Malta is known for its comprehensive working ecosystem. The islands have the means, people and culture to provide professionals and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals where business gets done.
In this respect, anyone who wishes to work on the Maltese islands and is not an EU citizen, i.e. is a third-country national, is required to be in possession of a valid employment license (Work Permit) to work in Malta.
All the European Union member states follow a single procedure when it comes to the Malta work permit applications and residence permits. They are also mandatorily required to review the procedures regarding the issuance of work and residence permits to third-country nationals. Once it is done, a document needs to be issued to empower the holder to work and reside in a member state. In Malta, such a document is referred to as the ‘’Maltese e-Residence Card’’ which enables the individual to both work and reside in Malta.
The entire processes related to work permits have been harmonized by means of the EU Directive concerned. All the EU member states are required to grant a set of rights laid down by the EU directives to all the third-country citizens working in their jurisdiction.
Type of Permit Required to Work in Malta
The Single Permit
According to the Legal Notice 160 of 2014, third-country nationals can apply for the work permit under the single permit application which is submitted to the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC).
All the applications submitted by the third-country nationals have to be endorsed by the employer/prospective employer.
Once the single permit is issued to the third-country nationals, they can only work for a particular employer to execute a specific job. This means that the employee cannot take up employment with any other employer using the same license. Such employment licenses have to be renewed on a yearly basis.
Click here to view the Checklist for Third Country Nationals applying for a Single-Work Permit.
Who will need an Employment License in Malta?
Individuals and their close family members, including spouses and children coming from EU/EFTA countries, do not require any employment licences to work in Malta. If the family members of EU/EFTA nationals are not EU citizens or EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) citizens, they also do not require an employment licence.
Likewise, all the third-country nationals are not required to apply for the Single Permit procedure who:
Are family members of EU nationals, EEA/Swiss citizens who have exercised, or are exercising, their right to freedom of movement;
Have applied for admission, or have been admitted to Malta to work as intracorporate transferees;
Are posted workers;
Are authorised to reside in a member state on the basis of temporary protection or have applied for authorisation to reside on that basis and are awaiting a decision on their status;
Have applied for admission, or have been admitted to Malta as seasonal workers or au pairs;
Are beneficiaries of protection in accordance with national law or practice, or international obligations, or have applied for protection in accordance with national law or practice, or international obligations, and whose application has not given rise to a final decision;
Are beneficiaries of international protection;
Enjoy EC long-term resident status in a member state, including Malta, or the European Union;
Have applied for admission, or who have been admitted to Malta as self-employed workers;
Had a suspension for reasons of fact or law;
Have been admitted to Malta for the purpose of studies in accordance with the provisions of the Conditions of Admission of Third Country Nationals for the purposes of Studies Regulations;
Have applied for admission, or have been admitted as seafarers for employment or work in any capacity on board a ship, which is registered in or sailing under the flag of a member state;
Have been authorised to work in Malta for a period not exceeding six months; and
Are allowed to work in Malta on a visa basis.
Other than that, all the nationals coming from non-EU and non-EFTA countries, and everyone else who is considered to be a Third Country Nationals (TCNs), is required to apply for a work permit in Malta.
Cost of a Work Permit and Application Process Time
Malta Work Permit Cost
A single permit application costs €280.50 and the Malta visa fee is also to be paid at the time of submission of the application. If the application is refused, there is no refund of the fee.
Work Permit Process Time
From the date on which the application was lodged, it can take a maximum of four months by the Director to give a decision. This time limit may be extended in exceptional circumstances linked to the complexity of the examination of the application; otherwise, the director tries to reach a conclusion as soon as possible.
The Maltese e-Residence Card
The Maltese e-Residence card was earlier known as a Residence Permit.
Anyone who intends on relocating to Malta to take up residence for a period greater than 3 months is required to apply for the e-residence card. This rule also applies to Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.
Depending on the type of application being submitted to the department of citizenship and expatriate affairs, the validity of the residency card is decided.
EU nationals can apply for the Malta e-Residence card under the following grounds by filling in the corresponding forms:
Economic Self Sufficiency – CEA Form J
Study – CEA Form M
Employment/Self Employment – CEA Form A
Family Members – CEA Form F
Permanent Residence – CEA Form P
Whereas, the Non-EU nationals can apply for the Malta e-Residence card under the following grounds by filling in the corresponding forms:
Employment/Self Employment- CEA Form C
Family Members - CEA Form G
Economic Self Sufficiency- CEA Form K
Students - CEA Form N
Posted Workers - CEA Form O
Rights of the Third Country Nationals (TCNs)
Third-country nationals who relocated to Malta for the employment purposes enjoy certain socio-economic rights granted to them by the EU directive.
The Non-EU nationals working in Malta are entitled to the same treatment as Maltese nationals.
1. Working conditions which include pay and dismissal along with health and safety at the workplace;
2. Freedom of association and affiliation and membership of employers of any organisation whose members are engaged in a specific occupation or an organisation representing workers. Including the advantages conferred by such organisations, without prejudice to the national provisions on public policy and public security;
3. Education and vocational training;
Such equal treatment shall pertain only to third-country workers who:
Are in employment;
Have been employed; or
Are registered as unemployed in Malta.
But it shall not:
Include study and maintenance grants and loans or other grants and loans;
Be given to third-country nationals who have been admitted to Malta in accordance with the provisions of Conditions of Admission of Third Country Nationals for the purposes of Studies Regulations.
With respect to access to educational qualification and vocational training which is not directly linked to the specific employment activity including university and post-secondary education and to vocational training, the specific prerequisites in national legislation shall apply;
4. Recognition of diplomas, certificates, and professional qualifications in accordance with Maltese legislation;
5. Branches of social security as specified in article 23 (e) of the Regulations regarding the single permit applications (Legal Notice 160/2014);
6. Tax benefits, in so far as the worker is deemed to be resident for tax purposes in Malta. Provided that such equal treatment shall apply to cases where the third country workers situation of residence is the same as that obtained for a Maltese national in the same situation;
7. Access to goods and services, and the supply of goods and services made available to the public, excluding access to housing; and
8. Advice services afforded by employment offices.