Malta Golden Visa

If you love Malta, you can become its resident and then a citizen in exchange for investment. Four generations of your family members can submit their applications together with you if they depend on you financially. In this article, we'll list the Malta Golden Visa requirements and outline the benefits of the program. Plus, we'll inform you about the current state of the real estate market on the island and compare the Maltese Golden Visa with several other ones.


Expats appreciate the following benefits of the Malta Golden Visa:

  • Investors can relocate to this island together with their mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and kids and stay there for good
  • In 1 year (or more, depending on the investment amount), they can apply for citizenship
  • Your residency permit won't expire
  • Residents are allowed to stay 90 days every half a year in any Schengen state without a visa
  • You won't need a visa to travel to over 180 countries
  • Malta is a politically and economically stable state
  • The crime rate is low and human rights are thoroughly protected
  • You can benefit from tax optimization for investors

These were just a few examples of the arguments in favor of relocating to Malta. We'll provide more information about the quality of living on the island in a dedicated passage of this article.

Eligibility Criteria

You can apply for Malta residency by investment if you tick the following boxes:

  • Are aged at least 18
  • Hold citizenship of a state that isn't a member of the EU/EFTA
  • Have never violated the law
  • Don't have any disease that could pose a threat to other people
  • Buy a health insurance
  • Have at least €500,000 in savings — at least €150,000 should be financial assets

Your partner can apply together with you regardless of the fact whether you're officially married or not. Your mother, father, grandmothers, grandfathers and kids have the right to apply together with you if they can't sustain themselves financially without your assistance. If your sons and daughters are aged younger than 18, it means they automatically depend on you. If they're older than 18 but younger than 26, they can still qualify as dependent on you if they remain single.


Your expenses will depend on the chosen route:


One-Year Citizenship by Investment

Three-Year Citizenship by Investment

Permanent Residency by Investment

The lowest required sum to transfer to a national development fund




The lowest required price of the property that you should purchase



No need to purchase property

The lowest required annual price of rent that you should pay for accommodation if you don't want to buy it




The lowest required amount of the charitable donation




Fee for each extra applicant




The Permanent Residency option is the most budget-friendly one — yet it doesn't necessarily lead to citizenship. If you want to become a local citizen, you'll have to live here for a minimum of 5 years, get to know the language and get integrated into the society.

No matter which route you prefer, it's essential to donate money not to any random charity organization but to a fund that was approved in terms of the program. It can support scientific research, cultural endeavors, sports, animal rights protection or social justice.

After you sign a rental or purchase contract for accommodation, you'll have to keep it for at least 5 years. If you opt for renting, be ready to pay a fee of €58,000 to the island government. If you prefer to purchase accommodation, the fee will be only €28,000.

Besides, there is an administrative fee of €40,000. You'll be asked to pay the initial 25% after submitting your application — and the rest within 60 days after receiving the official approval.


To apply for residency, prepare a set of papers that includes:

  • Passport
  • Biometric data
  • Cover letter
  • Medical report
  • Proof of having undergone due diligence
  • Proof of having sufficient savings
  • Proof that you legally earned them
  • Bank statement from your homeland
  • Proof of having never committed crimes

The exact list might vary depending on your circumstances.

If your family members apply with you, prepare the documents that prove your relationships and the fact that they depend on you financially.


The application processing time can vary from 4 to 6 months, on average. Sometimes, it might take longer if too many expats apply simultaneously. Typically, you should expect to become a local resident in around half a year after you apply.

After you get your residency permit, you won't have to renew it. It's a big advantage of the local Golden Visa program. Other European states would require you to renew this document every two, three or five years.

Step-by-Step Guide

To become a Maltese resident and then a citizen, stick to this algorithm:

  1. Visit the island physically to complete the investment
  2. Gather the papers
  3. Submit your application
  4. Within around half a year, receive your residence permit
  5. Within 12 months, submit an application to understand whether you qualify for citizenship
  6. Receive an approval

Depending on the chosen path for obtaining residency, you'll be able to apply for citizenship in 1 or 3 years — provided that the authorities approve of it in advance. It's an optional step: if you wish, you can remain a resident.

How to Apply for Citizenship

The more funds you invest when applying for residency, the sooner you'll be allowed to apply for citizenship:


In 5 years


In 3 years


In 1 year

You shouldn't get rid of your investment before applying for citizenship.

This island state supports dual citizenship. You won't have to renounce your homeland's passport — unless the laws of your homeland make you do so.

After you become a Maltese citizen, you'll be able to relocate to any EU state and live there for as long as you wish. You'll be able to study, get employed or run a business there without any limitations. You'll be even allowed to take part in elections and work in government departments.

Destinations That You'll Be Able to Visit Without a Visa

After you become a Maltese resident, you won't need a visa to visit the following destinations:

  • All Europe
  • Most states of Latin and Central America
  • Many Asian countries, including Japan and Singapore
  • Around one-half of all African states
  • Most states in Oceania
  • Israel, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates

In total, over 180 countries won't ask you to get a visa in advance. Canada, the USA, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand accept Maltese residents with electronic travel authorization. Dozens of other states will issue you a visa upon arrival.

Real Estate Prices

The closer the property is to the sea, the higher it costs. Sliema and St. Julian's generate the highest demand among foreign investors. If you opt for accommodation in these two locations, be ready to pay from €2,900 to €8,000 per square meter. The price of renting a bedroom in these two areas varies from €600 to €1,750 per month.

Gzira can serve as an example of a popular but more affordable location. It's enough to have from €500 to €900 in your pocket to rent a bedroom for a month there. If you prefer to buy accommodation, the average price per square meter will be between €1,800 and €3,500, depending on the property style.

The notary's fee can be up to 2% of the property's price.

The standard amount of the stamp duty is 5% of the property's price. However, EU and Maltese citizens can benefit from a reduced rate. For them, it's 3.5% on the first €150,000 of the acquisition fee.

Real Estate Market in Malta

On this island, you can find many different types of accommodation: from compact and affordable apartments to large gorgeous penthouses and tranquil villas. The most coveted type of accommodation is an apartment of around 110 square meters, with 2 bedrooms and fully furnished.

Foreign investors most often focus their attention on these locations:

  • Valletta. The capital of the island is incredibly picturesque and elegant. It has perfectly preserved the historical vibes. The good news for investors is that many houses with vintage-looking facades underwent renovation and are modern from the inside.
  • Sliema. It's a top choice for individuals who maintain a well-thought-out work-life balance. In the daytime, you can work in a modern office — and in the evening, stroll down the beautiful promenade. Foodies quickly fall in love with Sliema thanks to its impressive range of restaurants. The local architecture is stunning too.
  • Gzira. This place is famous for its affordable cost of living. Youngsters adore its urban vibes.
  • Msida. It's a lovely alternative to Gzira. Many students rent rooms and apartments here not far from the university.
  • Mellieha. Consider this location if you enjoy countryside vibes. Villas with sea views are the most coveted type of property.
  • St Julian's. It's the Maltese hotspot of finance and business. From a tourist's point of view, it's an urban area with a vibrant nightlife. Expats eagerly invest in seaside penthouses and premium apartments.

To be allowed to purchase properties on the island, non-residents have to get a permit first. It costs €233. The authorities will issue it to you within 35 days after you apply. It isn't necessary if you tick at least one of these boxes:

  • Are an EU citizen, have been living on the island for at least 5 years and are planning to either rent out your purchase or live in it yourself because you lack any other accommodation
  • Would like to buy a property in a Special Designated Area (SDA), regardless of your citizenship

All foreigners can purchase only one property on the island. However, this limitation isn't relevant for SDAs. Such areas offer an extensive range of premium properties with pools and parking facilities.

Expats are allowed to rent out their properties in Malta only if they meet these criteria:

  • Cost at least €233,000 each
  • Are registered with the Hotel and Catering Establishments Board
  • Have a swimming pool
  • Aren't offered as permanent accommodation for locals

The minimum annual income that you can expect to get from rentals is 5% of the property's price.

Quality of Living in Malta

Even though it's an island, it won't be a problem for you to fly from here to any part of the world. Malta is very well connected to the surrounding continents.

English is one of the two official languages. The second is Maltese.

The local economy largely depends on tourism. The second most lucrative industry is manufacturing (predominantly of electronics and pharmaceuticals).

5G networks are already available on the island, which is amazing for digital businesses. If you specialize in offline business, you can find many niches with attractive conditions for it.

Local banks are famous for their high level of financial security.

The quality of healthcare services fully corresponds to European standards. You'll be able to buy private health insurance or benefit from the state-supported one.

If you want to send your kids to a private school with a foreign curriculum, you'll be able to choose from various options. The prices differ significantly, so please visit the official website of each establishment that you consider to check the details. On average, you can expect to pay around €5,000 per year for studying in a private school. Otherwise, you may opt for a public school or a church school. Plus, there are establishments for boys and girls with special needs.

Prices in Malta are more or less identical to Italy and Spain. Locally produced goods cost less than imported.

The climate is warm, dry and sunny. Even in January the temperature rarely falls below +12°C. The average annual temperature is approximately +23°C. You'll be able to sunbathe until mid-Autumn or even the end of Autumn.

The residents of this island are positive-minded and tolerant. Here, you can come across expats from all parts of the world. The only exception is countries that fail to respect human rights and whose citizens struggle to get Maltese residency — such as Iran or North Korea. Malta recognizes same-sex marriages.

In general, it's a fantastic place to live and enjoy every day of your life. It's never too early or too late to relocate here.

Step-by-Step Guide on Purchasing Property on the Island

To make sure the purchasing process goes without a hitch, stick to this scheme:

  1. Define your budget. Consider the opportunity to take a loan. Compare various loan offers.
  2. Contract an experienced real estate agent as well as advisors on tax and legal matters.
  3. Find your dream house, apartment or another type of accommodation.
  4. Negotiate the price with the property owner or developer.
  5. Sign a preliminary agreement. Mention the date by which you're planning to finalize the deal. Pay a 10% deposit and 1% stamp duty (the full amount is 5% but you'll pay the rest later).
  6. Let your notary find out whether the property might have any debts and whether everything is fine with its legal title.
  7. Get your bank loan if you applied for it. Obtain any forms and permits that you might need to get according to the preliminary agreement.
  8. Set a date to sign the final deed.
  9. Sign it at your notary's office or in a branch of a banking institution. Transfer the remaining 90% of the property's price to its owner. Pay the remaining 4% of the stamp duty and other fees. Receive the keys.
  10. Within 15 days, your notary will apply for the Land Registry.

You'll become the official owner of the property after transferring its full price to the previous owner.

Other Types of Visas

Feel free to consider these types of visas as alternatives to the Malta Golden Visa program:

  • Work visa. You'll get it only if a local employer will provide a work contract to you. In three months, you'll have to renew your visa.
  • Student visa. Typically, you'll get such a visa for one year. Then, you'll be able to renew it if your university course lasts longer than one year and you complete your first year successfully. As a student, you won't be allowed to work on the island — except probably for selected on-campus jobs.
  • Family visa. The target audience of this one is expats who have family members on the island. You'll be able to stay here as long as your relative is allowed to stay.
  • Retirement visa. To become eligible for it, you need to be aged at least 61 (or at least 65, if you were born in 1961 or earlier), avoid working, get at least 75% of your chargeable income from your pension and avoid planning to settle down here permanently in the next 5 years.
  • Digital nomad visa. You can apply for it if you're an employed professional, a self-employed individual or a business owner and earn money remotely from outside Malta. Your visa will remain valid for one year — and then, you'll be able to renew it.

If you wish to live on the island permanently, the Golden Visa will be the best option.

Comparison with Other Similar Programs from the Region


How much it's necessary to invest

How long the authorities will be reviewing your application

How much time you're supposed to spend in the country per year

Will your residency be permanent



6-8 months

No requirements




Around 3 months

Visit every 2 years




Around 3 months

No requirements




Over 6 months

7 days per year




Around 3 months

No requirements




Over 6 months

No requirements


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