Travel to Malta for work

This guide is for British citizens travelling for business or other work purposes. It explains what employers, employees, or the self-employed need to do if they need a visa, work permit or residence permit.

Entry requirements

If you’re going to Malta to work (or any other EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) you must make sure you meet passport and other travel requirements.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you’re travelling for business for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some work-related things without needing a visa or work permit, such as attend business meetings. These are usually covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

If you’re going for other types of work you may need a visa, work permit or residence permit.
Malta’s authorities are responsible for setting and enforcing entry rules. They decide which activities need a visa or permit, or which may be exempt.

You must always check with Malta’s government before you travel, to make sure you meet their legal requirements

If you’re working in more than one country you’ll need to check the entry rules of each country.

If you need a passport, visa or permit, you should apply well in advance of travel.

Visa and permit documents

This guide explains the general application process for some of the visa or permit types available in Malta. It includes a checklist of documents that you’ll usually need to include when applying.

It may not cover all scenarios so you must always check the exact application process and document requirements with Malta’s embassy or immigration authorities.

You must also check what format the documents should be presented in, including if they must be:

  • translated
  • ‘legalised’ (apostillised) or notarised
  • originals, or if copies are acceptable
  • signed in ink (a wet signature), or if they can be signed electronically (an e-signature)
  • dated within a certain period of time, such as 30 days before you submit your application

Countries often use the terms visa, work permit and residence permit differently. For example, some may refer to a work permit as a visa.

This guide uses the same terms used in Malta, so you know which ones to use when speaking to Malta’s authorities.

Check if you need a visa or permit

You do not need a visa or permit if you’re travelling to Malta for up to 90 days in a 180-day period for:

  • attending business and sales meetings
  • attending trade fairs
  • attending board meetings
  • attending project kick-off meetings
  • attending seminars or conventions
  • attending, speaking or presenting at a conference (paid or unpaid)
  • meeting clients or customers (including entertainment like eating at a restaurant)
  • meeting colleagues, contractors or sellers
  • team-building activities
  • conducting market research or studies

Or for the following types of training, as long as it’s for the same company or group:

  • classroom-based training
  • on-the-job training

These activities are covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

Border checks

At the border, you may be asked to show:

  • proof of return travel, such as plane or train tickets
  • health insurance that covers your entire stay
  • proof of accommodation for your entire stay
  • enough money for the duration of your trip
  • an invitation letter from the company in Malta explaining your trip
  • support letter from your UK employer, if applicable

Check Malta’s exemptions

Certain types of work and activities do not require a visa or permit because they’re exempt.

All countries have their own exemptions. What may be exempt in one country may not be in another. You should always check with the country’s authorities.

These are exempt in Malta for up to 90 days:

  • au pairs
  • non-executive directors who are not employed and, or paid by a company in Malta
  • seafarers working on a ship registered in, or sailing under the flag of another EU country
  • those with an EU intra-company transfer (EU ICT) permit from another country – your employer has to notify Identity Malta by post

Exemptions are covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

Show proof of exemption

You need to be able to show proof that you’re exempt to the authorities on request. This could be:

  • an assignment letter
  • an employment confirmation letter
  • a contract
  • proof of required qualifications, such as a degree or professional certificate, or proof of artistic activities
  • CV

Further checks

If you’re not sure if you need a visa or permit to travel you can get advice from Malta’s embassy.

Applying for a visa or permit

This guide outlines the steps required for each visa or permit, but you’ll need to check the exact rules and processes with Malta’s embassy or immigration authorities.

Taking your family

If you have a spouse or any children under 18 they can join you as dependants with all of the permits listed in this guide.

Short and long-term visas and permits

You need a short-term EU intra-company transfer (EU ICT) permit or employment licence if you’re:

You need to apply for a long-term work and residence permit if you’re:

Long-term permits are valid for up to 3 years depending on which one you need.

Transferring short term from a UK-based company to a branch in Malta

To qualify for a short-term EU ICT permit you must:

  • have a bachelor’s level degree (compulsory for trainees) or a high level of relevant professional experience (how long depends on the profession)
  • be a manager, specialist or trainee
  • earn a gross annual salary that’s in line with Malta’s market level for your profession
  • keep your UK employment contract
  • stay on UK payroll

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer submits an EU ICT application to Identity Malta – they will tell you which form you need to complete.

  2. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  3. You collect your work and residence permit once issued from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed EU ICT application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • degree or other qualification certificate
  • CV
  • UK employment contract
  • assignment contract or agreement from your employer in Malta
  • evidence that the branch in Malta and your UK company belong to the same group
  • health insurance cover for Malta

The short-term EU ICT permit takes around 4 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for 90 days in a 180-day period.

Working short term for a company in Malta, transferring to a branch in Malta, or providing services to a client in Malta

You qualify for an employment licence if you:

  • have an employment offer and contract from a company in Malta for up to 6 months, if you’re an employee
  • keep your UK employment contract, if you’re transferring from a UK-based company to a branch in Malta, or providing services to a client in Malta
  • meet the specifications for the job, such as the required qualifications
  • have 3 years’ relevant work experience if you don’t have the required qualifications

The employment licence is linked to the employer, not the employee. You would need to apply for a new one if you wanted to change employers or jobs.

It takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 6 months.

You can extend your employment licence for up to 3 years if you’re:

  • providing services
  • transferring to a branch in Malta

You can’t extend the employment licence if you’re working on a fixed-term contract. If you wanted to work for longer in Malta you would need to apply for a single permit or EU Blue Card.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer submits an employment licence application to Jobsplus, in person or by post.

  2. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  3. You collect your residence permit card from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed employee licence application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • degree or other qualification certificate
  • CV
  • job description
  • employment contract with the company in Malta
  • proof of accommodation
  • proof of health insurance
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Transferring long term from a UK-based company to a branch in Malta

You need a long-term EU intra-company transfer (EU ICT) permit if your UK-based company moves you to a branch in Malta.

To qualify you must:

  • have a bachelor’s level degree (compulsory for trainees) or a high level of relevant professional experience (how long depends on the profession)
  • be a manager, specialist or trainee
  • earn a gross annual salary in line with the Malta’s market level for your profession
  • keep your UK employment contract
  • be on UK payroll

The EU ICT permit takes around 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s valid for 1 year. You can extend it for up to 3 years or 1 year if you’re a trainee.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer submits an EU ICT application to Identity Malta – they will tell you which form you need to complete.

  2. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  3. You collect your residence permit from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed permit application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • degree or other qualification certificate
  • employment contract with your UK employer
  • assignment contract or agreement with the Maltese company
  • proof the UK and Maltese companies belong to the same group
  • proof of health insurance
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Working for a company in Malta on a long-term Maltese contract

You need one of these permits if you’ve been offered an employment contract with a company in Malta:

EU Blue Card

To qualify for an EU Blue Card under the fast-track Key Employee Initiative you must:

  • have an employment offer from a company in Malta for at least 1 year
  • have at least 3 years’ bachelor’s degree level education, or 5 years’ relevant experience
  • be placed on Malta’s payroll
  • meet minimum salary requirements

The EU Blue card takes up to 90 days to get. It’s valid for 1 year and you can extend it. This permit type can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer submits an EU Blue Card application (CEA Form B) to Identity Malta.

  2. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  3. You collect your residence permit from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed Blue Card application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • degree or other qualification certificate
  • CV
  • job description
  • proof that you meet Malta’s legal requirements if your profession is regulated
  • employment contract with the company In Malta
  • support letter from your employer explaining why your role is necessary and why you’re suitable for it
  • proof of accommodation in Malta
  • proof of health insurance
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Single permit

To qualify for a single permit (work and residence permit) you must:

  • have an employment offer from a company in Malta
  • be placed on Malta’s payroll
  • have the relevant qualifications for the job

You may qualify for the fast-track Key Employee Initiative if you meet minimum income requirements and you’ve been offered a position:

  • as a manager or highly technical specialist
  • at a start-up company endorsed by Malta Enterprise

The single permit takes 12 to 16 weeks to get. It only takes 2 to 4 weeks if you’re eligible for the Key Employee Initiative.

The single permit is valid for 1 year and you can extend it.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer carries out a labour market test by advertising the position with Jobsplus for at least 2 consecutive weeks unless the role is on the Malta vacancy exemption list.

  2. You or your employer registers with Identity Malta online and applies for a single permit.

  3. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  4. You collect your permit from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed permit application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • degree or other qualification certificate
  • CV
  • job description
  • employment contract with your employer in Malta
  • support letter from your employer explaining why your role is necessary and why you’re suitable for it
  • proof of accommodation in Malta
  • comprehensive health insurance policy
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Self-employed work

You need to apply for an employment licence and a single (residence) permit if you want to carry out self-employed work in Malta.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You apply to Jobsplus for an employment licence.

  2. You apply to Identity Malta for a single permit (CEA Form C).

  3. You attend an appointment with Identity Malta Agency’s Expatriates Unit to submit your biometrics and apply for an ID card.

  4. You collect your permit from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed permit application form
  • completed ID card application form
  • employer’s declaration of (your) suitability
  • UK passport for you and your dependants
  • completed CV form
  • completed position description form
  • cover letter explaining the nature of your business in Malta, including evidence of any investments you’ve made in the business
  • evidence of sickness insurance cover
  • employment licence issued by Jobsplus
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

This permit takes 6 to 12 weeks to get. It’s valid for 1 year and you can extend it. This permit type can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

Investing in Malta

If you want to invest in Malta you need to apply for a residence permit via the Permanent Residence Programme.

To qualify you must:

  • have health insurance for yourself and any dependants with the same level of risk cover as for Maltese nationals
  • not have any criminal convictions
  • not be benefitting from other Maltese immigration regulations and schemes
  • show that you have the required capital assets

This residence permit takes 14 to 16 weeks to get. It’s valid for 5 years and you can extend it as long as you keep an address in Malta. This permit type can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

How it works

You need to check with Malta’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You have to appoint a designated representative to submit your application to Residency Malta Agency.

  2. Your representative submits a residence permit application (CEA Form K) to the Residency Malta Agency.

  3. You invest the required amount.

  4. You sign a lease agreement or purchase a property in Malta.

  5. You buy health insurance covering yourself and any dependants – it must be dated within 34 weeks of getting your approval letter.

  6. You attend the Residency Malta Agency to submit your biometrics and your completed application forms.

  7. Your representative collects your residence permit from Identity Malta’s Identity Card Unit.

Application documents

Malta’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • UK passport for you and any dependants
  • European health insurance covering your stay in Malta
  • source of wealth documentation
  • bank statements for the past 3 months
  • evidence of business ownership, if applicable
  • evidence of employment, if applicable
  • evidence of address abroad
  • police clearance certificate
  • proof of accommodation in Malta
  • marriage certificate, if married and applying with family
  • birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Malta government guidance

Read official Maltese government information on visas and permits.

Check for travel changes

European governments may update or change their rules without notice.

You should always check foreign travel advice for Malta, for updates on issues, such as safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings before travelling, or planning to travel.