Close

Mistakes expats make in Malta

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Malta? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Malta to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Priscilla

1) Never, ever rent a place unless you're sure that you've totally checked it and be sure you like it, a lot.
2) Don't rent a place far away from the place you work. Traffic is a nightmare. You are going to regret it.
3) Never pay anything in advance unless you get the product first. People are going to disappear when they get their money.

Those 3 tips for now.

Regards,
Konstantinos.

Don't confuse Malta for simply a sunnier version of the place you come from!

Some ex-expats here on the forum seem to have made that mistake - and the move didn't work out for them.

Come to the island(s) before your move, check out different places at different times of day, if you plan to drive - try driving in rush hour traffic! If you plan not to drive - try taking the bus in rush hour traffic!

Don't base your decision on a holiday experience! A holiday is not the same as living in a country!

Everyone makes mistakes -so dont beat yourself up over it.

Most rarely get their choices right the first time round.

Get out of holiday mode as soon as possible

Take your time & learn what it is you really want from your experience in Malta, it changes as time goes by

Dont rush decisions on where you are going to live

Check out all your chosen  locations thoroughly.... things change at night and early morning when people are at home before and after work or school

Always visit a potential home more than once   - rose tinted glasses are popular everywhere when viewing

Be aware adverts for property rarely if ever show an outside view, photos are usually old, and rates of rent are usually out of date too

Learn some basic Maltese  = even one word a day helps

Seek out the knowledgeable people  that have been there and done it before - there are lots of them - consider everything you are told  or hear or read - ignore nothing - then make your own mind up.

Research research research  - planning planning planning - all contribute to a successful move and settlement

Always have an escape plan - an exit strategy as sometimes things just dont go according to plan

Dont get carried away with romantic notions of what Malta means to you its ok and fab to have them but dont let that cloud your judgement.

Be objective.

Dont expect life to be the same as where you came from.

Enjoy all that malta has to offer -  it has lots - soak it up

Do you miss Malta at all toon?. I'm just curious as I've followed this forum for some years now and recall the time when you lived in mellieha, I know you have since moved to Cyprus, yet you still post on here. I'm not knocking you in any way, and enjoy your comments and advice on here, but does Cyprus still have the hold on you as Malta did. ?. I'd be very interested to read about your comparisons between the two. Best wishes

Moocher  in all honesty NO i dont miss Malta -  there is nothing barr my close personal friends i made and have of all nationalities there that I miss.... we had a fab time with them and are still in contact with each and every one of them - including my fave bar Billys Musiclub, Noel and Rachel

Yes i post here as am still interested in certain fields of knowledge that benefit new arrivals and those planning a move - - - - i do the same here IN Cyprus and have assisted in moving at least 6 people over to Cyprus.....FROM Malta --- in the last 18 months and not just information but physical assistance too.

Cyprus for us is far superior and will probably be our home for a long long time... but you never say never as I havent as yet ruled out Crete  LOL ..... I'd say that Cyprus has a far bigger hold on us both and i will forever be in my missus' debt for suggesting we come here and pushing me to do it. Also our LL did us a big big favour by doing what he did  ie planning to build and eventually doing so a penthouse above us which is what forced a  "move"  little did we know at the start it would be off the rock for good. A good move and we have no regrets at all

I will say we did go back for a birthday celebration plus hospital visits for good friends for one week  - and seriously I swear we both  had the same thoughts within 12 hrs of being back on the rock - " we didnt want to be there for any longer than necessary"

If you wish to know more then PM me  -  as this is the Malta forum and i dont wish to bore anyone with more details than you asked here

As far as I am concerned the only regret we made about moving to Gozo is not moving here earlier.

No regrets. Stay open minded, don't ignore advice of people that have been through it and try to empathise with 'some' of the locals view towards foreigners - it is their home after all and we should respect their culture even if they can come across as terribly rude , often ;)

Some core advice below, perhaps more geared towards non-EU people:

1) Remaining polite and patient gets you a lot further in Malta than getting upset. That sounds like obvious advice anywhere, but I can confidently say that in some countries outside of Europe, getting angry in certain situations is sometimes your best chance. Not the case in Malta.

2) Banks can be ridiculous at times. Be patient. Listen as to what is required from you, what their terms are, shop around. Refer to tip 1. Extra tip: Because you have a HSBC account in another country, does not help you open an account with HSBC in Malta. Branch staff have heard that argument 100 times in the past 2 days. Banif is a decent and quick short term option to get paid salary if you need an account quickly.

3) 4 main documents you need for a happier life: Malta ID card, rental agreement, Tax number, SS number. Work towards getting those documents.

4) Some things in Malta work slowly. Appreciate the things that work very quickly, like getting good quality fast internet setup within 24 hours, or services that have same or next day delivery.

5) The bus system can be under rated at times. Learn it. It get's you around the island for a pretty good price.

6) Whether you are in a car, or a pedestrian, take a bit of care on the roads. Assuming what other drivers will do is a big mistake.

7) eCabs is the biggest taxi service on the island. That doesn't make it the best. Learn about other taxi companies, and what they can offer you.

That's all for now.

I'd suggest trying to learn about different places at different times of year. For example it's all good being on holiday in St Paul's Bay in the summer and thinking this would be nice with the sun shining,walks along the promedade,bars,busy atmosphere,but in winter the sea is rough,some bars/restaurants close for winter,and generally it can be a ghost town at times.

Malteser2017 :

I'd suggest trying to learn about different places at different times of year. For example it's all good being on holiday in St Paul's Bay in the summer and thinking this would be nice with the sun shining,walks along the promedade,bars,busy atmosphere,but in winter the sea is rough,some bars/restaurants close for winter,and generally it can be a ghost town at times.

And it is full of expats!!

Ray

Toon :

Moocher  in all honesty NO i dont miss Malta -  there is nothing barr my close personal friends i made and have of all nationalities there that I miss.... we had a fab time with them and are still in contact with each and every one of them - including my fave bar Billys Musiclub, Noel and Rachel

Yes i post here as am still interested in certain fields of knowledge that benefit new arrivals and those planning a move - - - - i do the same here IN Cyprus and have assisted in moving at least 6 people over to Cyprus.....FROM Malta --- in the last 18 months and not just information but physical assistance too

Hi Toon,
We have thought of looking at Cyprus as an alternative to Malta, but as it costs so much to fly backwards and forwards to check it out and then to physically move, could you help us, €5,000 should do it!!!! :joking:

Ray

saved easily in rents paid here for better quality housing --- LOL far less traffic and thus pollution, and better beaches too lol  not so overcrowded, or over built - island size mainly -

but hey ho we are all different.
 

jump the good ship lad...

Serious question, do they have flushing toilets there yet? Someone told me that they didn't?

No,you have to use your hands  :lol: 

No idea to be honest !

of course they have....#

I think the one big mistake we made was trusting an agent.  I had read and was prepared not to, but that went out of the window when we felt backed into a corner.  That mistake cost us a lot of money, so if I were to do it all again I'd move over and find an apartment after arriving. I thought what we were being shown was the norm for Malta and I'd have to get used living in lesser accommodation, but in reality I was being shown the places that nobody would rent.

Toon :

saved easily in rents paid here for better quality housing --- LOL far less traffic and thus pollution, and better beaches too lol  not so overcrowded, or over built - island size mainly -

but hey ho we are all different.
 

jump the good ship lad...

I'll take that as a no then!

Ray

clever lad Ray go to the top of the class.

And spot on Sam4321 - 9yrs ago when we landed there in st pauls bay / bugibba they had all the details for wha twe were looking for and the biggest estate agents on the island took absolutely no notice of them and showed us what can only be described as crap...

so things havent changed much

And can you flush paper, here is an article I just googled:

https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safe … ter-safety

Can you flush the toilet in Greece?
Don't flush toilet paper in Greece. There's a very simple explanation; Greek sewage pipes are 2 inch (50mm) diameter. American and British plumbing is twice as large (4 inces/100mm). The Greek pipes just get clogged.

Cyprus isnt Greece

but yes there is that in many complexes as the they are using a septic tank sewage systems..... but many houses can and do - its all about the load - so to speak - in our case we dont but that wasnt the question  it was whether we had flush toilets- which we have...

besides i know our pipes are def 4 inchers but ours were once blocked by the previous tenants and by baby wipes cleansing wipes etc etc etc  to be hionest weve always deposited paper in a bin from day one - habitual now. 

an just in case you missed it - Cyprus isnt Greece

I know but my former Greek colleague is from Greeze :p

Thanks for answering, I guess we're generally spoiled for items we take for granted such as flushing loos :p

sometimes it seems so but its not a problem really Strewth

Mindset is as much a problem here as it is in Malta in my experiences so far

This comes from someone that goes camping and will gladly take a shovel :D

we havent quite taught our Maltese born cat to use one yet

a shovel that is.....  not a toilet... lol

I couldn't agree more about being patient, polite and making sure you have more than the required documentation needed. Always go above and beyond.

The ID card is key and will help with everything else: car insurance, taxing a car, importing a car, banking, mobile phone contracts, store loyalty cards etc etc

If you are working in Malta, one of the documents you need when applying for a Maltese ID is an  Employment Engagement Form. This is supposed to be requested by your employer, but as I found out it can take weeks to go through and can be 'pending' for ages.

I recommend visiting Jobsplus (Government Job Centre located all over the island) to collect a manual engagement form and filling it out by hand. Once this has been completed and submitted to Jobsplus you will receive an approval letter right away.

Be prepared to be sent away when first enquiring and politely return with when you have the goods :)

Hi we need some help please we plan to relocate to Malta for 6 month do we and how do you get a visa extension after 90 days?
If we extend our stay beyond 6 month do we need to apply for residency and what amount of money do we need in the bank?
All this is based on rental not buying

Coming from the U.K. at the moment you do not need a visa, after Brexit who knows.

Margwayne136 :

Hi we need some help please we plan to relocate to Malta for 6 month do we and how do you get a visa extension after 90 days?
If we extend our stay beyond 6 month do we need to apply for residency and what amount of money do we need in the bank?
All this is based on rental not buying

I forgot to mention that it you choose to stay you have to apply for residency after three months and show you have enough money going into your account to cover outgoings.

You need to be able to prove that you have sufficient income to support yourself and your dependents so as not to be a burden on the state....  and that may mean state and private pensions or investments and their income or income form any work you may do or may be doing.....

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Malta

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Malta

Moving to Malta

Find tips from professionals about moving to Malta

Travel insurance in Malta

Enjoy stress-free travel to Malta

Flights to Malta

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Malta