Don’t think too long and get the process started. Programmes and rules change all the time, so do it immediately."
Malta is the safety belt of Europe. It has low crime rates and you do not have to worry when you walk the streets at night. You can find some of the best-value real estate in the whole of the EU.
The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) is a gateway to the Schengen Zone. You are able to travel freely through EU countries. Yet you do not have to live in Malta to qualify for its benefits.
The Latitude Group, of which RIF Trust forms part, have helped many entrepreneurs to become Permanent Residents in Malta. One such investor is Patrick from Johannesburg. By satisfying the programme’s criteria, he has Malta PR status along with his wife and four children.
Algeria-born and bred, Patrick moved to South Africa in 1999. His girlfriend joined him and they wed in 2005. They are now a family of si x as four children have followed.
A serial entrepreneur, Patrick brought his first food franchise in 2003. 20 years later, he owns multiple companies. 160 food franchise outlets dot the South Africa map.
Wherever life and a Maltese Permanent Residence Permit take him, South Africa has left an indelible mark on Patrick. It is the country where he got married. In South Africa, he became a father.
Patrick has grown as a person in South Africa. He has developed his business interests there and the country has proved to be profitable for him. Now though he does not feel safe as an individual and as a family man.
Applying the same attention to detail that he does with a business plan, Patrick began to research Plan Bs. He even made a deposit on an apartment in Portugal, but found a stall in the process frustrating. Patrick switched his attention to Malta.
A pushy real estate agent told Patrick nothing about the programme requirements and was simply focused on a quick sale. After three South African companies failed to return his call, Patrick stumbled across the contact details of Latitude Group agent, Ilana. He was pleasantly “surprised” when she picked up the phone after he called in the evening.
Patrick and family visited France and Portugal on their annual break. They used their South African passports in conjunction with their Maltese residency cards. Patrick was a little nervous but he needn’t have worried as “the residency card was accepted with no questions asked.”
One immigration officer was very interested by the cards however. He was a fellow Algerian. As Patrick explains, dual citizenship is not very common there and “his question was all about how it is possible and how he could do it for his own family!”
We carry out the initial Latitude Group due diligence. Patrick and his wife sign the client agreement, complete the necessary Residency Malta Agency, the official Maltese Government body, forms, and provide the required supporting documentation.
The Latitude Group legal and processing teams carefully review Patrick's application. They send it to Residency Malta Agency after Patrick confirms he meets the requirements.
Patrick and family receive the Letter of Approval in Principle from Residency Malta Agency.
Patrick, his wife, and children receive the Letter of Final Approval from the Residency Malta Agency.
The more people Patrick contacted about investment migration, the less they seemed to know. So he “was relieved that Ilana knew all the products, had some practical advice, and was able to answer all my questions.”
“My business structure is complicated,” explains Patrick. “but with Rebecca from the Latitude Malta office’s help, we managed to get our application ready within a month. Rebecca was very clear in her instructions and between her and Ilana, they really made this process easy. They managed it step by step and I never felt overwhelmed.”
“The speed of this process was really amazing – we received our approval less than three months after submitting our application. It took us six weeks to schedule our biometrics visit because we had to wait for the kids’ school holidays before we could go. Then the cards were sent to me by courier in South Africa two weeks later.”