The government of Malta launched a new temporary residency scheme for digital nomads who want to move to Malta and work remotely. The programme offers a six-month visa and an option of obtaining a one-year ‘Nomad Residence Permit’ and costs €300 and can be renewed annually. To qualify, applicants must prove they have a contract to work remotely by a company based overseas. Alternatively, they have to show that they run their own business or offer freelance service to clientele based abroad.
It is estimated that a digital nomad spends roughly €30,000 a year in Malta, which is close to what tourists spent in 2019. One digital nomad spends in a year roughly what 260 tourists would spend in a day. COVID-19 measures have introduced the world to remote working and islands including Bermuda and Barbados have already created similar programmes to invite workers to settle abroad and work remotely. Malta’s scheme which comes into effect from 02.06.2021. It targets people who are able to earn a living remotely and choose to travel frequently.
A community of roughly 1,000 digital nomads already living and working from Malta. Now, the government is hoping to attract between 1,000 to 1,200 applicants a year. The majority of local nomads were European citizens. However, with the boom in remote working due to the pandemic, they expand the opportunity to third country nationals. Trends show that nomadic professionals are looking for safe places. Even in terms of the healthcare that is available to them. Therefore Malta is an ideal safe and secure destination to live and work in.
Applicants must prove they can work remotely, using telecoms and must also be third country nationals. In addition, applicants must prove they fall under any one of the following 3 categories:
- work for an employer registered in a foreign country and have a contract of work;
- conduct business activities for a company registered in a foreign country and of which applicant is partner/shareholder; or
- offer freelance or consulting services, mostly to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country. The applicant also has to have a contract.
Moreover, an applicant must reach a gross monthly income threshold of EUR 2,700. They have to go through a due diligence process that requires them to have “a good reputation and police conduct”. They must have a valid passport and proof that they are living in a residential property in Malta.
Since digital nomads typically pay their taxes in a different jurisdiction, applicants will have to provide health insurance to ensure their access to health services. Any work carried out by them for local companies would be subject to normal local taxation.
Read more about the advantages of working remotely in Malta.