Entering Malta for a short-stay

Updated 2023-01-21 19:28

Before traveling to Malta, it is best to find out about formalities, including visa requirements and length of stay. Nationals of some countries need to apply for a visa, while others do not. For example, EU Nationals can simply present their passport or ID card to stay in Malta for up to 90 days. Nationals of some other countries will only need a visa to transit through Malta.

Made up of three main islands (Malta, Comino and Gozo), Malta is part of an archipelago of eight islands in total. A small corner of paradise increasingly coveted by expatriates, Malta is well known for its fantastic scenery. Merħba!

Formalities for entering and staying in Malta

It is essential to check the requirements and formalities you are subject to before traveling to Malta. Nationals of some countries will be required to produce their return ticket or provide proof of sufficient funds to be allowed to stay in Malta.

To enter Malta, EU nationals only need a valid identity card or passport. A return ticket is not required. EU citizens can stay indefinitely but must register with the local authorities if they stay longer than three months (via the eResidence card).

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK are not part of the Schengen area. Therefore, nationals of these countries may be required to produce their identity card or passport both when entering and leaving Malta.

In general, non-EU nationals are required to apply for a visa to travel to Malta, regardless of the duration of their stay.

However, there are exceptions.

Passport holders from Canada, the United States, Australia and Great Britain do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period in the entire Schengen area. However, a passport valid for at least three months after the date of exit from the territory is required. The passport must have been issued within the last 10 years.

Good to know:

The visa exemption only applies to stays for tourism or family purposes, to attend business meetings, cultural or sporting events, or for short-term training. A visa is required to work or study in Malta. For a stay of more than 90 days, a visa is required.

Nationals of certain other countries are exempt from the visa requirement if their stay does not exceed three months and is for tourist purposes.

The Schengen visa for traveling to Malta

Malta is a member of the Schengen area. Composed of 26 European countries, this area allows free movement without internal border controls.

The Schengen visa is common to all member countries of the Schengen area. It allows a maximum stay of 90 days (3 months) for a continuous stay or for several stays in the Schengen area countries over a period of 180 days (6 months). This is called the 90/180 rule.

There are two possible situations:

  • You have a single-entry Schengen visa

In this case, you can stay in Malta for 90 days, for example, from the 1st of January 2022 to the 30th of March 2022.

  • You have a multiple-entry Schengen visa

This type of visa allows you to enter and leave Malta several times, provided that the total duration of your stay in Malta does not exceed three months in a six-month period. So keep in mind the duration of each stay within the Schengen area as they add up.

Every time you enter and leave the Schengen area, remember to have your passport stamped by the border police. This will prove that you are respecting the 90-day limit.

Good to know:

Non-EU nationals may travel within European non-Schengen countries before or after a trip to Malta. The duration of stay in these countries will not be counted in the maximum duration of stay within the Schengen area.

The fee for obtaining a Schengen visa in 2022 is 80 euros. For children aged 6 to 12, the price is 40 euros. The visa is free for children under 6 years of age.

The application must be made at least one month before the planned date of departure. People applying for a Schengen visa must prove that they have enough money to support themselves for the duration of their stay.

Extension of stay in Malta

Schengen visa holders are only allowed to extend their stay in Malta in exceptional circumstances (i.e., force majeure or humanitarian reasons). Apart from these circumstances, all foreign nationals who intend to stay in Malta for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit.

In general, the conditions and requirements for extension vary from country to country. You are therefore advised to check with Identity Malta for your specific situation.

As the Schengen visa can only be extended in cases of force majeure, persons requiring a visa to enter Malta and wishing to stay for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit. The laws regarding residence permits vary depending on the country of origin of the applicant. Details can be found on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security (the link is in the “Useful links” section at the bottom of this article).

Traveling to Malta with your pet

If you intend to travel to Malta with your pet, there are specific requirements that you must meet. If your pet is from another EU country, it must be microchipped, have a pet passport and be in possession of an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate.

Full details can be found in our article "Moving with your pet to Malta". For humans, no vaccination is required.

If your pet is not from the EU, it must be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination certificate and an official health certificate from a vet.

If you are importing a dog, it must be treated against tapeworm, regardless of its origin.

Getting to Malta

You can reach the archipelago by plane or by boat.

Most people come to Malta by plane. Flight prices from major European cities are attractive. However, they vary according to the season and the airline. The lowest fares are barely 50 euros from Paris for a single ticket. But you can expect to pay between 90 and 180 euros departing from Paris or Brussels, at least 50 Swiss francs departing from Geneva or Zurich, and at least 500 Canadian dollars departing from Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa.

A number of airlines fly to Malta. The main ones are Air Malta (the national airline), Ryanair, EasyJet, AirFrance, Alitalia, British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Swiss, Transavia, Tui Airways, Turkish Airlines, Volotea and Wizz Air.

To get to Malta by boat, you must first go to Italy and then buy a ticket from one of the ferry companies that operate regular crossings. This option is more expensive than flying, but much more romantic, and allows you to transport your car easily. You will leave from Pozzallo in Sicily. For example, you can find a single ticket with a Peugeot 208 car for 146 euros from Pozzallo to Valletta with Virtu Ferries.

If you are a yachtsman, there are over 900 berths (for boats up to 22m) in the marinas of Ta'Xbiex, Msida (Valletta) and Mġarr (Gozo). You will easily find young volunteers willing to travel who will work for you on a voluntary basis to enjoy the crossing.

Languages spoken in Malta

Malta has two official languages: English and Maltese. If you speak English, you can communicate easily.

However, you will notice that Maltese is ubiquitous as it is both an official language and the national language of Malta. The Maltese people often use Maltese to communicate with each other.

Maltese is a Semitic language, the only one spoken in the European Union. It is written in the Latin alphabet. Maltese is largely derived from Arabic but also includes Italian, English and even French words.

Currency and money in Malta

The currency used in Malta is the Euro (since 2008), which makes it easier for people from European countries using the same currency. Major credit cards are accepted just about everywhere, and ATMs are commonplace, even in small towns. Bank opening hours can be surprisingly long, from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30 am to 3.30 pm on Fridays, and 8.30 am to 12.30 pm on Saturdays.

Electrical outlets and plugs in Malta

As Malta is a former British colony, sockets are of the G type. They have three rectangular pins. If you are from the UK or another country that uses this type of socket, you will not need adapters. If not, you should bring yours. The voltage used is 230 volts.

Mobile phone and internet in Malta

Malta is part of the European Union. Therefore, if you have a mobile phone plan from a member country, it will be valid in Malta. You will be able to use your phone and mobile data as you would in your own country, without any extra cost. If not, you will have to buy a SIM card locally.

Wi-Fi is widely available in Malta, so you can keep in touch with friends and family easily. In the main towns, there are signposted kiosks where you can connect to the internet for free. Restaurants and bars usually have secure access.

Driving in Malta

Driving in Malta is on the left. Take this into consideration if you are thinking of renting a car.

Be careful when crossing the road: look first to the right and then to the left.

Time in Malta

Malta is located in the time zone UTC/GMT 1 in winter and UTC/GMT 2 in summer.

This means that the time is the same as in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Germany. If you come from one of these countries, you will have no problem keeping in touch with your family or friends.

Living in Malta

Malta is probably the safest place in the Mediterranean. You can walk around without fear at any time of the day and during the night. As a precaution, security cameras are placed in the streets.

Religion plays an important role in Malta. 98% of the population is Catholic and 85% of the inhabitants are practicing.

There are 14 public holidays in Malta. Some local shops are open, but with special hours, most of them being closed. The public holidays in Malta are:

  • 1 January (New Year) ;
  • 10 February (St Paul's Shipwreck);
  • 19 March (St Joseph's Day);
  • 31 March (Freedom Day);
  • 18 April (Good Friday);
  • 1 May (Labour Day);
  • 7 June (Sette Giugno);
  • 29 June (Feast of St Peter and St Paul);
  • 15 August (Assumption Day);
  • 8 September (Feast of Our Lady of Victories);
  • 21 September (Independence Day);
  • 8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception);
  • 13 December (Republic Day);
  • 25 December (Christmas).


What do Popeye, The Count of Monte Cristo, U-571, Midnight Express, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Troy, The Spy Who Loved Me, World War Z, Largo Winch, Gladiator, Munich, By the Sea, and Game of Thrones have in common? They were partly or entirely shot in Malta!

Useful links:

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security

Visa Advice

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