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New conditions of the Malta Golden Visa Program (MRVP): changes in 2021


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New conditions of the Malta Golden Visa Program (MRVP)

Late last year, the upcoming changes to the Malta Golden Visa Program (MRVP) were hotly debated amongst those concerned - it came to light after a briefing for accredited immigration agents and shareholders.

According to IMI's source, MRVP representatives held consultations, where they explained the essence of the new rules. Particular emphasis was placed on the fact that a final decision on changing the terms of the program has not yet been made, as it will require discussions with Parliament and political party representatives.

Until recently, the list of financial requirements for MRVP participants consisted of:

  • Investment of at least 250,000 EUR in government shares or other securities listed and used on the Malta Stock Exchange, with a preservation period of at least 5 years.
  • Purchase of real estate worth EUR 320,000 (EUR 270,000 in South Malta or Gozo) or rental property worth EUR 12,000 per year (EUR 10,000 in South Malta or Gozo).
  • Non-refundable fee to the state budget in the amount of 30,000 EUR, which includes an advance payment of an administrative fee in the amount of 5,500 EUR.

When discussing the new conditions for participation in the MRVP program, it was proposed to do away with the mandatory investment in securities, raising the bottom line of the value of the acquired real estate. The question of changes in the minimum rent rates was not raised.

In addition, the authorities are planning to introduce a new requirement into the terms of the program - a mandatory cash contribution to fund Maltese non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

There was also talk about creating the Residency Malta Agency, which will deal with all matters under the program "Golden Visa". According to preliminary estimates the processing of each application will take 6-8 months from the date of submission.

The program is becoming more profitable for Malta and investors alike

Ironically, the new rules are likely to make the Malta Golden Visa more profitable for both its participants and for the state. Until now, the minimum cost of obtaining residency status for the candidate who chose the cheapest option (rental property on Gozo) was 330 000 EUR. Out of this amount, it would be possible to refund 250 000 EUR of investment, but not earlier than in 5 years and with the associated costs. Under the new conditions, the applicant will be able to get a residence permit in Malta for a much smaller amount, but his investment will be completely irrecoverable.

For the state, the innovation is interesting because there are no problems with financing at reasonable rates. Malta's investment rating has remained consistently high, even at the height of the European debt crisis ten years ago. Therefore, the government has no need to attract assets from Gold Visa program participants.

The MRVP is scheduled to be re-launched in March 2021 - the new rules will come into force after the bill is passed and published in the official government newspaper Gazette.

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