Visas for Malta

Updated 2023-01-21 18:46

 Before moving to Malta, it is best to be aware of travel conditions and whether or not you need a visa. In general, EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals do not require a visa to travel and stay in Malta for up to 90 days. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (Third-country Nationals) must apply for a visa according to the estimated length and purpose of their stay in the country.

Visa exemption for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals in Malta

Nationals of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to travel to Malta. They have the right to move freely within the European Union. All they need is to bring a valid national identity card or passport.

If EU/EEA/Swiss nationals wish to stay in Malta for more than 3 months, they must apply for a Residence Permit.

Other visa exemptions for Malta

Some countries have signed a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states (including Malta).

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for a short stay in Malta (less than 3 months): Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, Uruguay, Vatican, Venezuela.

Types of visas and conditions for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

You can choose from four types of visas for Malta, namely the airport transit visa (ATV), the Malta transit visa, the short stay C (Schengen) visa and the National long stay D visa.

Airport Transit Visa for Malta

The Airport Transit Visa (ATV) allows you to remain within the airport's international transit zone only. This visa applies to nationals of a specific list of countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

When do you need to apply for an ATV?

You need to apply for an ATV if you land at the Maltese airport in order to wait in the international area of the airport for a connecting flight that will take you to your non-Schengen destination country.

Note that the Airport Transit Visa does not allow you to enter Maltese territory. You must stay in the international area of the airport.

The following documents must be provided when you apply for the ATV:

  • A valid visa (if needed) for the final country you are traveling to
  • The flight ticket for the final country you are traveling to.

Malta Transit Visa

If you need to disembark at a Maltese port and continue aboard the ship, transfer to another ship bound for a foreign port or location, or board a ship that is already in Malta, you will need to apply for a Maltese Transit Visa.

The applicant must provide an original and photocopy of Seaman's book, a letter from the inviting shipping company, an employment contract, the ticket for the final country they are traveling to and the visa for the final country (if required).

The Schengen Visa (short stay of C Visa) for Malta

The C or Schengen Visa allows you to stay in Malta or in any other member state of the Schengen Zone for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. Note, however, that the Schengen visa's validity period depends on the duration of your stay (up to five years). Hence, it can be delivered as follows:

  • A single-entry visa, allowing you to make a single uninterrupted stay within the period stipulated on the visa, not exceeding 3 months.
  • A double-entry visa, allowing you to make two stays during the period stipulated on the visa, not exceeding 3 months over a total of 6 months (the 90/180 rule). It means that the visa holder can leave the Schengen territory and enter it again once.
  • A multiple-entry visa, allowing you to make several stays within the period stipulated in the visa, not exceeding 3 months over a total of 6 months. The number of stays in the Schengen Area is unlimited as long as the visa holder respects the 90/180 rule.

There are three types of multiple-entry visas:

  • 1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa:

Thanks to this visa, you can enter Malta as many times as you want, as long as you do not remain more than 90 days within this period. You can apply for it if you obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years.

  • 3-year multiple-entry Schengen visa:

This visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area (and therefore the Maltese territory) as many times as you wish within a period of three years, as long as you respect the 90/180 days rule. You might be eligible if you had a multiple-entry visa valid for one year in the previous two years.

  • 5-year multiple-entry Schengen visa:

This visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area (including Malta) as many times as you wish within a period of five years, as long as you respect the 90/180 days rule. You can apply for it if you previously got a multiple-entry visa valid for at least two years within the previous three years.

Remember to have your passport stamped by the border police each time you enter and leave the Schengen Area. This will prove that you are respecting the 90/180 rule.

National Long Stay Visa (D Visa) for Malta

The National Long Stay Visa, or D Visa, allows you to stay more than 90 days in the Schengen Zone, including Malta. It applies to foreign nationals intending to travel to Malta to work or study.

The National Long Stay Visa allows you to stay one year in Malta. If you want to stay more than one year in Malta, the D visa will allow you to apply for a residence permit.

The D visa does not depend on any type of agreement. Therefore, you have to request this visa from the Central Visa Unit of your home country's consulate in Malta.

Here are the different types of National Long Stay Visas, depending on the reason for your stay in Malta:

  • Malta Work Visa
  • Malta Student Visa
  • Malta Family Visa
  • Malta Retirement Visa
  • Malta Digital Nomad Visa
  • Malta Investment Visa.

According to the free movement agreement, nationals of Schengen member States do not need a visa to travel to Malta. EU/EEA Nationals who intend to live and/or work in Malta can do so under the free movement agreement.

Applying for a visa to travel to Malta

Nationals of non-European countries who require a visa to enter the country can follow these steps to apply for a visa.

In general, the following requirements must be met to apply for any Schengen visa:

  • You must have a valid travel document (passport) which should be valid for at least three months following the visa application date.
  • You must have two passport-size color photos on a white background.
  • You need to be able to pay the requisite fee.

In the case of a tourist stay, you will also have to produce the following:

  • A valid return ticket;
  • Proof of sufficient funds;
  • Proof of hotel booking or any other similar accommodation or a letter written by your host in the case of a guest house; and
  • Proof of medical or travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000.

In the case of a professional stay, you will also need the following:

  • A valid return ticket;
  • Proof of sufficient funds;
  • A letter of invitation from the company or partner hosting your visit to Malta, mentioning its address and the dates of your visit;
  • Proof of the commercial relationship between you and your host;
  • A certificate from the local Chamber of Commerce proving the existence of the said commercial activity;
  • And/or information on the event/trade fair/congress you will be joining in Malta, including detailed information regarding the host/event organizer (complete address, event length, justification of your participation)
  • A letter from your own company indicating your status there;
  • Proof of hotel booking or similar proof in case you have chosen other accommodation; and
  • Proof of medical or travel insurance with a minimum coverage of € 30,000.

Students are also required to produce the following:

  • A valid return ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds;
  • An acceptance letter from your university or program indicating that you have enrolled there as well as other details pertaining to your admission and courses;
  • Proof of accommodations throughout your period of study; and
  • Proof of medical or travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000.

How to bring proof of sufficient funds when applying for a Schengen visa?

Anyone applying for a Schengen visa must prove they have enough money to support themselves throughout their stay.

There are several recognized ways to prove your financial sufficiency: a personal bank statement, credit card, cash, traveler's cheques, payslips, proof of employment, supporting document to attest sponsor's readiness to cover your expenses during your stay, proof of prepaid transport or accommodation, other. When applying for a visa to Malta, you need to show that you have at least €48 per each day you plan to stay in Malta.

The Schengen visa application fee is 80 euros in 2022. For children aged 6 to 12, it is 40 euros. The visa is free for children under 6 years.

The application must be made at least one month before the scheduled departure date.

Extending or renewing a visa to stay in Malta

First of all, there are no renewal processes for Schengen Visas. Such visas can only be extended.

Remember that the Schengen Visa (short stay of C Visa) is valid for 90 days within a 180-day period (the 90/180 rule).

In most cases, the Schengen Visa extension is only granted for extraordinary reasons. Those reasons are usually force majeure, humanitarian reasons and serious personal reasons.

Force majeure refers to uncontrollable and unexpected events that stop you from returning to your country of residence. It can be war, labor stoppages, extreme weather, violent protests, or no-flight connections.

Humanitarian reasons usually refer to medical grounds.

Serious personal reasons can be an unplanned wedding of yours or a close relative, death of a family member.

Here are the requirements if you want to extend your Schengen Visa:

  • Your situation has to be considered extreme (an emergency). For example, you become so sick that it is not possible for you to travel out of Malta.
  • You need to provide credible evidence to show that you need a visa extension. It can be physical proof, such as official papers from your doctor expressing the severity of your condition if you are currently hospitalized.
  • Your passport or travel document must be less than 10 years old and have a validity of at least six months.
  • You must bring evidence that you are able to continue to financially support yourself during the extension period.
  • You need to extend your international health insurance so that it will cover you during the extension period (if it would not cover you already).

Please note that your extension request will almost certainly be rejected if the given reason is found to be a cover for your true purpose of wanting to seek a more permanent form of residency in Malta.

Once extended, your Schengen Visa will be valid for an additional 90 days.

The Schengen Visa extension takes the form of a visa sticker, which is pasted within your passport or travel document.

The Schengen Visa extension fee is €30. Such fee will be waived if the applicant proves that they cannot return home for humanitarian reasons within his visa validity period.

Finally, note that there are other means to extend your stay in Malta, according to your personal situation:

  • Apply for a National Long Stay Visa (D visa).
  • Apply for asylum if you fear that returning to your home country could result in serious injury or death.

Useful links:

Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security - Traveling to Malta

Home Affairs - Travelling to Malta

Identity Malta - Visa types

Identity Malta - List of countries requiring visas

Schengen Visa Calculator

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.