The Startup Residence Programme aims to assist third country nationals, excluding EU, EEA and Swiss. the Programme will assist founders, co-founders, key employees together with their families to relocate in Malta. Nationals which either are from, or have close ties to the following countries are ineligible:

  • Afghanistan
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

The residence permit will be issued for an initial period of three years following the approval of Malta Enterprise approving the viability of the project and Residency Malta approving the residence permits following due diligence procedures.

It may be renewed for a further five years once Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta confirm that the start-up is still ongoing and the founder or co-founder(s) still meets the eligibility criteria of the Programme.


To be eligible, one must have the intention of developing or expanding an innovative business in Malta.

The enterprise may not be older than 7 years and must fulfil the following:

  • It has not taken over an activity of another enterprise;
  • It has not yet distributed profits; and
  • It has not been formed through a merger.

The startup must be engaged in one of the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing;
  • Software development;
  • Industrial services analogous to manufacturing;
  • Health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences;
  • Eco startups involved in the blue, green and sustainable industries; and
  • Other innovative economic activities which are enabled through knowledge and technology providing services or products which are currently not readily available in the relevant market or which shall be provided through a process which is novel.

The proposed project must meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Propose products and/or services that have the potential to generate income from various geographical markets;
  • Produce products and/or services which are new, innovative or substantially improved compared to complementary products on the market; and
  • Utilise process which are new or substantially improved compared to those adopted in current complementary activities.

Prior submission of the residence permit, the innovate startup must submit a business plan together with financial projections to Malta Enterprise, via the online portal.