Though the pandemic may have pushed the notion of remote working forward, there’s an entire community of workers referred to as digital nomads, given their propensity to travel and work in the location of their choice.
Now, Malta is looking to tap into this market, but how does one qualify, and how does Malta benefit from this, though?
How it works
The programme consists of a six-month visa and an option of obtaining a one-year ‘Nomad Residence Permit’ at a cost of €300. Applicants must prove they are contracted to work remotely by an overseas-based company, show that they run their own business or provide freelance services to clientele based abroad.
Normally digital nomads pay taxes in a different jurisdiction, so applicants will have to provide health insurance to ensure their access to local health services.
Far & near, you’re welcome as can be!
Charles Mizzi, Residency Malta CEO said that although there already is a digital nomad community in Malta, we’re now set for growth. “We felt that as a country, through this service we can widen the audience of people coming to Malta for remote working,” he explained.
“There already is a presence of digital nomads locally, though most are European, and this move aims to encourage more nomads from further shores to ply their trade in Malta”.
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat also hailed the initiative in terms of developing an economic niche. “New economic niches need to be developed, especially post-pandemic”, Muscat stated, “and this scheme falls under the “Investment Migration” niche. Across the US, Canada and Europe, there are over 125 million digital nomads, so we should not limit ourselves to attracting only certain trades”.
The example he used in the press conference launching the event took a company based in Rio de Janeiro, and a person working for this company decides to work in Malta. That person’s wage may come from the Rio-based company, and the person will pay taxes as they are in Rio, but will spend the money earned in Malta.
To take what Muscat described as a conservative estimate, a digital nomad would spend on average €30,000. In terms of tourist spend, it would equate to what 260 tourists would spend in Malta in a day.
Anton Sevasta, Identity Malta CEO, feels that Malta has plenty to offer. “On average, digital nomads spend only a couple of months in one location, but if they enjoy the experience in Malta, then it’s likely that they’ll either come back, or want to stay longer.
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