By Uglobal Staff
Malta has seen an increase in digital nomads into the country after launching its Nomad Residence Permit program (MNRP) for non-EU citizens some six months ago, many of whom are from the UK and the U.S., government officials said.
"Malta is attracting quality applicants who are able to contribute to the economy," said Charles Mizzi, chief executive officer of the government entity Residency Malta Agency, in a statement.
He announced some key statistics of the digital nomad program during a press conference in Malta with Alex Muscat, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities.
Maltese agents have also noticed the trend. Russell Attard Baldacchino, a licensed agent with Community Malta Agency, said he was seeing a rise in interest for the MNRP.
“Some applicants are even opting for the MNRP as the first step of their Malta relocation journey,” Attard Baldacchino said. “After obtaining the MNRP and getting a hands-on experience of what Malta has to offer, then we help them apply for the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP). The MPRP offers a more long-term solution against a reasonable financial commitment.”
MOST NOMAD APPLICANTS IN MALTA COME FROM US, UK, INDIA
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Mizzi said the Residency Malta Agency had received hundreds of queries which eventually translated into 180 applications for the Nomad Residence Permit.
Applicants were mostly from the UK (more than 30 applications), followed by the US (20+), then India (20+), China (10+), Pakistan (5+), Nigeria (5+); there were five applications each from South Africa, Canada and Russia. Ukraine and Brazil were among other countries showing an increased interest in Malta's digital nomad visa program.
Most of the 180 digital nomad permit applicants were men (68%); women accounted for just 32%. The average age was 37; a total of 34% applicants were between the ages of 30 and 39 years, 26% (18-29), 20% (40-49), 15% (50-59) and 5% (60+).
As expected, a sizeable portion of the applicants listed themselves as either self-employed (42%) or freelance (9%), while the rest (49%) listed themselves as employed.
The average income was 60,000 euros; 19% earned more than 100,000 euros annually; 17% between 50,000 euros and 59,000 euros while 26% between 33,000 euros and 39,000 euros. (Digital nomads need to make at least 2,700 euros per month to qualify for the permit.)
The majority of the digital nomad visa applicants were from the IT sector, or marketing and management sectors.
MALTESE GOVERNMENT HOPES FOR MORE DIGITAL NOMADS IN 2022
The minister said the government is hoping that more high-quality digital nomads from around the world would choose Malta as their preferred destination as the pandemic dies down.
“Our story is still unfolding and once the pandemic is over the numbers can only grow,” Muscat said in a statement. “At the same time, we are after quality residents. We are also sure that our formally registered applicants are only part of the story and that digital nomads in total far exceed these numbers.”
NEED FOR ENTREPRENEUR VISA IN MALTA
There are also reports that the Maltese government is planning to launch a separate visa to facilitate non-EU entrepreneurs.
Explaining the need for such a visa, Attard Baldacchino said the introduction of an entrepreneur visa would fill the current eligibility gap between the Malta Nomad Residence Permit and the Malta Permanent Residence Program.
“Under current regulations, it is practically impossible for a third-country national to obtain a Malta residence permit on the basis of self-employment, unless the individual is able to invest a minimum share capital of €500,000 into their own company,” he said. “Therefore, the Entrepreneur Visa should open up doors to so many entrepreneurs who would have had no chance of setting-up in Malta under the current regulatory regime. This should certainly attract more talent to Malta!”
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