kept for at least 5 years.
The applicant’s family may also participate in the program. In the case of MRVP, the restrictions are much less. In addition to the spouse, the applicant’s children of any age can participate, as well as parents without age requirements. But for parents, an investor needs to pay extra 5,000 euros.
Malta residency vs. citizenship: Benefits
MRVP and IIP make it much easier for foreigners to travel to Schengen countries. At the same time, citizens of Malta can even live and work in any state from this list. In addition, Maltese passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to over 170 countries, including the United States.
One of the experts of Immigrant Invest, Victoria Atanasova, emphasizes that the processing time for an application for citizenship takes several months less than under the MRVP program. At the same time, a participant in the IIP program can get citizenship by investment in Malta only after 36 months of residence in the country. This period can be reduced to 12 months if more money is invested.
Another advantage of a passport over a permanent residence is the possibility to transfer this status to the applicant’s children. In addition, the citizens of Malta can participate in the political life of the country (for example, you can vote in elections).
A comparison of Malta residence and citizenship shows that a large number of the advantages of citizenship over permanent residence are due to the much larger amounts for investment. Based on this, a foreigner must choose which way to live in Malta will be more profitable.
Buying citizenship in Malta is more suitable for those who want to find a job and a place to live in the EU, as well as keep this option for their children. Permanent residence is a cheaper option to live and work in Malta, but to do the same in other EU countries, you will have to obtain additional permits.