Work Permit

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In today’s highly globalised world, no jurisdiction is too far away and it has become an everyday occurrence for foreigners to seek work in other jurisdictions. Our Immigration Law Practice can help clients with their corporate relocation services by assisting them with acquiring work permits for their employees.

Obtaining a work permit in Malta

Employment in Malta is secure and diverse. The modern IT infrastructure is well-exploited by firms and authorities alike and many services are available online. Malta also encourages training and education through the introduction of several national incentives, backed also by EU initiatives. Our team of well-seasoned specialists have assisted numerous persons wishing to move to Malta for work. Our immigration lawyers ensure that the necessary documentation is accurately prepared and submitted.

  • The Relevant Legislation

The main legislative instrument which regulates employment of foreigners in Malta is the Immigration Act, Chapter 217 of the Laws of Malta. As per Legal Notice 160 of 2014, the authorisation for a third country national to work and reside in Malta for more than three months is done through the issuing of a Single Permit Application which was introduced into our laws following the EU directive 2001/98 which would provide the applicant with an e-residence card.

  • Government Policy on Work Permits

In respect of third country nationals, the Government maintains a very restrictive policy and employment licences are granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Such work permits are issued to employers wishing to engage foreigners for a determined period and for a specific purpose, only after it has been ascertained that every effort has been made to engage a suitable Maltese citizen.

  • Conditions for the issue of a Work Permit

Prior to granting an employment licence to a third country national, the Employment and Training Corporation, which is responsible for the issuing of such licences, will ensure that:

a) Applicants for an employment licence must first secure an offer of employment from an employer in Malta;

b) Applicants must possesses a specialist skill or qualification of which there is a shortage in Malta;

c) There must exist a significant demand in a particular field e.g. qualified nurses, tourist guides with particular language skills, construction workers...

  • Validity and Renewal of Work Permits

Employment licences are normally issued valid for one year. Licenses valid for up to three years may also be applied for at the express request of the employer and provided sufficient justification is given.  Licences may be renewed thereafter where a request to that effect is justified. Where a foreign national is an investor in the manufacturing or financial services sector and holds substantial shareholding (40%) in the enterprise, the relative licence may be issued indefinitely.

  • Third Country Nationals

EU/EEA/ Swiss residents as well as their family members, irrespective of the latter’s nationality, may reside and work in Malta without acquiring a permit. The Single Permit application is aimed for third country nationals who want to reside and work in Malta. It is important to note that a work permit is issued in respect of third country nationals who work with a specific employer to 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. The employee cannot use the employment licence to take up a different job or work for a different employer and an employment licence is generally granted for a maximum period of one year.

  • Visa Requirements

Prior to applying for an employment licence, third country nationals must already be in possession of a valid visa before entering in Malta. Exceptionally, 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.

Obtaining a work permit in Cyprus

Similarly to Malta’s case, applications for entry and work permits in general categories of employment are submitted to a regulator, the Civil Registry and Migration Department by the intended employer through the respective District Aliens and Immigration Branch of the Police when the employee is still abroad. Applications are to be accompanied with the work contracts which are to be stamped by the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is the authority responsible for examining the application in order to see if there are any Cypriots who are adequately qualified for the post.

How can we help you?

At Chetcuti Cauchi we have a seasoned team of employment & labour lawyers who are ready to assist you in an array of employment-related services. If you are interested in relocating to Malta or Cyprus to work, we are fully geared towards making 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.  

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Key Contacts

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Advocate, Malta

+356 22056446