Getting a work visa in Malta as a contractor

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Malta has one of the strongest economies in the world, boasting a number of successful industries, from tourism to real estate, Blockchain technology and the service sector. Residents get to enjoy year-round beautiful weather and a comfortable existence where people are friendly and the cost of living is relatively low.

These and other factors make Malta an attractive location for contractors, entrepreneurs and digital nomads alike.

However, you can’t just move to and work in Malta on a whim. There are certain processes and requirements that you must adhere to-chief of which involves getting a relevant work visa. In the following article, we’ll share with you all the information you need to know in order to get a Malta work visa for contractors.

Requirements of a Maltese work visa

Since Malta is part of the European Union, a work permit is not required for EU citizens. Non-EU citizens on the other hand, do require a work permit or visa in order to live and work in the country. To acquire it, you’ll have to fill out and sign all the relevant forms and submit them along with the following documents:

  • Your CV
  • A cover letter
  • A certified copy of your passport
  • Proof of qualifications or work experience
  • Health insurance documents, and;
  • Proof of Maltese property lease.

Non-EU citizens are also required to register as job seekers in Malta before they can obtain employment and residency in the country. The Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) is responsible for this registration process and it is completed by signing a document known as the ETC 35 form.

Also, the company applying for the work permit must demonstrate that they have attempted to find suitable workers locally and were unable to find qualified candidates.

Applying for a work visa in Malta as a contractor

In most cases, it is the employer who applies for a work permit on behalf of the employee. But, if you’re a contractor then you’ll have to apply for it on your own.

It’s worth noting here that contractors from international, non-EU countries are allowed to work in Malta only under exceptional circumstances, such as:

  • When the self-employed individual proposes to provide employment to at least 3 Maltese residents and has a solid business plan to back their idea.
  • A successful contractor who wants to setup shop in Malta.
  • Individual contractors that have a capital investment of 100, 000 Euros or more.

If your intention is to work as a self-employed individual in Malta, then you’ll need to apply for an employment license as well from the Maltese enterprise agency. This organization is the country’s official development agency and is tasked with the responsibility to facilitate economic growth through foreign investment and coordination.

The good news is that it’s possible to apply for a Malta work visa while you’re still abroad. But, if you simply can’t wait to start your new life in Malta then you can always apply for a work visa whilst living in the country under a 90 day temporary residency permit.

How long does it take to acquire a Maltese work visa?

There’s no telling how long it will take to process your application, as this tends to differ on a case by case basis. However, you usually need to get a work permit before you can receive a Maltese work visa. Also, someone that’s entering the country through the Key Employment Initiative will experience shorter application processing of just five days compared to an independent contractor.

On average it takes about 30 to 60 days for the Maltese government to review a work visa application from a contractor, and you must lodge said application at least 3 months before you start working in the country.

Once your application is approved you’ll receive a formal approval letter via email, allowing you to start working as a contractor in Malta. A Maltese work visa is valid for 1 to 3 years from the date of approval, depending on whether or not you’re part of the Key Employment Initiative, and it enables you to live and work in the country just like the locals do.

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