Over the years, Malta has strived to create an international business environment by establishing multiple immigration programs to attract investors to the archipelago. Maltese citizenship by investment, permanent residency in Malta or MEIN (Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalization) is Malta’s main immigration program offering Maltese citizenship in 12 to 36 months of residency requiring a minimum presence in Malta.
Applicants must make an investment in real estate or in a government project. One of the advantages of the Maltese passport is the ability to travel visa-free to 187 countries. Malta’s economy has benefited greatly from these programs. Recently, a new program is being developed that will focus on entrepreneurs.
New program for entrepreneurs
The new immigration program is aimed at entrepreneurs. The Malta Business Residency Program will offer a visa for start-ups, foreign entrepreneurs or third countries to invest in Malta. This program aims to attract entrepreneurs from outside the European Union and EEA who wish to set up innovative start-up and scale-up businesses in Malta. The program will also assist entrepreneurs and their family members in the immigration process in Malta.
The benefits of this program include a three-year residence permit for third-country nationals wishing to invest in Malta through start-ups. In addition, the program is open to the founders of the start-up company, their family members and key employees of the company.
After the end of the three-year residency period, beneficiaries can renew their residency for another five years, provided that the company continues to operate and the beneficiaries continue to meet the requirements.
The Malta Startup Residency Program aims to attract especially companies involved in manufacturing, software development and industrial services complementary to healthcare, manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and green industries.
It should be noted that, start-ups that offer innovative economic activities based on knowledge and technology and provide services or products that are not available on the market or are available through novel processes are also eligible to apply for the program.
On the one hand, the start-up company must be fully registered and incorporated in Malta and needs to place at least €25,000 in tangible investments or have a paid-up share capital of €25,000 or more. An additional €10,000 per founder is required if the start-up has more than four co-founders. On the other hand, the company must not have more than six co-founders. In addition, it should be noted that third country nationals living in Malta will be taxed on all income earned in Malta.