Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Startup Residence Programme an individual must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. has a concrete intention to develop and/or expand their business in Malta;
  2. is the founder or the co-founder of an enterprise, which has been registered for not more than seven (7) years anywhere globally (including Malta), which fulfils the following:
  • it has not taken over the activity of another enterprise,
  • it has not been formed through a merger.
  1. 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;
  2. Third country nationals, excluding EU, EEA and Swiss are eligible. Nationals from (or have close ties with) Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela are ineligible. The list of ineligible countries may be revised from time to time;
  3. A founder, co-founder or core employee applying under this programme must be 18 years and older;
  4. 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 four (4) co-founders apply for the Startup Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional co-founder. In any case, the maximum number of co-founders eligible for the Startup Residence Programme is six (6);
  5. The founder and/or co-founders benefitting from this programme need to have a physical and tangible presence in Malta not only from a business point of view but also in terms of living in Malta. Thus, those benefitting need to be living and paying their taxes in Malta;
  6. Has recognised health insurance covering risks in Malta for himself/herself and dependants;
  7. In possession of sufficient financial resources in own bank statement to support himself and any other dependents within existing regulations;
  8. Has no criminal record or pending criminal charges and does not pose any potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health, or public interest; and
  9. Must not have previously had applications for a residence status or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.


The residence permit will be issued for an initial period of three (3) years following the approval of Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta. This will be renewed for a further (5) years once Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta confirms that the start-up is still ongoing and the founder or co-founder(s) still meets the eligibility criteria of the Programme.


Access full detailed Eligibility Criteria here.