Investment migration in Malta has increased exponentially over the last 4 years; due in part to the introduction of the Malta Residency and Visa Programme (MRVP). The MRVP was introduced in 2015 to offer yet another competitive immigration option. Since its inception, the MRVP has been updated twice; with the 2017 amendments helping to further consolidate the legislation, whilst those amendments enacted in 2018 focused on widening the programme's investment criteria.
Originally, the MRVP programme required the main applicant to pay an economic contribution of €30,000, with €5,500 being non-refundable and payable at application stage with the remaining amount becoming due upon approval in principle. The applicant would also be required to purchaseor lease residential property in Malta and invest €250,000 in Malta Government Stocks, to be retained for a minimum of 5 years.
The 2017 updates, introduced an additional economic contribution of €5,000 per parent or grandparent of the main applicant or spouse, payable up on approval in principle.
The 2018 amendments entered into force following publication in the Government Gazette of Malta (No. 20,056 of 14th September, 2018) and focused primarily on the investment requirement. The investment amount as well as the 5-year minimum duration have remained the same, with the changes relating specifically to the qualifying criteria of the investment itself.
Whilst previously investment was limited to Malta Government Stocks (i.e. Bonds issued by Malta Treasury), the 2018 amendments have made it possible for the main applicant to acquire equity and corporate bonds listed on the Malta Stock Exchange to satisfy this requirement. Investment in these securities may also be achieved through an investment in collective investment schemes that are licensed and also on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange.
These amendments clearly highlight the MRVP's objective to act as a catalyst in increasing Malta's Foreign Direct Investment and increasing popularity.