Work anywhere – Why Cyprus, Malta and Portugal are popular jurisdictions for digital nomads – Jobs and HR

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“Digital nomadism” has never been so topical.

In recent years, the concept of teleworking has become an everyday reality. Technology has improved and the way the workplace is structured is changing; a new work-from-home culture is being adopted by many businesses, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the stay-at-home requirements imposed by many countries around the world.

Many countries around the world offer Digital Nomad visas. Three of the most popular countries are; Cyprus, Malta and Portugal – here’s why.

CYPRUS

From January 2022 Cyprus is launching a digital nomad visa for third country nationals wishing to work remotely for employers / clients based outside Cyprus. Self-employed, employed or self-employed persons can apply for the right to live and work in Cyprus.

People applying for the Cyprus Digital Nomad visa will have the right to stay in Cyprus for a period of up to 1 year. They can renew the visa for an additional 2 years, if necessary.

Cyprus is an attractive destination for individuals; it is a member of the EU, located in the eastern Mediterranean sea and enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine per year, it offers the hottest climate in Europe, has a good infrastructure and an ideal geographical location for people on international mobility – it is easily accessible from Europe, Asia and Africa.

The population of Cyprus is around 1.2 million, with 180,000 foreign nationals living in Cyprus. It offers an excellent private healthcare sector, a low cost of living and a friendly expat community.

In order to incentivize attracting and retaining highly skilled and well-paid expatriates in Cyprus, foreign workers (e.g. non-tax residents) do not need to pay taxes on international dividends, income from abroad. ‘passive’ interest or profits from the sale of securities.

In addition, people who were not previously resident in Cyprus, but move to Cyprus for business purposes and earn more than € 100,000 per year, are entitled to the following tax benefit:

  • 50% of employment income earned in Cyprus is exempt from income tax for a period of 10 years.

However, the proposal for 2022 (the relevant legislation has not yet been implemented) is to grant an income tax exemption of 50% to new resident employees with an income of € 55,000.

MALTA

Malta has introduced a nomadic residence permit which allows individuals to keep their current job in another country while legally residing in Malta. The permit is aimed at non-European remote workers and gives them the right to reside in Malta for 1 year. After that, the visa can be renewed.

Malta offers the climate, relaxed lifestyle and rich history to make living in Malta a real pleasure. Located in the Mediterranean, just south of Sicily, Malta offers all the advantages of being a full member of the EU and Schengen Member States, has English as one of its two official languages ​​and a climate that many are looking for all year round. Malta is also very well connected with most international airlines, making it easy to travel to and from Malta.

Since joining the EU and thanks to the forward-thinking government actively promoting new business and technology sectors, Malta’s economy has grown significantly in recent years.

With a population of around 475,000 in an area of ​​316 square kilometers, Malta is already home to many expatriates and digital nomads from the EU. This community of “nomads”, appreciates Malta’s climate and way of life, and has already started to interact with like-minded people, to add value to the community.

The nomadic residence permit in Malta opens this opportunity to citizens of third countries, who would generally need a visa to travel to Malta. This permit lasts for 1 year and can be renewed at Residency Malta’s discretion, as long as the person still meets the criteria.

Applicants for a nomadic residence permit must prove that they can:

  • Work remotely using telecommunication technologies, or
  • Work for a registered employer in a foreign country and have a contract for this work, or
  • Carry out business activities for a company registered in a foreign country (and be a partner / shareholder of that company), or
  • Offer freelance or consultancy services, mainly to clients whose permanent establishment is in a foreign country, or
  • Benefit from a monthly income of € 2,700 excluding tax.

One of the biggest advantages of moving to Malta is the installment tax base. Non-domiciled Maltese natural persons are taxed on Maltese source income and certain earnings generated in Malta, but are not taxed on non-Maltese source income not transferred to Malta. In addition, they are not taxed on capital gains, even if this income is returned to Malta.

PORTUGAL

The temporary residence visa in Portugal is particularly appreciated by the self-employed and entrepreneurs; this is a self-employed and entrepreneur visa available to individuals for 1 year. After that, it can be renewed for up to 5 years. After 5 years, individuals have the option to apply for permanent residence in Portugal if they wish.

Portugal is located in the southwest of mainland Europe and is easily accessible in terms of travel to and from the rest of the world, making it very popular with international mobile individuals. The two islands of the Azores and Madeira are also autonomous regions of Portugal and, like the mainland, offer a fantastic climate, a relaxed lifestyle, cosmopolitan cities and stunning coastlines.

The Portuguese government is very aware of Portugal’s reputation as an international hub for digital nomads and, in response, has launched a “Madeira Digital Nomads” project, to attract foreign professionals to the island. Those who take advantage of this initiative can live in the Digital Nomad Village of Ponta do Sol, which offers both villa and hotel accommodation, free Wi-Fi, coworking stations and regular social events.

For people who want to live and work in Portugal, for example in Lisbon, Porto or along the Algarve coast, there is also a large and established community to interact with. Lisbon is full of digital nomads and Porto is the second most popular place.

Portugal is an attractive and popular place – not only for digital nomads – but for a wide variety of individuals, in many different circumstances. Not only is it a beautiful country, offering an attractive lifestyle, but it also offers the popular Non-Habitual Residents (NHR) program, which allows people who move to Portugal to enjoy tax benefits once they get there. settle here.

This has turned out to be a major motivation for European and non-European citizens. Provided they have not resided in Portugal for the past 5 years, they can enjoy non-habitual status for 10 years, with income from employment or independent personal services (from national source) being taxed at a special flat rate of 20%. provided that the income comes from activities with high added value or of a scientific, artistic or technical nature. In addition, a tax exemption may also apply to income from a foreign source.

Summary

Digital nomadic visas and temporary residence permits have made traveling the world and working easy and enjoyable. They provide new opportunities for people who can work remotely and regardless of location, but continue to remain legally employed by their current employer. If you would like more information on the Digital Nomad visa application, please contact:

You can also contact your usual Dixcart contact.

Dixcart Management Malta Limited License Number: AKM-DIXC-21

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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