Why this European island country attracts more South Africans

Malta offers South Africans a place in a thriving remote working environment, says Charles Mizzi, Managing Director of Residency Malta Agency.

In a recent interview with Michael Avery on BusinessTalk, Mizzi detailed the various reasons why Malta should be a place to consider for the growing number of qualified South Africans leaving the country and wishing to obtain a second residence in a European country.

According to the Global Wealth Migration Review 2019 and 2020, published by New World Health, Malta was one of the most popular countries for migration of high-network individuals. In 2019, Malta was also ranked the second safest country in Europe.

“We have a very pro-business government. The business is highly valued by the local government, which has entities to help startups and people who want to invest in the country,” Mizzi said.

He noted that apart from the challenges posed by Covid-19, it also opens up many opportunities. In June last year, Malta opened the nomadic residence permit specifically for remote workers.

He said the digitization of businesses and the shift to remote working were not new to the island nation. In June, it also extended this possibility to third-country nationals. With permission from their employer, South Africans can now work remotely in Malta, he said.

The nomadic residence permit allows holders to maintain their current employment based in another country while legally residing in Malta. The permit is open to people who can work remotely and independently of location.

According to Residency Malta, the permit is issued for one year. It can be renewed on request at the discretion of Residency Malta, as long as the applicant still meets the eligibility criteria set.

Mizzi added that the country has strong broadband connectivity, essential for people working from their laptops.

According to the World Health Organization, Malta offers a comprehensive healthcare service, among the top five in the world, Mizzi said. “I believe it speaks to that – Malta’s healthcare system – is how we conducted our business during Covid-19.”

Malta also offers top-notch educational facilities – public and private – including a 400-year-old university. Additionally, there are private postgraduate options for people who want to further their education, Mizzi added.

The application process and how much it costs

Prospective applicants can obtain residency through the Malta Permanent Residence Scheme, an investment scheme based on investment in property and government contributions.

The following is required of South Africans:

  • Show that they have fixed assets of at least €500,000 (R8,350,000), of which a minimum of €150,000 (R2,500,000) must be financial assets.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Not pose a potential threat to national security, public policy, public health, or the public interest.
  • Receive stable and regular financial resources sufficient to support themselves and their dependents without resorting to Malta’s social assistance system.
  • Not benefiting from other relevant regulations and regimes.

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