Malta seeks to attract “digital nomads” with a residence permit of 300 €

A new temporary residence program has been launched for people who want to settle in Malta but work remotely.

The program offers a six-month visa and an option to obtain a one-year “nomadic residence permit” and costs € 300.

To qualify, applicants must prove that they are hired to work remotely by an overseas-based business, show that they run their own business, or provide independent service to overseas-based clients.

Announcing the project, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat said it could be a “profitable economic niche”.

“We estimate that a digital nomad spends around € 30,000 per year in our country, which would bring us closer to what tourists spent here in 2019,” he said. “A digital nomad spends in about a year what 260 tourists would spend in a day.”

COVID-19 measures have introduced the world to remote work, and islands including Bermuda and Barbados have already created similar programs to invite workers to relocate abroad and work remotely.

The scheme of Malta which goes into effect Wednesday and can be applied online, is aimed at people who can make a living remotely and choose to travel frequently, often residing abroad at the company they work for.

Residency Malta CEO Charles Mizzi said applicants would go through a due diligence process that would require them to have “a good reputation and good police conduct”. They must have a valid passport and proof that they live in residential property in Malta.

As digital nomads typically pay their taxes in a different jurisdiction, applicants will need to provide health insurance to ensure their access to health services.

Any work done by them for local businesses would be subject to normal local taxation.

Muscat said a community of around 1,000 digital nomads were already living and working from Malta, with the government hoping to attract between 1,000 and 1,200 applicants per year.

He added that the majority of local nomads were European citizens and with the rise of remote working due to the pandemic, they sought to extend opportunities to third country nationals.

“Trends show that nomadic professionals are looking for safe places, even in terms of the healthcare that is accessible to them. We believe that Malta is an ideal, safe and secure destination to live and work and we are taking this step to introduce ancillary services suitable for these professions.

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