EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals and their family members enjoy the right of free movement in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals may thus work in Malta as workers or self-employed persons without obtaining a work permit. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals on the other hand are duty bound at law to obtain a work permit in terms of the procedures catered for at law.
Third-country nationals are required to obtain a residence permit in order to be able to work in Malta. There are numerous options at law depending on the circumstance of the individual. The most popularly resorted to are the following:
Following the transposition of the Single Permit Directive, third-country nationals seeking to work and reside in Malta must obtain a single permit through a single application procedure. An application may be submitted when the third-country national is already in Malta, or alternatively while the third-country national is still abroad from the territory of another Member State in which they are present or from the territory of a third country. The holder of a single permit is authorized to exercise a specific employment activity with a specific employer, thus any other employment activity is not covered by the permit and the permit would no longer be valid if the holder is not retained in the specific employment
Key Employee Initiative
The is similar to the single permit procedure albeit fast track so that a residence and work permit should be issued in no longer than 5 working days. This is a service offered to highly specialised third country nationals or third country nationals who are to occupy a managerial position and who earn an annual gross salary of at least €30,000.
First of all it has to be remarked that the single permit application process does not apply in the case of self-employment.
In respect of third country nationals, an employment license on the basis of self-employmjent is required and is only granted in exceptional cases. In order to qualify for self-employed status, a third country national must meet one or more of the following criteria:
a. Invest in Malta capital expenditure of at least Euro 500,000, within 6 months from the date on which the Jobsplus license is issued. Capital expenditure shall solely consist of fixed assets (such as immovable property, plant and machinery) used for the business purposes as reflected in the business plan submitted with the application. Rental contracts do not qualify. Such expenditure needs to be supported by receipts in the TCN’s name. The application also needs to be accompanied by a letter of reference in respect of the TCN, from a reputable Maltese bank that certifies that the TCN has the facility to raise such capital;
b. Highly skilled innovators with a sound business plan to be submitted with the application who commit to recruiting at least three EEA/Swiss/Maltese nationals within eighteen months of
c. A person leading a project that has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise and formally notified by the latter to Jobsplus.
Applications containing a firm commitment re the engagement of EEA/Swiss/Maltese nationals as part of the staff complement will assist in the favorable consideration of an application.
Long-term residents, Asylum Seekers, persons enjoying Subsidiary Protection/Temporary Humanitarian Protection Status and Refugee Status require an employment license to work as self-employed in Malta. However, they are exempt from meeting the above criteria.