Do you work from home? If yes, you could do so residing in a European country at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea! The new Nomad Residence Permit (NRP) scheme allows obtaining legal residence in Malta in a fast and simple way.
The Maltese authorities have decided to take advantage of the increased number of people working from home in the times of the pandemic. Thus, in June 2021, they launched the NRP immigration scheme that should be attractive for digital nomads from other parts of the world.
The program gives foreign nationals the right of abode in Malta without the need to apply for a long-term visa or a legal residence permit. The latter would require a work contract with a local employer, which the NRP does not require.
The target audience of the NRP scheme
The NRP scheme is aimed at the so-called ‘digital nomads’ in the first place. The term ‘digital nomads’ refers to the people who use telecommunication technologies to make a living. They are not tied to one geographical location and they often travel between different countries. Digital nomads can be found working from a café, or a public library, or in a co-working environment, or at an auto camping site, and so on.
Successful digital nomads usually have a safe financial ‘cushion’. They are self-disciplined and self-assured people who like to use their freedom of movement to the fullest. Programmers, web-designers, translators, financial consultants, market analysts, and people of a number of other professions do not have to work from the office, which has become especially obvious over the recent months. A typical digital nomad is a single young person between 25 and 35 years of age even though whole families can opt for this sort of lifestyle as well.
This is wonderful indeed, when you are able to make a living wherever you are located at any moment in time. However, digital nomads often have to put up with solitude and they run the risk of ‘professional burnouts’.
There are other problems that digital nomads may face if they travel from one country to another. These include language barriers, medical insurance with a global coverage, foreign bank accounts, tax planning while in a foreign country, and so on.
InternationalWealth team of experts will be happy to help you deal with these and similar issues. Please contact us right away and apply for a personal professional consultation!
Clearly, the possibility to legally reside on a resort island located between Europe and Africa should be attractive for a great number of digital nomads. The Maltese authorities, in their turn, are ready to accept applications for residence in the country from people belonging to one of the following groups of professionals:
- Foreign specialists employed by companies based outside Malta;
- Foreign business owners whose companies are registered in countries other than Malta;
- Freelancers providing services to the clients living outside Malta.
This immigration program is naturally of no interest to the residents of the EEA (European Economic Area) as they already have the right to freely live in Malta. The NRP program is aimed at the citizens of ‘third countries’ those that lie outside the EU and the EEA.
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Maltese residence for the digital nomad
The pandemic has clearly shown that millions of specialists can actually work from home while successfully completing their tasks. This means that they can theoretically be located in any part of the world. In practice, however, it is quite difficult for digital nomads to relocate to a foreign country, as their stay there needs to be legalized.
Normally, you can acquire a long-term visa to a foreign country if you sign a work contract with a local employer, put a hefty deposit in a local bank, buy a piece of real property, or marry a citizen of the country. The Maltese ‘digital nomad’ visa, however, is for those individuals who have jobs (and presumably pay taxes) in other countries.
Successful applicants to the NRP program will have a one-year residence permit in Malta. If the permit holder continues to come up to the requirements after the year expires, the residence permit can be prolonged for another year. The administrative fee is 300 euros per person. Family applications for NRPs are also accepted but additional payments will be required in this case.
The Nomad Residence Permit program was designed within a few months. The Maltese authorities sought advice from around one thousand digital nomads already residing in the country. According to the Government officials, representatives of the gambling and IT companies located in Malta had been able to justify the need for such an immigration program.
Requirements to the digital nomads applying for an NRP in Malta
The successful candidate for a legal residence permit in Malta shall conform to the requirements described above and have at least 2,700 euros of income per month (before taxes). In case a family application is filed, an additional 20% of income per each family member is required.
In addition, the applicant for the NRP program shall do the following:
- Demonstrate their ability to work remotely;
- Supply a valid identification document (passport/ ID card);
- Purchase a medical insurance policy that covers all risks for the period of their stay in Malta;
- Sign a purchase or a rent agreement with the owner of a piece of real property in Malta thus demonstrating that they have a place to stay in the country;
- Pass the security checks;
- Demonstrate that they belong to one of the following categories of people:
- Employees of a foreign (non-Maltese) company holding a valid work contract;
- Owners/ co-owners/ shareholders of a foreign commercial company;
- Consultants providing services to clients located in other countries (service agreements need to be supplied).
The applicant shall also inform the Residency Malta agency about the timeframe of their stay in the country. This can be between 90 and 180 days or between 181 and 365 days. The applicants planning to spend less than half a year in Malta will qualify for a long-term visa while those wishing to spend up to one year in the country will qualify for a residence permit.
It is expected that the NRP holder will spend most of the time in Malta while paying occasional visits to other countries. The residence permit is only a temporary one, so if you would like to relocate to Malta for good, you will have to use a different immigration scheme.
Maltese residence for the digital nomad’s family members
The NRP scheme allows including the following family members in the application for residence in Malta:
- The spouse in a monogamous marriage or in another type of relationships including civil marriage, family partnership, and so on;
- Underage children including adopted children of the main applicant and his/ her spouse;
- Adult children including adopted children of the main applicant and his/ her spouse on the condition that they are financially dependent on the main applicant.
The main applicant’s residence permit can be extended after one year if he/ she continues to conform to the requirement and the same goes for the main applicant’s family members.
Complete list of application documents for Maltese residence
- Form №1: Completed and signed.
- Form №2 (if applicable): Completed and signed.
- Form №4: Completed and signed.
- Letter of Intentions: Singed by the applicant with the date of issuance specified. This document has to have an explicit statement of the wish to acquire Maltese residence. Besides, it has to give the reasons why the applicant is seeking residence in the country. Finally, it has to contain a list of supporting documents that demonstrate the applicant’s conformity to the requirements.
- (Foreign) passport: Copies of all pages including the blank ones.
- Employment agreement and tax documentation (applicable to hired personnel): This document has to contain a clear job description demonstrating that the contractor is capable of performing the tasks regardless of his/ her geographical location by use of telecommunication technologies.
- Documents confirming company ownership/ co-ownership: These can be the company registration certificate, memorandum and articles of association, register of shareholders, etc. Depending on the country, such documents may have different names and if this is the case, a declaration stating the function of the document is required.
- Europass resume: A description of the educational background and the professional skills that the applicant has. Needs to be signed by the applicant.
- Bank statement: The statement has to be issued by the bank that the applicant is going to use for covering the administrative costs involved in acquiring Maltese residence. It has to show the applicant’s income for the last three months and indicate its sources (salary, dividends, lease, interests, shares, etc.).
- Purchase or rent agreement for a piece of real property in Malta: In case it is a rent agreement, the rental period needs to be specified.
- Maltese or international medical insurance policy: The policy has to cover the costs of all medical services that the candidate for Maltese residence or their family members may require while in Malta. If any of the applicant’s family member is planning to travel to other Schengen countries, they have to buy a separate tourist insurance policy.
- Declaration of health status: A document signed by a medical doctor confirming that the candidate for Maltese residence is generally in good health.
- Marriage certificate (if applicable): If a married couple is applying for Maltese residence, this document is required. It is important that the document be properly translated and legalized/ apostilled.
- Birth certificates (if applicable): If a family with children is applying for Maltese residence, the children’s birth certificates need to be supplied. These also have to be translated and apostilled/ legalized.
- Affidavit of financial dependence (if applicable): In case a family with adult children (above 18 years of age) is applying for Maltese residence, a document confirming the financial dependence of the child on the main applicant is required. This document will make the adult child qualify for the NRP program.
- Adoption/ custodianship certificate (if applicable): In case the main applicant and/ or his/ her spouse has been made the custodian of an underage child by a court decision, the corresponding documents need to be supplied.
No handwritten forms are accepted. Please use an indigo-ink pen only to sign the forms.
All the supporting documents shall be written in English. If the originals are written in any other language, the documents have to be translated into English.
The translations shall be made by a sworn translator, a state translation agency, an international translation firm or another official organization. The translations shall carry the translator’s personal information and contact details including the email and the website addresses. In case the translation is made by a specialized agency, it shall carry the agency’s stamp. If the translations are made outside Malta, the stamp and the translator’s signature shall be legalized/ Apostilled.
Advantages of Maltese residence for a digital nomad
- High speed and simplicity of residence permit acquisition: You can file an application for Maltese residence online and the same goes for all the supporting documents. The Maltese immigration authorities are expected to process the application within 30 days. If the application is approved, the candidate for Maltese residence will be invited to the country and complete the procedure.
- Infrastructure: A digital nomad has to have good Internet connection to be able to work. High-speed Internet is readily available in Malta and besides, the country’s geographical location allows reaching most countries of the world in a fast manner. In addition to that, the bureaucratic system in Malta is highly efficient.
- Lifestyle: Other advantages that a digital nomad will find in Malta include the resort island infrastructure, the access to the Mediterranean Sea, the high level of personal security, high-quality education, an advanced healthcare system, and a modern financial sector.
- Taxes: The global income of digital nomads is not subject to the Maltese personal income tax unless you become a tax resident of Malta by spending the best part of the year on its territory.
Expert support to digital nomads wishing to acquire Maltese residence
Please apply for a personal consultation with InternationalWealth experts if you are a digital nomad considering the ways to relocate to Malta or some other country! With our assistance, you will be able to find the optimal immigration route!
Would you like to become a Maltese resident? Apply for a consultation right now and make use of the following advantages:
Save time and dispel doubts: The Maltese authorities are constantly changing the rules of acquiring legal residence in the country, so even an experienced expat may be confused. Our experts will help you navigate in the bureaucratic waters and share some useful insights with you. We will tell you what pitfalls you should avoid and how you can make your relocation to Malta smooth and comfortable.
Gain access to the professional experience of our Maltese partners: InternationalWealth portal partners located in Malta are highly knowledgeable about the Maltese legislation, real estate market, banking opportunities, and so on. You are welcome to use their advice when applying for Maltese residence, purchasing or renting accommodations in the country, engaging in business activities there, opening bank accounts, and overcoming bureaucratic and cultural barriers.
Does the NRP holder qualify for free medical services in Malta?
The Nomad Residence Permit is only a temporary residence permit in Malta and it does not make the holder entitled for free medical services in the country. However, a medical insurance policy will cover all or most of the possible medical costs. If you are planning to travel to other European countries, you will be well advised to buy a tourist insurance policy that will cover the possible medical costs in the county (countries) that you would like to visit.
Do I have to notify the Maltese authorities of the change of my residential address?
Yes, you do have to inform the Residency Malta agency about the change of your residence address within one week. You have to fill out Form N3 and pay an administrative fee of 27.50 euros. If you fail to notify the authorities about the change of your residence address, your residence permit may be revoked.
What should I do if my residence card has been lost, stolen or damaged?
If your residence card has been lost, stolen or damaged, you have to notify the nearest police department of it, fill out Form N3, and pay the fee of 27.50 euros for the residence card reissuance.