Malta Work Permit for Third Country Nationals
Application process and eligibility criteria
In the case of an application for a new employment licence for a third country national (TCNs), the application form is to be filled in by the employer. Contrary to EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, the application for TCNs is only considered regard being had to to labour market consideration, including but not limited to:
- the national situation in respect of surpluses or shortages in the given occupation and sector;
- the employer’s history and situation in terms inter alia of recruitment and redundancy patterns;
- business investments; and
- contractual commitments.
The TCN’s skill level, relevant experience and overall suitability for the position in question are also taken into account. The employer shall be required, barring few exceptions, to furnish evidence of his bona fide attempts to recruit individuals with equivlane skills. Applications for TCNs above pensionable age will not be considered.
Highly qualified TCNs will generally be considered favourably, however in this case, the TCN must hold qualifications recognised and validated by the Malta Qualifications Council and have an officer of employment whcih is considered as highly qualified and the payment of at least 150% the average gross salary disclosed by the National Statistics Office.
Some exceptions to the aforesaid are allowed in respect of home-based carers and when evidence of search for EEA/Swiss/Swiss candidates shall be dispensed with, in lieu of a covering letter from the employer, explaining the reasons for the preference of the TCN. The same derogation shall apply in respect of culture and entertainment.
Applications for skilled labourers such as steel fixers, form work erectors and concrete shutterers, as well as cleaners and room attendants, will only be considered upon the provision of work permits.
For athletes and footballers, the prior approval of the Malta Council for Sports and a contract of work submitted to the Malta Football Association shall be mandatory.
Chefs in restaurants catering for ethnic cuisine follow an ad hoc policy – the prior approval of the Malta Tourism Authority shall be required. Outlets having up to thirty (30) covers may apply for up to two (2) TCNs, those having up to one hundred (100) covers may apply for up to three (3) TCNs, whereas those in excess of one hundred (100) covers may apply for up to four (4) TCNs.
In respect of TCNs, an employment licence 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:
- Invest in Malta capital expenditure of at least Eur 100,000 within 6 months from issuance of the work permit. 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 are not eligible. 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;
- Highly skilled innovators with a sound business plan – to be submitted with application – who commit to recruiting at least three (3) EEA/Swiss/Maltese nationals within eighteen months of establishment;
- Sole representative of an overseas company (with a sound reputation and established for at least three years abroad) wishing to open a branch in Malta – evidence of representation is required;
- A person leading a project that has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise.
Employment through a company
It is possible for TCNs to seek the issuance of a work permit through a Maltese registered company in which they are the shareholders or ultimate beneficial owner insofar as they meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Every TCN shareholder must have a fully paid-up share capital of at least Eur 100,000 (or equivalent in any other currency) which may not be redeemed, reduced or transferred to a third party during the first two years following the issuing of the Employment Licence;
- Have made a capital expenditure of at least Eur 100,000 that is to be used by the company. 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 are not eligible. Such expenditure needs to be supported by receipts in the company’s name;
- The company is a sole representative of an overseas company (with a sound reputation and established for at least three years abroad) wishing to open a branch in Malta. Evidence of representation is required
- The company is leading a project that has been formally approved by Malta Enterprise.
Applications containing a firm commitment re the engagement of EEA/Swiss/Maltese nationals shall be considered favourably. The Maltese authorities reserve the right to request all such information as necessary for the better evaluation of the candidate.
Contact one of our officers to initiate the process for the attainment of a work permit in Malta. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on email@example.com
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