Malta Welcomes Digital Nomads
It is not an exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically scaled up remote working. As it has become the norm for millions of employees worldwide and is transforming into a more permanent reality, Malta followed the steps of other countries and announced a new residence program targeted at digital nomads. The program offers foreign nationals the opportunity to work on a remote basis while living in Malta for up to a year, with the possibility of renewal.
The boom in remote working has encouraged many countries to launch their digital nomad residence programs; among them, are Antigua and Barbuda, Georgia, Portugal, Croatia, Barbados, Costa Rica, Estonia, the Bahamas, and many others. These jurisdictions offer foreign citizens seeking to relocate the freedom to reside wherever they wish within a certain country while working online. Following the examples of these states, Malta has recently introduced a residency program that specifically targets digital nomads. The new program known as the Nomad Residence Permit (NRP) allows non-EU nationals to reside in Malta for up to a year while working anywhere on the globe.
However, the program sets a number of eligibility criteria for applicants. To qualify for the Nomad Residence Permit, they must qualify for one of the following requirements:
- Have a valid work contract with a company registered and located outside Malta,
- Be a partner / shareholder of a foreign company,
- Offer freelance services for clients based in a country other than Malta and have contracts with them.
In all cases, applicants have to provide proof that they meet the minimum monthly income requirement, which is €2,700 (gross). This threshold increases if the applicant includes their dependent family members such as a spouse and/or children in the NRP application. The application is €300 for the main applicant, plus €300 for each dependent included.
In addition, qualifying applicants need to have a valid passport and local or international health insurance coverage for the entire stay duration. They are also required to hold a property lease or purchase agreement in order to confirm that they have accommodation in Malta. It is important to mention that the main applicants are subject to a thorough due diligence check.
Digital nomads applying for the NRP are issued an initial visa valid for 6 months, which can be later extended to a residence permit with a one-year validity period. The Nomad Residence Permit is renewable after it expires.
Being one of Europe’s most appealing destinations, Malta already hosts around a thousand digital nomads. It is perfect for remote workers, businesspersons, and freelancers willing to settle down in an economically developed country with rich culture. Warm Mediterranean climate, foreigner-friendly environment, excellent telecommunication system ensuring stable Wi-Fi connection, multiple co-working spaces, favourable tax regime (personal income is not taxed if generated abroad) are only a few advantages that Malta has to offer digital nomads from all around the world. Moreover, its NRP program is currently the most cost-effective in Europe, so it is a great chance to reside in the Mediterranean paradise working remotely.