Malta

Living and Working in Malta

Gozo Lourdes Catholic Church in Malta

Malta is the smallest island nation located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea in Europe. It lies 93 km (58 miles) south of Sicily (Italy) in Southern Europe and around 300 km (186 miles) north of the North African coast. Malta is the smallest EU nation in terms of landmass and population, covering just 121 square miles (316 km) with a population of over 516,000. It comprises three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The capital of Malta is Valletta, one of Europe’s smallest capital cities, serving as the administrative and commercial hub, adorned with historical buildings dating back to the 16th century. Malta attracts approximately 1.6 million tourists every year.

Immigrants are drawn to this beautiful island not only for its natural beauty and architectural treasures but also because of its thriving gaming industries and financial services. Tourists can indulge in a plethora of leisure activities here, including diving, basking in the blue lagoons, and exploring the 16th-century citadel within Valletta. Malta is Europe’s premier diving destination, renowned for its exceptionally clear waters, stunning underwater landscapes, and diverse aquatic life. The country boasts around 50 diving schools where people can learn this skill. Since Malta became an EU member, immigrants from non-EU countries have relocated here to contribute to the growing industries, encompassing aviation, hotels, construction, banking, ICT & shared services, and more. As of 2021, the immigrants increased to over 115,000, which is 22% of the total population. The main immigrant communities in Malta are from EU and other European countries, followed by Italians, Britishers, Indians, Filipinos. Serbs and Bulgarians are also found in Malta.

Traveling information

Flag of Malta - Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Flag of Malta

As of now there is no Covid-19 travel requirements for entering Malta as per the health.gov.mt website. However, travelling may increase the risk of contracting or spreading the Covid-19 virus, so it is recommended to be fully vaccinated and check the travel requirement of both the home and destination countries before you start travel. If any symptoms of fever, cold shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell etc. Please do not travel and we recommend you to postpone your travel dates. If you are a citizen of an EU remember to carry a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). It is also essential to carry valid passport, Visa and essentials like sufficient masks and sanitizer. Make sure to complete health/travel declaration and passenger locator forms wherever applicable.

Since Malta is an Island, air travel is the fastest and best way to reach here. The national airliner – Air Malta offers flights at a competitive cost to Malta from around 40 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Malta is accessible by various air routes, with two international airports serving as primary gateways to the country: 

  • Malta International Airport (MLA): It is located near Luqa and is the main international gateway to Malta. It is well-connected to numerous major cities in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Airlines from various countries operate regular flights to and from MLA, making it the primary airport for travelers to Malta. 
  • Gozo Heliport (GZM): Although not a full-fledged international airport, Gozo Heliport is situated on the island of Gozo, one of Malta’s three main islands. It primarily serves helicopter flights between Gozo and Malta. 

Travelers can reach Malta through direct flights from major European cities, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Amsterdam, and many more. Additionally, there are connecting flights available through various hubs in Europe and the Middle East for those coming from other regions of the world. Malta International Airport (MLA) offers a wide range of services, including customs and immigration facilities, car rental services, and transportation options to reach different parts of the country. It’s the most common point of entry for international travelers visiting Malta.

How to immigrate to Malta

Malta is a member of the EU since 1st May 2004. Therefore, the immigration process is fairly straight forward and easy.  People travelling to and from Schengen areas will not require passport and immigration visa to move in Malta and move around anywhere in Europe. So nationals from non-EU nations will need Tourist Schengen Visa for touring Malta.

Tourist Schengen Visa – This visa is valid up to 90 days (3 months), can be single or multiple entry visa. Under only unforeseen emergency circumstances extension is possible which is done by the Central Visa Unit. This visa allows the visa holder to travel to all the 25 countries in the Schengen area. This tourist visa can be issued for Tourism, Family, Business, Medical purpose and other short strips.  The Malta Schengen Long-term Visa which is valid for 365 days issued for specific reasons which may include family reunion, work or even study.

The documents required to apply for the Tourist Schengen Visa that are to be submitted at the Maltese embassy are:

  • Valid Passport
  • Fully filled application form
  • Visa Fees Receipt
  • Copies of previous visas (if applicable)
  • Passport size photos – 2 nos.
  • Covering Letter stating the purpose of travel
  • Six months’ bank statement & financial proof while staying in Malta
  • Proof of residence in Malta
  • Schengen Visa Travel insurance
  • Round trip Air tickets
  • Employment contract/Business License/ Students enrollment / pension statement – whichever is applicable

The application form for the visa can be filled online or filled in person at the embassy or visa application center. The tourist visa fees depend on the age of the person and the home country. The mode of payment is also different as accepted by the visa center or embassy. Citizens from EU/EEA/Swiss, Scientists on research trips and students on school trips are exempt from the Malta Visa Fee payment. Citizens from countries with a visa-free agreement with Schengen, like US, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand etc. are exempt from Visa to enter Malta. The standard fees structure is:

  • €80 – standard visa fee
  • €40 – for children between the ages of 6 – 12 years
  • €35 – for citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia

The other types of Visa for Visiting Malta are:

  • Malta Work Visa
  • Malta Transit Visa
  • Malta Student Visa
  • Malta Family Visa
  • Malta Retirement Visa
  • Malta Nomad Visa
  • Malta Golden Visa

To download the Schengen Visa Application form and also other important guidelines, please visit: www.schengenvisainfo.com

People

The native people of Malta are known as Maltese (Malti). They also include the ethnic group known as the Gozitans (Għawdxin), living in the Gozo Island. The people of Malta are known for their generosity to strangers. Their kindness of the people of Malta can be gauzed by the fact that it was first mentioned by one of the disciple of Jesus Christ named Paul, who landed in Malta Island due to Shipwreck in 60 C.E. He wrote, “After we made it to safety, we learned that the island was called Malta, and the foreign-speaking people showed us extraordinary kindness. They kindled a fire and received all of us kindly because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold” Acts28:1 The Bible.

The main religion practiced in Malta is Christianity. Over 90% of people are Roman Catholics. There are around 365 churches in Malta. It is believed that Apostle Paul brought Christianity to Malta almost 2000 years ago in the year 60 A.D.

“Malta-An Island of Hospitality” – article published in Awake in 1979 gives us a clear view of Malta then and now. Please click on : jw.org

Job offers in Malta

For an EU citizen live and work in Malta is easy. An ID card has to be procured when you want to begin work or after 90 days of staying in Malta. For non-EU citizens work permit is important, which is usually valid for a year. Work permits are employer-specific or occupation-specific. Once you enter Malta legally through a Visa, you can then apply for residency permit and also a work permit. Before you apply for work permit you need a long-term visa. Along with the documents required for visa, the following additional documents are required to procure work-permit:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of the resume
  • Copy of the visa
  • Letter from the employer
  • Passport size photo
  • Testimonials and references of your qualifications
  • Medical certificate of health
  • Vacancy report of the company where you applied for job  (company search for qualified locals)

For third country national Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit gives option to work remotely, independent of location, using telecommunication technologies. This program enables you to retain your current employment is home/another country while living legally in Malta for 1 year and can be renewed if you still meet the set eligibility criteria. After completing 5 years you can apply for the Maltese citizenship.

The “Konnekt” is the largest recruitment agency in Malta. The best way to look for job while you are still at your home country are the online options. The following best options are:  Malta Park, Times of Malta, Reed and the Eures.

Unemployment rate

Malta’s unemployment rate dropped to the lowest 2.50% in the month of September’2023 from June’2023. In June 2023 it was reported to be 2.52%. The unemployment rate of Malta in 2021 was 3.50% and in the year 2020 it was 4.26%. It dropped 2.9% in the second quarter of 2022, from 3.4% in the corresponding period of 2021. (Source: National Statistics Office, Malta)

Economy of Malta

Malta has a growing economy and some of the soundest banks in the world. Tourism, manufacturing, and financial services are the primary factors responsible for the robust economy of Malta. Africa, Middle-East and Europe have significantly invested in business relationships with Malta due to its close proximity. It guarantees economic stability and good quality of life to its citizens and also to the non-EU citizens, making it one of the most safest countries in the world. Over the years Malta has become one of the most prosperous country with its high-income industries in the Mediterranean. The political stability has attracted tourism and foreign exchanges. It is estimated that travel and international tourism alone contributed 322 million Euros in the year 2021 to Malta’s GDP. Even during global recession, Malta stands in the profitable position to do business due to its stable GDP and geographical position. Other important strengths which adds feathers to Malta’s cap are well-developed finance and ICT cluster, fully-developed open market economy, productive labour force and a tax-efficient system.

Renting and buying of real estate’s for foreigners

Buying: 

Citizens from EU countries and non-EU citizens can invest in property in Malta. There are some of the most popular citizenship and residency programmes in Europe along with favourable taxes in Malta which makes it easier to buy a property. There are special designated areas (SDAs) where foreign investments are permitted from the Ministry of finance in Malta. For property outside the SDA, the AIP (Acquisition of Immovable Property) need to be applied for purchase of immovable property. It takes around 35 days after the application for an AIP permit and paying fees. The minimum investment value permitted is €143,410 for flats/maisonettes and €247,701 for other types of properties. Maltese bank provide home loans on flexible terms with reasonable interest rates to those who have steady and regular income.

The most popular SDAs (special designated areas) are:

  • Portomaso, St. Julian’s
  • Portomaso – The Laguna, St Julian’s
  • Tigne Point, Sliema·
  • Fort Cambridge Zone, Sliema
  • Pendergardens, St Julian’s, Malta
  • Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
  • Smart City, Kalkara
  • Fort Chambray, Gozo
  • Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo

The residency programmes under which foreigners can become tax residents and citizens of Malta & also purchase property are:

  • Individual Investor Programme (IIP)
  • Residence and Visa Programme Rules
  • Residence Programme Rules (TRP)
  • Ordinary Residence
  • Global Residence Programme (GRP)

The steps to purchase a property is not too complicated in Malta. The main steps are:

  • Find a registered & accredited Real Estate Agency
  • Get the property inspected by an Architect & get a site plan from him.
  • Prepare the documents for the sale by a public notary
  • Agent will negotiate the price & conditions & sign a promise of Sale (Konvenju)
  • Sign the final deed of sale

The mandatory fees for purchase of property apart from the property cost are: 

  • The Stamp Duty (5% of the immovable property)
  • Notary Fees (2 – 2.5% of the property value)
  • Architect Fees (between €200 and €500)
  • Estate Agency Fees (5% + 18% vat fee of the property purchase price)

To find the average property price and best places to buy property in Malta, please visit: wise.com

Renting:

There are many options available in rented property and in every budget. It is good to have a real estate agent to do the rental dealings for you as they negotiate the rental fees and advise you on other terms & conditions as well. The fees of the agents is paid on a 50:50 ratio by the landlord and you. Mostly people contact the agents prior to their arrival in Malta. The agent provides a list of property available in the area where you would like to live. It is good to stay in a hotel for a 2/3 days and inspect various property before selecting. Once it is finalized it does not take long to complete paper work and move. The property available for rent are usually fully furnished.  The rent is affordable here in comparison to other places in Europe and North America. Apart from the rent damage deposit, the first and the last month’s rent is taken in advance. In addition, you may be required to pay the parking fee if it’s not included in the rent, which could be €50-€100 per month. Some properties allow pets however some may demand to pay a pet deposit and also provide references. Cost of utilities are paid separately which is on an average €50-€100 per month.

You can also search and deal with the landlords directly. There are many ways property can be searches. The Times of Malta newspaper classified section has all the available property listed. Its newspaper is available online as well. Real estate website like Malta Park and Izjed.com are also very popular.

Climate 

Malta experiences Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and rainy with temperatures dropping to 15 – 17 °C during December to February. Summers are hot and dry with temperatures reaching 32°C in July and August. The summer months are from May to late September.  The spring or Autumn is from October to November and the best time of the year with low rainfall and comfortable warm temperatures (20 – 25 °C) . The average temperature are as below:

Average temperatures: 23º C (daytime, annual).
Lowest average temperature: 12º C (January daily average).
Highest average temperature: 27º C (August daily average).
Average hours of sunshine per day (annually): 8.4 to 12
Annual Rainfall: 568 mm

Language 

The official language of Malta is Maltese and English. The national language Maltese is derived from the Arabic dialects spoken in Spain and Sicily in the middle ages. Maltese in the only Semitic language written in Latin script. English got its second language status in Malta during the British colonial rule from 1800-1964. In 2016 the Maltese Sign Language was made the third official language for the Maltese Deaf community which are around 200 in numbers. Other foreign spoken in Malta are Italian and French. Italian is the former official language of Malta and is now spoken by 66% of the population. Languages that are included in school curriculum at different levels are German, Arabic, Spanish and Russian.

Traffic 

Travel in Malta is a big challenge as roads are narrow especially in old city centers. During the rust hour there is traffic congestion, mainly due to narrow roads and also hot-headed drivers. Drivers here are known for driving fast and recklessly. 

Driving is on the Left side here. Minimum age limit for driving is 18 years and to rent a car the minimum age required is 23 years. Driving license and vehicle insurance is mandatory. The rural speed limit is 60 kph and urban speed limit is 50 kph in built-up areas. On an open road 80 kph is allowed. Since there are no motorways in Malta, no higher speed is allowed. Wearing front & rear seatbelt is compulsory. No mobile phones are allowed while driving, only hands free can be used. 

The drink driving limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If you exceed this limit and are stopped by the police authorities, you will end up paying a huge fine and your license will be confiscated. You may also face imprisonment.

Currency & Payment Transaction 

The official currency of Malta is the Euro. Each Euro is divided into 100 cents. The currency code is EUR and the symbol is “€”. The banknotes are available in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500.  The coins are available in the following denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, €1 and €2. 

Debit and Credit cards are widely used in Malta. Almost all major credit and debit cards are accepted in ATMs located throughout Malta. Recently the government has introduced a limit on cash transaction up to €10,000 to avoid cases of money laundering and tax evasion. It is a criminal offense if this limit is violated. Bank Cheques & Drafts and Electronic transfer system are the modes to pay for large bills. Digital wallets including cards are used for a minimum spend of around €5-10. Popular cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, Apple Pay, PayPal and Maestro are accepted in Malta.

Cost of Living in Malta 

Malta is one of the most affordable place in Europe along with its warm Mediterranean climate, good living standards & good fresh food. Many prefer to buy bottled drinking water because Malta’s drinking water taste is not good. The estimated monthly cost for a family of four is €3772 and for a single person it is €1861. 

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living:

Product

Quantity

Amount in Euro (symbol €)

Milk whole fat

1 liter

€1.01

Eggs

12 large eggs

€3.33

Tomatoes

1 kg (2 lb.)

€3.29

Chicken breast boneless

500 gr (1 lb.)

€5.47

Potatoes

1 kb (2 lb.)

€3.35

Apples

1 kb (2 lb.)

€3.15

Bread

For 2 people (1 day)

€1.19

Local Cheese

500 gr (16 oz.)

€6

Internet 8 mbps

1 month

€35

40“ Flat screen TV

 

€392

Bottle of red table wine

Good quality

€8

Coca-Cola

2 liters

€1.66

Gasoline

1 liter

€1.35

Utilities (heating, electricity, Gas)

1 person in studio flat

€56

Public transport

1 month

€72

One-way ticket

Local transport

€1.75

Cleaning help

Hourly rate

€9

Cappuccino drink

 

€1.59

Movie Ticket

2 people

€17

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant

1 person

€15

3 course Meal at a mid range restaurant

2 person

€62.5

Domestic Beer

0.5 liter draught

€3

To get the latest cost of food items, utilities and compare cost of living in Malta with your home country, please visit: expatistan.com

Apartment Rent        

Rental flats/apartment are available for short-term (6 months) or long-term (more than 6 months) periods. The rental fees depend on the location, size and age of the property.  The average rental fees are as follows: 

  • A 2-3-bedroom flat in a high demand area with sea view – €1,000-€1,500 per month
  • A 1-2-bedroom flat in a suburban residential area – €300-€700 per month
  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center – €824.92 per month
  • A one-bedroom apartment outside the city center – €684.88 per month
  • One-bedroom fully furnished apartment in Valletta – €970 per month

 To find the property to rent of your choice, please visit:propertymarket.com.mt

Taxes

In Malta the tax rates are lower than in most other EU countries. The 3 main tax revenue sources are:

  • Indirect Taxes
  1. Value-Added Tax is 18% charged on goods & services
  2. Import Duties is charged at 10% on importing products from outside the European Union.
  3. Excise Duty is a national tax on certain goods and commodities which are Harmonised and Non Harmonised Goods as per the Excise Duty Act.
  4. Stamp duty on insurance policies, transfer of capital assets & transfer of shares etc. 
  • Direct Taxes
  1. Personal Income Tax – rate depends on marital status which are single, Married or Parent. The tax rate is charged at progressive rates. Residents as well as non-residents are liable to pay personal income tax.
  2. Corporate Income Tax – resident and non-residents companies are subject to pay 35% corporate income tax.

    There are no taxes on inheritance, gift, capital gains and property. For the detailed information on taxes in Malta please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Health Insurance

The health care system is also affordable in Malta with one of the world’s best compared to US, Australia, Canada and UK. 

Citizens of EU who visit Malta for a short period must have the EHIC card to access the public health care provided by the state for Medical services at free of charge. Under the EHIC, ambulance service is covered without charge only in case of emergency. A certificate of Entitlement is required if you need to access the public health care services if you are staying in Malta for a longer period.  You need to fill and submit Form S1 to the health institution in Malta. In absence of these two documents you will have to pay for the medical facilities provided to you. Medicines prescribed during hospitalization and first 3 days after discharge are also free of charge. 

Routine dental care and regular dental issues which are not urgent are charged, however emergency dental treatment is done with no cost at Mater Dei Hospital, Msida.

Please refer to the following links to apply for the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card): ehic.gov.mt or health.gov.mt

Important Addresses

Malta International Airport
plc Luqa LQA 4000
Tel: +356 21249 600

South African Honorary Consulate
14, Lighters Wharf
Grand Harbour Menqa
Marsa Mrs 1442
Malta
Tel:(+356) 21 227 101 / (+356) 21 232 157

Embassy of the United States
VCRG+7P9, Attard, Malta
Phone: +356 2561 4000

St. Luke’s Hospital
St Luke’s hospital, Pieta, Malta
Phone: +356 2208 0000

Consulate of India
Cannon Road, Santa Venera SVR 9037, Malta
Phone: +356 2122 2346

Embassy of Italy
VGR4+RXQ, Vilhena, Il-Furjana, Malta
Phone: +356 2123 3157

Summary

Republic of Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean, best known for historic sites of the rulers who reigned Malta from the Romans to the Britishers. Malta is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. There are very beautiful natural sights including The Azure Window (Limestone natural arch in Gozo), The Inland Sea (Inland Lagoon in Dwejra), Fungus Rock (197 feet lump of limestone), The Blue Grotto, The Calypso Cave and Dingli cliffs just to name a few.

Set on a blue flag coastline in the tourist area of Bugibba, it’s easily combined with a real sea swim, but you can also dive deep into the sea without even getting your feet wet. Malta has a diversified economy with a strong focus on tourism, enjoys stable economic conditions, is increasingly attractive for immigrants due to job opportunities, has a relatively high cost of living, and welcomes around 1.6 million tourists annually.

Moving to Malta

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Translation Of The Documents

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