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Migrating to Malta from the US in 2024

Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea lies Malta, a charming European nation composed of three islands – Gozo, Comino, and the eponymous Malta. Boasting a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant culture, this archipelago offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern amenities. From its ancient temples and medieval fortresses to its bustling cities and pristine beaches, Malta captivates visitors with its diverse attractions and welcoming atmosphere.

Why consider moving to Malta from the US?

Moving to Malta from the US can be an exciting journey into the Mediterranean lifestyle. For many US expats, the decision to relocate to Malta is driven by a variety of factors. Let’s delve into the perks you can enjoy when you start living in Malta as a US expat.

Embracing the Maltese Lifestyle: Perks for US Expats

Great Quality of Life
From its delicious cuisine to its laid-back atmosphere, Malta offers a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle that appeals to many expats seeking a slower pace of life.

Efficient and Free Healthcare System
Access to Malta's efficient healthcare system is provided at no charge, ensuring expats receive prompt and quality medical care when needed.

Economic Opportunities
Malta's growing economy, particularly in sectors such as finance, technology, and tourism, provides ample opportunities for career advancement and entrepreneurship.

Safety and Security
With its low crime rate and stable political environment, Malta offers a safe and secure environment for individuals and families alike.

Fast-Track to Global Freedom
You can obtain your Maltese passport in just one year and then you can enjoy visa-free entry to 183 countries.

Migrating to Malta from the US – Where to start from

For US expats venturing to Malta, the relocation process involves navigating various pathways to residency and citizenship.

Options for Residency and Citizenship by investment

US expats can obtain residency in Malta through various avenues which complements their specific needs, most popular being the Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP) and the Global Residence Program (GRP). These programs offer residency permits to individuals and their families who meet specific eligibility and investment requirements.

US expats eyeing a greater move to Malta can opt for citizenship through the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional services (MEIN / CDI). To qualify, you'll need to make a significant financial contribution to Malta's economy, involving property investments, donations, and a one-time government fee. You'll also need to hold a valid residence card, demonstrate good health, and pass due diligence checks. You can include your dependents in your initial application, and proof of sufficient income or capital is required. With an annual cap to maintain exclusivity, successful applicants gain the right to live, work, and study in Malta, along with visa-free travel within the EU.

Once you obtain residency or citizenship in Malta, there are several legal and administrative measures you'll need to address to ensure a smooth transition.

Essential Legal and Administrative Measures

  • Social Security Registration

    As a resident or citizen of Malta, obtaining a social security number is essential for accessing healthcare, social services, and benefits. Without a Maltese Identity card, this number is required. The application process takes about two weeks, and once issued, the number is valid indefinitely for accessing services and meeting legal obligations.
  • Tax Obligations

    Malta has a progressive tax system with a spectrum from 0% to 35%, and your tax obligations depend on your residency and domicile status. Malta offers various incentives for residents and expats. However, it's essential to familiarise yourself with Malta's tax laws and obligations to ensure compliance.
  • Real Estate Guidance

    Whether you're looking to rent or buy property in Malta, it's essential to work with a reputable real estate agent who can help you navigate the local market and legal requirements. If you prefer to start with some preliminary research, this guide is a must-read.
  • Education Options

    In Malta, expat families have various schooling options, such as international, private, public, and church-affiliated schools. Private schools are known for their quality but come with a price tag. On the other hand, church schools don't charge tuition but may require a yearly contribution. Additionally, the Maltese government prioritises inclusive education for students with special needs.
  • Driver’s License
    For US expatriates, driving in Malta is convenient for exploring the island. Initially, your foreign license is enough, but eventually, you'll need a Maltese license. Some expats may be exempt from a driving test based on bilateral agreements. To apply for a Maltese license, a Maltese ID card is required. Malta has a strict point system for driving offenses, leading to fines. And for those who prefer not to be in the driver’s seat, public transport and a variety of taxi services are readily available, offering a reliable alternative.

Understanding the Cost of Living

While Malta offers many benefits for expats, it's crucial to factor in the cost of living before making the move. While certain expenses, such as housing and healthcare, may be lower than in the US, other costs, such as groceries and utilities, may be higher. However, overall, Malta typically provides a more affordable lifestyle compared to the United States, with the average cost of living being about 40% lower. Still, it's essential to create a budget and plan accordingly to ensure financial stability post-move.

Choosing your New Home: Best Cities to Live in Malta for US Expats

Valletta: Malta's capital city, known for its historic architecture, vibrant culture, and bustling waterfront.
St. Paul’s Bay: Its affordability, picturesque surroundings, and proximity to amenities, make it a popular destination among expats.
Sliema: Another popular expat hub, Sliema offers a lively atmosphere, stunning sea views, and a wide range of amenities.
St. Julian's: Known for its vibrant nightlife scene, St. Julian's is a popular destination for young professionals and expats looking for a dynamic lifestyle.
Victoria: For those seeking a slower pace of life or to retire, Victoria, Gozo’s capital city, offers this and more.

Settling into Maltese Life

Once you've settled into life in Malta, you'll find plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy your new surroundings. Here are some tips for making the most of your time here.

Recreational and Cultural Options

From historic sites and cultural events to outdoor activities, water sports, and nightlife, Malta offers a wealth of leisure and entertainment options. Explore ancient ruins, indulge in fine dining, and soak up the sun on sandy beaches.

For sports enthusiasts, football remains a beloved pastime, but Malta offers a variety of other activities too, including water sports and cultural festivals. Expats can also engage with the local community through multiple clubs and societies, fostering connections and enriching their experience on the island.

Weather Tips and Dress Code Suggestions

Malta enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. When packing for your move, make sure you include lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and a hat for summer (June – September), and warmer layers for winter (November till April). Respecting local customs is advisable, especially at religious sites where modest attire is customary. For beach lovers, consider investing in dive shoes to protect your feet on rocky shores. Outdoor enthusiasts should opt for sturdy footwear for exploring scenic trails.

Wellbeing and Healthcare in Malta

Malta boasts a public-financed healthcare system with hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities. Expats can access a range of healthcare services in both public and private capacities, including general practitioners, specialists, and emergency care. As an expat, you are advised to secure international health insurance for comprehensive coverage. Additionally, Malta offers a variety of wellness resources, including gyms, spas, and wellness retreats, to help you stay healthy and active.

In a nutshell, moving to Malta from the US opens the door to a dynamic Mediterranean lifestyle, abundant opportunities, and a warm, inclusive community. Dive into this new chapter with confidence, embracing all that Malta has to offer for a fulfilling expatriate experience.

Contact DZ Advisory to assist you in relocating to Malta from the US. Get in touch with one of our team members to guide you through according to your specific needs.

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