Malta Residence and Visa Programme: an alternative to the Hungarian Residency Bond Program

The status of a permanent Maltese resident gives the freedom of travel across Schengen area

Throughout 2013–2016, the Hungarian residency by investment programme remained one of the most popular for those looking to acquire EU residency. Under this program, EU residency was granted to those who bought Hungarian public bonds worth €300,000 and paid an administrative fee of €60,000.

In January 2017, the Hungarian government announced that the programme would end, with the last admission of applications on 31st March, 2017. It was sad news for many investors, as Hungary was granting lifetime residency to all members of the investors’ families.

However, there is an alternative for investors looking for another way to gain EU residency: the Malta Residence & Visa Programme introduced in August 2015. This involves buying public bonds and also grants lifetime residency to all the members of the investor's family, just as the Hungarian program did, but there are also other advantages to the Maltese version.

Advantages of the Malta Immigration Programme:

  • freedom to travel across the Schengen area;
  • income gain from public bonds (up to 3% per annum);
  • confidentiality of personal and financial data;
  • no need to stay in the country;
  • no tax on foreign sources of income;
  • opportunity to attract financing for investment purposes.

Conditions for the Malta Residence and Visa Programme:

  • investment in public bonds of €250,000 or participation in a program of co-investing under which the investor makes a non-refundable contribution of €75,000;
  • purchase or rent real estate in Malta. The minimum value of property in Malta to be bought is €320,000 (€270,000 in South Malta or Gozo) . The cost of rent must be at least €12,000 per annum (€10,000 in South Malta or Gozo);
  • payment of a stamp duty (€30,000);
  • annual income of at least €100,000 outside Malta or own assets of at least €500,000; due diligence checks;
  • clean criminal record (also applicable to family members).

The bonds are redeemable and the property can be sold five years after residency has been obtained. Resident status in these circumstances is nevertheless retained.

The investor's family members entitled to take part in the Malta Residence & Visa Programme include:

  • spouse;
  • children under 18 years of age (including adoptive ones);
  • children between 18 and 26 years of age, parents and grandparents which are dependent on the applicant and their spouse.

Children that are dependent on the investor can extend their right to residency upon reaching 26 years old. They need to make a single non-refundable contribution of €30,000 to do so.

To obtain permanent residence in Malta investors need to:

  • sign an agreement with an authorized company;
  • pay for legal services (€40,000);
  • submit scanned copies of the required documents (passports, birth, marriage, medical, police clearance certificates and proof of funds);
  • fill in a due diligence form;
  • issue a notarized power of attorney to submit documents to the Identity Malta Agency, a government organization for immigration through investment;
  • pay for the due diligence process (€5,500);
  • submit documents to the Identity Malta Agency;
  • make a contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of Malta (€24,500) in the case of approval;
  • acquire bonds, buy or rent property;
  • come to Malta to submit biometric data;
  • receive a residence card.

The issuance of the residence card takes 60 days from the date of submission of the application. It must be renewed every five years.

The total cost of participation in the Malta Residence & Visa Programme ranges between €590,000 and €640,000 where property is purchased, or €370,000 to €380,000 (over five years) where property is rented.

Yulia Kozhevnikova, Tranio.com
 
 
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