Renewal permanent residence permits

We have just been informed that we cannot renew our permits as they have suspended the scheme.  If this problem gets resolved is thus going to be an annual problem.  We are on the brink of moving to Malta permanently and now this.  They have even accepted our second tax payment for the year.  What gives?

Wow, that is bad news.

Can you tell me what agency told you it couldn't be renewed?  Was it the Expatriate Division of the Inland Revenue Department? Or was it the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who handles the actual 'residence permits'?

I ask because we live here under the PR scheme and need to renew our Residence Permit annually (and we need to renew it very soon).  Since it is tied into our being here on the PR, I'm wondering if they won't renew it.  It is done through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs though.  It is not just for those here unde the PR scheme, but for other reasons as well like study, retirement, etc.   Usually it is just a formality to prove that we are paying taxes, that we have health insurance, and that we have the 'means' to live on.  Since we are non-EU, we can't easily stay in Malta if they don't renew on condition of the PR suspension.

So I'm wondering if our residence permit will not be renewed since the PR scheme is suspended?  I assume we'd have to leave for an extended amount of time.  That would be awful as we are settled here, bought our house (which would probably take years to sell!) and have our children in school here.

So I'll be following any developments in the news and any info on this forum.  I'm going to call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tomorrow as well.  We went by the Inland Revenue Expat office yesterday and they couldn't tell us anything due to the suspension.


Hi all,

This is very bad and sad news for all in Malta or outside under the PRP scheme.

I hope that it gets sorted out.

Please keep us updated on the situation and as to how those already with a permit ( whether resident in Malta or not ) under the scheme are affected.

At the moment are not getting any further information on the future of the scheme and the reasons and/or changes that are planned. As soon as I hear something new I will post.


Am not sure which department is responsible.  Chetcuti Cauchi in Valletta are handling our paperwork.  What amazes us is the fact that they collected our tax for the year and also gave us an AIP to finalize the purchase of our villa in Febuary.  They have taken our money and now tell us in effect that we are not welcome ( that is the way we feel).  We have also registered our yacht in Malta and have  shipped it to Malta on Monday and then on Wednesday we get the e-mail saying no renewal now.  The scheme is suspended.  Can understand if they implement this on new applications, but not on ones already in operation.

That is what surprises me too !

It is certainly not nice to change the rules of the game after the game has started. I'm very certain that it has to do with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (Castille)or maybe even higher as it could well have to do with EU regulations as well.

Many foreigners, especially non EU's get the impression that they are not welcome in Malta or in the EU. We have our own experiences with Castille and the way EU law is interpreted and implimented.

Thanks again for keeping us informed.

Contact me when you are in Malta. It would be nice to get together.


The PR annual renewal condition has always seemed a red flag to me.   Even though it's referred to as a mere formality - it's totally built into the scheme. So in effect - like it or not - one year at a time is what Non-EU PRs get.

Also interesting - on another site I read about a proposal to introduce a "looping system" to prevent long term residence after 5 years. Not sure exactly how this will work if introduced. … onth-limbo

The new Malta Permanent Residents scheme should be out within a matter of weeks. My advice would be to click on this Google search link: … 72fcbd46f4

and to activate the email alert, bottom of page.

I am surprised to hear your story jonescom and I hope it is just a misunderstanding. The fact of suspending the PR scheme shouldn't make impossible the renewal for existent Permit holders. The Maltese Gov is civilized enough to know that holders are already settled and they have made their personal and business plans according to this scheme, so I doubt they will interrupt it this way.

Anyone has any updates regarding the scheme ?

Not really . Just this press release. … nts-scheme

As they are still proposing a debate I think the actual decission will be well in the future.

News on the AirMalta restructuring is also approaching the final deadline! And still no official information.

I hope that all can be explained with misunderstanding deadlines and issues.


Hi Ricky
Thanks for the post.
I am wondering what would be the status of those having their PR expired in meanwhile, would they be allowed to leave the country and come back, Do they have to pay their provisional taxes... lot of questions deserve to be answered.
I have also read on the news :

The suspension of a scheme enticing foreigners to buy or rent property in Malta, which last year injected €35 million into the economy, has thrown real estate contracts for non-EU nationals into limbo.

In my opinion this discussion and deactivation of the scheme will have certainly negative impacts, Who will be investing tomorrow in Malta knowing that the gov may revoke any time the financial and tax benefits so suddenly. :rolleyes:
The new update of the PR Scheme has to come with concrete Guarantees if Malta wants to see more investors bringing their bucks to the country.

Taxes paid.  Will have to apply for shencken visa to be allowed to reenter Malta to collect new permit when they have decided how they are  going to change already agreed parameters.

Hi Darlin,

It is a difficult situation. Try not to let the PR expire and overstay. Try to apply for a temporary residence permit until the PR scheme is sorted out.

If it is not granted you would probably have to leave and come back with a Schengen visa.You being Canadian that should not be a problem. I'm not sure if you would be required to leave for 90 days as with a Schengen visa before you return.

How about getting together for a coffee or Cisk? You live in Sliema and I do too. Send me a private message with your e-mail and we can arrange something like a PR scheme taskforce!


Just wanted to post an update to our situation.

We received the annual 'declaration' in the mail today. In years past we received this in early February but due to the suspension I guess it was delayed this year.

There are some changes from years past.  First, there are two items that have to be attested to by a certified accountant.  One is the amount we have remitted into Malta and the second is the income arising in Malta.  We have to provide proof of health insurance.  Lastly, we have to state the number of days that we resided in Malta.  All of this is applicable to our dependents as well.

So a bit more information but definitely understandable that they'd want it (especially the health insurance).  I was relieved to have gotten something in the mail!


Just wondering is this happening for eu and non-eu citizens or just non-eu members?


markshutt :

Just wondering is this happening for eu and non-eu citizens or just non-eu members?


I would presume both - however, few EU citizens have PR permits - its aimed more at non-EU citizens


We have to provide proof of health insurance.

insurance or cover ?

georgeingozo :

insurance or cover ?

The exact wording on the form is:

'All my dependents and I are covered by a health insurance policy in respect of all medical risks in Malta (Attach a copy of the health insurance policy.)'

We are non-EU though so maybe the form is different for us since there is no way we could be covered under the government plan while on the PR scheme (since we can't work here).

thanks - if someone moves to Malta from an EU country, they maybe covered due to entitlements earned in the other country, but looks like they are excluding that

Hello KTS
thank you for updating the forum, we hope to see more people on this board contributing as well on this topic.
What I am reading from your post, there is nothing new as a rule, but it seems they are looking to make few stats about the PR holders probably to filter and categorize them. Who knows, maybe the renewal won't be automatic in the future... Let's wait and see

There is a report in the Times of Malta today that refers to the case of a British expat member of the Permanent Residence Scheme receiving cancer treatment in Malta at a cost of 500.000 € for the state. … rty-scheme

This is reported as being the main reason for the suspension of the scheme.

Changing the rules to paying taxes without entitlement to free health coverage , for both non-EU and EU citizens, could be a lengthy and difficult process as the EU citizens are entitled to the same treatment as Maltese under EU law so I'm not sure if we are going to see a quick solution to the scheme suspension.


Thanks for posting that Ricky.

I am confused though.  Wouldn't he be allowed to live in Malta even without the PR scheme since he is an EU national?  If so, then the PR scheme doesn't seem to be the real issue except that it makes it more 'attractive' to live here due to the 15% tax rate.  Could he have lived here without the PR scheme and still been entitled to the same treatment?

Being a non-EU myself, I have never quite understood the rights of EU nationals to live in other EU countries and if they are entitled to government healthcare in them. 

Just a shame that one person has caused such chaos in the scheme though! But as you say, it is not likely to be resolved soon.  It just seems to be a bigger issue than just the PR scheme unless I am just not understanding EU rights!

I thought the health cover entitlement that used to come with PR status was dropped several years ago

We had no entitlement when we were approved in 2008.  It has never been listed as a requirement to have health insurance on the annual declaration to meet the PR scheme requirements though (until this year, it is now requested on the form just sent). 

It sounds like the entitlement is just for EU nationals by virtue of EU rules (and not explicitly stated on the scheme itself?).


There is no automatic healthcare entitlement for EU citizens residing in Malta. The UK has some special arrangements but the citizens of all other EU countries need to either pay NI , be able to transfer their own national entitlement to Malta or pay for private health insurance.

In the article they were talking about an older guy from the UK. Normally pensioners in any EU country are entitled to health care through their national systems and this entitlement can and must be tranferred to Malta if they become a resident. I'm not a specialist in these tax issues but as far as I know the Permanent Residence Scheme is more like a tax residency as the participants don't actually have to live in Malta. So it seems that in this case, and maybe also in other cases, you are  able to fall back onto the free Maltese health care system.

So potentially you are talking about health care costs that are way higher than the tax income from the scheme. This UK guy probably cost the system more than several hundred scheme members would pay taxes in one year. So if you have a few cases of people ' abusing' the system Malta is actually a netto payer for these folks and there is a net deficit from the system.

Of course this guy could have applied for ordinary residence and paid for his own health insurance.

Of course I could be wrong and the real issue is something completely different. No country likes to loose real big tax payers to a country like Malta offering low taxe rates and a tax residency so Malta may have just run into the anti-tax-evasion wall.


Based on the article in The Times I fail to see what this has to do with the PR scheme

Hi George,

I agree. There is some other issue involved in the suspension of the scheme.


Unfortunately the Times online article has encouraged the usual zenophobic comments about foreigners (not sure who are hated more in Malta - the Brits or Africans - of course, white Africans are OK)


Mrs.J.Bonello(1 hour, 20 minutes ago)Disgusting what about us the Maltese, why is that money talks with these foreigners namly from the UK. Mrs.J.Bonello Qala
M.Galea(43 minutes ago)Yes too true the problem is we are second class citizens in our own country, i personaly wouldn't mix with them let alone give them the time of day. At the end of the day we are people too and primerily we should get priority ahead of the foreigners. No Fair.

Thanks Ricky. I have always been confused.  If I understand what you are saying, if someone is eligible for health coverage in their 'home' EU country by paying into the system like the NHS in the UK, then they are covered here if they 'transfer' the entitlement or if there is a reciprocal agreement (or if they pay into the system here direcly as an ordinary resident).  But if they don't pay into any 'EU system' then they need private insurance?

I think you are right in that the PR scheme is just a 'tax residency'.  You can be on the PR scheme and pay the minimum tax of 4192 euros a year, buy or rent a property as required, but other than that you do not actually have to take up 'official' residence here. 

So perhaps the 'elderly' (as the Times put it) man in the article did have the PR permit but not actual residency with a transfer of entitlement from the UK? I see that as the only way the PR scheme would have mattered?  My friends from the UK here say they carried private insurance until they became retirement age and are now covered just like Maltese citizens.  So if this man was truly 'elderly' (which I would take to be retirement age or more) then shouldn't he have been covered just by being here?  Unless of course he didn't take up official residency and move his entitlement here from the UK (if he even had any entitlement).  But the EU rules must state that it doesn't matter and residency (in whatever form) = being treating the same as the Maltese?

Seems like if an EU national is on the PR scheme but does NOT take up actually residency here (along with transferring their home country coverage/entitlement), then they shouldn't have been given free medical treatment because they truly aren't 'residents'.

It is a real shame what this is doing for the Maltese impression of foreigners!!

I hope the suspension is lifted in time...........


There are too many questions in the whole issue. Obviously we are not being told the truth , or rather, we are not being told anything. That is a bad sign.

As to the entitlement. I myself pay for and have full German health insurance coverage ( not cheap) but  do not want to transfer my entitlement to Malta for certain reasons. So I pay for my private health insurance coverage that I need to be an ordinary resident. I also still pay into the German pension system so in a few years I will be receiving a German pension that can be paid to Malta including the health care entitlement. I'm a UK citizen.

So the full free health care coverage is only in the EU country you pay or paid for it unless you transfer it to another EU country but then you lose it in the original country (you have to apply for an EHIC card for emergency treatment there).

So, for this elderly 'Brit', retirement age does not neccessarily mean receiving a state pension and being entitled to free health coverage. We don't  have enough info to understand the case and I doubt if the loophole will be disclosed.

And I'm still waiting for the truth on AirMalta. The deadline is getting closer and closer.


Thanks again Ricky.  You have really made sense of it all for me.  I agree that something just doesn't seem right about this whole story!   

Guess we'll have to keep wondering awhile longer (and about Air Malta as well!).


We had no entitlement when we were approved in 2008.  It has never been listed as a requirement to have health insurance on the annual declaration to meet the PR scheme requirements though (until this year, it is now requested on the form just sent).

I saw John Huber this morning - you haven't needed health insurance to get PR, but you have needed it to get your actual residency permit stamp at immigration

Hi can anyone please help me with advice as im so confused now with the Maltese website, I am a EU member being British and my husband is moroccon, I start work for a five month contract soon and want to bring my husband over too, he has had to return to morocco to care for his mum while I prepare for the move to Malta in 2 weeks, does anybody know how i can bring my husband over to live with me and even work if its possible what can i do to make this happen.

any responses would be greatly appreciated :)

Your husband has the same rights of residency in Malta as you

Hi sstin27,

Welcome to the forum.

As George says your husband has the same right to live in Malta. But, as you appear to live in Southhampton, the UK is not part of the Schengen area. So I think he will have to apply for a visa before coming to Malta.

From May 1 st you only have to register with the employment agency ETC. You would also apply for residency for you and your husband at the Immigration Department in Valletta. As your new company should be deducting taxes and National Insurance you will both be covered through by free health care in Malta while you are working. If not you will both need health insurance coverage.

Check out the residency issue and required documents.

Other questions are : Are you only staying for 5 months and do you intend to bring a car to Malta?

Regards and a good move

Thanks George and Ricky, I did read that if he travelled with me that visa would be less complicated however because he will be travelling seperately the channels are more complicated, am i asking for a tourist visa for him? and would i need to prove income when ive not quite started my job, the plan is 5 months only and then move on to another country i wont be taking a car with me though.

wish these things were easier.

thanks :)


Yes, it would be a tourist visa for 3 months. When you are here you would apply for ordinary residence for yourself and for your husband as you are staying for more than 3 months. But you should  apply for a longer-term visa for him  if you want to move around Schengen countries. Should be no problem as you are married.

As you have a work contract they will ask to see it as part of the process and they will see that you are earning enough ( hopefully-)))) and you will need to show that you have health coverage. You should be paying national insurance contributions through your company. That covers your husband too.

When your husband gets his residence permit he will be allowed to work in Malta too , if he wants.



thanks for this, cant believe how complicated it all sounds, i have copied my contract to my husband and an invitation letter as I will be the earner in the household till he can find work if hes able too. we dont plan to move around just stay in malta till my job finishes at end of season before we have to start all over again with getting a visa for another country i guess this is the price il pay for travelling so much.
health coverage i can just take out a travel policy cant i for this?

I will let you know how if this works out thanks again.



Hi Si,

No. No travel policy counts for residency in Malta. That is only intended for when you travel for a limited period from your home country.

You will need a real health insurance to apply for residency in Malta. And it needs to be one that is accepted by the Maltese residency department. So I would recommend using a company in Malta.

I actually meant moving around the Schengen area not Malta.

The other option would be to just come and go as 'tourists' as you are leaving after 5 months.


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