Work Permits in Malta

Understand the legal requirements for working in Malta and find out how to get a work permit...

The government department responsible for work permits in Malta is the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. Note that certain third country nationals require a visa before entering Malta.

Who Needs a Work Permit?

Third country citizens and nationals of Croatia need a work permit (formerly an employment licence) in order to work in Malta. EU citizens (with the exception of those from Croatia) and Swiss nationals do not need a permit to work in Malta.

Work permits for third country nationals are under the responsibility of the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs, the same body who issues e-Residence cards. This Department acts as a “one stop shop” for third country nationals working and living in Malta, and the work permit and e-Residence card are applied for at the same time with a Single Permit application. In addition the Employment & Training Corporation are involved in the application procedure, as it examines all requests for work permits from a labour market perspective.

A work permit is not automatically granted and will only be offered when a citizen from the EEA or Switzerland cannot be identified for the position.

A work permit is also required for asylum seekers, refugees and those subject to temporary humanitarian protection.

Work Permit Applications

Non-EU nationals must submit a Single Permit application, which in turn must be endorsed by the employer or a prospective employer.

Documents required

The following procedure must be followed for the Single Permit application:

Fill in Form C, which must be taken to the ETC desk within the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs along with supporting documents and a photocopy of each one:

  • Passport
  • Employment licence (if applicable)
  • Proof of sickness insurance coverage for all risks, if already residing in Malta
  • Workers in regulated professions will need a document stating that conditions are fulfilled to exercise their profession in the EU

In addition to the above the following documents may also be required during the procedure

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Job title and position description
  • References
  • Applicant's passport photo
  • Copy of applicant's visa (if already in Malta)
  • Copies of qualifications and diploma certificates
  • Covering letter indicating site of work
  • Evidence that a search has been performed to attempt to recruit a Maltese or EU national for the position.

Subject to the individual application, it may also be necessary to supply:

  • Valid police check/certificate
  • Refugee certificate
  • Proof of long term residence
  • Medical specialist evidence (for overseas carers)
  • Children's birth certificate (for nanny jobs)
  • Power of attorney
  • Proof of relationship to a diplomat
  • Proof from professional regulatory body abroad, for regulated professions
  • Health clearance from a professional

Comprehensive information about the procedure is available from the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs and on the EU Immigration Portal.

Work Permits for Self-employment

Citizens of a third country may only be granted a work permit to be self-employed in exceptional circumstances. Examples include:

  • Highly skilled innovators with a business plan and a commitment to employ three EU/Swiss citizens within 18 months of start-up
  • Capital investment in Malta of at least €100,000
  • Sole representative of an overseas company wishing to establish a branch in Malta
  • A person leading a Malta Enterprise-approved project

Long-term residents, asylum seekers, refugees and those seeking humanitarian protection must still obtain a work permit to become self-employed, but are exempt from the above third country criteria.

Although EEA and Swiss nationals may take up self-employment without the need for a work permit, they must still send a Declaration of Commencement of Employment (referred to as an Engagement Form) to the Employment and Training Corporation.

Part-time Work Rules

Part-time work rules differ between EU and non-EU citizens.

  • Third country employees may only work on a full-time basis, unless the remuneration of the part time employment is at least twice the minimum wage
  • Romanian and Bulgarian citizens may only work part-time if they have previously worked 12 months in Malta on a full-time basis
  • There are no restrictions placed on EU citizens, long-term residents, refugees or those under humanitarian protection