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Citizenship & Immigration

Applying for a Residence Permit in Malta

The Immigration Act provides for the issuance of residence permits to individuals that apply for retirement, settlement or indefinitestays in Malta.

Upon successfully acquiring a permit to reside in Malta an applicant will be issued with a European e-residence card.

A European e-residence card serves the dual purpose of a residence permit, as well as that of an identification document. The e-residence card is issued by the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs and is generally renewable an annual basis.

There exist various grounds upon which an applicant may apply in order to acquire a residence permit in Malta. These grounds include:

  •  Employment or Self Employment
  •  Long Term Residence
  •  Economic Self-Sufficiency
  •  Family Member
  •  Education
  •  International/National Protection

As a general rule all foreign nationals applying for a residence permit in Malta, whether they are European nationals or third country nationals must demostrate to the Expatriates Department that they are not going to pose a burden on the Maltese ecconomy. Therefore any applicant regardless of whether they are European Union nationals or a third country national are required to provide documentary evidence of their medical cover and their financial resources.

Employment in Malta

European Union nationals and third country nationals are entitled to apply to work in Malta. Neverthless, in order for an employer to employ a worker from outside of the European Union, EEA or Switzerland, the employer is first required to acquire an employment licence for that particular individual.

Employment licenses are issued by the Employment and Training Corporation (“ETC”) and are issued subject to various labour market considerations.

European Union , EEA and Swiss nationals are not required to apply for an employment licence, however they are still required to inform and register their employment in Malta with the Employment and Training Corporation.

Any income earned in Malta during the course of the individuals employment will be taxed at ordinary progressive Maltese tax rates.


GVTH Advocates has a wealth of experience when it comes to assisting clients in the preparation and submission of work permit applications and the firm would be able to ensure that the documentation is prepared correctly and processed in a expedious manner. Should you require any assistance in applying for an emploment licence you are directed to send us an email at

Long Term Residence Permits

Foreign nationals that have resided in Malta for a period exceeding five (5) years are entitled to apply for a long term residence permit. In order for a foreign national to apply for a long term residence permit the individual must first demostrate that he :

i)    did not leave Malta for a period exceeding ten (10) months, throughout the five (5) year period preceeding the date of submitting his application;

ii)   he attended and passed a social integration course;

iii)  has aquired the neccessary ministerial approval

Foreign nationals that have resided in Malta on the basis of Studies, Vocational Training, Temporary Protection for Displaced Persons, Subsiduary Forms of Protection, Refugee Status or Seasonal Workers are not entitled to apply for long term residence permits.


Economic Self-sufficiency Malta

All EU, EEA and Swiss nationals that are able to demostrate that they are finacially stable and not going to pose a burden on the Maltese economy are entitled to apply for a residence permit on the basis of economic self sufficiency.

The criteria to be satisfied in order to apply on the basis of economic self-sufficiency is the following:

Capital Annual Income
Individual €14,000 or € 4,800
Married Couple € 23,300 or € 5,648
The right to reside in Malta on the basis of economic self-sufficency is generally a right reserved for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, consequently residence permits on the basis of ecconomic self-sufficiency are generally not issued in respect of third country nationals. Third country nationals are in most cases directed to apply for a residence permit on the basis of studies, employment or on the basis of one of the financial programmes indicated below.


Study Purposes

Both European Union nationals and third country nationals are entitled to study in Malta.

Foreign nationals that wish to study in Malta shall be entitled to apply for a residence permit  in Malta on the basis of their studies, provided that they present an acceptance letter from the college or private school that they shall be attending.

This acceptance letter can only be issued by a college or private school that is recognised by the Maltese MQRIC.

Once a minor is accepted on the basis of studies, it is also possible for a legal guardian to apply on the basis of the students permit.

Taxation as a resident of Malta

Generally any income remitted to Malta or derived in Malta is taxed in accordance with the ordinary progressive Maltese tax rates, whilst foreign sourced income not remitted to Malta is taxed in the country it is derived.

Malta has however launched a number of tax driven initiatives in order to attract foreign investment to the island.

Amongst these tax driven initiatives we find a number of residence schemes, including:


Highly Qualified Persons Rules

Malta Retirement Programme Rules

Global Residence Programme

Residents Programme Rules

Visa and Residence Programme Rules


Citizenship in Malta is regulated primarily by the Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta.

Malta has however also recently launched a citizenship by investment programme entitled the Malta Individual Investor Programme (“MIIP”), The Programme is designed to attract investment from foreign nationals of high net worth and its main benefit is that it entitles the main applicant and his/her dependants to submit an application in order become a naturalised citizen of Malta within a relatively short period of time. The citizneship by investment programme is regulated by Legal Notice 47 of 2014 and the conditions applicable to the programme may be viewed by clicking on the following link or by sending us an email on.


GVTH has a wealth of experience in the area of applying for residence permits, as well as Maltese citizenship and our expatriates department has assisted clients from all over the world that have chosen Malta as their prefered country of residence.