Introduction to the immigration framework
Malta’s inhabitants has been steadily expanding by good net migrant flows, most notably given that its accession to the European Union (EU) in 2004. As at November 2021, Malta’s resident inhabitants stood at 519,562, 22 for each cent of which were non-Maltese nationals. The biggest proportion of foreigners in work hail from in the EU (67 for every cent), with Asian nationals making up the major part of third-nation nationals (TCNs) (25 for every cent). Malta experienced a sharp rise in TCNs in 2018 as, all through that 12 months by yourself, double the variety of EU nationals migrated to Malta.2 Standing at just 316 sq. kilometres, Malta is the most densely populated place inside the EU with 1,649 citizens per square kilometre.3
The inflow of migrants is a final result of several attempts created (mainly by policy) above the a long time to appeal to overseas personnel to Malta. Distinct guidelines for the admission of TCNs have been in location due to the fact 2004, which later on progressed to make a blended application procedure for the issuance of a permit for TCNs to reside and do the job in Malta (referred to as the solitary permit). The promulgation of these legislation also heralded the setting up of a particular unit – the Expatriates Device in the Identification Malta Company (IMA) – to manage the administrative process of reviewing and issuing home and do the job-similar documentation with regard to both of those EU nationals and TCNs.
Immigration plan has adjusted around time, which has observed the introduction of a multitude of solutions for these wishing to relocate to Malta, with every obtaining its possess requirements for eligibility, time frame and process (which will be in depth in the correct sections underneath). The one permit process, as the title implies, is a just one-track process for acquiring an authorisation to reside and perform in Malta. It is a short term-sort permit intrinsically tied to just one employer and employment for a specific position for a period of time of above six months (frequently a single yr).
Aside from the solitary allow, TCNs may possibly also implement underneath the EU Blue Card procedure, which provides its holder the proper to reside and get the job done in Malta, albeit with some variations from the solitary permit. The single permit and EU Blue Card procedures the two sort component of the EU legal framework harmonising Member States’ ailments of entry and residence of TCNs for labour reasons, with the main distinction currently being that the EU Blue Card also allows its holder to shift to an additional Member Point out beneath simplified conditions and also applies to really skilled TCNs, while the one permit method could also apply to very low- or non-qualified personnel and completely ties the worker to employment in Malta. In phrases of highly competent TCNs, candidates may well also continue less than the Important Work Initiative (KEI), which mostly follows the single permit course of action with decreased processing time (5 working times from the submission of the software as opposed to four months for a solitary allow) and without the want to satisfy the labour industry examination,4 making it considerably far more desirous for employers.
There is also a process for the admission of a TCN in the context of an intra-company transfer, referred to as the intra-corporate transferee permit (ICT permit), whereby a TCN is seconded from an enterprise proven outdoors Malta to a neighborhood entity that is aspect of the exact company team for occupational or coaching needs. The optimum period of an ICT permit is three decades in the situation of professionals and specialists and just one year in the situation of trainees.
The EU has a shared normative competence with regard to immigration plan. In simple fact, the EU legal framework presently contains directives that apply devoid of prejudice to the prerogative of Malta to established volumes of admission for TCNs getting into its territory for labour purposes.
Another allow is the nomad residence permit (NRP), whereby TNCs (labelled as ‘digital nomads’) who retain their employment remotely in another country may lawfully reside in Malta, issue to assembly eligibility criteria. When the NRP is issued for a person-yr durations, an additional interesting incentive applies specifically to start off-ups – the Malta Startup Home Programme (SRP) – which grants entrepreneurs a residence permit for up to 8 a long time, enabling them to do business enterprise in Malta (the SRP also extends to main staff members and immediate family members).
Other selections involve the Malta Long lasting Home Programme (MPRP) and the Maltese Excellent Trader Naturalisation (MEIN) programme, which are administered by separate businesses: the Residency Malta Company (RMA) and the Local community Malta Agency (CMA), respectively.
Relocation to Malta other than for perform may possibly consider a variety of other sorts, these types of as apps by international spouses and young children of Maltese citizens economic self-sufficiency research, analysis, schooling or voluntary assistance health-related procedure refugee and subsidiary defense or certain home authorisation (for humanitarian explanations).
i Legislation and plan
In the context of company immigration, the Immigration Act (Cap. 217) (the Act) constitutes the principal laws regulating the proper of entry and residence of foreigners in Malta. This is supplemented by the Immigration Restrictions (S.L. 217.04) (the Regulations), which consist of provisions on the entry and connected legal rights of citizens of the EU and TCNs as nicely as provisions on travel documents, visas and border checks.
In addition to the Act and the Regulations, the subsequent also variety element of the domestic immigration framework:
- the One Application Treatment for a Single Permit as regards Residence and Operate and a Widespread Set of Legal rights for all those Third-Place Personnel Legally Residing in Malta Laws (S.L. 217.17) (the One Permit Laws)
- the Problems of Entry and Home of 3rd-Place Nationals for the purpose of Extremely Experienced Employment Restrictions (S.L. 217.15) (the EUBC Regulations)
- the Ailments of Entry and Residence of 3rd-Nation Nationals in the Framework of an Intra-Corporate Transfer Laws (S.L. 217.21) (the ICT Restrictions)) and
- the Absolutely free Movement of European Union Nationals and their Household Users Order (S.L. 460.17).
The previously mentioned transpose EU laws – that is, Directive 2011/98, Directive 2009/50, Directive 2014/66 and Directive 2004/38, respectively.
As described over, Malta also presents programmes whereby TCNs may well obtain long-lasting residence or citizenship on the basis of expense, which are governed by different restrictions.
The immigration authorities have revealed FAQs and pointers on their websites pertaining to the obtainable permits and programmes, which deal with coverage matters outside of law.
As a Member State, Malta is bound by the EU acquis on flexibility of movement. Malta also participates in the Schengen Place, in which a popular visa policy is applied. The visa facilitation agreements concluded by the EU with third nations around the world also implement to Malta.
As regards citizenship, the main laws is the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap. 188), which provides for the grounds of acquisition, deprivation and renunciation of citizenship of Malta.
ii The immigration authorities
The authorities that administer the regulations relating to immigration are IMA, RMA and CMA, which fall within just the remit of the Ministry for Home Affairs, Stability, Reforms and Equality. IMA is dependable for issues relating to visas, home permits, get the job done permits and other administrative issues about expatriates. IMA comprises (1) the Expatriates Unit, which processes and difficulties home documentation, and (2) the Central Visa Unit, which, with each other with Malta’s diplomatic missions overseas, is dependable for issuing visas to foreigners in accordance with countrywide guidelines and the provisions under the Schengen regime. RMA processes programs designed under the MPRP, NRP and SRP (the latter is jointly administered with Malta Enterprise). All matters relating to Maltese citizenship are managed by CMA.
Other stakeholders could be concerned in immigration procedures – particularly, the Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Device with regard to overall health screening for function permits and Jobsplus Company (Jobsplus), which supplies assistance on labour market issues with regard to the issuance of employment licences.
As for border manage, the Central Immigration Business (the Immigration Police) is a specific branch of the Malta Police Force charged with managing the points of entry, together with checks aimed at preventing illegal entry of foreigners and detection of untrue documents. Officers of the Immigration Law enforcement are deployed at the Malta Intercontinental Airport, the Sea Terminal in Valletta (Malta) and the yacht marinas found at Msida (Malta) and Mġarr (Gozo). The Immigration Law enforcement also method requests for home permits, do the job permits and nationality, and deal with immigration-associated investigations and the issuance of return conclusions to TCNs who are discovered to be staying in Malta illegally.
The jurisdiction to hear and establish appeals underneath the Act or laws promulgated thereunder is vested in the Immigration Appeals Board (IAB), which is presided about by a law firm, a man or woman versed in immigration issues and another person.
iii Exemptions and favoured industries
European Financial Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not call for a visa to vacation to Malta, pursuant to their correct to cost-free movement in just the territory of the EU. Nationals of 3rd nations listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 are exempt from the visa need when crossing the external borders of Member States (for short stays up to 90 days in any 180-day time period).
EEA and Swiss nationals are cost-free to get up work in any Member Condition and, appropriately, do not need an authorisation to do the job in Malta. All other foreigners need to have to acquire an work licence, the issuance of which is generally topic to labour industry issues. However, recruitment in particular occupations in many sectors of the Maltese economic system is exempted from the prerequisite for employers to open up vacancies locally before partaking TCNs (the emptiness necessity, which is aspect of the labour market place examination).5 The emptiness exemption checklist6 incorporates IT, finance, tax and gaming pros, between some others. An exemption to the emptiness necessity also applies in the circumstance of KEI applications, purposes advised and endorsed by Malta Enterprise, programs for an ICT permit, and purposes for taking care of directors, main government officers and common professionals, as detailed in the Jobsplus Work Licenses Device Guidelines.7
TCNs who slide within the scope of the Single Allow Regulations might benefit from a fast-monitor channel for the processing of programs underneath the KEI exactly where they have been given a career give in Malta for a managerial or hugely complex placement that draws in an once-a-year gross salary of at minimum €30,000.
People performing in just particular industries and sectors may be eligible for advantageous tax remedy. A beneficiary may well opt to be taxed at a diminished charge of 15 for every cent8 on the income earned by means of a qualifying employment deal (i.e., profits from an qualified office environment and meeting the threshold quantity specified in the regulation). The qualified industries and sectors of the financial system include things like finance,9 aviation, gaming, innovation and creative imagination, maritime, and servicing of offshore oil and gasoline.