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Retiring in Malta: What Residence Options to Consider

David Bonellie

David Bonellie

Last updated: March 29, 2023

Retiring in Malta: What Residence Options to Consider

Retiring to a foreign country is an exciting opportunity that presents retirees with new and enriching experiences. Among the numerous options available, Malta is an ideal retirement destination for those seeking a relaxed, sunny lifestyle in a safe and welcoming environment. With its Mediterranean climate, rich cultural heritage, and affordable cost of living, retiring in Malta has become an increasingly popular choice for retirees worldwide. 

Global Residence Index strives to help its clients with all citizenship and residence services. The team will explore why retiring in Malta is a great choice, including the various residence options, high-quality healthcare system, favorable tax regime, property market, and numerous leisure activities. If you want to retire to Malta this guide will give you information to make a better-informed decision on where to spend your Golden Years.

How to Obtain Residence to Retire in Malta

Although there is a specific Malta retirement residence program, other options exist. There are several ways to obtain residence in Malta, depending on your financial circumstances, tax residency, and how long you want to stay in Malta each year.

If any of the residence options to retire in Malta, book a free consultation with us; our expert team will help you make your decision easier. 

Malta Retirement Program (MRP) for EU/EEA/Swiss 

The official retirement residence program is the Malta Retirement Program (MRP). The MRP is unique as it allows EU/EEA/Switzerland and non-EU nationals who intend to retire in Malta to obtain a residence permit. The primary person wanting to retire in Malta must be at least fifty-five years old. 

Applicants cannot be employees of any business. However, there are allowances to be a non-executive on the boards of companies, foundations, or other organizations. Applicants can obtain a five-year residence permit when retiring in Malta on the MRP. 

Essential Notes on Qualifying for the Malta Retirement Program

  • A minimum annual income of at least €12,700, or €9,600, needs to come from a pension. 75% of income remitted in Malta must be from an approved pension;
  • Have a permanent residence through ownership or long-term lease:
    • Own a property of at least Є275,000 situated in Malta, other than in the south of Malta, or, Є220,000 for property in Gozo or the south of Malta. OR
    • Rent a property of at least Є9,600 per annum situated in Malta, other than in the south of Malta, or Є8,750 for property situated in Gozo or the south of Malta.

There are tax benefits available. Retirees are entitled to a flat tax rate of 15% on foreign income received in Malta, subject to a minimum annual tax liability of €7,500. 

Malta Global Residence Program

The modern era can make it challenging to retire fully. Or if you are of retirement age but are still working, then the Global Residence Program (GRP) may be your ideal residence program to retire in Malta. The GRP is a residency program for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who wish to relocate to Malta.

The program is open to individuals who can demonstrate that they have a stable and regular source of income. Applicants need to show adequate health insurance and can provide proof of accommodation in Malta. The residence permit is a five-year renewable visa. 

Essential Notes on Qualifying for the Global Residence Program

To qualify for the program, applicants must meet specific requirements, which include:

  • A net worth of at least €500,000;
  • A minimum annual income of €100,000, derived from outside of Malta;
  • A non-refundable application fee of €6,000;
  • Have a permanent residence through ownership or long-term lease:
    • Own a property of at least Є300,000 situated in Malta, other than in the south of Malta, or Є270,000 for property in Gozo or the south of Malta. OR
    • Rent a property of at least Є10,000 per annum situated in Malta, other than in the south of Malta, or Є9,600 for property situated in Gozo or the south of Malta; and
  • The payment of an annual flat tax of €15,000. No other income is taxable in Malta under the GRP.

Maltas Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN)

Modern retirees sometimes want to be permanently based in multiple countries. Luckily for those who wish to retire partially in Malta, there is a residency program that leads to citizenship after holding residence for twelve months. The Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) program allows investors to obtain residence. 

After twelve months of residence, of which only a few weeks need to be in Malta, the retiree/investor can apply for citizenship. Maltese citizenship allows the investor to retire in Malta as a local citizen or anywhere else in Europe, for that matter. 

Financial Requirements for Maltas Exceptional Investor Naturalization

The investment criteria include the following:

  • A non-refundable contribution of at least €600,000 for a minimum residence period of thirty-six months or €750,000 for a minimum of twelve months;
  • The purchase of residential property in Malta of at least €700,000. A property lease for at least €16,000 per annum;
  • A donation of €10,000; and
  • Applicants require a valid residence card to apply for citizenship.

MEIN is perfect for those who want to retire in Malta but have the freedom of movement with the rest of the EU. 

Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)

Another option for those who want to retire in Malta is the Permanent Residence Program. The MPRP attracts high-net-worth individuals and their families to Malta, focusing on those seeking long-term residency. Successful applicants receive permanent residency, allowing them and their families to reside in Malta indefinitely without needing renewal. 

The MPRP allows holders to live for nine months outside of Malta each year. There is only a ninety-day physical presence requirement per year, allowing freedom to explore other countries as a retiree in Malta. 

Financial Requirements for Maltas Permanent Residence Program

To qualify for the MPRP, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, which include the following:

  • A contribution of €28,000 to the Maltese economy if the residential property is purchased or a lease of €58,000;
  • A €2,000 donation to a non-governmental organization;
  • A €40,000 non-refundable administration fee; and
  • A property purchase of €350,000 or €300,000 in South Malta or Gozo, or a property lease of €12,000 per annum or €10,000 in South Malta or Gozo.

The investment in property or rental needs to be for five years. After this, the applicants can apply for citizenship (if they meet the criteria for naturalization) or can apply for Permanent residence without restrictions. 

Where to Retire in Malta

Malta is a popular destination for retirees due to its warm climate, relaxed lifestyle, and affordable cost of living. Where you want to retire in Malta is ultimately one of the most important decisions to make when moving to the Mediterranean island. 

Sliema 

The popular coastal town is known for its picturesque views, seaside promenade, and lively atmosphere. Sliema is also home to a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and healthcare facilities.

St. Julian’s 

This area is known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options but also offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and leisure activities. St. Julian’s is home to several beaches, parks, green spaces, and cultural attractions like the Spinola Palace.

Mellieha

Mellieha is a quieter, more residential area located on Malta’s north coast.is known for its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as its peaceful atmosphere and community feel.

Gozo

A small island located just off the coast of Malta, Gozo is a popular destination for retirees looking for a slower pace of life. There are beautiful landscapes, historic landmarks, and traditional way of life.

Valetta

Finally, the capital of Malta, offers retirees a rich cultural experience with its stunning architecture, museums, and historic sites, as well as easy access to modern amenities and a bustling city life.

The best area for retirees in Malta will depend on their preferences and needs. However, these areas offer a range of amenities and activities well-suited to retirees.

US citizens Retiring in Malta

There is a consistent flow of US citizens retiring offshore. During the early 21st century Central America lured several thousands of retirees from the US. However in more recent years, Europe is gaining traction as a top continent for US persons to retire to. 

Retiring in Malta is one of the top destinations for US citizens. There is a growing American expat community as well as access to all the amenities and day-to-day needs. Malta is an incredibly safe country with easy access to mainland Europe and even direct flights to the US.

US citizens can reduce their tax liability by making Malta their place of residence. There is the opportunity to limit taxes on pensions through the Retirement Program or other tax programs limiting taxes to 15%. Malta allows for dual citizenship, something that can be incredibly valuable to those who retire in Malta, as well as their dependents. 

Cost of Living if I Want to Retire in Malta

In popular areas like Sliema and St. Julian’s, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment can range from €600 to €1,200 per month, while buying a two-bedroom apartment can cost between €150,000 to €300,000.

The cost of food in Malta is generally affordable, with a range of options to suit different budgets. The average price of groceries for a single person in Malta is around €300 to €350 per month, which will cover basic groceries. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between €10 to €20, while a cup of coffee can cost around €2. Groceries and household items are also affordable, with prices similar to those in other European countries.

Public transportation in Malta is affordable and efficient, with a one-way bus ticket costing €1.50. Taxis are also available, with fares starting at around €10. Retirees can expect to live comfortably in Malta on a budget of approximately €1,500 to €2,000 per month, depending on their lifestyle and location. Retiring in Malta can be cost effective when comparing budgets to large cities in the US. 

Which Residence is Best Malta Retirement

The information in the article depicts several residence options for those who want Malta retirement. Residence largely depends on your circumstances and how you want to retire in Malta. 

The Malta Retirement Program is the most straightforward for those fully retired and looking to stay in one place. Then other options can quickly lead to citizenship through the MEIN program or Maltas Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) with limited physical presence requirements. Finally, those retirees who are not 100% off the work clock use the Global Residence Program for planning their semi-retirement in Malta.

Book a free consultation with us. We’ll explain all the residence options to retire in Malta. Our team will provide details on financial requirements and tax benefits, and answer any questions. At times, obtaining multiple residence permits and citizenships can afford significant benefits. Citizenship by investment is allows clients to quickly obtain a second citizenship. Many clients use their new citizenship to obtain further residence permits and even build a passport portfolio. 

FAQs

Is Malta an easy country to retire to for US citizens? 

Yes, there are several options open to retiring in Malta. There is an official retirement visa under the Malta Retirement Program. Other residence options include the Global Residence Program, Permanent Residence Program and the Exceptional Investor Naturalization. 

Will I enjoy retiring in Malta?

Yes. With beautiful weather, island living, and outstanding living standards, then Malta could be an excellent place for you to retire. There is a large vibrant community of expats but also has quiet areas to enjoy a slower pace of life.

How much can I retire on in Malta? 

Although the cost of living can be reasonably cheap in Malta, if you are retiring in Malta. A reasonable amount to live on is €2,000 to €2,500, excluding housing costs.

How can I become a Maltese citizen as a retiree? 

Maltas naturalization process allows residents to apply for citizenship after five years, including applicants on the retirement program. The only exception is through the Exceptional Investor Naturalization program. After twelve months, investors can apply for citizenship. 

Which areas have excellent medical facilities in Malta?

St. James Hospital is a modern private hospital with state-of-the-art facilities. In Mellieha, the Mater Dei Hospital in Msida is one of the best hospitals on the island. The Gozo General Hospital in Victoria offers medical services to the local community.

Need help?

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