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Guide to Relocating to Malta

Reasons for Relocating to Malta

Malta's allure as a relocation destination stems from its inviting atmosphere, rich history of embracing diversity, and myriad charms. Its safe environment makes it an ideal choice for retirement, offering a blend of progress and preserved identity in its quaint villages. The combination of Malta's tax system and growing job opportunities further solidifies its appeal for those seeking a new chapter in their lives.

Relocating to any new country involves careful consideration, and this guide aims to assist with navigating the process. From understanding costs and procedures to determining residency status and its implications for partners or spouses, this guide provides valuable insights for anyone considering a move to Malta.

Obtaining Residency in Malta

Malta offers a range of visas and residence permits tailored to suit various needs, whether one is an EU citizen or not. Seeking advice from our immigration attorneys, each a Malta Authorized Registered Mandatory, is crucial before submitting any residency application to ensure compliance with regulations and requirements. The process involves thorough documentation and understanding of the specific program best suited to individual circumstances. Please review the Malta residency program requirements here.

Obtaining Malta (EU) Citizenship

Investing in Maltese citizenship not only grants access to Malta, but also opens doors to a wealth of opportunities across Europe. The government's investment program, launched in 2013, offers residency, citizenship, and real estate investment opportunities. Citizenship brings with it the right to live, work, and travel freely within the European Union, as well as access to free education and healthcare, thus offering unparalleled benefits for those seeking to establish roots in Europe. Please review the citizenship by investment program requirements here.

Tax in Malta

Malta's tax system is designed to benefit residents and investors alike. If you're considering relocating to Malta, one of the first steps is to register for a tax identification number, which can be obtained from the Government of Malta Service website. This number serves as a crucial identifier when filing income tax returns. Additionally, if you plan to establish a company in Malta, you'll need to acquire a tax identification number for your business.

Income Tax System in Malta

The Maltese income tax system offers various levels of taxation to cater to different circumstances. Whether you're a single individual, part of a married couple, or have parental responsibilities, you can apply for tax rates that suit your situation. The highest tax rate is set at 35% of your income or earnings. Domiciled residents in Malta are subject to income tax on their worldwide income, whereas non-domiciled residents only pay tax on income remitted to Malta.

Key Considerations for New Maltese Residents Regarding Income Tax

Foreigners eligible for tax residency in Malta enjoy a favorable tax rate of 15% on income sourced within Malta. Additionally, there are exemptions on inheritance, wealth, and gifts. However, a 5% stamp duty applies to the transfer of immovable property as part of an estate. In the event of a partner's passing, the surviving spouse is only liable for duty on half the value of their marital home. Furthermore, when selling inherited property, a reduced tax rate of 12% applies to gains realized since inheritance, rather than the entire property value.

Setting Up a Business in Malta

Malta presents an enticing opportunity for business investors, boasting security, favorable tax rates, and a supportive regulatory environment. Entrepreneurs can benefit from low taxes, a stable economy, low crime rates, and affordable housing. It's advisable to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with local legislation when establishing a business in Malta.

Value Added Tax (VAT) in Malta

Most goods and services sold in Malta are subject to an 18% VAT sales tax. However, certain exceptions apply, such as a reduced VAT rate of 7% for licensed hotels and caterers. Additionally, specific items like electricity, baked goods, newspapers, magazines, books, and electronic publications are taxed at 5%. Medical supplies, in-home care, and items for people with disabilities also fall under the 5% VAT rate. Businesses with a turnover exceeding €20,000 must consult with the VAT department to determine the applicable VAT rate and obtain a VAT number to comply with regulations.

Retirement in Malta: The Malta Retirement Programme

For those seeking a peaceful retirement in Malta, the Malta Retirement Programme offers an attractive option. Applicants maybe nationals of the EU, or citizens of a non-EU country. To qualify, individuals must purchase or rent a qualifying property meeting specified criteria. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate evidence of a pension constituting at least 75% of their chargeable income, maintain residency in Malta for a minimum period, and meet other requirements outlined in the programme.

Embrace the Mediterranean Lifestyle: Relocate to Malta

When considering a move to Malta, the abundance of property options across the island may pleasantly surprise you, despite its compact size of approximately 50km from end to end. Here at Zenturo Ltd., we stand ready to provide you with all the insights and choices you need to find your perfect home. With Malta's economy on a steady upward trajectory in recent years, the allure of owning a private haven nestled within one of Malta's charming villages or vibrant seafront locales has never been more enticing.

Invest in Malta's Property Market: Your Gateway to Financial Growth

Malta's diverse localities offer a range of properties, from rustic farmhouses to fully furnished, contemporary apartments. Your choice of location and property type will naturally impact the investment required, with certain areas and property styles commanding higher price tags than others.

Cost of Living:

The cost of living in Malta varies, with food expenses averaging around €250 per month, depending on personal preferences. Local products often offer more economical options compared to imported goods. Basic utilities typically amount to approximately €80 per month.

Employment Opportunities:

EU citizens do not require a visa to work in Malta but should obtain an Identity Card after three months or upon commencing employment. Non-EU citizens may need to apply for a 90-day tourist visa initially. Securing a job offer from a prospective employer is necessary to work in Malta.

Residence Card:

Both EU and non-EU nationals intending to reside in Malta receive a residence card, granting legal residency and proving the right to work in Malta. This card facilitates travel within the EU without requiring additional visas.

Healthcare and Insurance:

EU nationals are eligible for Malta's free national health service, while non-EU nationals may also access public healthcare, often requiring private health insurance as a prerequisite for employment.


Public transportation in Malta is readily available, with towns like Sliema and Birkirkara well-served by buses. Monthly bus passes and unlimited 7-day tickets offer cost-effective options for regular commuters. Many locals still rely on personal vehicles, though alternative modes such as motorcycles, e-scooters, and bicycles are gaining popularity.


Malta offers a range of educational options, including state, Church-run, and private schools with international programs. English is commonly used in instruction, particularly in Church-run and private schools.

Pet Importation:

Bringing pets to Malta requires microchipping, rabies vaccination, deworming treatment, and a valid registration. Pre-notification is necessary for entry.

Social Life and Entertainment:

Malta offers abundant leisure activities, from interactive science centers to beach outings and water sports. The island boasts a vibrant social scene with entertainment options for all ages.

Sports and Recreation:

As an island paradise, Malta beckons sports enthusiasts with its diverse array of recreational opportunities. Nestled in the captivating Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese archipelago boasts underwater treasures such as caves, reefs, and captivating wrecks, catering to divers of all skill levels. With its mild winters, Malta offers safe diving conditions virtually year-round, making it a haven for aquatic adventurers. Beyond diving, water sports like kayaking and windsurfing thrive, especially during the sun-drenched summer months. For those seeking a thrill in the skies, paragliding offers a unique perspective, while on land, activities such as canoeing, yachting, sailing, and water polo abound.

Exploring Property Types in Malta


Malta's thriving real estate market offers a plethora of apartment options, whether you prefer purchasing a finished unit or one still in development. Budget and personal taste play significant roles in your decision-making process. Finished apartments provide convenience and immediate occupancy, while purchasing off-plan often offers better introductory prices and customization opportunities.


Maisonettes, boasting independent entrances within larger properties, are another popular choice. Whether duplex or standalone, these properties often include roof access and may feature small yards or gardens, providing a blend of urban and suburban living.


Situated atop buildings, penthouses stand out for their luxury finishes and spacious terraces, perfect for entertaining or enjoying Malta's picturesque views and favorable weather conditions.

Villas, Bungalows, and Terraced Houses:

Villas and bungalows, ranging from classic to contemporary designs, offer spacious layouts across one or two floors. Often featuring gardens, swimming pools, and upscale amenities, these properties provide a luxurious lifestyle in serene surroundings. Terraced houses, typically split over two levels with front porches and gardens, offer a blend of traditional charm and modern comfort.

Period Houses:

Houses of Character and Townhouses showcase Malta's rich architectural heritage, boasting original features like stone arches and patterned tiles. These properties, often converted to modern standards, offer unique character and historical charm, making them highly sought after.

Localities in Malta

Malta, the main island in an archipelago including Gozo, Comino, and Cominotto, is divided into six districts. Gozo, accessible by regular ferry service, is smaller and less populated than Malta.

Southern Harbour

The Southern Harbour district encompasses historic cities like Valletta, Floriana, Paola, Birgu, Fgura, and Luqa. Valletta, Malta's capital founded in 1566, was named the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018. It boasts significant historical landmarks and modern amenities, making property investment here highly desirable.

Historic Cities

Consider exploring the walled cities of Vittoriosa (Birgu), Senglea (Isla), and Cospicua (Bormla) for their rich history and cultural events. These cities, central to historical events, offer unique properties sought after by many.

Northern Harbour

The Northern Harbour, despite being the smallest district, houses the largest population and is known for its urban and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Sliema, Gzira, St Julian’s, Pieta’, and Birkirkara are key areas with diverse residential and business opportunities.

North Malta

For a more relaxed lifestyle, explore the Northern part of Malta, known for its beautiful sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Places like Mellieha, with its popular Ghadira Bay, offer a wide range of properties amidst serene surroundings.


Gozo, Malta's sister island, attracts those seeking a peaceful lifestyle. With its lush greenery, untouched beaches, and tranquil coves, Gozo offers a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Malta.

Exploring the Rental Property Market in Malta

Long-term rentals are a popular choice in Malta, with factors like property size and location significantly influencing rental prices. Partnering with reputable firms like Zenturo Ltd. streamlines the negotiation process, ensuring favorable terms for landlords and tenants alike.

Desirable Suburbs for Long-Term Rentals

Sliema and St Julian’s, bustling coastal towns, are in high demand, particularly during the vibrant summer season. Apartments dominate the property market here, with rents typically starting at €1,000 per month and escalating for penthouses or larger units.

For a quieter retreat, consider the picturesque northern region of Malta, including Mellieha and surrounding villages like Qawra, Bugibba, and St Paul’s Bay. In Mellieha, rental properties range from €700 to €1,300 per month, offering a variety of options including detached bungalows, maisonettes, penthouses, and apartments in both traditional and modern styles.

In central, western, and southern Malta, one or two-bedroom rentals below €650 per month are more accessible, with options starting at €500. Valletta typically offers monthly rentals around €1,000, while luxury apartments may reach €2,000. Seaside villas in coveted locations might command rates of up to €4,000 per month.

Budgeting for Additional Expenses

Prospective renters should budget for additional expenses like security deposits, typically equivalent to one month's rent, as well as agency fees amounting to half a month's rent plus VAT. Utility costs, averaging €50-75 per month, should also be factored into the budget.

Meeting Residency Requirements

For those seeking residency in Malta through property rental, specific minimum rental values apply. Programs such as Malta's citizenship by investment regulation necessitate annual rental commitments starting from €16,000, while the Malta permanent residency program requires minimum annual rentals ranging from €10,000 to €12,000, depending on the property location.

Navigating the Property Purchase Process

Zenturo Ltd. offers comprehensive listings and expert guidance to streamline the property buying process in Malta. Please see our Malta real estate page for listings with pictures and prices.

Upon signing a preliminary property purchase agreement, a deposit equivalent to 10% of the property's total value secures the transaction, safeguarding both buyer and seller interests.

A notary public oversees the transaction, conducting due diligence to ensure clear title and permit compliance before finalizing the sale.

Understanding Associated Expenses

When purchasing property in Malta, buyers should budget for expenses like 5% stamp duty, notarial fees ranging from 1% to 3%, search and registration fees, and potential AIP permit fees. While the vendor typically covers agency fees, buyers are responsible for these additional costs. More details can be found in our Malta property purchase guide that discusses the purchase process in detail.

Purchasing a Property for the Malta Citizenship by Investment Program or the Malta Permanent Residency Program

To obtain Maltese permanent residency or citizenship through an investment in Malta, applicants must meet certain criteria and lease or purchase a property that meets certain minimum requirements.

Specifically for the citizenship by investment program, if leasing, the minimum rental is €16,000 per year, whereas if purchasing, the minimum purchase price is €700,000. The real estate investment, rental or purchase. is in addition to contributing at least €600,000 to Malta’s National Development and Social Fund and other application fees.

For the Malta permanent residency program (MPRP), if leasing, the minimum rental is €10,000 per year, whereas if purchasing, the minimum purchase price is €300,000.

For both programs, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a clean police record, and be of 'fit and proper character'. Their wealth undergoes assessment, and they must be certified as being in good health and free of communicable diseases.

Foreigners can purchase property in Malta, subject to obtaining an Acquisition of Immovable Property (AIP) Permit if necessary. An AIP permit is not necessary when purchasing a property located in a Special Designated Area (SDA)

EU citizens who have not resided in Malta for at least five years must apply for the AIP permit. However, EU citizens who have continuously resided in Malta for at least five years prior to acquiring property are eligible to acquire additional immovable property without a permit.

For additional details please also see our Guide to Buying Real Estate in Malta.

Selling Your Malta Property

Selling your property in Malta is a straightforward process, given the high demand for quality real estate. Engaging with an experienced estate agent ensures your property is accurately evaluated and priced competitively to attract buyers while maximizing your profit. Trustworthy partners such as Zenturo Ltd. can offer valuable insights, and support you throughout the selling journey.

Here's what you need to know to navigate the selling journey effectively:

1. Signing a Promise of Sale Agreement: Once you've found a buyer and agreed on the sale price and terms, you'll sign a Promise of Sale Agreement with the buyer. This legally binding agreement, drawn up by a Notary, ensures that both parties are committed to the sale until the final deed is signed. A 10% deposit is typically lodged with the Notary or Estate Agent by the buyer, which acts as security for the transaction.

2. Validity of the Agreement: The term of validity of the agreement is typically agreed upon by both parties, usually lasting for three months. During this period, the Notary will handle the registration of the agreement, conduct necessary searches into the property's title, and apply for any permits if required.

3. Capital Gains Tax: Sellers should be aware of the capital gains tax implications when selling their property. The tax rate varies depending on factors such as the acquisition date of the property and whether it was the seller's primary residence. Capital gains tax is not applicable if the property has been the owner's primary residence for at least three consecutive years before the sale.

4. Repatriation of Sale Proceeds: Following the signing of the final deed of sale, the sale proceeds can be repatriated to the vendor's overseas account. We offer assistance in facilitating this process, ensuring a seamless transfer of funds and favorable exchange rates.

Navigating the selling procedures in Malta is made easier with the expertise and support of professionals such as Zenturo Ltd. With our guidance, sellers can confidently navigate the process, ensuring a successful and hassle-free transaction.


Relocating to Malta offers a world of opportunities for individuals and families seeking a better lifestyle, great savings, and a vibrant culture. With its diverse range of properties, comprehensive assistance, and tailored solutions, making the move to Malta has never been easier.

Because immigration by investment programs can change over time please contact us to speak with an advisor or to receive a preliminary quotation. The information provided in this blog post is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

Click here for the Malta citizenship by investment program. Click here for the Malta residency programs.

To start the application process online please register here.

For a detailed cost estimate or to schedule a confidential consultation please use our contact form.

Zenturo Ltd.

Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs Worldwide

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Santa Venera, SVR 1016

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