Malta is an interesting option if you’re looking for a fast pathway to EU citizenship. It offers one of the EU’s most popular citizenship-by-investment programs, along with a fully-fledged residency by passive income pathway.
This small country has a relatively low cost of living, 300 days of sun per year, fascinating historical architecture, and a set of appealing tax benefits. Malta also has a varied and eventful history, comprising Phoenician, Roman, Arab and Byzantine influences, as well as the more recent Italian and British.
Today’s Malta has a sizeable immigrant community, including Brits, Italians, other Europeans, and North Africans. Malta could be an appealing choice for Brits looking to regain EU citizenship, thanks to the large British community on the island.
Here are some of the benefits of choosing Malta as a destination for EU citizenship.
- One of the EU’s fastest pathways to citizenship by investment: you can be eligible after just one year of Maltese residency.
- Save money by being resident for three years in Malta, then investing 600,000 EUR
- Dual/multiple citizenship allowed.
- No language requirements except for English.
- Interesting range of tax benefits.
📰 Heads up: Below this introduction to Malta you’ll find all our articles and guides about Malta.
Moving to Malta
As an EU member, Malta enjoys a stable political climate and a flourishing economy. One of its most popular offerings for potential emigres is its citizenship by investment program.
Moving to Malta as an EU citizen
If you’re a citizen of the EU/EEA, you can move freely to Malta at anytime, and get residency.
Under EU freedom of movement laws, you have the right to become a resident in any EU member state.
If you’re an EU citizen with non-EU family members, they can move to Malta with you using the EU family reunification pathway.
This process is slightly more complicated and requires several documents, but it’s not difficult to achieve.
- Population: 493,559 (2019)
- Area: 316 km2
- Capital: Valletta
- GDP/capita (PPP): $48,246 (2019)
- Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
- Language: Maltese, English
- Currency: Euro
- Time zone: Central European Time (UTC+1)
- Average days of sunshine: 300 per year
- Timeline to citizenship: At least 5 years
- Dual citizenship allowed? Yes
- Language level required for citizenship: English only
Moving to Malta as a non-EU citizen
There are two main pathways for moving to Malta as a non-EU citizen. Which one you choose will depend on whether you want to invest in the country, whether you have a source of passive income, and how quickly you want to become a citizen. In this section, we’ll examine them one by one.
Malta Citizenship by Investment Program
This is one of the EU’s most popular citizenship by investment programs and a direct route to Maltese and EU citizenship. There are a number of different requirements, let’s take a look at them now.
How much money do I have to invest to get citizenship of Malta?
You can get Maltese citizenship by investment with a qualifying investment of between €700,000 and €1,460,000. The investment is divided into three parts. You’ll need to fulfil all of them in order to be awarded the citizenship.
Part 1: Financial contribution
With this option, the investor makes a contribution to the national development and social fund of the Maltese government. This fund is run by trustees and used to finance projects including education, creating jobs, and public health. Your investment will be used to benefit the development of the country.
Within Option 1 there are several investment thresholds. Firstly, if you are resident in Malta for 36 months, you can make a contribution of €600,000. For those who want citizenship even more quickly, you can do it with just 12 months residency, but you’ll need to invest €750,000. Each dependent will require an additional €50,000 contribution.
These contributions are non-refundable and they can’t be used to generate return on investment (as would be the case with real estate investment).
Part 2: Donating to charity
The contribution is not the only money you’ll have to spend to get Maltese citizenship. You’ll also need to donate at least €10,000 to one of Malta’s registered NGOs, which must be a charitable organisation.
Part 3: real estate
The final compulsory part of your investment process is to purchase or lease a property in Malta. For purchase, the minimum value must be €700,000, and for lease it must be a minimum yearly rent of €16,000. To ensure your citizenship is maintained, you’ll need to retain the property for at least five years after the date your citizenship is granted.
Residency for a self-sufficient person
This residency pathway is a good fit for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and retirees who are not living from a pension. (Malta also offers a specific residency pathway for those using a pension).
The self-sufficient pathway can be used by both EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and non-EU citizens, but it has higher financial requirements if you come from outside the EU.
Here are the basic requirements:
- Minimum savings of €14,000 for individuals, or €23,000 for couples (this increases to €50,000 if you are from outside the EU/EEA)
- Provable regular income of €92.32 per week, €108.63 for couples and €8.15 extra for each dependent under 18.
- Private health insurance for yourself and any dependents
If you become resident in Malta with the self-sufficient route, you’ll be eligible to take advantage of Malta’s remittance-based tax system, where you can end up paying just 15% tax, subject to specific requirements.