The Maltese Self-sufficient or Economic Self Sufficiency visa/residence permit is one of the most tax advantageous solutions in the world and a unique option to live free in the European Union.
It is an excellent tool for Digital Nomads, people with location independent jobs, retired people and for those lucky fellows, who can spend more or less time without working on a beautiful Mediterranean island. This visa allows you to live in Malta but not to work or you will lose or change your legal status. As Malta does not tax the foreign sourced income of its non-dom residents, a lot of freelancers enjoy the benefits of this solution. There is no need to invest to obtain this resident status, just have to show that you are economically self-sufficient, it means have somewhere to sleep, money to eat and health insurance.
- The applicant must spend at least two months in Malta before qualifying for the self-sufficient status.
- The Maltese Government introduced a 5000 euros minimum annual tax payable by individuals who are subject to tax on a remittance basis. The new burden applies to such individuals who have an income of at least €35,000 (annually) coming from outside Malta. The change came into effect from 1 January 2018.
The program was designed initially for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens, but third country nationals (TCNs) may apply as well. However, the necessary amount of money on their bank account must be significantly higher than the same requirements for the Europeans.
The most interesting feature of Maltese Self sufficient scheme is that it offers the same advantages of the Maltese Global Residence and the Maltese Visa and Residency Programmes, without any investment or flat tax. The foreign sourced income of the resident was tax exempt, and it is still possible to work in Malta, but in his case, the taxpayer should count with the highest tax rates. However, the new flat income tax of 5000 euros is more or less the same amount, which the taxpayer has to contribute in the case of annual income of 35,000 euros.
The resident must pay tax on the remitted amounts, but this is also an attractive issue. As you file your foreign sourced income, you will have a 100% legal annual tax return from Malta, and you can even pay more tax if you want and remit some money to Malta.
To be able to apply for the Maltese Self sufficient status, you must support yourself, without recourse to public funds. Although to live in the Mediterranean island country the residents must be able to support themselves and if applicable, their family too, without recourse to public funds. Residents must be covered with private health insurance against all risks in Malta and in the European Union. The health insurance coverage must be procured by a company licensed in Malta or by an international reputable health insurance company.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens must prove either they have a capital of 14,000 euros on the bank account or a regular weekly income of 92,32 euros. In the case of a married couple, the required money is 23,000 euros, or the weekly income must be of EUR108,63. If you would like to obtain this permit for a whole family with kids, you must add an extra EUR 8,15 weekly for each dependant.
Maintaining the Economic Self sufficient status in Malta
If you obtained this status, it is better to prepare the future and plan all your moves. You will need to maintain your home in Malta and have to keep the health insurance. You have to file your taxes and do it correctly. The Maltese Self sufficient scheme is an excellent tool for tax planning, but you have to take care to comply with all relevant international and local tax laws.
You do not have to stay even one day during one year in Malta to keep your resident status. However, you cannot remain 183+ days in ONE another country. It means that deliberately or accidentally you can become tax resident in another EU or third country and you will lose your Maltese resident status. Malta will not defend you if you use this preferential scheme to avoid paying your taxes.
Malta Economically Self Sufficient status for not EU citizens
Third country residents can also opt for this immigration solution to living in Malta, but in their case, the owned capital to prove must be at least EUR 50,000. There is one crucial issue, which hardens for third-country nationals to become self-sufficient residents in Malta. And it is a fact; the Maltese governments created several residency through investment programs for foreigners. These are available in exchange for investment but to qualify for the MGRP (see below) you don’t even have to invest. So, those programmes bring funds for the treasury, and the Self-sufficient scheme does not. Why would they let you have it then? However, there are unique and successful applications.
Necessary documents of the application for the Malta Economic Self sufficient visa
There are required documents for all applicants, independently of their current citizenship:
- Electronic Identity Registration (Form ID 1A)
- Image Capture Application Form (Form ID2)
- Electoral form (only for EU nationals for the EU elections)
- Economic Self Sufficiency (CEA Form J)
- Family Members (CEA Form F)
- Bank statement (proof of self-sufficiency)
- Lease contract for a residential property
- Health insurance (must cover Malta and the EU)
- Passport or National ID card
- Non-EU CEA Form “C” (application form for the economic self-sufficient status)
- The full copy of passport (including the blank pages!)
- Certificate of approval from the relevant authority administering the residence
- Cover letter to explain in detail the reasons for moving to Malta, the planned time of living in Malta + supporting documents
- Proof of financial self-sufficiency by a bank statement (must be a well-known, international bank)
- Health insurance (all aspects must be fully covered in Malta and the EU)
- Lease or purchase contract of the real estate, where you live in Malta. (Termination day must be specified in the agreement!)
This article definitely does not contain LEGAL ADVICE. Always ask your lawyer and accountant before starting a tax effective scheme.