Why is Malta so popular as a destination for relocation and acquiring residency?

Malta is a popular choice with many expats from the UK, South Africa, Germany and other European Nations due to its central location, superb warm climate and the number of days of sunshine per year. Many other factors also influence their decisions: Non-EU persons have the option of applying for one of the many residency schemes on offer. As with several other countries like Portugal and Cyprus, Malta offers citizenship and residency packages to individuals on the basis of investment such as buying property, investing in government bonds and more. The Maltese islands also offer residents or those with Maltese citizenship an easy way to access the rest of the European Union and the Schengen Area: it is  both a major international shipping hub and a key meeting point for industries around the world: from the financial sector to iGaming, blockchain and cryptocurrencies markets. Maltese, English and even Italian is widely spoken across the islands and with regular, direct flights available to most European and North African destinations aboard a variety of well-known airlines. Malta offers an easy and efficient way to travel overseas for both work and leisure.

​An agreement between the EU’s 26 countries affords residents the guarantee of free movement between all member states. Malta became a part of the Schengen Zone in 2007 and Uniform Residency Permits allows holders to travel throughout the Schengen Zone without a visa for at least three months. These are available to all permanent residents of Malta, including Non-EU nationals. By relocating to Malta, you therefore have access not only to the many attractive opportunities available on the island itself, but also to those available in the rest of Europe.

In the latest Citizenship by Investment rankings world-wide, Malta occupied the top spot at number one. Cyprus was third.

A brief overview of the most popular schemes:

  • Malta Permanent Residency Golden Visa


Cost: €250,000

Permanent residency issued to investors and family. It is strictly a residence program and it does not lead to Maltese citizenship. To be eligible for citizenship through investment is far more expensive and complicated.

  • Cyprus Permanent Residency


Cost: €300,000

Applicants can secure permanent residency in Cyprus through investment in real estate. It is valid for life and can be passed down to dependents and spouse.

  • Portugal Golden Visa


Cost: €350,000

Portugal launched a ARI/Golden Visa scheme in 2012 for third country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit in to conduct business activities with visa waiver in Schengen territory.

  • Spain Golden Visa


Cost: €500,000

Spain offers residency visa to foreign nationals who invest 500,000 euros in Spanish market.  Spanish citizenship possible after 10 years living in Spain. You also have to pass the Spanish language test (only for citizenship).

Malta has many different schemes available such as ordinary residence, long-term residence, the Malta Individual Investor Programme, Malta Residence and Visa Programme, The Malta Global Residence Programme, Malta Residence Programme, Malta Retirement Programme, the Highly Qualified Persons Programme and Employment in Creativity and Innovation Programme. Most people who relocate to Malta find they qualify for one the programmes, if not through employment.

Malta - Crime and Safety

The local crime rate has been historically low when compared to other EU member states. Malta is considered very safe, gracing the top ten lists of safest countries for expats year after year. With increasing numbers of people relocating to the islands and a huge surge in the numbers of tourists visiting the islands, instead of crime increasing, it has declined according to the latest figures. Malta is hugely popular with families and regarded as a safe haven - the ideal place to bring up children where one can still walk alone down any street late at night and feel safe. Violent crime is unheard of, although petty theft and pickpocketing takes place like anywhere else in the world.


Malta - Schooling and Education

Malta has a highly rated education system which is structured in four stages: from pre-primary to primary, secondary to tertiary and attending school is compulsory up to the age of 16 years. Full-time undergraduate courses are free-of-charge to Malta’s Citizens and individuals from the European Union although the latter may be charged for higher courses. For those with degrees and qualifications obtained abroad, the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC) is the competent body within the NCFHE that recognises qualifications against the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF)​.  Education standards are considered to be of the highest globally and more than two thirds of school leavers take up further tertiary education.

Malta - Peace and Tranquillity

Malta may have the densest population per square kilometre in the whole of the EU, but the small towns and villages dotted all around the islands, especially on its sister island of Gozo, provides peace and tranquillity all year round. Although many of the villages are in rural settings, they are never more than a short drive away from the hustle and bustle. Many retirees have made the choice to purchase a house of character or a farmhouse in one of the villages. Outlying areas are also more affordable, rents are cheaper and the locations offer the chance to get back to the basics of country life.

Malta - Political Stability and Economy 

Being a full EU Member State, Malta’s government is democratically elected every 5 years and considered an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund and a high-income country by the World Bank. It is innovation-driven and Malta proudly promotes itself as the first “Blockchain”Island. Besides tourism, I-Gaming is one of the most important industries and the economy as a whole is described as highly industrialised and service-based.

Malta – Healthcare

A very high standard of healthcare is available. This is divided into two sectors: public and private. There is no obligation on residents to take out health insurance, neither does Malta have a national health insurance like for instance the NHS in the UK, but all people in employment pay social security contributions that cover a variety of needs, including healthcare. Citizens of Malta and EU health card holders have access to free and subsidised healthcare. Most expats take out private insurance. Residents are assigned to clinics near their place of residence, so there’s a shorter waiting period for less serious illnesses. These local clinics provide immunisation, gynaecology, physiotherapy and psychiatry, in addition to services provided by general practitioners and nurses.

With private health care there are even shorter waiting times and superior facilities, but these come at a price, though still very affordable when compared to other European countries.

Why Malta is Malta so Popular?

Malta - Your gateway to the rest

of Europe.

Key Attractions
Great Weather
A Prime Location
Small Size
No Language Barriers
Thriving Business Community
History and Culture
Mediterranean Lifestyle

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Why Malta is at the top of almost everyone's relocation list...

Key Attractions
Over the years, Malta and Gozo have attracted many foreign nationals keen to make these beautiful Mediterranean islands their new home.


Offering year-round beautiful weather, friendly local people, a comfortable lifestyle, easy travel connections, secure investment opportunities, excellent residency conditions and very low taxation rates, the Maltese islands are a welcoming option for those considering a move.


Great Weather 

Malta’s gorgeous Mediterranean climate means that it is beautifully hot in the summer months, and comfortably cool through the winter.


A Prime Location

Malta’s prime location in the heart of Europe makes it easily accessible via direct flights to and from most European and North African countries. As an EU member country and part of the Schengen zone, travelling around Europe from Malta is made even easier.


Small Size

Making your way around Malta is easy, since the country itself is very small – only 136km in length. This means that nowhere is very far away in terms of distance, so you can fit more into your day.


No Language Barriers

Malta’s two official languages are Maltese and English, and many Maltese people can communicate in Italian as well, making integrating with the very friendly local community simple.


Thriving Business Community

With Malta now known as ‘The Blockchain Island’, and as a key player in the international business community – particularly in the iGaming, IT and Financial Services industries – the islands have become a respected hub for business experts, with a booming economy and many global brands locally represented.


History and Culture

Malta’s rich history and culture, which span thousands of years, can still be experienced throughout the islands. Boasting multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites and fascinating local traditions, Malta has a cultural heritage all its own.


Mediterranean Lifestyle

With a coastline full of beaches, on an island surrounded by the crystal-clear blue Mediterranean Sea, and a delicious local cuisine that can be sampled at dozens of restaurants and cafes across the islands, residents of Malta enjoy a lifestyle that you won’t find anywhere else.