Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. Companies targeting Malta for their next global move face unravelling the red tape surrounding work permit, visa, and immigration laws if they intend moving existing staff into their new territory.
Few companies have these resources, or the time. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.
We are experts in hiring staff, applying for work visas in Malta and ensuring employees meet Maltese work visa requirements with the correct documentation.
Our team is trained to research the latest information on Maltese visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. This guide highlights the complexities of obtaining the necessary documentation.
What types of Visas/Permits in Malta are there?
Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) do not require an entry visa or permission to work in Malta although, regardless of the purpose or length of stay, they must register with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs within three months of arrival.
Documentation to Work in Malta:
- Employment License
- National D Visa
- Residence Permit
- Employment License: This is required by all Third Country Nationals (TCNs) to live and work in Malta – with a few exceptions but typically not applying to most employees; this license, previously known as the Work Permit in some cases is still referred to as such. It is applied for by the prospective employer before the employee enters the country. It is attached to one employer and for one job and is non-transferable and for one year, renewable annually.
NOTE: As of March 2021, those foreigners / TCNs who have long residence status i.e., residing in Malta for a period of five years, do not require to apply for an Employment License. Legal Notice No.84 2021. EU Directive 2003/109/EC.
Short-Stay Visa, or C Visa allows foreigners to enter and travel within the Schengen area. Single, double, or multiple entries visas can be applied for with validity of one, three or five years. Holders can stay for up to three months in any 180-day period.
National Long-Stay Visa, or D Visa is needed by foreign employees to live and work in Malta for an extended period and is also necessary for those traveling to study. This is the visa they will need to apply for to enter Malta.
The Single Permit is a joint Employment License and Residence Permit and is now known as a ‘Maltese e-Residence Card'. This is handled through Identity Malta alongside Jobsplus, who will run a labor market test to confirm the position has been offered to EU and Maltese citizens first. A valid visa is needed to apply for the permit if the applicant is in Malta.
Generally, employees apply from outside Malta through a local embassy or consulate in their home country. In this case the employer will apply for the Single Permit through Identity Malta and if approved will receive the authorization. Please note:
- An employment contract is required
- It can take two to three months
- E-Residence Card is connected to one employer and one position and is not transferable. Duration of one year – renewable
- Employee will need to submit documentation
The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) allows highly specialized Third Country Nationals (TCNs) to work in Malta as managerial staff or high positioned technicians. KEI can also cover entrepreneurs and start-up schemes that have been officially recognized by Malta Enterprise. The application is for a Single Permit which includes the Employment License and Residence Permit but provides a fast-track route into Malta.
- An employment contract is needed
- It can take five working days
- A gross salary over €30,000 (US$34,346) per annum has been offered
- Applicants must complete Form C5 with all the relevant documents.
- Employment license is part of the Single Permit application and needs to be endorsed by the employer. This will be an internal arrangement between Jobsplus and Malta Identity
- Applicants will need to be qualified for the position
- Declaration by employer the qualifications of applicant fit duties assigned
The EU Blue Card is dependent on applicants’ skill level and educational qualifications. It is available to TCNs who have applied for a highly skilled position – also:
- There is an employment contract
- Employer applies for an employment license
- Been offered a salary one and a half times the average in Malta
- Been accepted after labor market testing
- Have the required qualifying certificates and experience
How to obtain a Malta Visa/Permit?
EU/EFTA/EEA nationals do not need an entry visa or employment license to live and work in Malta. Around 60 other countries are allowed visa-free travel for up to 90 days. All other nationalities require an entry visa. For short term travel of three months in any 180-day period, non-EU citizens can apply for the C Visa or Schengen visa.
For those who want to work and live in Malta for longer periods and are applying from outside Malta, Single Permit application should be made.
The process for employee includes:
- Have a job offer with employment contract.
- Supply all the required documentation for Single Permit to the employer who will apply for the Single Permit with a Single Procedure Application covering the Employee License and Residence Permit (e-Residence card).
- When Single Permit has been approved, Identity Malta will send the authorization to the employer and a copy should be sent to the employee to apply for entry visa.
- Employee to apply for the long stay National D visa to enter Malta to complete the e-Residence card process.
The process for employer includes:
- Have tried to fill the vacancy locally or within the EU before applying for the Single Permit for the Third Country National (TCN).
- Submitting a letter, giving reasons for offering the position to a TCN, attached with any copies advertising vacancy. (There are some exceptions in areas such as health, IT gaming professionals, building professionals, computer engineers, finance, and education).
- Purchase private insurance for health care. This is required for the employment license, for which the employer is responsible, covering the contract’s duration. Premium’s receipt should be included with application.
- Single Permit fee of €280.50 (US$321) should be submitted with the application and is non-refundable if not approved.
The Key Employee Initiative (KEI)
Aimed at fast tracking the managerial and technical applicants who are either highly skilled or qualified. With a target of completing the application of five working days, this scheme is designed to facilitate crucial and specialized employees’ placement into the workplace.
Whether from inside or outside Malta, applicants follow the same steps as for the Single Permit.
EU Blue Card
For this work permit and residence permit, applicants still need their employer to apply for an Employment License. They will require an employment contract for a minimum of one year, which should include a minimum salary of more than 1.5 times Malta’s average annual salary. The job is also liable for labor market testing as well as checks regarding health and immigration. Also. they must have a valid entry visa, all relevant qualification certificates as well as proof of health insurance.
How to apply for Visa/Work Permit in Malta
National D Visa
Documentation required for D Visa to enter Malta and stay for longer than three months for employment purposes after the employer has applied for the Single Permit – e-Residence Card and received approval:
- A completed, dated, and signed application form
- A valid passport with blank pages for any stamp, valid for three months longer than the applied for visa
- An electronically formatted color photo, passport size with white background
- Itinerary of stay including confirmed accommodation booking and receipt with a copy of return airline ticket
- To show financial stability – last six months’ bank statements
- Medical insurance for Schengen area with a minimum cover of €30,000 (US$34,346) which should cover the duration of the visa applied for
- Contract of employment or letter with proof of employment from company which confirms salary, job description, duration of employment, address in Malta
- Copy of authorization regarding Employment License / Residence Permit i.e., e-Residence Card which will have been supplied by the employer
- Letter from the Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs Department confirming employment; no older than 60 days
- A letter of ‘no objection’ may be required from previous employer
Non-EU nationals or Third Country Nationals (TCNs) need a Single Permit to work in Malta, incorporating an Employment License and Residence Permit (e-Residence card). TCNs’ skill level, relevant experience and overall suitability are considered.
For those applicants who are outside Malta, the employer starts the application process and submits all documentation, along with any fees, to the Identity Malta (www.identitymalta.com) who work alongside Jobsplus.
- Employer to complete Single Permit application forms for Employment License and Residence Permit and submit the fee of €280.50 (US$321)
- A passport copy of all pages with one passport photo from employee
- Employer submits evidence of Labor Market Test e.g., having advertised the job position to EU/Swiss and local nationals
- Letter with job description, signed and stamped by employer, along guidelines provided
- Contract of employment confirms salary, job description, duration of employment and address in Malta. Signed by the employee and employer
- Employee’s signed CV, along guidelines provided
- Any documentation to support the application such as qualifications, certificates, proof of experience with any relevant references or testimonials
- Proof of insurance cover for duration of the permit
The application has to be passed by various authorities e.g., Health authorities, police, and immigration.
The permit does not cover:
- Paid work to any employer other than specified on the permit
- Paid work other than duties covered by permit
Upon receipt of approval of both applications, the employee may then travel to Malta to finish the e-Residence Card with Identity Malta and a Temporary Authorization to Work (not valid for travel) is issued in lieu of the card being finalized, and at the same time the employer fills out and submits an Engagement Form with Jobsplus.
How much is a Malta Work Visa?
- Single Permit: €280.50 (US$321); includes Employment License and e-Residence Card applications. Non-refundable.
- Employment License: €150 (US$171.70) with the application and €50 (US$57) when issued.
- EU Blue Card: €140 (US$160).
- Type D (National Visa): will vary depending on the country from which the application is made.
- Type C (Schengen Visa): €80 (US$96), payable at the Maltese Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country and generally includes their visa fees. Valid for 90 days in a 180-day period.
Working Visa / Permit for Malta
Visas are not required by EU/EFTA/EEA nationals, regardless of length of stay, or the purpose e.g., to work or for pleasure. However, they must register with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs within three months of arrival.
There are also other countries with agreements regarding visa-free travel for up to 90 days, so it is important to check the requirements before applying. Other nationalities, not on a visa-waiver list, can apply for a Schengen Visa to allow for short trips of 90 days in any 180-day period.
Third Country Nationals (TCNs) that wish to work and reside in Malta for longer than three months and have a job offer and employment contract, will need to apply for:
- Single Permit to reside and work in Malta: The Single Permit grants authorization to a TCN to legally reside and work in Malta for more extended periods e.g., more than three months. It comprises an employment license and a residence permit known as an e-Registration Card.
- National Long-Stay Visa, or D Visa: is needed by foreign employees to live and work in Malta. Applicants need first to have approval regarding their Single Permit and then they can apply for the D Visa to enter Malta and finish the e-Registration Card process.
Other routes for working in Malta:
- The Key Employee Initiative (KEI): aimed at fast-tracking employees in the managerial and technical sectors who are either highly skilled or highly qualified and who have been offered employment at a gross salary over €30,000 (US$34,346) per annum.
With a target of completing the application in five working days, this scheme is designed to facilitate crucial and specialized employees’ placement into the economy. This process provides an Employment License and Residence Permit (e-Residence Card).
Whether from inside or outside of Malta, applicants follow the same steps as for the Single Permit.
- EU Blue Card: For this ‘work permit and residence permit’, applicants will still need their employer to apply for an Employment License.
They require an employment contract for a minimum of one year which should include a minimum salary of more than 1.5 times the average annual salary in Malta. The job is also liable for labor marketing testing as well as checks regarding health and immigration.
Also, they must have a valid entry visa, all relevant qualifying certificates as well as proof of health insurance.
- The Single Permit (a Single Procedure): On receiving approval of both applications (Employment License and Residence Permit), the employee may then travel to Malta to finish the e-Residence Card with Identity Malta and a Temporary Authorization to Work (not valid for travel) is issued in lieu of the card being finalized.
At the same time, the employer must fill out and submit an Engagement Form with Jobsplus.
Business Visa Malta
A Business Visa is necessary when individuals who are not on any visa-waiver list or members of the EU/EES/EFTA, wish to travel to Malta for business trips, conferences, networking, training etc. This visa, however, does not include paid employment. There are around 112 countries whose citizens require this visa.
The application should be submitted to a local embassy or consulate for Malta or a Visa Centre in country of residence. Make an appointment and all relevant paperwork should be taken along to the interview.
The following documentation is required:
- Application form signed and dated
- Two recent passport photographs (within three months)
- Passport valid for three months after the completion of the business trip
- Itinerary for visit to Malta along with proof of hotel accommodation for duration of trip. Or letter inviting the applicant to stay
- Travel Insurance for the Schengen area covering €30,000 (US$34,346) – recommended by EU authorities
- Proof of financial stability with enough funds to cover the trip or a letter from a sponsor covering expenses
- Proof of €80 (US$96) fees paid
- Letter outlining the purpose of the business trip
- Letter from applicant’s employer confirming permission for business travel to Malta with conferences to attend, meetings arranged
- Invitation from the Maltese company, confirming address and dates of visit with itinerary arranged
- Employment contract in country of residence
- Income Tax return plus six months bank statements
Malta Visa for EU Citizens
Citizens of the EU, EEA and EFTA do not require visas or permission to work in Malta regardless of the purpose or length of stay. However, those planning to live in Malta for an unlimited period must register with the local authorities, Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs, after a period of three months.
Malta Visa for US citizens
US citizens can visit Malta up to 90 days in any 180-day period for tourist or business trips without a visa. Passports should be valid for at least three months beyond the planned departure date. For stays of longer than 90 days, contact the high commission or embassy to obtain the appropriate National D Visa prior to travel.
Also, by the end of 2022, all those countries, including the US, who at the moment benefit from having visa-free status, will have to register for an ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorization System, a few days before travelling to Malta. This is a quick and easy process completed online and provides added security by monitoring all non-EU passport holders entering and leaving Malta.
If there are US Citizens wishing to work and live in Malta, they will require an Employment License and Residence Permit which can be obtained through a Single Permit Procedure giving them an e-Residence Card. Applicants require a National D Visa to enter Malta to finish the e-Residence Card process.
Malta Visa for Canadian citizens
Canadians do not need a visa for the Schengen area for business or tourist purposes, for stays up to 90 days in a 180-day period. Stays are cumulative between visits to any Schengen country. Longer stays require a visa and the High Commission or embassy must be contacted before travel.
Also, by the end of 2022, all those countries, including Canada, who at the moment benefit from having visa-free status, will have to register for an ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorization System, a few days before travelling to Malta. This is a quick and easy process completed online and provides added security by monitoring all non-EU passport holders entering and leaving Malta.
Canadian Citizens who are looking to work and live in Malta will require:
- An Employment License
- A National D Visa
- Residence Permit
Either through the Single Permit Procedure, the EU Blue Card, or the Key Employee Initiative (KEI) aimed at fast-tracking employees.
Malta Visa for Chinese citizens
Chinese citizens travelling to Malta to visit family or for a business trip or tourism purposes require a Schengen C visa for stays of 90 days in a 180-day period. For longer a National D Visa can be applied for.
Those looking for employment will require an Employment License and Residence Permit which can be obtained through a Single Permit Procedure (e-Residence Card). The EU Blue Card or the Key Employee Initiative (KEI) are aimed at fast-tracking highly skilled or highly qualified employees.
Applicants will require a National D Visa to enter Malta to finish the e-Residence Card process.
Malta Visa for UK Citizens
Citizens of the UK do not require a visa to enter and stay in Malta for a period of 90 days in any 180-day period in order to visit family, for tourism purposes or business trips but they do require a passport which is still valid for three months after their return from Malta. It should have a couple of blank pages for any entry or exit stamps.
Also, by the end of 2022, all those countries, including the UK, who at the moment benefit from having visa-free status, will have to register for an ETIAS – European Travel Information and Authorization System, a few days before travelling to Malta. This is a quick and easy process completed online and provides added security by monitoring all non-EU passport holders entering and leaving Malta.
Those UK nationals who are looking to work and live in Malta will require:
- An Employment License
- A National D Visa
- Residence Permit
Either through the Single Permit Procedure, the EU Blue Card, and The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) aimed at fast-tracking employees.
Work with Bradford Jacobs Global EOR services
Bradford Jacobs are a global authority on work migration requirements and are the vital link to solving complex visa, work permit and residency issues involved with recruiting into Malta. Companies that try to plot their own path through this hazardous area risk making mistakes that will be costly to business plans and waste valuable time. Maltese authorities apply the rules vigorously. Don’t risk making mistakes.
Contact Bradford Jacobs now – we have the answers.