The Highly Qualified Persons Programme is aimed at attracting individuals working in financial, gaming and aviation sectors. This programme was initially launched in 2011 and have been recently amended slightly to make the scheme available up to 31st December 2025. The schedule attached to the rules lists down eligible employment offices ranging from CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Portfolio Managers and similar roles, with such list being frequently updated. Individuals who hold any eligible office with companies either licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or Transport Malta (TM) may benefit from the residence status and beneficial tax rates available under the HQP Programme.
Beneficiaries of the HQP programme are subject to a flat tax rate of 15% on income derived from a qualifying employment agreement. The 15% tax rate can only be applied up to an amount of €5,000,000, with any excess amount being exempt from tax.
The scheme is applicable for a consecutive period of 4 years for Non-EU/EEA or Swiss nationals, whilst EU/EEA and Swiss nationals can benefit from the scheme for 5 consecutive years. Through the recent amendments to this programme, beneficiaries are now eligible to apply for a two-time extension.
Individuals can apply under this scheme if they satisfy the following requirements:
- The applicant’s employment income exceeds the minimum amount of €75,000 annually, as updated in accordance with the Retail Price Index published by the National Statistics Office. The current amount for the year 2021 is set at €86,938.
- The applicant is a protected employee under Maltese Law.
- The applicant holds all the necessary qualifications required for his office and further proves to the satisfaction of the respective competent authority that he performs the activities of the listed eligible office.
- The applicant is a fit and proper person.
- The applicant is in possession of a comprehensive health insurance covering himself and his dependents.
- The applicant is not domiciled in Malta.
- The applicant is not a beneficiary of any other Maltese tax programme.
- The applicant holds a valid travel document.
- The applicant resides in an accommodation considered normal and comparable to the standards used to by a regular family in Malta and which meets the general health and safety standards in force in Malta.