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Malta: Visas and Immigration

Expats who plan on moving to Malta often look forward to the island nation's sunny charm and relaxed lifestyle. But there’s more to your move to Malta than remembering where your beach towel is! The InterNations guide to Malta introduces the smallest EU member state, its visa rules, and housing market.
Before you hop on the next plane to Malta International Airport, take care to sort out your visa status.

If you would like to join the plenty of overseas residents in Malta, there are several possibilities for prospective expatriates. They depend on the length of your stay, your nationality, employment status, and financial resources.

Schengen Visas for Brief Stays in Malta

For a short-term stay of up to 90 days, e.g. for tourism, business, or finding the perfect beachfront property, you may not need a visa. Citizens of all EU/EEA member states simply require a valid passport to legally enter the country. This also applies to nationals of those countries which are part of Malta’s visa waiver program, such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the US.

If your country of origin has a visa requirement, you have to apply for a Universal Schengen Visa at the nearest Maltese consulate. This visa enables you to reside in Malta for a maximum of three months and to travel freely to other countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement.

To obtain a Schengen Visa for Malta, you need the following:

  • valid travel document
  • recent passport-sized photographs
  • travel insurance / medical insurance to cover your stay
  • description of your travel plans including, for instance, a return ticket
  • proof of sufficient funds
  • cash to pay the visa fee

Settling in Malta as an EU National

If you would like to start working in Malta, to join a spouse, or to spend your retirement years there, things get a little more complicated. Again, it’s easiest for EU nationals. They don’t require a visa for longer stays.

Prospective expat employees from another EU member state — with the exception of Croatian citizens — don’t need an employment license (i.e. work permit), either. As long as they have a confirmed job offer, they can move to Malta, and their spouse and kids can join them there.

Retirees with a certain minimum income and health insurance coverage can move to Malta without much hassle. Retired nationals of any EU country are usually entitled to their state pension and public healthcare coverage from back home, no matter in which member state they live. This should be sufficient to provide for your retirement in Malta, but it’s important to talk to your national pension office, your bank, and your health insurance provider about a planned move.

As soon as an expat from another EU country has settled in Malta, he or she needs to get an official registration certificate/ID within three months after arrival. For this purpose, get in touch with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs in Valletta.

Work Visas for Third-Country Nationals

Third-country nationals — those who are not citizens of an EU or EEA member state — have to overcome a few bureaucratic obstacles if they would like to be gainfully employed in Malta. Work permits (aka employment licenses) for third country nationals are under responsibility of the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. A Single Permit application will have to be submitted and must be approved by the employer.

You have to provide a copy of your valid passport, a recent photograph, and your diplomas, references, and CV. Your employer will attach the latter to a cover letter outlining your professional duties and working conditions.

A senior manager has to apply for your employment license at the Employment and Training Centre, several months before your planned start date. Once you have the permit, contact the closest Maltese mission and ask which steps to take for your visa. The permit must be renewed every year, for up to three years (sometimes, additional extensions are possible).

Other Visa Options

Visas for dependent spouses are usually granted at the discretion of the Central Visa Unit in Floriana. However, they normally include a residence permit, but not an employment license for your husband or wife. Spouses have to apply for the license separately if they find a job in Malta.

For all other visas types, e.g. student visas, retirement options for third-country nationals, or the permanent residence scheme for affluent expats, please contact the CVU for more information.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

If there’s something you’re still not sure about, check out the InterNations Forum.

Jürgen Hofmeister

"With the InterNations group on Malta, I found some expat guys to go sailing and snorkeling together. "

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