Malta has issued more than 2,000 residence permits to investors
February 3, 2022
4 minutes read
Residency Malta, which regulates the state program of residence permits by investment (MPRP - Malta Permanent Residence Program, until 2021 known as MRVP), has provided data on the resident investment programs since 2016. According to the report, 2,273 investors and 5,303 family members received residence permits by the end of 2021. In this case, about 9 out of 10 people are Chinese. Second place went to Vietnamese nationals with 2.9% of the total number of applicants, followed by Russians (2.6%), South Africans (1%) and Turks (1%).
According to the agency, at the time of publishing the news, about 10% of applications were rejected, and about 3% of applicants withdrew their applications voluntarily after an interview with representatives of the agency during the due diligence.
The number of approved applications has grown steadily since the program's launch, peaking in 2020, when 988 applicants received a residence permit in exchange for investments. The MRVP program then became the second largest in the European Union. The number of approved MRVPs in 2021 was almost half that number (500), making it one of the most popular programs in the EU. The decrease in the volume of approved applications is largely due to the switching from MRVP to MPRP.
Charlez Mizzi, CEO of Residency Malta Agency, said the launch of the new program during the pandemic was the result of a careful analysis of the market, offers and competition, although it may not have looked strategic. The MPRP launched in March 2021, and since then, plenty of time has passed to gauge the market's response. According to Mizzi, interest has been high and increased substantially in the second half of the year. He expects the number of applications to increase over time.
In the early years, the agency handled a large number of applications, which caused significant delays. The popularity of the program grew faster than the resources to process applications. The problem was solved by increasing the number of employees, reallocating additional funds for staff training and development, purchasing software solutions for data processing, and streamlining processes. Now the application processing time varies from 4 to 6 months, provided a complete and correct application is submitted.
A new Startup Residence program
In June 2021, Residency Malta launched the Nomad Residence Permit, a 1-year residence permit for digital nomads (remote workers with mobile lifestyles) and entrepreneurs who are not tied to their location and would like to work in Malta in the short or long term. According to Mizzi, the program is a logical response to pandemic-induced new global trends. As remote working has become the norm, the Nomad Residence Permit has become the solution for digital nomads from third countries who want to try working remotely from Malta.
Primarily, this solution will suit those who are considering temporary residence, as the residence permit is issued for one year with the right to renew. However, the agency is preparing a program for citizens of third countries who plan to open a company in Malta and reside permanently. The Startup Residence program will be aimed at attracting entrepreneurs who consider Malta as a base for launching new businesses and further entering new markets, as well as strengthening the state's innovative industries.
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