It is almost straightforward to get the necessary paperwork to be able to move to Malta.
Tourist Schengen Visa
This kind of visa is issued to Third country nationals who require a Visa to travel to the Schengen area for tourism purposes. It is issued for not longer than 90 days of stay and may be a Single or Multiple entry visa, according on the decisions made by the authorities and other relevant options. However in the case where the applicant requires an extension due to unforeseen situations whilst in Malta, he/she may request a Visa extension from the Central Visa Unit.
Moving around in Europe
Malta is in the Schengen area which is a group of countries that have got rid of passport and migration limitations at their common borders.
People visiting to and from Schengen areas will not need to have their passports checked at the borders, but at any time of travel, Immigration Police may request to check documents.
If you become a permanent resident in Malta you will need to pay 15 per cent tax on the salary you enter to this country. Due to double tax treaties with different countries, you will probably not need to pay any tax to your country of origin.
You can find a list of countries that have a double tax arrangement with Malta here.
Once you’ve become a permanent resident, of course you don’t need to necessarily live on the island all the time and can come and go as you want. Do be aware that you are not becoming a Maltese citizen by becoming a resident and will not be able to vote.
Two Types of Residency
Depending on where you are emigrating from you can apply for one of two kinds of residency: the Ordinary Residence or the Permanent Residence. The difference between the two finally boils down to how much you are taxed.
Ordinary Residence applies to people coming to Malta from the EU. The tax you pay is worked out by taking from 0 to 35 per cent of your salary, minus a tax-credit, relying on how much you earn and marital status.
Permanent Residence is open to everyone, no matter what your country of origin is. If you’re not from the EU then this is what you need to apply for. You can also apply for this scheme if you are from the EU, but we suggest always ask for help from a lawyer to decide which scheme is appropriate to you.
You will need to renew you ordinary residence permit every five years, while permanent residence permits are renewable annually.
The Malta Global Residency Programme
In July 2013, the Maltese Government introduced a new residency programme. This offers special tax situation to third country nationals (except for EEA and Swiss nationals) in Malta. To apply for this programme you need to meet certain criteria such as buying or renting property in Malta or Gozo and paying a minimum yearly tax liability on foreign income received in Malta.