FAQs

1. Can any foreigner buy immovable property in Malta?
Yes.

2. Do they need a permit to buy immovable property?
All citizens from a non-EU country need a permit to buy immovable property. Citizens from an EU country including Maltese citizens who have not resided in Malta for at least 5 years who are buying a holiday home (secondary residence) require a permit (AIP – Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit) from the Inland Revenue Department. This permit is granted within 6/7 weeks.

3. Are there any exceptions when a permit is not required?
Yes.

A) If an EU citizen declares on his contract of purchase that he intends to purchase the immovable property as a primary residence i.e. permanent resident.
B) If any foreigner (even non EU) purchase immovable property in a special designated area.
C) If an EU citizen has been a resident of Malta for more than 5 years.

4. Can a foreigner buy more than one immovable property?
EU citizens may only buy one property unless (1) they have been resident for at least 5 years and (2) they buy in a special designated area and (3) the second property is required for the person’s business activity or supplying of services. Those EU citizens who have already lived in Malta for a continuous period of 5 years may purchase another property, without the necessity of a permit, immediately.

5. Can non-EU citizens buy more than one immovable property?
No, except in special designated areas.

6. Can any foreigner buy 3 immovable properties in a special designated area and one outside special designated areas?
Yes, he can. There are no restrictions on special designated areas.

7. Which are the special designated areas?
Madliena Village
Fort Cambridge
Pender Gardens
Portomaso
Tigné Point
St. Angelo Mansions
Tas-Sellum
Chambrai – Gozo

8. Can an immovable property be purchased in the name of a Company?
Yes, if the property is in a special designated area.
Yes, as long as 75% of the share capital is held by persons who are citizens of the EU and who have resided in Malta continuously for 5 years. The company operates in an EU state and all directors must have 5 years residence qualifier.
In other cases, a permit will only be granted if the property is required for an industrial or tourist project or as a contributor to the development of the economy of Malta.

9. Are there any permits required if a foreigner inherits an immovable property “Causa Mortis”?
No.

10. What are the conditions in the AIP permit?
A) The value of the immovable property has to be not less than €101,551 in case of Apartments/Maisonettes and €169,205 in case of houses.
B) The property has to be used solely as a residence for applicant and his family.

11. Can a foreigner buy below the threshold of €101,551 and €169,205 if the immovable property is shell or unconverted?
Yes, he can as long as he can produce an architect’s certificate showing that the property requires additional costs, which bring it to the level of the threshold to make it habitable.

12. Can these thresholds be revised in the future?
Yes, these are linked to the property price index, which is published in the Government Gazette every year. In fact these have lately gone up to €101,551 and €169,205.

13. Can a foreigner rent his immovable property?
Foreigners may rent the property as long as;
A) It is in a special designated area.
B) It is a villa or house with a private pool.
C) It is issued with a licence from the Ministry of Tourism Authority under “Superior” and “Comfort” category.

14. How does one go about applying for a permit to rent his immovable property to the Ministry of Tourism Authority and what are their fees?
Submit the relevant application to the Ministry of Tourism Authority.
www.maltatourismauthority.com/index.pl/licences_application_forms
www.maltatourismauthority.com/uploads/47/8/holiday_premises_regulations.pdf

15. Can two couples buy one immovable property between them?
Yes

16. Can a foreigner not married but having a common law wife buy the same immovable property together?
Yes.

17. Does a Maltese with dual citizenship e.g. Canadian and Maltese citizenship, who has not resided in Malta for 5 years need a permit?
Yes.

18. Does a non-EU husband married to an EU wife require an AIP permit?
No.

19. Does an EU Citizen whose business is to develop immovable property be given permission to do so?
Yes. He will be given permission to do so.

20.. What does one need to submit with an AIP application?
A) Two passport sized photos.
B) Copy of convenium (Preliminary Agreement of Sale).
C) Photocopy of passport showing details.

21. Is the process for buying immovable property the same as for Maltese?
Yes.

22. Are the legal expenses and stamp duty the same as Maltese?
Yes, except if applicant requires an AIP permit, this attracts an administrative charge of € 232.94.

RESIDENCY

1. Can anyone take up residence in Malta?
Yes.

2. What does one have to do to take up residence?
An individual must declare his intentions within 3 months from arrival by completing and submitting a form (EU or non EU) at the Immigration Division at the Police Headquarters, unless one decides to take up residence in terms of the Residents Scheme Regulations, 2004.

3. Is he obliged to bring in a certain amount of income?
No, in this case there is no minimum amount that he has to bring in but he has to show proof that he brings enough to support himself and not be a burden on our economy. There is a stipulated minimum amount if the individual takes up residence in terms of the Residence Scheme Regulations, 2004.

4. Does a person taking up employment need to apply for a Work Permit?
A NON-EU foreigner taking up employment would require employment permission, which has to be applied for by his employer. The individual must then regulate himself at Immigration once the work permit (employment licence) has been issued. With effect from the 1st May 2011, EU Nationals will no longer require an employment licence (work permit) to work in Malta.

5. What are the chances of an EU citizen getting a work permit?
As from 1st of May 2011 EU citizens are no longer required to apply for an employment licence to work in Malta.

6. Is an EU citizen who takes up residence subject to tax and at what rate?
Yes. An individual is normally regarded as being a resident of Malta if during the year his stay exceeded an aggregate of 183 days in one calendar year. The rate of tax is the same as us Maltese and is based on any income (not capital), which the individual brings into Malta. Foreign residents in Malta are not taxed on their worldwide income. The individual may also opt to be taxed at a flat rate of 15% with a minimum tax liability of € 4,193.

7. Has the old scheme for permanent residents been retained?
Yes, up to a certain extent. An individual may obtain a certificate from the Inland Revenue Department, which certificate is issued for an indefinite period as long as certain conditions are satisfied on an annual basis.

8. What are the conditions?
A) The same as in the previous residency scheme i.e. applicant must have a capital of € 349,406 or an annual income of € 23,294. He has to remit to Malta a minimum of € 13,976 per annum plus € 2,329 for each dependent. He cannot repatriate the amount out of Malta.
B) The applicant must, within 12 months from taking up residence, have purchased a property for at least €110,000 or €183,500 or leased one for a minimum rent of € 4,193 per annum.

9. How long does the certificate take to be issued?
Normally 3 months. The applicant must take up residence within 12 months from the issue of the permit.

10. Does one have to be physically resident in Malta to qualify for the scheme?
Yes.

11. Is the rate of tax still at 15%?
Yes, however, there is a minimum amount that is paid on issue of the permit of € 4,193 per annum. Therefore as you may have realised one has to bring in at least € 27,952 to start benefiting from the very favourable rate of 15%.

12. Does the rate of 15% also apply if the applicant has to pay capital gains tax?
Yes.

13. Does one pay tax both in Malta and in the country of origin?
No. Thanks to a number of double taxation agreements with a substantial number of countries or through unilateral provisions, residents do not pay in both countries.

14. Does a foreigner who sells his secondary property (holiday home) pay capital gains tax?
Yes, at the same rates as locals but the thresholds are slightly different e.g. only the first € 698.81 is tax-free.

15. The 3-year residency exemption still applies?
Yes to the following:
A) Resident who has the certificate from the Inland Revenue Department in terms of Resident’s scheme Regulations 2004.
B) Residents who have declared their intention to stay in Malta whose stay exceed 183 days every year.
C) To individuals with work permits.
IMP. The exemption is only granted if the property has been owned and used as a main residence for a period of three years and has not been vacated for more than one year. The Inland Revenue Department is actually checking on this before a sale is authorised and merely having one of the above (a or b or c) does not automatically exempt the individual after three years. The department normally checks through utility bills if owner has physically been resident in the property for at least three years.

16. Do EU citizens pay VAT and Import Duties when they import their household effects (excluding car)?
No, as long as these are VAT paid in their country of origin.

17. Do non-EU citizens pay VAT and Import Duties when they import their household effects (excluding car)?
They may initially be required to pay a deposit or lodge a Bank Guarantee for the amount of duty/VAT, which will be refunded upon the expiry of 200 cumulative days in Malta.

18. Can residents import their car?
Yes, but this is always subject to full registration tax for all citizens and VAT for cars originating from outside the EU. See “Malta Your Island Home”.

19. Can residents bring in their pets and are they subject to quarantine?
Yes, they can. If pets qualify under the “Pet Travel Scheme”, they do not require quarantine. Pets from qualifying countries, which have been vaccinated against Rabies e.g. UK, Ireland require 21 days. Pets coming from countries, which do not qualify under the pet’s scheme, six calendar months.

20. Can a foreign buyer take out a loan from a local Bank?
Yes.

21. How much can he borrow and at what rate of interest?
He can borrow up to 90% of the value of the property always depending on his income at the present lowest rate starting from 3.3775%. The loan may be repaid over a maximum period of 30 years provided age does not exceed 65 years upon last repayment.

22. What security does the Bank require?
Same as a Maltese. A charge over the property and insurances.

23. Does a foreigner have to pay any deposits for Water, Electricity and telephone?
If from EU countries there are no deposits. From non-EU € 1,164.69 for telephone and €465.87 to the Water Services Corporation.

24. Can foreigners make use of our Medical facilities and what are the costs?
EU citizens, resident in Malta are entitled to Free Public Health care. These have to be in possession of the appropriate E form issued from the country of origin. UK pensions may call The Medical Benefit Section in their country (+44 7044 191218 7547) they would be asked for the NI number and E121 would be sent by post. They have to apply to the Entitlement Unit with the Ministry of Health. The Government is not responsible for costs in a private hospital or clinic.

25. Does a reciprocal health agreement still exist between Malta & UK, and if yes, do UK citizens still require the E121?
The agreement is currently superseded by EU regulations and UK citizens must also therefore be in possession of the E forms and for residents, the Local Health Entitlement Care issued by the Ministry of Health.

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