Southern Europe


460,891 (July 2021 est.)


The island-state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy); it consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, of which Malta is the largest island. In its history, the Maltese archipelago was always strategically significant for the domination of the Mediterranean. Malta became an EU member in May 200. Malta has a population of 515,000 people (in 2020). The island nation is in the Top10 of the most densely populated countries in the world. The capital city is Valletta on the island of Malta. Spoken languages are Maltese and English.


Broadband average connection speed (Mbit/s)- 134.48


In Malta the power plugs and sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


$39,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
$44,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
$43,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars


Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters; hot, dry summers



Non-EU/EEA entrepreneurs and investors in a Malta resident company must meet one of the criteria set out by law to obtain a Maltese residence permit. These include:

  • Investing in Malta capital expenditure of at least EUR500,000, within six months from the date on which the employment licence is issued. Capital expenditure must consist of fixed assets such as immovable property and machinery used for business purposes, as reflected in the business plan submitted with the application.
  • Being the sole representative of an overseas company wishing to open a branch in Malta.
  • Leading a project formally approved by the government agency Malta Enterprise.

Malta has risen to be one of Europe’s leading investment locations, driven by its reputation for stability, predictability, and security. The Malta Permanent Residence Program grants residence rights to foreign nationals seeking an alternative residence in Europe. General process and time frame for obtaining permanent residence

Maltese residence can be acquired in two ways: the Global Residence Programme or the Golden Visa Programme.

Global Residence Programme

This is designed to attract individuals who are not nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and who are not long-term residents. Individuals benefitting from the Malta Global Residence Programme are not precluded from working in Malta, provided they satisfy the conditions for obtaining a work permit. One application can include the main applicant and his spouse, financially dependent parents and other dependent relatives shown to be bona fide members of the household. Children under the age of 25 years are automatically eligible for inclusion. Applicants must show their financial self-sufficiency and have valid sickness insurance cover.

The applicant must be a fit and proper person and provide:

  • A police conduct certificate issued no earlier than six months before the date of submission of the application.
  • A sworn declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths in Malta confirming that the applicant is not subject to any ongoing civil or criminal proceedings.
  • Within 12 months of taking up residence under the Global Residence Programme, the residence permit holder must acquire or rent property in Malta, and pay EUR15,000 annually in tax. The property acquired must be worth at least: EUR275,000, for property in Malta. EUR220,000, for property in the Southern Region of Malta. EUR250,000, for property in Gozo.

Alternatively, if candidates rent property they must pay an annual rent of at least:

  • EUR9,600, for property in Malta.
  • EUR8,750, for property in Gozo and the Southern Region of Malta.

For updated detailed information, see

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa Regulations introduced by L.N. 288 of 2015 is a programme to attract non-EU/EEA nationals who, with their registered dependants, are entitled to a certificate deemed to be a residence permit allowing the beneficiaries to reside, settle or stay indefinitely in Malta.

Applications under this programme are open to non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals. One application can include the main applicant and his spouse or partner, financially dependent parents, grandparents and children of the main applicant and their spouse.

The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age. The main applicant must commit to pay a contribution of EUR30,000. The main applicant must also show that:

  • He is receiving stable and regular resources sufficient to maintain himself and his dependants, without recourse to the social assistance system of Malta.
  • He has a valid travel document and sickness insurance in respect of all risks across the whole of the EU normally covered for Maltese nationals.
  • To prove self-sufficiency, the main applicant must show that he has an annual income of at least EUR100,000 arising outside Malta, or has capital of at least EUR500,000.

Applicants must acquire property worth at least:

  • EUR320,000, for property in Malta.
  • EUR270,000, for property in Gozo.

Alternatively, candidates must rent property and pay an annual rent of at least EUR12,000 for property in Malta, or at least EUR10,000 for property in Gozo.

In addition, the main applicant must commit to invest at least EUR250,000 in government bonds. Both the property and the investment in government bonds must be kept for at least five years from when the residence certificate is issued.

Malta is a very attractive location for private residence. The island nation enjoys a stable political climate and is strategically located, with excellent air links. The Malta Permanent Residence Program offers non-Maltese persons the possibility of acquiring a European residence permit in an EU country and visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen Area.


  • Minimum contribution of EUR 175,000 mixed capital requirements


  • The main applicant must be at least 18 years of age to qualify and must provide an affidavit declaring that from the date of the application, they have in their possession capital of no less than EUR 500,000 (EUR 150,000 of which should be in financial assets).

The following application requirements must be met to qualify for the program:

  • A property purchase of EUR 350,000 (EUR 300,000 in South Malta or Gozo), or a property lease of EUR 12,000 per annum (EUR 10,000 in South Malta or Gozo)
  • A contribution of EUR 28,000 to the Maltese economy if the residential property is purchased, or EUR 58,000 if the property is leased
  • A donation to a non-governmental organization of EUR 2,000
  • A non-refundable administration fee of EUR 40,000


  • Residence in an EU country and visa-free across Europe’s Schengen Area
  • Right to reside indefinitely in Malta
  • Investment required only for first five years
  • No residence requirement
  • Family members included


  • Processing time of four–six months from submission of the application to approval


limestone, salt, arable land


Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)


Maltese (official) 90.1%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.9% (2005 est.)


Roman Catholic (official) more than 90% (2006 est.)


total: 42.3 years
male: 41.2 years
female: 43.5 years (2020 est.)


urban population: 94.8% of total population (2021)
rate of urbanization: 0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030


2.86 physicians/1,000 population (2015)


Parliamentary republic


0.78 (2019 est.)
0.89 (2018 est.)


Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate)

10% (5% effective from 1 August 2020) of excess over FJD 270,000

Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes)

Income is taxable at graduated progressive rates, ranging from 0% to 35%. For year of assessment 2021 (year of income 2020), in the case of single individuals (including married individuals opting for separate computation) there is a tax liability of EUR 12,275 on the first EUR 60,000 of income (individuals earning up to EUR 19,500 should save up to EUR 90 tax per annum).

Married individuals should be liable for EUR 11,095 tax on the first EUR 60,000 of income (couples earning up to EUR 28,700 should save up to EUR 120 tax per annum). For amounts exceeding these thresholds, the tax rate is 35% for both single and married individuals. Subject to certain conditions, the married rates also apply to single parents, widows/widowers, and separated parents.

Foreign tax relief

There are no special credits for short-term residents. Income taxes paid abroad on income that becomes taxable in the hands of a Maltese resident may qualify for a credit if a double taxation treaty (DTT) has been concluded with the relevant country or under the unilateral relief provisions of Maltese law.


29 September 2022, the European Commission announced that it is referring Malta to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in respect of its investor citizenship scheme, also known as a ‘golden passport’. Malta is the only remaining EU member state that operates such a scheme.

The Commission considers that granting EU citizenship in return for pre-determined payments or investments without any genuine link to the member state concerned is not compatible with the principle of sincere cooperation enshrined in Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union, and with the concept of Union citizenship, as provided for in Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

On 20 October 2020, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Malta to end its ‘individual investor programme’, which had naturalised several thousand investors and their family members since 2014. Malta closed the scheme when it reached its limit of 1,800 successful main applicants at the end of 2020 but replaced it with a new scheme – the ‘Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment’ scheme.

The Commission said the new scheme maintains the principle that nationality can be awarded systematically, in return for pre-determined payments, without having to establish any genuine link between the applicant and Malta. It sent an additional letter of formal notice to Malta on 9 June 2021.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Malta announced on 2 March 2022 that it was suspending, until further notice, the processing of applications from nationals of the Russian Federation and Belarus. The Commission said this was a positive step, but Malta continued to operate the scheme for all other nationalities and has not expressed any intention to end it.

On 6 April 2022, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Malta. Malta’s reply did not satisfactorily address the concerns raised by the Commission. As a result, the Commission has decided to refer Malta to the CJ EU under Article 258(2) of the TFEU.

“EU citizenship and the rights it confers lie at the heart of the EU,” said the Commission. “Every person that holds the nationality of an EU Member State is at the same time an EU citizen. EU citizenship automatically gives the right to free movement, access to the EU internal market, and the right to vote and to be elected in European and local elections. For these reasons, the conditions for obtaining and losing nationality, regulated by the national law of each Member State, are subject to due respect for EU law.

“Investor citizenship schemes allow a person to acquire a new nationality based on pre-determined payments or investments, and in absence of a genuine link with the naturalising country, such as long-term residence. These schemes are different from investor residence schemes (or ‘golden visas’), which allow third-country nationals, subject to certain conditions, to obtain a residence permit to live in an EU country. Both types of schemes pose serious risks, in particular as regards security, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.”

The Commission has also targeted investor citizenship schemes in other Member States. In October 2020, it opened an infringement procedure against Cyprus. Cyprus suspended its scheme and stopped receiving new applications on 1 November 2020 but continued to process pending applications. The Commission therefore sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus on 9 June 2021. It said Cyprus had completed processing all pending applications in July 2021. It was analysing the situation before deciding on any next steps.

The Commission has also been in contact with Bulgaria in respect of its investor citizenship scheme. Bulgaria had abolished the scheme with effective from 5 April 2022.

Table of Contents: MALTA

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