Malta for LGBT Expats: All You Need To Know

Updated: 30 March 2023

If you’re LGBTQ and planning to move abroad, it’s helpful to check if the country you’re going to live in is an LGBT-friendly location or not. Almost all countries are taking significant steps towards providing equal opportunities to LGBT individuals. However, some nations in Europe have jumped to higher ranks in the ILGA Rainbow Europe Map recently. 

Malta, being on the top of the list, is the most friendly nation for LGBTs. The country has been on the top of the Rainbow Europe Map for the sixth consecutive year. Let’s quickly analyze all the highlights that put Malta on top of the list.

The History of the LGBT Community in Malta

Today, Malta is one of the top countries for providing equality to the LGBT community. However, it has come a long way to make this possible.

Though same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1973, several changes in the legal procedures have happened after that. For instance, the Malta Gay Rights Movement organized and presented a petition to Parliament in February 2008. The petition asked the parliament to introduce some measures to protect LGBT people through the law.

Further, in 2012, parliament changed the criminal code that stood to protect LGBTs from hate. The amendment enhanced the penalty for the culprits.

Finally, the year 2014 saw the approval of a bill in favor of the LGBT community. It was proposed to protect the LGBTs from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

LGBT Rights in Malta

Malta has been a frontrunner as far as equality for LGBTs is concerned. If you’re planning to move to Malta, here are the LGBT rights that you’re entitled to!

LGBT Marriage in Malta

In April 2017, the Maltese parliament gave a green flag to the Cohabitation Act 2016. Further, in July, the parliament passed a bill for the legalization of same-sex marriage. This bill was signed by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca on Aug. 1, 2017. It was finally made law on Sept. 1, 2017.

Hence, same-sex marriage became legal in 2017 in Malta.

Adoption Rights For LGBT Couples in Malta

The government of Malta allows adoption rights to same-sex couples and LGBT singles. The bill was approved on April 14, 2014. For a smooth adoption process, a court ruling is required for every child.

IVF For LGBT Couples in Malta

If an LGBT couple wants to access IVF (in vitro fertilization), the Maltese government permits them to do so. The bill regarding the same was introduced in April 2018 and came to effect on October 1, 2018.

Malta Golden Visa for Same-Sex Couples in Malta

As per the Malta Golden Visa Program, same-sex couples can apply jointly through one application. Along with this, you’ll be required to submit a marriage or a civil union certificate.

On the other hand, if you and your partner aren’t married, you’re required to show evidence that you’re in a relationship. 

Is Malta an LGBT Friendly Country?

As per the 2021 ILGA Rainbow Europe Map, Malta tops the list of countries best for LGBT expats. And it’s not the first time that Malta has topped the list. It has been at the number 1 spot for the last six years.

Here are some key points that prove that Malta is an LGBT friendly country:

  • Malta permits change of gender; however, it requires surgery.
  • The discrimination of LGBTs is illegal in Malta.
  • LGBT individuals can serve openly in the Maltese military.
  • Same-sex adoption is legal in Malta.

Lastly, there are strict laws for LGBT discrimination in Malta.

Real Estate in LGBT Friendly Neighborhoods in Malta

If you’re planning to buy real estate in Malta and live there, note that you’ll be comfortable in every neighborhood. Still, we’ve brought together some options for you.

Real Estate in Valletta

Valletta is the capital city of Malta that is perfect for LGBT couples. It has spacious properties that have all that you need. You can choose to buy anything among penthouses, townhouses, apartments, palazzos, etc.

The cost of almost all of these properties is over €100,000 which has one bedroom and one bathroom. Further, it goes over €1 million if you’re opting for more than one bedroom or one bathroom.

Valletta also has various dedicated LGBT bars and clubs, one of them is Monaliza Lounge.

Also, note that Gay Pride is held in mid-September every year in Valletta.

Real Estate in Rabat

Rabat is another popular neighborhood. The place has a perfect blend of all types of properties ranging from apartments to villas. When it comes to the prices of these properties, they cost less than those in Valletta.

The price of a furnished apartment in Rabat lies between €200,000 to €400,000 for a minimum of two bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the other hand, the price can also go over €400,000 if you opt for a penthouse.

The Birdcage Lounge in Rabat is the ideal club for LGBTs.

Malta Permanent Residence Programme For Gay Couples

If you’re looking for residency by investment in Malta, you can do it through the Malta Permanent Residence Programme. It’s a program based on government contributions, donations, and property acquisition/property lease.

Malta Residency by Investment at a glance:

  • Buy a property in Malta for €350,000. If you buy a house in the south of the island or Gozo, the amount drops to €300,000.
  • Rent property in Malta for €12,000 per year. If the property is in the south of Malta or Gozo, the amount drops to €10,000.

Apart from property investment, there are other fees, such as government contributions and donations. Please check our Malta Permanent Residence Programme article for more information on the program.

Malta Citizenship by Investment For Gay Couples

Apart from a residency program, Malta also offers a citizenship program. This program grants you Maltese citizenship between 12-36 months depending on the scheme you prefer.

Malta Citizenship by Investment at a glance:

  •  You buy a property that is worth at least €700,000, or
  •  You make a 5-year lease agreement for a residential property at a minimum value of €16,000 per year

The program also requires you to make a contribution which is:

  •  €600,000 with 36 months of residence requirement, or
  • €750,000 with 12 months of residence requirement

Please check out our Malta Citizenship by Investment article for further reading.

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