With millions of people on the move worldwide and the increasingly popular trend to work remotely, Malta has become the latest country to acknowledge this global development and launch a Nomad Residence Permit to attract third country nationals to its shores.
The Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta. The Permit is open to individuals who can work remotely and independent of location, using telecommunications technologies. The permit will be issued for one year and can be renewed upon application at the discretion of Residency Malta, as long as the applicant still meets the set eligibility criteria. Applicants who are interested in staying for less than a year will be issued with a National Visa for the duration of their stay.
Malta already hosts and welcomes digital nomads from the EU. This community of entrepreneurial expats make the most of Malta’s island vibes, a nomad lifestyle, business networking opportunities and cultural experiences. The Nomad Residence Permit is open to individuals from third countries, who would normally (but not necessarily) require a Visa to travel to Malta.
Malta for Nomads?
Malta has been attracting young digital expats for years now, ever since the Island became a hub for gaming companies. Since then Malta has become a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan country hosting an ever growing nomad family. Pubs and bars now heave with hip expats and locals, meeting up for after-work drinks in the early evening. Even traditional workplaces adopted a new corporate culture that includes fun and games while work hubs and co-working spaces with hot desks have become the remote workers and freelancers’ go-to for networking, meetings and community life.
Malta ticks all the boxes for nomad life…
- Island life. Mediterranean sea, sun, sand, and outdoor life – our country has all the ingredients for being the ideal remote working base.
- Communication made easy. English is an official language and the language used to do business.
- Telecomms. With a robust infrastructure, internet speed, wifi coverage and the first EU country with nationwide 5G mobile internet service, it’s plug and play for digital nomads on the Island. Remote work has never been easier.
- Connectivity. Malta’s location in the middle of the Med means it’s a stone’s throw away from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With great air and sea links, our Island is well connected to the rest of the world, making travel easy.
- Multi-culture. Malta has a chequered history of settlers and is no stranger to foreigners on the Island. Nowadays, the country hosts a large expat community from all over the world
- Business. Nomads will find an excellent support system for start-ups and entrepreneurs and a number of Government entities offer consultancy and support services.
- Health. Our top-notch, reputable health care system offers accessible services. With our flagship hospital, numerous Government health centres and private hospitals and clinics, residents have peace of mind in the event they experience health issues.
- Culture and the Arts. From pop to high-brow, from all-genre gigs to opera, film and theatre festivals, performances and vernissages, Malta is abuzz with events that suit the most discerning of tastes.
- History, heritage and tradition. With the oldest megalithic temples in the world, Malta’s heritage is unparalleled. Residents can enjoy the finest baroque and military architecture from the time of the Order of St John, the numerous churches all with their own week-long village feasts, British war-time colonial architecture, palazzos and museums. Gems like traditional townhouses and Maltese balconies dot the villages and make for quaint and charming spots.
- Food and drink. From all that’s Med, and all that’s in, from traditional local dishes to Asian fusion and Michelin star fare, Malta is a haven for foodies and gourmands. The Maltese love their wines and beers and numerous specialised shops offer a wide range not only of new and old world wines, but wines from boutique estates. Draft beers are a thing and most bar fridges are now well stocked up with foreign and local brands.
- Outdoor sport. If you’re fit and energetic and love outdoor activity, welcome to the island of adventure. From scuba diving, bouldering, trekking and kite-surfing, to kayaking, HIIT fitness and yoga classes on the beach, outside is the place to be.
Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible one must be: • 18 years and over; • able to work remotely and independent of location, using telecommunications technologies; and • a Third Country National, excluding EU, EEA and Switzerland.
Not Eligible: Nationals from the currently ineligible countries of (or have close ties with) Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela are not eligible. Additionally, applications from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are currently not eligible. The list of ineligible countries may be revised from time to time by the Agency, at its discretion. Furthermore, one must prove that he/she fits under any one of the three categories hereunder:
a. Employed – with an employer registered in a foreign country and has a contract of employment.
b. Self-Employed – conduct business activity for a company that is registered in a foreign country and of which applicant is a partner/shareholder.
c. Freelance – offer freelance or consulting services to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country, and with whom the applicant has contract agreements. If the prospective applicant has a contract with a foreign employer but will be offering services to a Maltese subsidiary company, the prospective applicant will not be eligible to apply for the Nomad Residence Permit. Moreover, an applicant must have a minimum gross monthly income of €2,700.
Other eligibility criteria include a: a. valid travel document; b. valid property rental/purchase agreement covering the whole duration of the permit upon approval of application; and a c. valid health insurance policy upon approval of application. Note that this requirement does not apply to British nationals.
1.2 Can a Nomad Residence Permit holder include family members in his/her initial application?
Yes, the spouse, minor children and adult children who are not married and are principally dependent on the main applicant are eligible to apply. Adult children unable to cope independently due to a medical condition or disability may apply for a Permit under the same conditions, together with the main applicant. Note however that in the case of a minor child for whom the applicant does not hold sole custody and who will not be accompanied by both parents in the same application, prior approval to include the dependant must be obtained from Residency Malta, as these requests are examined on a case-by-case basis. In cases of applications which include additional family members, main applicants are required to have an additional income over and above the minimum programme requirement of €2,700 per month, which additional income is equivalent to 20% of the median wage for each and every dependant included in the application. Currently the median wage in Malta is €15,300 per annum. Hence a main applicant needs to provide the equivalent of €3,060 per annum/€255 per month for each additional family member, over and above the minimum programme requirement. Note that the median wage changes from time to time. It is best to consult with Malta’s National Statistics Office before applying: https://nso.gov.mt/en/Pages/NSO-Home.aspx
2. Application process
2.1 How do I apply and what is the application process?
The application is submitted via email on [email protected] along with supporting documentation. A checklist of documentation may be accessed here. The application will be vetted by one of our Customer Care officers and a receipt of application will be issued with instructions for payment of a €300 non-refundable administrative fee for each applicant, via bank transfer. Once the payment is received, the processing of the application will start. Application processing is expected to take 30 working days starting from the issuance of the receipt of funds issued from our Finance Department, during which Residency Malta will conduct background checks. This does not include any processing time required for visa issuance purposes. Should the Agency have any queries, we will revert in the form of a report. Applicant will then be sent a decision letter via email. Should the application be successful a Letter of Approval in Principle is issued, and one is required to submit proof of accommodation and a health insurance policy within 30 working days from the date of issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle. Once the above is finalised, a Letter of Final Approval is issued. In the event that an applicant requires an entry visa, he/she will be contacted by the Central Visa Unit at Identity Malta Agency to guide him/her on the process. Approved applicants may be eligible to apply for the Premium Visa Service. . Once in Malta, the applicant is required to notify us via email to set up an appointment for the capture of biometrics. The residence card takes between two (2) to three (3) weeks to be issued. Once issued, the applicant will be notified via email and requested to pick up the card in person from Residency Malta’s offices, bringing with them their passport.
2.2 How long does it take for an application to be processed?
Application processing is expected to take 30 working days following receipt of all required documentation and payment of application fee. This does not include any visa related processes.
4 2.3 What fees are applicable?
The following fees apply: • a non-refundable application fee of €300 per person, to be paid to Residency Malta Agency via bank transfer; • a €27.50 fee for the issuance of a residency card per person, to be paid in person at Residency Malta’s offices. Payments can only be made by card. Cash payments are not accepted; • if applicable, €300 for a Premium Visa to be paid to Identity Malta Agency.
2.4 Will one be notified if the application is successful?
Applicants will be notified with the outcome of the application by email, on the same email address submitted in the application. Should one change the email address he/she is required to notify Residency Malta Agency immediately.
2.5 Will one be notified with the reason for a refusal?
Residency Malta will conduct a background verification check on each application to ensure that the main applicant and any of his dependants is not, or may not be, a potential threat to national security, public policy or public health. Due to the sensitive nature of the process of decision making the reason for refusal cannot be shared with the applicant. However, the reasons for rejection may include but are not limited to criminal records, adverse media and refusals of previous applications for a Schengen Visa.
2.6 Can an approved application be revoked?
Yes, Residency Malta reserves the right to revoke an application after approval, should it become aware of any adverse information on the main applicant or any of his dependants.
2.7 What is the duration of a Nomad Residence Permit?
A Nomad Residence Permit will be issued for one (1) year.
3. Permit renewals
3.1 Can a Nomad Residence Permit be renewed?
The initial Nomad Residence Permit is issued for 1 year. The Permit maybe renewed twice, for a total stay of a maximum of three (3) years at the discretion of Residency Malta Agency, subject to the applicant still being able to satisfy the programme criteria. If you do not apply or qualify for a renewal, you can submit a fresh application 12 months after the expiry of the preceding residence permit. In all cases the total term one can be in possession of a Nomad Residence Permit must never exceed three (3) years.
3.2 What are the eligibility criteria for renewal?
To be eligible for renewal, Nomad Residence Permit holders, must provide proof that they have resided in Malta for a cumulative period of at least five (5) months over the previous twelve (12) months. Nomad Residence Permit applicants who opted for a 6-month visa, must provide proof that that have resided in Malta for a cumulative period of at least three (3) months over the previous six (6) months. However, renewals must be for one (1) year. In addition, Nomad Residence Permit holders must still satisfy the respective economic activity criteria.
3.3 When does one need to apply for the Nomad Residency Permit renewal?
One may apply for renewal of the permit by not later than forty-five (45) days prior to the expiry of the existing permit. Applicants will receive an email explaining the renewal procedure from our Customer Care Department 2 months prior to the expiry of the card. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her immigration status in Malta is regular as per stipulated Immigration Regulations before submitting the application. Any applications of overstaying individuals will be refused. The receipt of application issued to the applicant upon submission of application for a Nomad Residence Permit is not an extension of your stay as stipulated by the immigration document in hand.
4. Accommodation and residence cards
4.1 Is it mandatory to submit proof of accommodation in Malta upon submission of application?
No, it is not. Proof of accommodation is submitted after the Letter of Approval in Principle is issued. Once the chosen accommodation and its proof is deemed to satisfy the programme requirements, a Letter of Final Approval is issued.
4.2 What is temporary accommodation?
Temporary accommodation is a short-term place of stay of up to one (1) month which can be submitted upon issuance of the Letter of Approval in Principle. With one (1) month temporary accommodation a letter of final approval will be issued, however upon arrival to Malta one must opt to secure a 1-year lease for a card to be issued. Examples of temporary accommodation include hotels and Airbnb. –
4.3 Can a residence card be issued on a temporary address?
A residence card cannot be issued on a temporary address. The residence card can only be issued upon submission of proof of a one (1) year accommodation in a residential property prior to the biometrics appointment.
4.4 Can one co-habit with someone and what documentation does one have to submit?
Yes, this is acceptable. One will need to provide a signed copy of the contract (can be both lease or purchase) stating the lessee/owners name and a declaration from the person he/she is co-habiting with.
4.5 Can one lease a property and what documentation does one have to submit?
Yes, one can lease a property. One will need to provide a signed copy of the lease agreement clearly stating the applicant’s name and the following rental declaration form: https://www.identitymalta.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/CEA-RentalDeclaration-Form.pdf 7
4.6 Can one stay with someone who has a purchased property and what documentation does one have to submit?
Yes, one can stay with someone who has a purchased property. One will need to submit a signed copy of the purchase agreement clearly stating the owners’ name and a declaration from the owner(s).
4.7 Can one stay in their own purchased property and what documentation does one have to submit?
Yes, one can stay in their purchased property. A signed copy of the purchase agreement clearly showing the applicant’s name would need to be submitted.
4.8 Is it acceptable to reside in a marina on a yacht or boat?
No, it is not acceptable to reside in a marina.
4.9 Is it acceptable to reside in a caravan?
No, it is not acceptable to reside in a caravan.
4.10 How long should the duration of the accommodation be?
The minimum duration of the proof of accommodation required for a card to be issued is twelve (12) months.
5. Residence cards and change of address
5.1 Is the residence card issuance date based on the start of the lease agreement? The residence card is issued between two (2) to three (3) weeks after biometrics capturing. The lease agreement should cover the validity of the residence card.
5.2 Can one change address after the card is issued?
Yes, one can change address once the card is issued.
5.3 Can one apply for a change of address online?
No, one will need to book an appointment with the Customer Care Department at Residency Malta and bring the required documentation physically to our offices.
5.4 What documentation is required for a change of address?
One is required to bring Form N3, the new lease/purchase agreement, the passport and a payment of €27.50 which must be paid by card.
5.5 What happens in the event of a stolen card?
The Nomad Permit Holder is to bring Form N3, the old/new lease/purchase agreement, a local police report and a payment of €27.50 which must be paid by card at Residency Malta.
5.6 How long does it take to receive a new card?
Cards usually take between two (2) to three (3) weeks to be issued. Once the new card is issued, the Nomad Residence Permit holder will be contacted by our Customer Care team for card collection. Where applicable, the previous card will need to be returned during the card collection appointment.
6. Visas and Residence Permits
6.1 If one is already in Malta on a valid visa, does he/she need to apply for an entry visa?
If a person is in Malta with a valid visa, they do not require a further entry visa, and they can directly book an appointment for the capture of biometrics. However, they need to ensure that their visa is valid during the processing of their Nomad application.
6.2 Which nationalities require an entry Visa?
Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma / Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, 9 Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Third country nationals hailing from Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan or Sri Lanka must be in possession of an airport transit visa when passing through an EU airport international transit area. These guidelines may change from time to time.
6.3 What process should one follow if he/she requires an entry visa?
Following the receipt of the Letter of Final Approval, if the approved applicant requires an entry visa he/she will be contacted by the Central Visa Unit at Identity Malta Agency in order to receive information about the visa application process. The applicant may also be eligible to apply for the Premium Service Visa. Once an entry visa is acquired, applicant can enter Malta within the stipulated timeframe indicated on the Letter of Final Approval and upon arrival, he/she will need to notify Residency Malta Agency via email [email protected] to book a biometrics appointment.
6.4 What is the Premium Service Visa?
The Premium Service Visa is the issuance of the National D Visa against an additional charge of €300 payable to Identity Malta Agency. This is a door-to-door service, hence there is no need to visit an embassy of Malta to be issued with an entry visa. For further information kindly contact the Central Visa Unit on [email protected]
6.5 Are all successful Nomad Residence Permit applicants requiring an entry visa eligible to apply for the Premium Service Visa?
The Premium Service Visa is not available to all jurisdictions. Hence, it is important to verify with the Central Visa Unit on [email protected] whether one is eligible or not.
6.6 If one does not require a visa to enter Malta, how shall he/she proceed?
Following the Letter of Final Approval which has a validity of 60 working days, the approved applicant will be required to travel to Malta for the capture of biometrics. If he/she does not require an entry visa to Malta, he/she can enter Malta as per Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code). Upon arrival, he/she will need to notify Residency Malta Agency via email nomad.residencyma[email protected] to book an appointment for the capture of biometrics.
6.7 Whilst an application is in process, would an applicant automatically receive a visa extension?
The Nomad Residency Permit does not provide an automatic extension to one’s visa. In the event that the allowed period of stay is set to expire, prior to full approval for the Nomad Residence Permit, he/she is required to exit the Schengen area in line with the visa obligations. It is one’s responsibility to make sure he/she does not overstay and hence all applications, including the non-refundable fee, must be submitted to the Agency at least 60 days in advance prior to the expiry of the allowable stay period. The Agency is not responsible for any overstaying by, and the possible consequences to, the applicant. In case of a travel ban, Residency Malta Agency is not responsible for the lifting of any travel bans.
6.8 Can a Nomad Residence Permit holder travel within the Schengen Area?
As long as the Nomad Residence Permit is valid, the holder is free to travel within the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days in a rolling 180-day period.
6.9 What is the difference between a Single Permit and a Nomad Residence Permit?
A single permit authorises third-country nationals to legally reside and take up employment in Malta for a defined period, which may be further renewed at the discretion of Identity Malta Agency, as per Subsidiary Legislation 217.17 of the Laws of Malta – Single Application Procedure for a Single Permit as regards Residence and Work and a Common Set of Rights for those Third Country Workers legally residing in Malta Regulations. 11 On the other hand, the Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta.
6.10 Is it possible to have a Single Permit (or any other permit) and a Nomad Residence Permit?
It is not possible to hold two statuses at a time. Hence if one has a Single Permit (or any other permit) and he/she applies for the Nomad Residence Permit, upon card issuance, other permits are automatically revoked and vice-versa. 6.11 Does the Nomad Residence Permit lead to long-term residency or citizenship? The Nomad Residence Permit does not lead to any sort of permanent/long-term residency or citizenship.
6.12 Is it possible to transfer from the Nomad Residence Permit to the Malta Permanent Residence Programme?
The Nomad Residence Permit does not lead to the Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP). They are two separate residence programmes. A Nomad Residence Permit holder can submit an application for the MPRP through one of the licensed agents listed on the Residency Malta website and if approved he/she would need to renounce the Nomad Residence Permit.
7. Health Insurance Policy
7.1 Is it mandatory to submit a health insurance policy upon submission of application?
Should the application be successful, and a Letter of Approval in Principle is issued, applicant will be required to submit a health insurance policy. If this policy is deemed to satisfy the programme requirements, a Letter of Final Approval is issued. Note: British nationals are not required to submit a health insurance policy.
7.2 Can one submit his/her foreign health insurance policy, or is s/he required to purchase one from a Maltese insurance agency?
If the foreign health insurance policy meets the requirements to support one in any medical assistance or hospitalisation in Malta, then the applicant can present this 12 health insurance for the programme requirements. Otherwise, the applicant is required to purchase a local health insurance.
7.3 If one keeps his/her foreign health insurance policy, what destination(s) does it have to cover to be sufficient?
The health insurance policy must state that it provides cover in Malta.
7.4 What does the health insurance policy need to cover?
It is important that the health insurance policy chosen covers in-patient and outpatient and a minimum overall limit of €30,000 per person. The policy should cover both the applicant, and where applicable, all the dependants in Malta.
7.5 Is a travel insurance accepted?
No, a travel insurance is not acceptable.
7.6 Is a Nomad Residence Permit Holder entitled to free health care?
No, a Nomad Residence Permit Holder is not entitled to free health care, unless one is a British national
7.7 How long should the duration of the health insurance policy be?
The health insurance policy must provide cover for one (1) full year and must cover the validity of the residence card. 8. General
8.1 Is a Nomad Residence Permit holder entitled to collect a pension in Malta?
No, the Nomad Residence Permit holder is not entitled for a pension in Malta.
8.2 Is a Nomad Residence Permit holder entitled to social benefits in Malta?
No, the beneficiary is not entitled for social benefits in Malta.
8.3 Can a Nomad Residence Permit holder offer his/her service to individuals/ companies registered in Malta?
No, a Nomad Residence Permit holder cannot offer his/her services to individuals/companies based/registered in Malta. Third-country nationals offering their services to companies registered and based in Malta would need to renounce their Nomad Residence Permit and apply for a residence permit on the basis of employment and/or self-employment in Malta. Queries should be addressed to Identity Malta Agency on [email protected]
8.4 Do Covid-19 negative results need to be presented for successful applicants to enter Malta?
Covid-19 travel restrictions may apply. Prior to applying and making travel arrangements ensure to consult with national guidelines updated from time to time. Information may be found on the Health Department’s Official website: https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/covid19/Pages/landing-page.aspx
8.5 Can one bring a pet?
As long as a pet meets the requirements for entry, then it can join permit holder in Malta. For more info and to apply, visit the Pets Travel Scheme website (https://agrikoltura.gov.mt//en/vrd/pages/travelpet.aspx ).
8.6 How is the internet connection in Malta?
With Malta enjoying 5G nationwide coverage and over 400 free public WIFI spots across the country, digital nomads can just plug-and-play from anywhere they fancy.
8.7 Where can Digital Nomads stay in Malta?
The largest community of expats and digital nomads tend to live in tourist areas like Sliema and St. Julian’s and the outskirts like Gzira. If one is looking for a more rural atmosphere however, then it is worth considering other towns and villages where nomads can enjoy a more local experience. For more peace and tranquillity and the slowmad experience, the island of Gozo is ideal. One can enjoy a slower place of life, and activities like diving, swimming, water sports, trekking and dining.
8.8 Is there a digital nomad community in Malta?
For nomads working from Malta, the combination of an efficient business climate, excellent infrastructure and a relaxed holiday environment offers a unique and magical experience. For these reasons, but not only, Malta has been attracting digital nomads from the EU for some years now and an active community has grown organically. There are also nomad associations which organise regular networking events. ENDS
Version 5 Last updated July 13, 2022