September 5, 2022

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Why this European island country is attracting more South Africans

Malta offers a place for South Africans a thriving remote working environment, says Charles Mizzi, the chief executive officer of Residency Malta Agency.

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

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

“We have a very pro-business government. Business is very much appreciated by the local government, which has entities to assist startups and people who wish to invest in the country,” said Mizzi.

He noted that apart from the challenges posed by Covid-19, it also opened up many opportunities. In June of last year, Malta opened the Nomad Residence Permit specifically for remote workers.

He said that the digitalisation of business and move to remote working is not new to the island country. In June, it also extended the opportunity to non-EU nationals. With permission from their employer, South Africans can now work remotely in Malta, he said.

The Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment-based in another country while legally residing in Malta. The permit is open to individuals who can work remotely and independently of location.

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

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

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

Malta also offers top education institutions – both public and private offerings – including a 400-year-old university. Additionally, there are private post-graduate options for people who want to further their studies, Mizzi added.

The application process and how much it costs

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

The following is required from South Africans:

  • Show that they have capital assets of no less than €500,000 (R8,350,000), out of which a minimum of €150,000 (R2,500,000) must be financial assets.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Not pose any potential threat to national security, public policy, public health or public interest.
  • Be in receipt of stable and regular financial resources, sufficient to maintain themselves and their dependants, without recourse to the social assistance system of Malta.
  • Not benefit under other pertinent regulations and schemes.

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Why this European island country is attracting more South Africans