On the 1st June 2013, the Maltese Government presented a new residence scheme, dubbed the Global Residence Programme, which will replace the current High Net Worth Individuals Scheme and introduce more attractive incentives for applicants who wish to reside in Malta, especially for non-EU nationals and those from outside the European Economic Area. The Programme, which will be brought into effect by means of subsidiary legislation to be issued shortly, will be lowering the thresholds for both the purchase and rental of immovable property in Malta and also lowering the minimum tax payable.
The value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners will be lowered to €275,000 instead of the €400,000 threshold under the HNWI Scheme. Moreover, when the property is in the south of Malta or in Gozo, the minimum value will be reduced to €220,000. With regards to the rental of property in Malta, whereas under the HNWI Scheme the minimum annual rental value is of €20,000 annually, this will be lowered to €9,600, with this being even lowered to €8750 in Gozo or the South of Malta. An important change from the current HNWI scheme is the fact that third country nationals will not need to place a €500,000 bond with the government and an additional €150,000 per dependant. This bond requirement will be removed completely.
The taxation levels and benefits present under the HNWI are expected to remain unchanged, however the minimum tax to be paid will be reduced from a minimum of €25,000 plus €5,000 per dependant per year to a minimum of €15,000. The tax rate on income arising and remitted to Malta is expected to remain at 15%, whilst income which arises outside of Malta and not remitted to Malta will not be taxable in Malta.
The need for an Authorised Registered Mandatory who represents applicants will be retained. Such Mandatory needs to be an authorized professional in Malta who will is entrusted compiling all relevant documentation and with the eventual submission of the application on behalf of the applicant.