Country Spotlight: Malta

Malta at a glance

 

This archipelago in the centre of the Mediterranean is rich in history, culture and natural beauty. The country offers a leisurely European lifestyle, in a divine Mediterranean setting. The cluster of islands is home to pristine beaches, fantastical lagoons, blissful architecture and invigorating entertainment. Malta was once a tall mountain joined to Italy by land. Over 10,000 years ago the sea level rose up and transformed Malta into a collection of small islands. The country was first cultivated by immigrants from Sicily in 5,200 BC and has since been host to a long succession of invaders and colonizers: from the Roman Empire to the Arabs, to the Turks, the French and then the British. Malta finally gained independence in 1964 and in 2004 joined the European Union. Such a convoluted history has resulted in a cultural identity blended with characteristics from all over the world. The Maltese climate is similar to that of its Mediterranean neighbours, with mild winters and hot dry summers. In summer there is an average of 12 hours of sunlight or five to six hours of sunlight in winter. Such a climate is ideal for making the most of everything Malta has to offer. Cuisine in Malta is based around the seasons. Winter brings with it rich bowls of minestra, a thick vegetable soup, as summer approaches Lampuki pie is served with fresh fish from the region. The gastronomy has been heavily influenced by the blended European culture in Malta and in some ways is considered to be the first ever fusion cuisine. The food picks up some of the best aspects of Sicilian, British, French and Mediterranean cuisines. This country is packed with entertainment opportunities for everyone in the family. The coastline of the islands present idyllic Mediterranean beaches from which to bask in the sun or sail around the archipelago. Water sports are also popular for the more adventurous, with the beaches offering prime locations for jet and water skiing, snorkelling and parasailing. The Blue Lagoon is the most prominent tourist attraction in Malta, considered one of the most luxurious spots in Europe with crystal clear, azure waters and a pristine beach. Despite being the smallest member of the European Union, Maltese architecture has graced the big screen as a set in the films Troy, Gladiator and most recently as Kings Landing in the television series Game of Thrones. Ancient architecture paired with the Mediterranean climate make it an ideal, picturesque setting. The architectural landmarks on the islands are the grand Baroque churches and prehistoric temples. Baroque influences can be seen throughout the city landscapes. The capital city Valletta has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site for its buildings by the Knights of St John. While away an afternoon wandering the streets of the city and gazing at the architectural features of Malta, just as you would in a Baroquian art gallery. The cities and villages across the country host festivals of art, history, food and beer. The most famous being, the Medieval Mdina festival, during which the streets are transformed to recreate life in the middle ages. The social calendar is brimming with year round events; spring brings with it the carnival festival, followed by the Easter festival, then the fireworks, fashion, arts and jazz festivals, to name but a few. Each of these events create magical days of strolling around market stalls, feasting on delicious food and drink, revelling in fantastic entertainment and even better company.

 

Economy

 

The Maltese economy is one of the few in Europe to be recording positive growth. The country has experienced economic growth over the last three years, which is forecast to continue. The real GDP growth is predicted to remain strong and unemployment is at an all time low. The main sources of income in Malta lie in foreign industry, manufacturing and tourism. With a budget in surplus, Malta presents a strong, stable economic environment for immigrants.

Gaining citizenship in Malta via investment is a simple, quick process which can allow the entire family to immigrate with ease. Citizenship is typically approved after just four months processing time. Family eligibility extends to parents of the applicant and spouse, minor children and unmarried adult children under 27. Descendants gain citizenship automatically.

 

Eligibility

 

To be eligible for citizenship by investment, applicants must:

 

  • Be over 18
  • Be in good health
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • The main applicant is required to contribute

€650,00 to Malta

  • Spouses and children are required to contribute

€25,000 each

  • Unmarried children between 18 an 25 and dependant parents are required to contribute

€50,000 each (these contributions can be made after application approval)

  • Applicants are required to invest at least

€350,000 in property or enter a rental property agreement for a at least €16,000 p.a. both on five year contracts

  • Applicants are required to invest €150,000 in bonds or shares. The investments must be in Stock sanctioned by the Maltese government
  • Applications can be supported by a genuine link to Malta through residence

 

Things to consider

 

Citizenship by investment entitles the holder to visa free travel to more than 166 countries and gives the right to live, work and study in any country in the European Union. The Maltese tax system is based on domicile and residence, rather than citizenship. Tax is only due on income and capital gains arising in Malta. After a period of five years property can be sold in Malta completely tax free, so long as it was the resident’s sole residence for at least three years. If selling the property before three years of residence a tax of 12% is charged on the selling price. In addition, there are no inheritance or death taxes, no net worth or wealth  taxes, no municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes and no estate duty. With tax benefits such as these, a stable economic climate and banks ranked as some of the most stable in the world, investment in Malta is a sound way to gain citizenship.

 

Posted in Country Spotlights.

One Comment

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