Acquiring residence

There are various grounds and methods by which a person may obtain residence in Malta which  may vary for EU/EEA nationals and Third Country Nationals (TCNs). Any person who resides in Malta for over three months requires a residency card issued by the immigration authorities in order to confirm their right to legally reside in Malta.

EU/EEA nationals

EU/EEA nationals may obtain residency in Malta inter alia on the following grounds:

  •         Education
  •         Work
  •         Economical Self-sufficiency
  •         Through one of the various programmes

 

 Education

Temporary residence is granted to EU/EEA nationals and their family members where such person is following a course of education in Malta, including vocational training. Such persons however must have enough financial resources to support themselves without having recourse to the social security system in Malta as well as suitable place to live.

 

Work/Setting up a Business

EU national does not require a work license to be able to work in Malta, whether in self-employment or as an employee.

 

Economically Self-Sufficient

It is not required that an EU/EEA national works in Malta in order to obtain residency if such persons are deemed to be economically self-sufficient.  Pensioners and retired persons also fall under this category, but may opt for the Retirement Programme. Any economically self-sufficient person must be able to financially support themselves and members of their family who join them, without having recourse to assistance from the Government.  For such purposes, they must have a full sickness insurance covering themselves and their dependents whilst in Malta, as well as a suitable place of accommodation. Their capital should be according to the current minimum thresholds:

 

 

  Single (Eur) Married (Eur)
Minimum Capital OR 14,000 23,000
Weekly Income 92.32 108.63
Each Dependent 8.15 8.15

 

 

 

Non-EU/EEA nationals (TCNs)

TCNs are required to have a working license in order carry out work in Malta, whether as an employed or self-employed person.

An employment license is granted to TCNs in exceptional cases such as candidates qualified to work in sectors where there is a shortage of skills, such as the Aviation, IT, financial services and environmental sector, amongst others.

A TCN who wishes to obtain self-employment status in Malta must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • Invest in Malta capital expenditure of at least €100,000 within 6 months from the date on which the ETC licence is issued. Capital expenditure shall solely consist of fixed assets (such as immovable property, plant and machinery) used for the business purposes as reflected in the business plan submitted with the application. Rental contracts do not qualify. A Business Plan is required, indicating clearly when such investment is to occur, within twelve months from application
  • Highly skilled innovators with a sound business plan who commit to recruiting at least three EEA/Swiss/Maltese nationals within eighteen months of establishment. A business plan ought to be submitted with the application for employment
  • Sole representative of an overseas company wishing to open a branch in Malta
  • A person leading a project which has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise and formally notified by the latter to ETC.

 

Malta Residence and Shareholding in Malta Companies

A TCN may obtain residence in Malta by incorporating a Company in which such TCN is the shareholder or ultimate beneficial owner of such Company.

The Company must however reach at least one of the following criteria:

  • Every TCN shareholder must have a fully paid up share capital of at least €100,000 which may not be redeemed, reduced or transferred to a third party during the first two years following the issuing of the Employment Licence
  • Makes a capital expenditure of at least €100,000 that is to be used by the company. Capital expenditure shall solely consist of fixed assets (such as immovable property, plant and machinery) used for the business purposes as reflected in the business plan submitted with the application. Rental contracts do not qualify. Such expenditure needs to be supported by receipts in the company’s name
  • The company is a sole representative of an overseas company (with a sound reputation and established for at least three years abroad) wishing to open a branch in Malta
  • The company is leading a project that has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise and formally notified by the latter to ETC.

If the director of the Malta Company is not also a shareholder, then the application does not need to meet the above criteria, however the labour market conditions as aforesaid will be taken into consideration when the application is being reviewed, such as the aforementioned shortage of skills and the sector involved.

 

Permanent Residence/Long Term Residence

This status is granted to individuals who have resided legally in Malta for a continuous period of five years, excluding temporary absences from Malta which may not exceed 6 consecutive months in each year and must also not exceed 10 months in the whole 5 year period.



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