Malta Ordinary Residence
Ordinary Residence allows resident permit holders to take up residence in Malta, with the intention of living, working and doing business on the islands.
Whether an ordinary residence permit is issued to an applicant is determined by their individual links to Malta, such as the frequency, duration, and reason for each of their intended visits to the islands, as well as their business intentions or family connections.
The qualifying criteria also vary according to whether the applicant is an EU/EEA national or a third country national, although both may apply for other residency schemes and transfer their residence from a high-tax to a lower-tax jurisdiction, as ordinary residents of Malta.
There are a few key areas that affect the eligibility of an EU/EEA National applying for Ordinary Residence in Malta.
Firstly, any applicant must have physically lived in Malta for a minimum of three months and will have applied for the obligatory e-Residence card with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs.
They must also prove that they are financially independent, with the means to provide for themselves and any dependents without the need of economic support from the Maltese government.
Finally, they are required to show evidence of a physical address on the island by purchasing or renting a property. An applicant may also be required to obtain an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) permit when purchasing a property and non-residents must purchase an apartment for a minimum price of €110,469, or any other immovable property for a minimum price of €184,469.
As part of the Schengen Zone, Malta presents another attractive reason for non-EU nationals to gain Ordinary Residence in Malta. As residents, they obtain a Uniform Residence Permit which enables travel without a visa throughout the Schengen Zone for at least three months.
The eligibility of third-country nationals for Ordinary Residence in Malta is the same as for EU/EEA nationals, in terms of financial independence and a physical address on the island. However, they also require an employment licence in order to work in Malta, or they must comply with a list of specific criteria if they are self-employed or are the shareholders or owners of a Malta-registered company.
From a tax perspective, if an individual has stayed in Malta for more than 183 days in a particular year, then they are regarded as being resident in Malta.
For those who are resident but not domiciled in Malta, foreign-sourced income is not taxable, but income sourced on the islands and any foreign income that is remitted to Malta will be taxed. Fortunately, Malta’s part in several double taxation agreements ensures that tax is never paid on the same income in different countries.
While certain capital gains are also taxable, those sourced outside Malta are not taxed even if they are remitted to the island. There is also no inheritance or death tax payable in Malta, however some share transfer duties may still apply.