It is relatively straightforward to gain the necessary paperwork to be able to move to Malta.
Tourist Schengen Visa
This type of visa is issued to Third country nationals who need 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 visas, depending on the decisions made by the authorities and other relevant elements. But in the case where the applicant requires an extension due to unforeseen circumstances 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 free of passport and immigration controls at their common borders.
People travelling to and from Schengen zones will not need to have their passports checked at the borders, however 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 revenue you bring into the country. Thanks to double tax treaties with various countries, you will presumably 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.
As 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 wish. Do be informed that you are not becoming a Maltese citizen by becoming a resident and will not be able to vote.
Two Types of Residency
Based on where you are emigrating from you can apply for one of two types 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 revenue, minus a tax-credit, based on how much you earn and marital status.
Permanent Residence is open to everyone; it is not important 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 plan if you are from the EU, but we suggest always consulting a lawyer to see which scheme is more suited to you.
You will need to renew you ordinary residence permit every five years, while permanent residence permits are renewable every year.
The Malta Global Residency Programme
In July 2013, the Maltese Government introduced a new residency plan. This suggests special tax status to third country nationals (except for EEA and Swiss nationals) in Malta. To apply for this programme you need to meet special criteria such as buying or renting property in Malta or Gozo and paying a least annual tax liability on foreign income received in Malta.