"Third Country Nationals" in Malta

In the past years Malta has evolved into a business hub on the international level. Besides being one of the best destination for historical places, pleasant sunny climate, beautiful sea, Malta offers various work opportunities, welcomes and supports business ideas and initiatives.


Being part of the European Union, citizens of the EU/EEA states enjoy the rights of freedom of movement together with the freedom of conducting business in the EU Member states, having the right to apply for work permits and residence cards as a primary residence in any of the member states. 


The situation is different for those, moving to the EU member state from a NON EU country, being considered as a «third country national».  Malta has specific rules and regulations for that, wherein every application is carefully taken care of and requires time for processing and decision making. Below information will apply to those considered as a «third country nationals».


For those visiting Malta for a short term (not exceeding 3 month period), there is a standard process of Schengen Visa application in the Maltese Embassy in the respectful country of residence in order to achieve the granting of such visa for a desired period of time.


There must be valid grounds for those who wish to reside in Malta for longer then 3 months period, wherein there is an opportunity to apply for:

  1. National Visa, 
  2. Refugee/Humanitarian protection status,
  3. EU residence card (which might lead to the right of achieving citizenship after 5 year period) 


1.1. National Visa or Visa D Type is applied for in the Central Visa Unit in Malta. Applicant must have a particular diplomatic mission or consular approval in order to be granted such visa. However, the new regulation is in place, wherein all the students following a course accredited at Malta Qualifications Framework level 3 or lower will apply for a National Visa. In case the course lasts longer then 1 year and student is requested to reside in Malta, after a 1 year period the student will apply for an EU residence card in the Identity Malta.


2.1.  Refugee/Humanitarian protection status can be applied for and achieved through the UN Refugee Agency in Malta. LexMalta offers consultancy services for those wishing and having valid grounds to apply, whilst being a legal representative and a helpful hand throughout the whole process for achievement of the desired status. 


3.1.1. Work Permit for Non-EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals (Third Country National)

A third country national can be employed by a firm/company, wherein he will need to achieve license/permit upon the criteria requested together with the application. There are different working industries one can apply for, however there are preferences provided to those in iGaming sector, Finance and IT. 


3.1.2. If the applicant is interested in self employment, the third country national must invest at least EUR500,000, present a good business plan together with the proof of his skills and qualifications, have a status of sole representative of a major company, be a director of a project that has been approved by Malta Enterprise.

One can also constitute a Company in Malta or become a shareholder of a Resident Company. In such case there are conditions for those, who wish to apply for a work permit on that basis and one of the following must be applied:

  • The third country national must be the holder of a fully paid up share capital of at least EUR500,000 which may not be redeemed, reduced or transferred to a third party during the first two years following the issue of the employment licence; or
  • He/she must invest in a capital expenditure of at least €500,000 to be used by the company in the carrying out of its activities. Capital expenditure has the same meaning as explained above; or
  • The company in question is leading a project that has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise and formally notified by the latter to the Employment and Training Corporation.


With regards to Taxation in Malta, one is obliged to pay Ordinary Tax as per local Tax Rates on any income arising in Malta, also Tax is payed by those who are receiving an income in Malta, wherein such income is arising abroad.


3.2. Students. Those who study in Malta for a long term with an institution accredited by the Identity Malta are entitled for an EU residence permit.


3.3. Third Country National is entitled for an EU residence permit if he/she is a direct family member to an EU National.


3.4. Global Residence Programme as of 2013

The Global Residence Programme is created for those who are not ordinary residents, and who  do not benefit out of any other tax programs offered by Maltese Government. 

The main scope of the program is to attract investments and offer a lifestyle. In order to qualify, the individual must own or rent a property in Malta and such property must be their primary residence worldwide. Such property’s value must be between €220,000 and €275,000 if owned, or between €8,750 and €9,600 per year if rented, for no less than 12 months. The properties will vary in their values depending on location around Malta.

Under the Global Residence Programme applicant will need to pay a flat rate of 15% on income declared in Malta and a minimum of EUR15,000 per annum. In the case of one having a primary residence in Malta, the income has to be either generated in Malta, wherein will fall under the standard income tax rates, or can be generated abroad and transferred to Malta, wherein the amount transferred will fall under 15% Tax. 


LexMalta offers its services for all the above stated procedures and is ready to answer any further questions.


Anastasiya Marconi

Office Coordinator & Foreign Relations Officer