Small island states have increasingly introduced residency-by-investment programmes as part of their strategy to strengthen their economies and attract skills and talent to their shores.
In turn, they offer investors permanent residency for themselves and their families, visa-free travel to Schengen countries, and a chance to participate in the country’s business and social opportunities.
Once such country is Malta – an island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Peace of mind and quality of life
There is a plethora of reasons for why Malta should not be overlooked as a destination for investment migration.
Living in Malta could be considered as much easier than in other countries as the Maltese are a hospitable and welcoming people and a large expat community has ensured a multi-cultural ambience over the years.
With a mild climate, over 300 days of sunshine, pristine beaches, a rich history and heritage and an outdoors lifestyle, island life is easy.
This is juxtaposed, however, with a strong economy, membership of the European Union, the Commonwealth, Schengen and the eurozone, a stable and highly regulated jurisdiction, and a European standard of living.
Malta’s strategic location bang in the middle of the Mediterranean and its geographical proximity to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East means it is well connected to the main regions and markets of interest with numerous air and sea links.
Malta boasts top-class health care services, easily accessible via reasonably priced health insurance.
With the onset of the pandemic, health authorities gave daily public briefings to keep citizens well-informed while introducing general restrictions that helped mitigate the spread.
Moreover, the country has registered impressive Covid vaccination stats that dominated the EU tables – it is no wonder Malta ranks among the top for its health institutions.
The country offers excellent educational opportunities with a range of state, church and independent schools, as well as an esteemed 400-year-old university.
With English being an official language and the global language for doing business, expats will have no issues communicating with locals and settling in will be easy.
Malta is also one of the safest countries in the world, with a negligible crime rate.
This should attract families who would like to spend their time in an environment where children can run around freely with little supervision and women go out for early morning jogs, safe in the knowledge that no harm will come to them.
Investors and entrepreneurs look for jurisdictions with robust and growing economies, high regulation, government support and industry demand.
Malta ticks all of these boxes while constantly garnering positive ratings from credit agencies and topping the EU charts for economic growth.
The government has also put in place a number of interesting business support agencies that are geared to help entrepreneurs start-up or expand their operations.
With Malta’s size and composition, it doubles up as a fully-fledged test market for new products and services.
Booming industries in Malta include hospitality, aviation, pharma, maritime, financial services and the knowledge industry.
A Plan B for the future
There has never been a better time to consider economic mobility.
The pandemic has exacerbated issues like safety, free and rapid movement, foreign investment considerations, access to high quality healthcare, and stability.
“Movement across continents, countries and borders has been seriously stifled, and many individuals and families across the world are considering their long-term future options, both in terms of quality of life and family wealth,” said Charles Mizzi, Chief Executive Officer of Residency Malta Agency.
“Should I invest in a second residency, to put my mind at rest and secure my family’s future? Should I have a Plan B for when things get challenging in my home country?”
“Do I need visa access to the Schengen countries where my business is operating in? Do I need to consider countries with excellent health care systems, where my own country has baulked under the strain of the pandemic?”
“These are the questions that many persons are now asking themselves,” said Mizzi.
“The answers lie in an assessment of the benefits that countries with residency programmes offer.”
The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP)
The MPRP is a property-based residency-by-investment programme that gives beneficiaries the right to stay, settle and reside permanently in Malta.
With options to purchase or lease property, and make a direct contribution to government, up to four generations may apply, making family relocation a possibility.
Applicants must also make a donation to a local registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Managed by Residency Malta Agency, applicants must go through a four-tier due diligence exercise that ensures that only fit-and-proper individuals and families are given Maltese residence status.
Applications are required to be submitted via a licensed agent, who will act on their behalf.
The programme is straightforward and competitive and with the Agency promising a 4- to 6-month processing time following the submission of a complete and correct application, applicants can put their mind at rest that it will not be a long, drawn-out procedure.
Covid gave the final blow to the concept of the traditional workplace.
While remote working became extremely as a measure by which employers could control cases at the office, the future augurs well for hybrid arrangements that give flexibility and improve work-life balance.
With teleworking no longer being the prerogative of the few, many will now be seeing how to best exploit this newfound way of working.
For those in knowledge-based industries, working from one country while giving services to employers and clients based in other parts of the world is easier than ever before.
Residency Malta Agency was quick to react to this trend and has launched a new Nomad Residence Permit intended to give non-EU nationals the opportunity to work remotely from Malta for a temporary period.
Malta already hosts a significant digital nomad community made up mostly of EU nationals who do not require any permits due to freedom of movement.
The new permit is intended to reach new niches beyond Europe as global mobility continues to gain popularity.
Applicants who wish to work remotely from Malta, for a temporary period of up to one year, must prove they can work remotely, independent of location.
They should either work for an employer registered outside of Malta, conduct business activity for a company registered outside of Malta and of which they are partners or shareholders, or offer freelance or consulting services to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country.
The process is straight-forward and Residency Malta promises an efficient service that discerning nomads expect.
Millions of people are on the move and Malta is an ideal destination for investment migration solutions offering investors and nomads alike a safe, stable, and hospitable country with endless opportunities and an easy-going lifestyle based on family values.
More information about the MPRP and about Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit may be found at residencymalta.gov.mt.