Applying for a residence or work permit in Malta

Updated 2023-01-21 18:54

Getting a resident card and a work permit in Malta is an essential step for any expat. Living in Malta does not necessarily mean working in Malta; however, many will likely seek employment while living in the country. So if you are planning to relocate and work in Malta, advance planning is recommended. For all non-Maltese citizens, you will require an eResidence card if you intend to stay more than three months in the country. Make sure to seek all relevant information before proceeding further.

Work in Malta

European Union/European Economic Area Nationals and their family members have the right to live and work throughout the EU. These citizens may utilize the services of EURES (European Employment Services) to search for a job in Malta.

Third-Country Nationals are required to apply for the right to work in Malta. Generally, an employment license is offered to foreign nationals having specific qualifications and skills that are not available locally. Thus, to hire a Third-Country National, your employer must ensure that you have the expertise required and the best profile before applying for a work permit on your behalf.

If you come from a non-European Union country, you will apply for the Single Permit, which includes both the right to residence and work.

If you intend to set up a business in Malta, Malta Enterprise is the official national development agency facilitating that process for you.


Identity Malta issues eResidence documents but works in connection with JobsPlus, which is Malta's public employment service.

The Single Permit for residence and work is applied for at Identity Malta, but you must first collect the required documents from JobsPlus.

The Maltese eResidence Card

To settle and work in Malta, you need to apply for residency. You will be given an eResidence card. This card is the documentation covering all types of residency status acquired by foreigners (both EU and non-EU Nationals) living in Malta, including those registered under the schemes administered by the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue (tax regimes).

Identity Malta is the government service responsible for this card.

Now let's see the different types of residence permits and tax regimes available for foreigners wishing to live and work in Malta.

Residence Permit in Malta for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

The EU, EEA and Swiss nationals need to apply for the Residence Permit (eResidence card) to live and work in Malta. The EU nationals benefit from the right to free movement. If they want to stay more than 3 months in Malta, they need to apply for the Residence Permit.

There are several types of Residence Permit in Malta. The Employment/Self-Employment is one of them. It allows the holder to seek employment in Malta, work (whether an employee or self-employed) and set up a business.

Residence Permit for UK nationals

What about the United Kingdom Nationals' residence status following Brexit?

UK Nationals already residing in Malta can continue to do so on the conditions provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement and national legislation. They need to apply for the new eResidence card.

UK Nationals who wish to come to live and work in Malta need to apply for the Single Permit (see below) or the EU Blue Card (for highly-skilled individuals).

Temporary Residence Permit to work in Malta

Non-EU nationals can apply for a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) in order to stay legally in Malta.

The TRP is a document issued by the Government of Malta for individuals who are staying in Malta for a specific reason and a limited amount of time. For example, language students can apply for it. However, this permit does not usually allow its holder to work in Malta.

It is intended for financially independent persons wishing to stay in Malta temporarily. The holder of this permit is not subject to the Maltese tax on income and capital gains from abroad, even if paid to Malta.

The application for the Temporary Residence Permit needs to be sent to Identity Malta.

Applying for a Single Permit and an employment license in Malta

Third-country nationals can apply for a Single Permit that includes the right to both reside and work in Malta. The application process includes checks by the Police, Immigration Office, and JobsPlus.

The Single Permit authorizes third-country nationals to legally reside and work in Malta for a defined period exceeding six months. It includes an employment license and a residence permit.

In Malta, the work permit is called an “employment licence”.

Note that third-country nationals who have been granted international or humanitarian protection in Malta or in a Member State of the European Union (such as refugees) cannot apply for a Single Permit. Third-country nationals who are family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals do not need a Single Permit to work.

You need to have a job offer in Malta in order to apply for a Single Permit. Applications must be endorsed by the employer.

If you are still abroad, your employer may submit the application on your behalf. You will then be granted permission to come to Malta once the application has been approved.

The Single Permit is valid based on the nature of employment and the contract between you and your employer.

If the applicant would no longer remain in the specified employment, the permit would cease to apply.

The single permit is renewed annually. To renew it, you need to proceed within 90 days from the date of expiry. Be careful: your current permit needs to be still valid when you apply for the renewal.

For current requirements for new applicants, renewing applicants, applicants who are still abroad, as well as industry-specific applicants, review the appropriate forms provided by Identity Malta under the section "Single-Work Permits" here. New applicants need to fill in CEA Form C and Form ID 1A, together with the required documents.

An application fee of €280.50 applies. It is payable by cash or cheque to Identity Malta Agency.

The Key Employee Initiative for highly-specialized workers in Malta

The Key Employee Initiative (KEI, or Blue Card) is a residence and work permit designed for highly-specialized Third-Country Nationals who are employed in Malta.

This scheme facilitates the issuing of work/residence permits to prospective key employees. The procedure is fast: under normal circumstances, it should not exceed 5 working days from the application's submission date.

The Key Employee Initiative applies to managerial and highly-technical positions which require the relevant qualifications or adequate experience related to the job being offered. It also applies to innovators involved in start-up projects endorsed by the Malta Enterprise.

Here are the eligibility conditions if you want to apply to the KEI:

  • Your annual gross salary must be at least €30,000 per year.
  • You need to provide certified copies of the relevant qualifications and warrants of proof of the necessary work experience.
  • You have to ask your employer to give you a declaration stating that you have the necessary credentials to perform your upcoming job duties.

The Key Employee Initiative gives the right to a residence permit valid for one year. When it is renewed, the validity period can be longer than one year if you show a valid definite or indefinite work contract together with the original annual tax declaration form.

The Ordinary Residence to live and work in Malta

Ordinary residence is available to EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals. It is an attractive residence scheme for individuals seeking to transfer their tax residence.

The residence permit allows the holders to physically live, work and do business in Malta. The applicant's family members are included in this scheme.

The applicant must:

  • Provide evidence of financial independence,
  • Buy or rent a property in Malta,
  • Have full health insurance.

The tax level for those with ordinary residence ranges between 0-35% of your income, minus a tax credit, depending on how much you earn and your marital status. There is a minimum annual tax of €5,000 for individuals or couples who are residents but not domiciled in Malta and earn at least €35,000 yearly. Your foreign income and capital gains arising outside Malta are not taxable in Malta.

This residency permit is renewed every five years.

Good to know:

This program is a tax system only. Therefore, it does not systematically guarantee a Maltese residence card, which is a separate procedure.

The Permanent Residence for EU/EEA nationals living in Malta

EU nationals and their family members can get permanent residence in another European Union country after living there legally for a continuous period of five years.

The applicant must provide the application form together with some documents depending on their situation (employed, self-employed, student, etc.), for example, payslips and proofs showing they have been living in Malta for five years.

You can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside Malta for more than 2 consecutive years.

Always consult an attorney for clarification on legal parameters.

This residency permit can be renewed.

The Long-Term Residence for Third-country nationals in Malta

After living legally for five years in Malta, Third-country nationals can get Long-Term Residence.

Here are the conditions to apply for Long-Term Residence:

  • Being economically self-sufficient.
  • Having an income at least equal to Malta's minimum wage plus an added 20% for each dependent family member.
  • Renting or owning a property in Malta. The accommodation must be regarded as normal for a comparable family in Malta and meet the standards established by the Housing Authority. This point must be confirmed by a certificate made by a warranted architect.
  • Having health insurance covering the applicant and all the related family members.
  • Having followed integration measures, in particular: the I Belong course provided by the Directorate for Human right (at least 100 hours of attendance and an examination pass mark of at least 75%), the MQF Level 2 Maltese language certificate (pass mark of at least 65%).

An application fee of €137.50 applies.

The Global Residence Programme (GRP) in Malta

The GRP is open to non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who do not have Long-Term Residence. It is a special tax status administered by the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue.

Individuals benefitting from this Programme can work in Malta if they satisfy the requisite conditions for obtaining a work permit.

The conditions for applying for the Global Residence Programme in Malta are quite strict. The applicant must invest in property valued at at least €275,000 (€220,000 in certain areas) or establish a rental contract for at least €9,600 (€8,750 in certain areas).

The application must be made through an Authorised Registered Mandatory. The applicant cannot apply for the GRP alone.

An administration fee of €6,000 or €5,500 (depending on your situation) applies.

Digital Nomad Visa in Malta

Why not live and work as a digital nomad in Malta? Since 2021, the Nomad Residence Permit allows you to work remotely while living in Malta. You can work for any employer or clients registered outside Malta. It is also open to freelancers.

If you work remotely, this visa is the ideal opportunity to immerse yourself in Maltese culture and enjoy all Malta has to offer.

The Digital Nomad Visa is open to non-EU Nationals. The applicant must have a monthly income of at least €2,700.

You need to provide some documents to apply for a Maltese Digital Nomad Visa, including a valid passport, the application form, proof of accommodation, proof of sufficient financial means, and health insurance.

The validity period of the Digital Nomad Visa is one year. The visa can be renewed.

Application has to be made at Identity Malta:

Identity Malta, Expatriates Unit
Triq Il-Wied Ta' L-Imsida
(Valley Road, Msida)
L-Imsida, Malta.
Phone: 2590 4800

Email (for EU Nationals): [email protected]

Email (for non-EU Nationals): [email protected]


Don't forget that to work in Malta, you must have a good command of the English language.

Be careful:

Nationals of certain countries must have a visa to enter Malta.

Useful links:

Government of Malta

JobsPlus - Resources

Non-Eu Nationals- Online Portal Application Procedure

Nomad Residence Permit - Residency Malta Agency

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.