Digital Nomads – the Background
Digital nomads are remote workers who travel to different locations regularly. They use modern technology to work from coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or libraries with a Wi-Fi-connected laptop or smartphone from anywhere in the world.
Digital nomads tend to be freelancers or entrepreneurs who are self-employed, working for themselves or for companies as independent contractors.
In the past it has been difficult for entrepreneurs and freelancers to apply for traditional visas as either a contract with a local entity was required, or a letter of invitation. A tourist visa, for example, is not suitable as the individual might want to stay for a more extended period.
The Malta Nomad Residence Permit
The Malta Nomad Residence Permit can easily be obtained by; remote workers, digital nomads, and freelancers and it grants the holder a legal right to reside in Malta and travel visa free throughout the Schengen Member States.
Malta has long been famous for its expat-friendly environment, which is well illustrated by the large expat community in Malta. Thanks to its favourable legislative system and tax benefits, the island is home to many foreign companies.
It is a small country in size but has a cosmopolitan soul. There are many cafes, bars, restaurants, and co-working spaces that make life easier for digital nomads. In addition, it is now one of the very few countries in the world with 5G nationwide coverage.
Along with its digital nomad-friendly environment, it also has everything an ideal island would have; beaches, 300 sunny days a year, a relaxed way of life, excellent seafood, and a lot of fun. Malta has it all and is a perfect base for remote working.
Eligibility Criteria for Malta Nomad Residence Permit
There is a specific set of rules for the program.
- Be a third-country national (non-EU)
- Have a monthly income of €2,700 (gross of tax) for a single applicant
- Have a work contract for an employer that is registered in a country other than Malta, OR
- Be a partner/shareholder in a company that is registered in a country other than Malta, OR
- Offer freelance services to clients whose permanent establishments are in countries other than Malta, and with whom the applicant has a contract(s)
- Have a valid travel document
- Have health insurance covering Malta
- Present a property rental or property purchase agreement
Cost of Application and Timeframe for Malta Nomad Residence Permit
The government fee for the main applicant is €328, with an additional €328 fee payable for each family applicant.
Applicants who intend to spend up to 180 days in Malta will be issued with a National Visa, while those who plan to spend up to 365 days or more will be issued with a Residence Permit.
Processing applications takes approximately 30 days, from receipt of all the required documentation and application forms.
Which Family Members can be Included?
The main applicant can include dependent family members. It is possible to add a spouse and minor children, as well as adults who are financially dependent on the main applicant.
Malta recognizes same-sex unions. A same-sex partner in a committed relationship for a defined period, can be included in an application.
Nomad residence permit holders are not subject to personal income tax as they are expected to pay tax in their country of origin. However, nomad residence permit holders will be subject to consumption tax (VAT) in the same manner as all Malta residents.
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.