Malta being one of smallest countries in the world, welcomes young digital expats being hub for gaming and blockchain companies who bring entrepreneurial skills and business acumen to Malta. Malta with its EU membership and Schengen area is very attractive to self employed entrepreneurs and nomads who look to establish a base in EU with mobility and freedom to do business making use of co-working spaces with hot desks have become top choice for freelancers way of community life.
Malta has opened a new nomad residency visa program in 2021 for employees and remote workers. This new scheme is open to third country nationals who require a visa to enter Malta.
- Affordable and low cost residency program
- Free movement in the Schengen area
- Ideal for freelancers, nomads and employed and self-employed remote workers.
- Maltese Citizenship after 5-6 years of living.
- Fast processing times
- Choice of a Visa or Residence permit.
- No personal income taxes for workers.
Digital Nomad Residency
The Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta. The Permit is open to individuals who can work remotely and independent of location, using telecommunications technologies.
The Residency Malta Agency is responsible for issuing residency visa or permit for nomad applicants. Under the program short and long term visas are issued
- Nomad Residence Permit – Issued for one year and can be renewed upon application at the discretion of Residency Malta, as long as the applicant still meets the set eligibility criteria.
- National Visa – Applicants who are interested in staying for less than a year will be issued with a National Visa for the duration of their stay.
Applicants must prove they can work remotely, using telecoms. Applicants must also be third country nationals.
In addition, applicants must prove they fall under any one of the following 3 categories:
- Work for an employer registered in a foreign country and have a contract of work;
- Conduct business activities for a company registered in a foreign country and of which applicant is partner/shareholder; or
- Offer freelance or consulting services, mostly to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country, and with whom the applicant has contracts.
Moreover, an applicant must reach a gross monthly income threshold of EUR 2,700. Additional eligible family members will have thresholds as stipulated by Nomad Visa Policy.
Costs: There is a €300 administrative fee for each applicant.
- Valid travel document;
- Have health insurance covering risks in Malta;
- Hold of a valid property rental or purchase agreement; and
- Pass a background verification check.
Applicants may submit applications for their family member(s) with their application or even when already holding a Nomad Residence Permit or Visa.
Residency Malta Agency shall communicate the decision on the request submitted by the Main Applicant within 30 days from the submission of the application. The processing times are much faster compared to golden visa program which takes atleast 8 months.
What is the difference between a Single Work Permit and a Nomad Residence Permit?
The Single Work Permit authorises third-country nationals to legally reside and take up employment in Malta for a defined period, which may be further renewed at the discretion of Identity Malta Agency, as per Subsidiary Legislation 217.17 of the Laws of Malta – Single Application Procedure for a Single Permit as regards Residence and Work and a Common Set of Rights for those Third Country Workers legally residing in Malta Regulations. On the other hand, the Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta. This may also be renewed at the discretion of Residency Malta Agency, as long as the applicant still meets the set eligibility criteria.
How does one enter Malta?
To facilitate the process, third country nationals who require a Visa to enter Malta, may apply for a Premium Visa offered by Identity Malta Agency. Other third country nationals who do not require a Visa may proceed to Malta as per regulations stipulated by Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)
Who cannot apply?
The Nomad visa does not, however, apply to:
(i) Citizens of the European Union and their family members, including third-country nationals who have free movement in the EU;
(ii) Refugees, persons granted subsidiary protection, or any other form of protection or status as provided for by international obligations in Malta or in any other country of the European Union/EEA/Swiss Confederation
What happens after getting an approval from Residency Malta Agency?
Depending on the country of issuance of the applicant’s passport, one should follow one of the two below processes:
1) To facilitate the process, third country nationals who require a Visa to enter Malta, as per regulations stipulated by Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing the Community Code on Visas (Visa Code), may apply for a Premium Visa offered by Identity Malta Agency. Successful applicants may be issued with a National Visa valid for 90 days – 180 days, depending on their intention of duration of stay. By means of the National Visa, the applicant may enter and reside in Malta for the duration of the Visa issued.
2) On the other hand, third country nationals who do not require a Visa to enter Malta may proceed to Malta immediately after receiving an approval letter by Residency Malta Agency, following guidelines on the mentioned approval letter and as instructed by Central Visa Unit at Identity Malta Agency. A National Visa of 90 days – 180 days may be issued depending on the applicant’s intention of duration of stay. Should applicant decide to prolong his stay further than the duration of the Visa issued, he/she may finalize the process of application for a Nomad Residence Permit by submitting in person his/her biometric features and documentation as stipulated by Checklist issued by Identity Malta Agency. This should be done in person at the Residency Malta Agency’s offices.
Can holders of Nomad Residence Permits bring their family members?
Family members will also be considered. An applicant’s spouse, minor children, and adult children unable to cope independently due to a medical condition or disability and also those who are economically dependent on the main applicant may apply for a Permit under the same conditions as the Nomad Residence Permit holder together with the main applicant. Decisions on spousal Visas/Permits will be made on a case by case basis. Malta recognises same sex unions so same sex partners can apply for a permit to accompany the main applicant.
: Is it possible to add family members at a later stage?
Yes, this is possible by applying for each additional family member, containing the following documentation: a) full copy of valid international passport; b) copy of Nomad Visa/Residence Permit already issued to the main applicant; c) marriage certificate (where applicable); d) birth certificate (where applicable); e) affidavit of dependency (where applicable); f) award of custody/guardianship (where applicable); g) local/international (Malta cover) health-insurance policy; h) health declaration; i) administrative fee of €300 for each additional family member.
How long will it take for an application to be processed?
Application processing is expected to take up to 30 days following receipt of all required documentation.
How much is the application fee?
The application fee is EUR 300 for main applicant and EUR 300 for each dependant on the application. Fees are not refundable and exclude visa related fees. Q12: Will one be notified if the application is successful? Applicants will be notified with the outcome of the application by email on the same email address from which the application has been submitted.
What are the tax obligations of a Nomad Residence Permit holder?
Nomad Residence Permit holders will not be subject to personal income tax since their employment is already taxed at origin. Nonetheless, they will be subject to consumption tax like all other residents. Self-employed individuals offering their services to companies registered and based in Malta would need to pay taxes in Malta and apply for a residence permit based on their self-employment. Further guidance with regards to tax obligations may be sought from the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue on [email protected]. Information with regards to an application for a residence permit on the basis of self-employment in Malta may be raised with Identity Malta Agency on [email protected].
Is a Nomad Residence Permit holder entitled to free health care?
A Nomad Residence Permit is a temporary basis for stay and the permit holder is not entitled to free health care. However adequate cover of medical expenses can be guaranteed through the required health insurance policy. If any of the beneficiaries travels within the Schengen Area, they are requested to apply for a separate travel insurance covering their stay.
Is a Nomad Residence Permit holder entitled to collect a pension in Malta?
The pension is collected by the Nomad Residence Permit holder in the country where their social tax is paid.
Does a Nomad Residence Permit holder need to register his/her employment?
Only in cases where the permit holder is employed with or giving services to any Maltese company, in which case permit holders are required to register their employment/self-employment with Jobsplus. This is not the case for Nomad Residence Permit/Visa holders. Further information regarding registration of employment/self- employment may be obtained by contacting Jobsplus on [email protected].
Should I notify Residency Malta Agency in case of a change in address or any other change to the application?
Any changes to the application are to be communicated to Residency Malta Agency within one week by submitting Form N3, together with a copy of the new purchase/rental agreement against payment of EUR 27.50. Failure to do so may entail the revocation of the residence permit.
What should one do in case of a lost/stolen/damaged card?
In case of a lost or stolen card, the applicant is to submit Form N3 together with a local Police Report within three working days, against payment of EUR 27.50. In case of a damaged card, the applicant is to also submit Form N3, against same payment.
Do Covid negative results need to be presented for successful applicants to enter Malta?
Prior to travelling ensure to consult with national guidelines for high-risk countries updated from time to time. Information may be found on https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/healthpromotion/covid-19/Pages/travel-to.aspx
Is it possible to renew a Nomad Residence Permit?
A Nomad Residence Permit holder may apply for renewal of the permit not later than one month prior to the expiry of the existing permit against a fee of EUR 300 per applicant.