In an official briefing of accredited agents today, Hon. Alex Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities announced the introduction of a new Permanent Residence Programme to be passed through parliament over the coming weeks. This is expected to replace the successful Malta Residency and Visa Programme (MRVP) over the next 3 months.

Management of the Permanent Residence Programme

PS Muscat also announced the establishment of a new agency 'Residency Malta Agency', that would be vested with the responsibility for managing the new Permanent Residence Programme. The Parliamentary Secretary shared his ongoing work in view of "possibly linking the new Permanent Residence Programme with the Maltese Citizenship Regulations." In his introduction, the Parliamentary Secretary expressed that he "expected the immigration market to grow Post-Covid", and that the idea behind these proposed changes is to "attract more investment to Malta" while also keeping a close eye on similar programmes operated by other European Union countries. The Government plans, even after the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme is approved by Parliament, to keep listening to industry feedback and reform and improve Malta's Residence Programme, over time.

Key Improvements in Maltese Residence

  • 'MRVP' to be replaced by 'Malta Permanent Residence'.
  • Termination of Marketing Concessionaires.
  • Termination of bonds investment requirement;
  • Contribution of €68,000 or €98,000 if investor buys or rents property respectively.
  • Property purchase minimum increased to €300,000 (South of Malta or island of Gozo) and: €350,000 for the rest of Malta.
  • Property rental minimum rates remain €10,000 and €12,000 respectively.
  • Commitment to process faster while keeping high standards of due diligence.

Qualifying Investments

The stakeholder meeting discussed the removal, in the new regulations, of the requirement to invest in government bonds or listed equities, while a mandatory donation to a Maltese registered NGO is likely to be introduced.

A well-viewed proposal is to increase the government contribution where investors choose to rent rather than buy a qualifying property. There were no arguments in favour of altering the minimum rental values.

In the context of expected amendments to the Permanent Residence regulations, stakeholders agreed that the requirement for applicants to demonstrate a minimum income of €100,000 was cumbersome especially for applicants having significant capital. The minimum capital requirement continues to be well-regarded. The Agency renewed its commitment towards increased efficiency, with a targeted processing time of 6-8 months from start to finish.

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