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Malta

Significant Changes to the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)

13 July 2017

Significant Changes to the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)
QICMS (Invest-Visa.com) has anticipated a series of changes for the Malta Residence Visa Program (MRVP) as of June 2017, and on July 4, 2017, several significant changes were published in the country’s Government Gazette along with a new legal notice. These new changes are effective immediately and aimed to increase interest from foreign investors by improving the quality of the program and boost competitiveness in the Residency by Investment market among European and North American nations. The new changes to the program are based in large part on the feedback that has been obtained from international immigration firms and their clients in order to make the MRVP even more competitive on a global scale.
 
At present, the MRVP—also known as a “Golden Visa Program”—allows wealthy foreign investors to obtain European permanent residency in Malta in exchange for a minimum capital contribution of EUR 600,000 to the country’s economy and held for a minimum of 5 years. Successful applicants and their family members are granted 5-year permanent residence visas (renewable indefinitely). Residents of Malta can enjoy added benefits afforded to residents of the European Union (EU), including visa-free travel throughout the Schengen region and tax breaks, among other amenities.

One of the most significant changes to the MRVP is the eradication of age limits on dependent children included in an application. Former MRVP regulations allowed for dependent children under the age of 18 to be included, as well as unmarried and economically dependent children up to the age of 27. With the new regulations, the age limit has been eradicated to include qualifying dependent children who are over the age of 27, unmarried, and economically dependent on the principle applicant and/or spouse.

In regards to both Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment schemes around the world, Malta is the first participating country to abolish age limits on qualifying dependent children that can be included in an application. Although the new regulations outlined in the MRVP no longer places a cap on age of dependents, the decision for those who qualify as “unmarried and economically dependent” under this policy is made at the discretion of the Government of Malta on a case-by-case basis.

Below is a summary of the key salient changes to the MRVP:
  • A non-refundable contribution fee* of EUR 30,000 that now covers the principle applicant, spouse, and qualifying dependent children of the principle applicant and/or spouse of the principle applicant at the application stage;
  • Inclusion of economically dependent parents and grandparents in an application for an additional non-refundable contribution of EUR 5,000 at the application stage;
  • Adopted children of the principle applicant and/or spouse are eligible for inclusion in an application if they under the age of 18, not employed, and unmarried at the application stage;
  • Under the old MRVP regulations, dependents of the principle applicant and/or spouse at the time of the application stage who turned 27 prior to obtaining their residency risked losing their status. This policy has since been abolished; a dependent child who turns 27 during the application stage can retain his or her residency rights. If the dependent marries, or enters into a similar relationship they may also include their spouse or partner and their direct dependants for an additional contribution fee of EUR 5,000 each. Additional family members are also subject to successful due diligence checks;
  • The principle applicant, his or her spouse, and dependents are no longer required to spend either six consecutive months outside of Malta or cumulative period of 10 months during 4 years from the date of obtaining their residency status. As outlined in Article 7 of the Immigration Act, recipients of Maltese residency under the MRVP now have the right to remain permanently or indefinitely upon arrival;
  • The principle applicant can now apply against the non-refundable administrative fee of EUR 5,000 per additional person included on the Main Beneficiary certificate for residency if:
1. He or she is the spouse of a previously-approved dependent child of the principle applicant and/or spouse;
2. A dependent of the principle applicant and/or spouse has a child born or adopted after the residency approval date; this also applies to a child born to or adopted by a previously approved spouse of the abovementioned dependent.

*The new non-refundable contribution fees apply at the application stage; this does not include the combined investment amounts required by the MRVP or legal fees paid to immigration lawyers or consultants hired by the principle applicant.

Final Thoughts

Due to the recent regulation changes in Malta’s Residence and Visa Program (MRVP), it is expected that the country’s Residency by Investment scheme will continue to gain momentum among high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals (U/HNWI) and their families seeking permanent residency solutions in Europe.

If you or your family is interested in exploring residency through investment in Malta, contact our office today to discuss your options, have one of our immigration specialists answer any questions you may have regarding new MRVP policy changes, or request an appointment in our MENA office.
 
For more information about the Malta Residence and Visa Program, please click here.

To view our European Golden Visa Programs comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
 

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