All You Need to Know Before Moving to Malta
The enthralling island of Malta is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, making it a unique travel spot for thousands of tourists every year. Moving to Malta seemed to be only achievable in dreams, however, the time has changed and today it is a reality for many.
Throughout history, Malta has constantly fallen under foreign influence: the Phoenicians, the Arabs, the British and the Italians continuously claimed the territory. All of this and the absolute Mediterranean climate have made Malta an ultimate destination to move to.
How to Immigrate to Malta
To initiate your move to Malta, first, you must identify an immigration path you will take. Here are some of the most popular ways to move to Malta.
The study visa is issued for the paid period of study, but not more than one year. If you have an invitation from the language school for four months, the visa will be issued for the same four months. And it will be a so-called national visa - with limited rights to enter neighbouring countries.
First Steps upon arrival in Malta
- Get a Taxpayer Reference Number.
The taxpayer reference number is issued for non-Maltese citizens who live and work in Malta. This number consists of 9 digits and is generated by the IRD for tax purposes. Request and file a non-Resident registration via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apply for an e-Residence Card.
Foreigners living in Malta for longer than 3 months must obtain an e-residence card. A Maltese e-residence card is an official document that confirms your legal status in Malta and is used for numerous vital services. Apply for an e-residence card at Identity Malta.
- Open a Maltese Bank Account.
To open a bank account in Malta you need to have:
- Proof of residency
- A taxpayer reference number
- Proof of identity/ valid passport
- A banker’s reference
- Employment contract/income details ( if required)
- Valid rental agreement/contract of property purchase
- Driving License & Auto Insurance.
Citizens of EU countries are not required to obtain any permit to drive in Malta. Citizens of non-EU countries can drive for up to a year with a valid driving license from their home country. After that, they must apply for a Maltese driving license.
Healthcare in Malta
Malta's public health care system is funded by the state through taxation and covers all types of treatment such as hospitalisation, surgery, pregnancy and childbirth support, as well as rehabilitation.
Free public health care in Malta is accessible for those, who are covered by social security and EU citizens who own a certificate of entitlement. Foreigners who move to Malta for employment pay social security contributions that give them access to the Maltese public healthcare system.
The healthcare system in Malta successfully provides quality services, but patients are rather dissatisfied with the long waiting times for non-urgent inpatient treatment. Expats who require shorter waiting times and a wider range of services purchase private medical health insurance.
Earning and Spending in Malta
Malta has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, which is 3.2% in 2022. The minimum wage in Malta is regulated and set by the government at €7.25 per hour or €13,556 per year, which is adjusted according to inflation.
Renting vs. Housing in Malta
The Rental market in Malta is quite competitive and constantly changing. Prior to moving to Malta, consider renting a property before settling and purchasing one. Malta offers a grand variety of renting accommodations such as rooms, flats, apartments, townhouses and villas available for foreigners looking to rent in Malta.
You can choose to work with a Maltese real estate agent or rent directly from the landlord. In the former case, the agent fees would cost up to 50% of the monthly rent. The average cost of rent in Malta depends on the city and location within. Expect to pay for a 1 bedroom apartment on average about €450 - €850 per month and about €1,100 - €1,500 for a 3 bedroom apartment.
Start looking for a place to rent in Malta 2-4 weeks before the estimated moving date. The landlord will request a deposit, that in theory, must be returned once you move out. However, Maltese landlords are known for “forgetting” or simply refusing to give it back. Have it documented in the contract signed by both parties or say bye to it.
Buying property in Malta is not difficult for foreigners, as there are no restrictions prohibiting such transactions. The only requirement for foreigners wishing to purchase property in Malta is to obtain the AIP - Acquisition of Immovable Property. Individuals moving to Malta purchase real estate as a financial investment allowing them to qualify for a permanent Maltese residence permit.
The house price in Malta varies from the region and city and on average costs about €2,520 - €3,500 per square meter. In Valletta, average prices rise to €5,900 - €8,350 per square. Both EU and non-EU citizens are allowed to buy only one property in Malta unless it is located in a Special Designated Area (SDA).