Work Permits in Malta

The Single Permit

The need for a Single Permit (also known as Employment Licence) derives from the Directive 2001/98 of the 13th of December 2011 which specifies a single application procedure for a single permit encompassing both work and residency in the territory of a member state.

Malta has transposed the provisions of the said Directive by means of Legal Notice 160/2014 – The Single Application Procedure for a Single Permit as regards Residence and Work and a Common Set of Rights for those Third Country Workers legally residing in Malta Regulations, 2014.

Who Requires An Employment Licence?

At present, with the exception of citizens from the EU/ EEA/Switzerland and their third country national family members or other family members all foreign nationals seeking to work in Malta require a single permit. Single permits are also needed in respect of persons who enjoy long-term residence status.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals

In the case of citizens from outside the EU/ EEA/ Switzerland (or ‘third country national’), applications for a single permit are subject to labour market consideration. They are not automatic, and are only granted where EU/ EEA/ Swiss nationals cannot be identified for the position in question.

It is vital to note that posted workers, that is, workers who are usually based in another EU/ EEA country and who have an employment relationship with an employer in that country, but who are being ‘posted’ for a stipulated period to Malta, do not need a single permit. Although no single permit is necessary, the firm in Malta to which the employee will be posted must notify the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations of this posting, within twenty-four (24) hours of commencement of work.

Self- Employment

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, (including Croatian citizens) and their third country national family members or other family members, may take up self-employment in Malta without the need for an employment licence, although they must still send an Engagement Form to ETC (in line with Legal Notice 110 of 1993).

The Maltese e-Residence Card

An e-Residence Card is automatically granted when an applicant’s work permit has been approved. The e-Residence Card is also extended to the work permit holder’s spouse. However, this does not entitle the spouse to work or automatically qualify for an employment license.

An EU/EEA/Swiss citizen has the right to enter, remain and reside in Malta. When an individual intends to reside in Malta for a period longer than three (3) months, he is obliged to apply for an e-Residence card and this also applies to non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.

The requirements of the e-Residence application mostly depend on the individual’s nationality, his residence status and the underlying reason for being in Malta.

An e-Residence card may also be issued to third-country nationals who are staying legally in Malta and who have been authorised to reside here for a specific purpose. This purpose may be one of the following, amongst others:

  • Employment
  • Self-employment
  • Economic self-sufficiency
  • Retirement
  • Study
  • Long-term residence