As briefed on the 12th of January by Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat and MRVA CEO Charles Mizzi, the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) has come into force on the 29th of March 2021.
The Malta Permanent Residence Programme Regulations, 2021, enacted by the Legal Notice 121 of 2021, replace the previous successful Malta Residence and Visa Programme (MRVP). Therefore, applications submitted from the 29th of March onwards will fall under the newly enacted regulations.
Amongst many different changes, the new regulations replace the Malta Residence and Visa Agency with the Residency Malta Agency and bring changes to the qualifying investment amongst others.
In the points below, we will see how this will affect you and how it will fit with your Citizenship and Residence planning needs.
Which are the main changes to the qualifying investment under the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) regulations?
To qualify for residence under the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) regulations, successful applicants will need to:
- Hold qualifying property, which can
be purchased or rented:
- If purchased, the property value must be a minimum of EUR350,000 for a property situated in Malta or EUR300,000 for a property situated in Gozo or the South of Malta.
- If rented, the lease value must be for a minimum of EUR12,000 per year for a property situated in Malta or EUR10,000 for a property situated in Gozo or the South of Malta.
- Make a Government
Contribution which amount will depend if the
qualifying property is rented or purchased, as it follows:
- If the property is purchased, the contribution will be EUR28,000 plus EUR7,500 for every parent or grandparent of the principal applicant or spouse.
- If the property is rented, the contribution will be EUR58,000 plus EUR7,500 for every parent or grandparent of the principal applicant or spouse.
- Make a Donation of EUR2,000 to a local non-governmental organisation registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, or as otherwise approved by the Agency.
Also, an administrative fee of EUR40,000 per application will be due. Upon submitting the application, EUR10,000 will need to be paid, and the balance (EUR30,000) upon the file's approval.
Who can apply for the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) regulations?
As with the previous regulations, only Third Country Nationals (TCN) can apply for residence under the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) regulations. To the effects of the regulations, Third Country Nationals are those individuals who are not citizens of the European Union. EEA nationals and Swiss nationals shall not be considered to be third-country nationals.
Persons who qualify as dependents of the principal applicant are defined by the L.N. 121 enacting the new Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) regulation. The qualifying dependents are defined as follows:
- The principal applicant's spouse in a monogamous marriage or in another relationship having the same or a similar status to marriage. For the purposes of the MPRP, the term "spouse" shall be gender-neutral;
- Children, including adopted, of the principal applicant or his spouse who, at the time of application, are less than 18 years of age;
- Children over the age of 18 years old, not married, and principally dependent on the principal applicant;
- Financially dependent parents or grandparents of the principal applicant or of his spouse; or
- Disabled adult children of the principal applicant or spouse.
Are there any other requirements to be granted with residence under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme regulations?
All applications must be submitted by an Approved Agent who needs to perform Tier 1 Due Diligence checks, providing evidence to the Residency Malta Agency that the applicants are fit and proper persons.
Aside from making the required qualifying investment, applicants must have:
- Regular resources sufficient to maintain themselves without depending on the social assistance system of Malta;
- Sickness insurance policy in respect of all risks typically covered for Maltese nationals;
- Assets with a minimum value of not less than EUR500,000, out of which a minimum of EUR150,000 shall be in the form of financial assets.
A formal application is submitted to the Residency Malta Agency, and a proper Due Diligence check will be carried out.
Can applications be rejected under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme regulations?
Applications to the Malta Permanent Residence Programme regulations undergo a stringent due diligence and background check.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifying criteria won't be approved, with causes for rejection being as follows:
- The principal applicant and, or any of his dependants shall not have had a previous application for a certificate or an application for Maltese citizenship refused;
- The principal applicant, or any of his dependants, shall have a clean criminal background; They must not have been found guilty, or, at the time of the application, being interrogated and suspected, or has criminal charges brought against him/her for any criminal offence, other than an involuntary offence, punishable with more than one (1) year imprisonment.
- The principal applicant, or any of
his dependants, shall not be individuals who, at any time, had
pending charges or who has been found guilty of any crimes related
- crimes of terrorism,
- money laundering,
- funding of terrorism,
- crimes against humanity,
- war crimes,
- crimes that infringe upon such Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as established by the European Convention on Human Rights;
- If the principal applicant, or
any of his/her dependents, have been found guilty or have charges
brought against him/her regarding any of the following criminal
- defilement of minors,
- violent indecent assault,
- inducing persons under age to prostitution, and
- The application will be rejected if applicant is listed in international sanctions applying restrictive measures that the Agency is bound by law, or has opted, to follow.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.