Until 2013, the High Worth Individuals Residency Scheme (HNWI) allowed a special tax status to non-Maltese nationals who met a number of criteria. This scheme was irrespective of whether the purchaser was an EU citizen or not.
Special tax status
A new program was launched in 2013 by the Maltese government to replace the previous HNWI Scheme: the Global Residence Programme (GRP). With the GRP, the minimum threshold to buy immovable and rental property by foreigners was reduced, and the bond amount of the HNWI Scheme was removed. As with the previous measure, the applicant will also enjoy a rate of personal income tax of 15%.
To meet the required conditions, you must:
- be a third country national ie. not a Maltese, EEA or Swiss or EU national
- not benefit from any other tax reducing programme
- hold a qualifying property
- receive sufficient resources for yourself and your dependants, without needing to resort to the social security system in Malta
- be in possession of a valid travel document and health insurance in respect of all risks across the whole of the European Union for yourself and your dependants
- be fluent in one of the official languages of Malta
- be a fit and proper person.
- pay a fee of €4,000, followed by an additional €2,000 once you take up residence in Malta.
If you buy property or invest significantly in Malta, you might be entitled to a special visa. In February 2014, the Maltese government launched the Individual Investor Programme (IIP), allowing people buying property worth €650,000 or more to receive a Maltese passport, and therefore citizenship. This programme was designed to help non-EU nationals get Maltese citizenship for themselves and their dependants, in return for their investment. If you are interested, you can apply to the government agency Identity Malta.