The Malta Startup Residence Programme

Home The Malta Startup Residence Programme

The Malta Startup Residence Programme has recently been introduced for Non-EU nationals who wish to set up highly innovative, highly disruptive startups. This Programme is designed to increase Malta’s competitiveness in the field of highly innovative startups. Beneficiaries of this programme shall be granted a 3-year residence permit, extendable for an additional 5 years, allowing them to legally reside in Malta while launching their startup venture. Beneficiaries may also travel within the Schengen Area without the need of a visa as long as the residence permit is valid. Beneficiaries must have a tangible presence in Malta.


Eligibility criteria:


The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for this permit:

  • – Have a concrete intention to develop and/or expand his/her business in Malta;
  • – Be the founder or the co-founder of an enterprise, which has been registered for not more than 7 years anywhere globally (including Malta), which fulfils the following:
    • • it has not taken over the activity of another enterprise,
    • • it has not yet distributed profit,
    • • it has not been formed through a merger.
  • – A co-founder would be one of the first entrepreneurs to have set-up the start-up. This would also be reflected in the market cap table. In case of a dispute as to whether the individual would be a co-founder, reference will be made to the market cap table until the second year to determine that the co-founders had significant stake in the registered entity. In addition, proof as to whether the co-founder would have served as a director and/or had legal representation of the company, together with other duties related to the company might be requested;
  • – Must be Non-EU nationals;
  • – A founder, co-founder or core employee applying under this programme must be 18 years and older;
  • – The incorporated Startup in Malta is required to place a tangible investment and/or paid-up share capital of not less than €25,000. In case where more than 4 co-founders apply for the Startup Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed by
    A private limited liability company registered in Malta Company registration number C64729 way of investment or paid-up share capital per additional co-founder. In any case, the maximum number of co-founders eligible for the Startup Residence Programme is 6;
  • – Any founder and/or co-founders benefitting from this programme needs to have a physical and tangible presence in Malta. Beneficiaries need to be living and paying their taxes in Malta;
  • – Have recognised health insurance covering risks in Malta for himself/herself and dependants;
  • – Be in possession of sufficient financial resources to support himself and any other dependents;
  • – Have no criminal record or pending criminal charges and not pose any potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health, or public interest;
  • – Must not have previously had an application for residence status or citizenship rejected n Malta or abroad; and
  • – Purchase or rent property in Malta.


The startup must be engaged in one of the following eligible activities:

  • • manufacturing;
  • • software development;
  • • industrial services analogous to manufacturing;
  • • health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences;
  • • eco startups involved in the blue, green and sustainable industries;
  • • other innovative economic activities which are enabled through knowledge and technology providing services or products which are currently not readily available in the relevant market or which shall be provided through a process which is novel.


The startup must also meet certain criteria established by Malta Enterprise, such as proposing products and/or services which are new, innovative or substantially improved compared to complementary products on the market.


A detailed business plan must be submitted outlining how the criteria will be satisfied.

Core Employees

This programme is also available for core employees who are Non-EU nationals, are essential
for the startup to start operating in Malta and who have specialised skills. Such employees
must have a gross salary of not less €30,000. Employment must take place within the
timeframe in which the venture is classified as a startup. Their primary residence must be in
Malta. The residence permit will be issued for 3 years and can be extended for a further 3
years. The application for core employees must be submitted online after the Malta Startup
Residence permit is approved for the co-founders.

Family members


Family members of startup founders, co-founders and core employees may also apply under
this Programme. Their permits will have the same validity period of the residence permit of the
startup founder/co-founder or core employee. Family members must be Non-EU nationals and
include spouse, de-facto partner, minor children and adult sons or daughters who are
principally dependent on the founder/core employee.


Non-EU nationals who require a visa to enter the Schengen Area may apply for this after the
Letter of Approval in Principle is issued. Applicants may also make use of the Premium Visa
Service through which a National D Visa is issued against an additional charge of €300 payable
to Identity Malta Agency.


The below government costs apply:


Administrative fee (main applicant) – €750
Administrative fee (per dependant) – €750
Residence permit fee (main applicant) – €82.50
Residence permit fee (per dependant) – €82.50


Fees are not refundable and exclude visa-related fees.


For further information about Malta residence feel free to contact us on +35622030000 or send
us an email on