If recent events have been making you think of moving to Malta from UK, the timing of your landing on this page couldn’t have been more perfect. As part of the British Empire for more than a century and a half, Malta still has very strong ties with the UK and the relationship is reciprocal to this day, even after Brexit.
Due to its excellent Mediterranean climate, Malta has been a very popular choice for UK Nationals as a retirement destination or to find work and the country has thus become the new home for more than 10,000 Brits who all now live here. With an excellent healthcare system and English as one of Malta’s official two languages, those who decided to make the islands home are short of nothing they had back home.
Favourite establishments to frequent and join as members among the British are the Royal Malta Golf Club and the Yacht Club. In addition to this there are numerous British-styled restaurants and pubs all over the islands to make expats feel at home. With 300 days of average sunshine per year, Malta is the go-to place for UK Nationals who want to live elsewhere, away from the smog and rain of the British Isles.
Although the UK has left the EU, Malta has, under its own sovereign jurisdiction as allowed by Brussels, decided to honour and uphold most of the regulations, laws and rules that were in place prior to Brexit, bar a few. Here are some notable changes that were recently implemented or updated accordingly
1. Malta is upholding the withdrawal agreement
As UK Citizen and a legal resident in Malta prior to 1 January 2021, your rights are protected but you have to apply for new residence status by 30 June 2021 to secure your rights as a British National residing in Malta. Brits that were legally living in Malta before Brexit are all eligible for a residency permit which is now valid for a period of ten years.
2. Note on passports
Should you still be in the UK but plan an inspection trip to Malta, you need to have a minimum of 6 months left on your passport. As a normal visitor or tourist you will be able to stay for a max of 90 days in any 180-day period.
3. The cost of living in Malta
Malta is much more affordable and absolutely far less expensive than other European countries. No wonder more and more people are moving to Malta from UK. Houses for sale in Malta are cheaper, eating out costs less, insurance of all kinds are much more affordable and Malta’s public transport operates at fixed rates that apply to both buses and taxis.
4. Should you be driving, know this
Maltese drive on the same side of the road as back in the UK and the rule is the same: “keep left”. Due to Brexit you now will have to change your UK license to a Maltese one come 1 July 2021. Upon returning to the UK for a visit you can use your Maltese license or should you go back permanently, you can exchange your Maltese driver’s license for a UK one without resitting tests, theoretical or practical, of any kind.
5. Buying real estate
As a result of Brexit you are required to buy a property for sale in Malta subject to an AIP (Acquisition of Immovable Property) permit like anyone else that has not lived in Malta for five consecutive years. If you purchase a property in what is called a “Designated Area”, you are free to buy as many as you want or can afford, rent them out and more, without any need for an AIP permit.
If you live in Malta legally, are employed and contribute to Social Security, you have full access to free healthcare. If you registered your S1 form and legally lived in Malta prior to 1 January 2021, your access to healthcare will remain the same. An alternative option is to get affordable private health insurance from one of the many companies on the islands.
The UK and Malta have double tax treaties in place to ensure you don’t pay taxes on the same money in both countries. Malta also has no inheritance and gift tax, no wealth tax and a mere 5% of the purchase price is payable when you buy Maltese property and register it in your name as the owner.
Moving to Malta from UK is easier than you think, especially since the country is home to a big community of British citizens. There are also plenty of expat organisations you can join should you need help to start your Maltese journey.
If you need help finding a Malta property for sale, get in touch with Frank Salt Real Estate. For over 50 years, they have been offering top-notch real estate services to both local and international clients. Contact them today for more details.