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01 / 06 / 13 - Global Residence Programme for foreigners launched

Parliamentary Secretary Edward Zammit Lewis this morning launched the Global Residence Programme (GPR) which is the new residence programme for foreigners that will allow people who buy high value property and pay taxes in Malta to benefit from a residence permit.


This new residence programme is replacing the foreign residents' scheme which was controversially suspended in 2011. The previous scheme was suspended and initially replaced by the High Net Worth Individuals Scheme (HNWI) which did not prove popular because the minimum value of purchased property had been raised from €116,000 to €400,000.


Under the Global Residence Programme, the value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners has to be at least €275,000. However, when the property is in the south of Malta or in Gozo, the minimum value can be €220,000.


The threshold for renting of property has been lowered from €20,000 (under the HNWI) to €9,600 in Malta and €8,750 in Gozo or the South of Malta.


In the past, third country nationals also needed to place a €500,000 bond with the government and an additional €150,000 per dependant. This provision has been removed.


The annual minimum tax to be paid in advance has been reduced to a minimum of €15,000 on income derived in Malta, with further income charged at 15%.


Dr Zammit Lewis said foreign residents under this programme, including their dependants, have to be covered by a health insurance. They will not be entitled to free state health services.


The new regulations will be introduced by legal notice by the end of this month.