Today’s modern world is often likened to a global village due to the fact that no matter where one is situated in the world, no jurisdiction is too far away or impossible to reach. Nowadays, it has become an everyday occurrence for individuals to seek work in foreign jurisdictions, as well as for entire companies to relocate to other jurisdictions together with its workers. Our Corporate Immigration Law Practice has years of experience in assisting clients through corporate relocation. Apart from offering its counsel with respect to company set up and tax implication matters, our lawyers also assist clients with the attainment of work permits for their employees who will be relocating to Malta together with the company.
Obtaining a work permit in Malta
Malta offers a secure and diverse environment for those seeking employment within its shores. The island vaunts a modern IT infrastructure which firms and authorities alike use in order to offer a very vast array of services online. Raising the rate of employed people in Malta is high on the authorities’ agenda, therefore training and education is provided as part of national incentives which are often backed by EU initiatives. Malta also offers a public employment service, known as Jobsplus, through which individuals can find jobs or improve their careers. Registered individuals will be informed when suitable job opportunities arise. Our experienced experts assist individuals and corporations wanting to move to Malta for work by accurately preparing the necessary documentation and submitting it to the relevant authorities.
The Relevant Legislation
The Immigration Act (Chapter 217 of the Laws of Malta) is the key legislative framework which regulates employment in Malta. This act is supplemented by Legal Notice 140 of 2014 which provides for third country nationals who wish to work and reside in Malta for more than three months. The granting of such an authorisation is done through the issuing of a Single Permit Application which was introduced into our laws by EU directive 2001/98 which provides an applicant with an e-residence card.
Government Policy on Work Permits
The Maltese Government asserts a restrictive policy with respect to employment licences (work permits) being granted to third country nationals. Work permits are granted to third country nationals in exceptional circumstances only as outlined below.
Conditions for the issue of a Work Permit
EU/EEA/Swiss residents (except Croatian Nationals) and their family who may be EU or non EU nationals, are eligible to live and work in Malta without the need to acquire a permit. On the other hand, third country nationals wishing to reside and work in Malta need to apply for a Single Application Permit (including Residence and Work) at the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs.
Before granting a work permit to a third country national, Jobsplus (previously known as the Employment and Training Corporation), which is responsible for the processing of employment licences (previously referred to as a work permit), needs to ascertain a number of issues:
- Applicants for an employment licence must first secure an offer of employment from an employer in Malta who must apply on their behalf;
- Applicants must possesses a specialist skill or qualification of which there is a shortage in Malta;
- There must exist a significant demand in a particular field e.g. qualified nurses, tourist guides with particular language skills, construction workers...
One must note that work permits are issued for third country nationals who work with a specific employer and perform a specific job. In fact, employers are obliged to apply for the work licence on behalf of the foreign citizen who will start working in Malta, therefore the employee cannot use the employment licence to take up a different job or work for a different employer.
Validity and Renewal of Work Permits
Generally, an employment licence is valid for one year, and may be renewed thereafter where a request to that effect is justified. Exceptionally, a licence can be valid for up to three years if an employer expressly requests it, provided that adequate justification is given
In the case of a foreign national who is an investor in the manufacturing or financial services sectors, and holds a minimum share holding of at least 40% in the enterprise, a relative licence can be issued indefinitely.
Before applying for an employment licence, third country nationals must already be in possession of a valid visa before entering in Malta. Third country nationals from a number of jurisdictions will only need a visa if they are planning on residing in Malta for more than 90 days. Additionally, persons who enjoy long term residence status will also need an employment licence.
How can we help you?
Our experienced team of Corporate Relocation professionals assists clients who are interested in relocating to Malta for business purposes throughout the process of attaining work permits, either as an individual or as a company seeking to relocate its employees. Our goal is to make your transition as seamless as possible through our residency & citizenship and corporate immigration practice groups. Additionally, we offer job search services or employee recruitment assistance and we can also assist you if you have a job offer from an employer in Malta.