The Malta Start-up Residence Programme (the “Programme”) forms part of the local government initiative termed ‘Start in Malta’ and is in collaboration with Malta Enterprise and the Residency Malta Agency.
The objective of the Programme is to boost the local competitive market and is specifically designed to facilitate and attract the setting up of innovative start-ups and scale-ups in Malta whilst supporting the immigration process of the parties involved therein and their families.
This new programme is intended to grant a three-year residency permit (which can be renewed to an additional 5 years) to non-EU nationals allowing them to reside in Malta and launch their start up from Malta upon the approval of Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta,
To be eligible for this Programme, an individual must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a third country national/s (individuals from EU, EEA and Switzerland are excluded). Nationals from (or have close ties with) Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela are also ineligible. The list of ineligible countries may be revised from time to time;
- Has a concrete intention to develop and/or expand their business in Malta;
- Is the founder or the co-founder of an enterprise, which has been registered for not exceeding seven (7) years anywhere across the globe (including Malta), which fulfils the following:
- it has not taken over the activity of another enterprise,
- it has not yet distributed profits,
- it has not been acquired through a merger
- The co-founder is one of the first entrepreneurs to have set-up the start-up.
- A founder, co-founder or core employee applying under this programme must be 18 years and older;
- The incorporated Start-up in Malta must have a tangible investment and/or paid up share capital of not less than €25,000. In the event that more than four (4) co-founders apply for the Start-up Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional co-founder. The maximum number of co-founders eligible for the Start-up Residence Programme is six (6);
- The founder and/or co-founders must have a physical and tangible presence in Malta not only from a business point of view but also in terms of living in Malta. Thus, those benefitting need to be living and paying their taxes in Malta;
- Have recognised health insurance covering risks in Malta for himself/herself and his/her dependants;
- In possession of sufficient financial resources in own bank statement to support himself and any other dependents within existing regulations;
- Have no criminal record or pending criminal charges and does not pose any potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health, or public interest;
- Must not have had any previous applications for a residence status or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the eligible business activities must fall within any of the following sectors;
- Manufacturing and similar industrial services,
- Software development,
- Health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences,
- Eco start-ups in sustainable industries, and
- Other innovative economic activities which are currently not available in the relevant market or which shall be provided through a process which is innovative.
Moreover, eligible business projects must meet at least two of the following criteria;
- Have the potential to generate income from various geographical markets,
- Produce products or services which are new and innovative compared to complementary products, or
- Utilise process that is new or substantially improved compared to those adopted in the current market.
The applicable fees for applying for the programme are two-fold as follows:
- €750 per adult applicant/dependant, and;
- €82.50 fee payable to Identify Malta for the issuance of the Residence Card for each individual
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