Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat has confirmed that the coming March will bid farewell to the new residence and visa programme, and the following months will welcome the new residence and visa Programme. 

Muscat explained how the old programme, originally introduced in 2016 has attracted over 2,500 applicants; who are now in the final stages of their application process. He emphasised the prominence given to performing proper due diligence on all applicants. The ever-growing competition in Europe has spurred the Maltese Authorities to develop a new programme. 

This programme has generated circa 20 million euro in the past year and circa 50 million euro in total. It has also contributed 124 million euro to the real estate sector, as well as to the employment sector by generating over 400 jobs. 

Fenech Adami shared Muscat’s view that such residence programmes have a long history, dating back to the 1960s

The new programme is envisaged to attract the attention of a larger amount of applicants, planning to invest large sums of money. Shadow Minister Fenech Adami, stresses the importance of safeguarding our reputation, especially in light of recent events which tarnished Malta’s reputation. He elaborates that we ought to attract reputable applicants, and this should be a reflected in our approach by assuring decency, accountability and quality. He assured that the opposition will support this bill, whilst also ascertaining that Malta’s reputation is protected. 

Alex Muscat confirmed that agents have been discussing the new programme. The main applicant has to prove in his/her possession, capital of not less than 500,000 euro, which must persist for five years. The requirement of proving a minimum of 100,000 euro receivable in annual income no longer exists. 

Notwithstanding that there have been drops in fees of other European programmes, Malta’s fees will be increased.  The applicant may choose to buy or rent property, the minimum price to be spent depending on the location of the property chosen. If the property is situated in the Central and/or Northern region Malta, the minimum purchase price is that of 350,000 euro, whilst if leased, the minimum rent payable per year must be at least 12,000 euro. If situated in the Southern Region of Malta and/or Gozo, the purchase price must be at least 300,000 euro, whilst the rent payable per year must be at least 10,000 euro.

The old programme required a minimum investment of 30,000 euro. The new programme is envisaged to distinguish between the investment to be made by those who opt to buy property in Malta and those who opt to rent property in Malta. The latter will have to make a higher investment; 98,000 euro for the main applicant, and an additional 7,500 euro for each dependent. On the other hand, the applicant who chooses to buy property in Malta, has to make a minimum investment of 68,000 euro and an additional 7,500 euro for each dependent. 

Furthermore, applicants also have to make a donation of at least 2,000 euro to an NGO of their choice. 

Fenech Adami shared Muscat’s view that such residence programmes have a long history, dating back to the 1960s. Ever since; they have had a prominent role in Malta, as they have proved to be highly advantageous to our economic situation. Fenech Adami emphasises the importance of ensuring that such programmes are properly managed. Malta’s tax structure , our good quality of life and safe environment are positive features which attract foreigners. However, we must also be aware of other features which need some improvement such as the lack of respect to the law in certain areas. 

 

Sources: Times of Malta

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