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Malta – Work Permits and Working Legally

Work Permits for Expats in Malta

Working legally in a foreign country often requires obtaining the necessary work permits, and Malta is no exception. expats, or expats, who wish to work in Malta must typically obtain a work permit to do so legally. This article will delve into the details of whether a work permit is necessary for expats in Malta, who must make the application, exemptions, types of work permits available, eligibility criteria, the application procedure, processing time, required documents, associated costs, and sources for reliable information on working legally in Malta.

Necessity of Work Permit in Malta

Expats planning to work in Malta often wonder whether they need to obtain a work permit to do so legally. In Malta, the need for a work permit largely depends on the individual’s nationality, the type of work they intend to engage in, and their length of stay in the country.

If you are an expat from a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, you generally do not need a work permit to work in Malta. This is due to the principle of free movement of labor within the EU and EEA, which allows citizens of these countries to live and work in Malta without a work permit.

However, if you are a non-EU/EEA national, you will likely need a work permit to work legally in Malta. The process for obtaining a work permit can be more complex for non-EU/EEA nationals, and it typically involves specific eligibility criteria and documentation.

Who Must Apply for a Work Permit

When it comes to applying for a work permit in Malta, it’s essential to understand who is responsible for initiating the application process. In most cases, it is the responsibility of the employer in Malta to apply for the work permit on behalf of the expat worker. This means that if you are a non-EU/EEA expat planning to work in Malta, your prospective employer must take the necessary steps to secure a work permit for you, as the applicant.

The application process often involves close collaboration between the expat and the employer to ensure that all requirements are met and that the work permit is obtained successfully.


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Exemptions from Work Permit Requirements

While non-EU/EEA expats typically need a work permit to work in Malta, there may be certain exemptions and special categories of workers who are not subject to this requirement. It’s important to be aware of these exemptions to determine whether they apply to your situation:

  • Identity Malta: Identity Malta, the agency responsible for immigration and identity services in Malta, provides information on work permits and exemptions. They offer insights into specific categories of workers and situations where a work permit may not be required.
  • European Asylum Support Office (EASO): For individuals seeking asylum and refugee-related information, the EASO website offers guidance on employment rights and regulations in Malta.

Types of Work Permits for Expats

Malta offers various types of work permits to expats based on their specific circumstances and the nature of their employment. Understanding these work permit categories is crucial, as eligibility criteria can vary. Here are some common types of work permits for expats in Malta:

  • Single Permit: The Single Permit is a comprehensive work and residence permit for non-EU/EEA nationals. It allows the holder to work and reside in Malta for a specific period and is typically tied to a specific employer.
  • Highly Skilled Third-Country Nationals: Malta offers special provisions for highly skilled non-EU/EEA nationals, which may include shorter processing times and streamlined procedures.
  • Temporary Work Permits: Expats engaged in short-term projects or assignments in Malta may apply for temporary work permits to cover the duration of their work.

The eligibility criteria for each type of work permit can vary, so it’s essential to determine which category aligns with your employment situation and consult with relevant authorities for specific requirements.

Application Procedure for Work Permits

Applying for a work permit in Malta involves a series of steps and interactions with government authorities. Understanding the application procedure is crucial to ensure a smooth process. Here is a general overview of the steps involved:

  1. Employment Offer: Securing a job offer from a Maltese employer is typically the first step. Your prospective employer must confirm your employment and meet certain conditions.
  2. Prepare the Application: Your employer will need to prepare the work permit application and gather all necessary documents, including your employment contract, qualifications, and health insurance coverage.
  3. Submit the Application: The completed application is submitted to Identity Malta or the relevant authority responsible for processing work permits.
  4. Application Review: The authorities will review your application, and if it meets all requirements, they will issue a work permit.
  5. Issuance of Work Permit: Once approved, you will receive your work permit, which allows you to legally work in Malta for the specified period.

Processing Time for Work Permits

The processing time for work permits in Malta can vary based on several factors, including the type of work permit, the completeness of your application, and the current workload of the relevant government authorities. Generally, it is advisable to start the application process well in advance to ensure that your work permit is issued in a timely manner.

Processing times can range from a few weeks to several months, so it’s essential to plan accordingly and be prepared for potential delays. Staying in communication with your prospective employer and the relevant authorities can help expedite the process.

Required Documents for Work Permits

When applying for a work permit in Malta, you will need to provide a set of required documents. These documents serve as evidence of your eligibility and help the authorities assess your application. While the specific documents may vary depending on your situation and the type of work permit you are applying for, here are some common documents often requested:

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Employment contract with a Maltese employer
  • Educational qualifications and professional certifications
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Photographs
  • Completed application forms

It is crucial to consult the relevant government agency or the official website for the most up-to-date and specific document requirements based on your circumstances.

Costs Associated with Work Permits

Obtaining a work permit in Malta is not free, and there are costs associated with the application process. The fees can vary depending on the type of work permit, the duration of validity, and other factors. It’s essential to budget for these expenses when planning your employment in Malta.

Costs associated with work permits may include:

  • Application processing fees
  • Renewal fees (if applicable)
  • Visa fees (if required)
  • Medical examination fees (if necessary)
  • Translation and notarization fees for documents (if required)

Be sure to check with the relevant authorities or consult the official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information on fees and payment methods.

Where to Find Reliable Information on Working Legally in Malta

For expats planning to work legally in Malta, accessing reliable information is crucial to navigate the intricacies of work permits and employment regulations. Here are some trusted sources where you can find valuable information:

Additionally, expats can seek guidance from their respective embassies or consulates in Malta for country-specific information and support related to work permits and legal employment in Malta.


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