Are you considering immigrating to Malta from South Africa? If so, you're in for an exciting journey. Malta, a small archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea, offers a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a promising quality of life. Here, we will explore the process of moving to Malta from South Africa and provide you with valuable information to ease your transition.
Malta, strategically located between Europe and Africa, boasts a pleasant Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. English and Maltese are the official languages, making it easier for South African expats to communicate and integrate into society. Maltese culture is a vibrant fusion of influences from various civilizations, offering a unique blend of traditions, festivals, and culinary delights. The Maltese lifestyle is known for its laid-back charm and warm hospitality, making it an appealing destination for South Africans seeking a new home.
The Immigration Process From South Africa to Malta
Before embarking on your journey, it's important to understand the immigration laws and requirements in Malta. As a South African citizen, you will need to apply for a visa to enter and reside in Malta legally. Fortunately, there are several visa options available for South Africans seeking to move to Malta.
Work Permit: If you have secured a job offer in Malta, you can apply for a work permit. This requires a sponsorship from your prospective employer, who will initiate the application process on your behalf.
Residence Visa: The Residence Visa allows individuals who are not employed in Malta to live on the island. This visa is suitable for retirees, freelancers, and individuals with sufficient financial resources to support themselves.
Investment Visa: Malta offers a variety of investment programs that grant residency or citizenship to investors and their families. These programs require a significant financial investment in Malta's economy, real estate, or government bonds.
Types of visas available to South Africans
For South African citizens to enter Malta for a short-term travel period, a tourist visa would need to be obtained. Should any South African citizens wish to reside in Malta long-term, one would need to apply for residency in Malta via the Malta Permanent Residence Programme or apply for Citizenship by Investment. Lastly, should they wish to take up employment in Malta, one would first need to secure a job in Malta and then apply for a Malta work permit.
Requirements and Steps to Apply for a Malta Visa and Residency
To apply for a tourist visa, one would need a valid passport which is valid for six months beyond the period of the intended stay in Malta. They would need to have proof of reservations of flights and hotels for their Malta travel along with proof of their onward travels after Malta and submit an application form accordingly.
Malta has a thriving job market, particularly in industries such as iGaming, Finance, Technology, and Tourism. South Africans with expertise in these fields may find ample employment opportunities. It's worth noting that Malta recognises South African qualifications, which can be advantageous when seeking employment. Job portals and recruitment agencies such as VC can assist you in finding suitable positions and connecting with potential employers.
Business Opportunities in Malta
If you're an entrepreneur or business-minded individual, Malta offers a favorable environment for starting a business. The country has business-friendly policies, a robust financial sector, and attractive incentives for foreign investors. Engaging with local business advisory services can provide valuable guidance on company registration, taxation, and legal requirements.
When it comes to housing, Malta offers a variety of options ranging from apartments to townhouses and villas. Renting a home is a popular choice for newcomers, allowing for greater flexibility and easier adaptation to the local housing market. However, purchasing property may be a viable long-term investment for those planning to settle permanently. Popular areas for South African expats include Sliema, St. Julian's, and Mellieħa, which offer proximity to amenities and a vibrant expat community. The average price for a 2-bedroom rental apartment in Sliema is around €1,218 per month. An average three-bed apartment would cost around €1,439 per month in Sliema and €1,348 per month in St Julian's.
In contrast, those looking for cheaper rental alternatives might consider, Munxar in Gozo, with the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment at €495 per month or localtiies in the south of Malta, such as Fgura, Paola, and Birżebbuġa. A two-bedroom apartment in these areas would cost around €581 per month.
St.Paul’s Bay is one of the most popular localities to rent. It costs on average €659 a month to rent a 2-bedroom apartment, and €779 per month to rent a 3-bedroom dwelling.
Purchasing property in Malta can offer several financial benefits. The country's robust real estate market makes it an appealing destination for property buyers. Malta's stable economy and increasing property values provide potential for long-term capital appreciation, ensuring a solid return on investment.
The general cost of living in Malta varies depending on your lifestyle and location. While certain expenses, such as groceries and utilities, are generally affordable, the cost of accommodation and dining out can be higher in popular tourist areas. It is advisable to create a budget and consider factors such as healthcare, transportation, and leisure activities to manage your finances effectively.
Cost of living
When considering the cost of living in Malta, it's important to factor in various expenses such as accommodation, food, transport, healthcare, and leisure activities.
Food costs in Malta are generally reasonable, especially if you opt for local produce and frequent local markets. Dining out can range from budget-friendly options to higher-end restaurants, depending on your preferences and location. Pizza or pasta with drinks for 2 people cost an average of €30.
Transportation costs in Malta can be managed effectively. The island has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and ferries, which offer affordable fares. Public transport is free for residents with a Tal-Linja Card. Owning a car in Malta comes with additional expenses such as fuel costs and insurance fees.
Healthcare costs in Malta can be covered through the public healthcare system, which is funded by taxation and provides accessible and affordable medical care for residents. However, private healthcare services may involve additional expenses, therefore, it is advisable to obtain comprehensive health insurance coverage.
Tips on managing finances in Malta include creating a budget that encompasses your monthly expenses, saving for future goals, and being mindful of discretionary spending. It can be helpful to compare prices and seek out local deals to make the most of your budget. Opening a bank account in Malta can provide access to convenient banking services and tools for managing your finances effectively.
By being mindful of your expenses, exploring cost-effective options, and planning your finances wisely, you can comfortably manage the cost of living in Malta and make the most of your experience in this beautiful Mediterranean destination.
How to open a bank account in Malta
Opening a bank account in Malta is a straightforward process. You will typically need to provide identification documents, proof of address, and a valid visa or residence permit. Major local and international banks operate in Malta, offering a range of services tailored to both personal and business needs. Our team of experts will be able to guide you through every necessary step when opening a bank account in Malta.
The education system in Malta
For South African families relocating to Malta, the education system offers various options. Malta has both public and private schools, with English as the primary language of instruction. International schools are also available, offering curricula from different countries, including the International Baccalaureate (IB). Researching and visiting schools beforehand can help you make an informed decision based on your children's needs and preferences.
It’s also important to note that childcare in Malta is free for parents with full-time jobs.
The Health System in Malta
Malta boasts a well-developed healthcare system that provides accessible and quality medical care. Public healthcare is available to residents and is funded through taxation, while private healthcare options offer additional services. There are public health centres in many villages across Malta. You can access the full list and exact locations here.
It is advisable to obtain health insurance to ensure comprehensive coverage and access to a wider range of healthcare providers.
Integration into Maltese Society
To integrate into Maltese society, it's beneficial to learn the local language, Maltese. While English is widely spoken, knowing some Maltese will help you connect with locals and navigate everyday situations. Joining local community groups, participating in cultural events, and exploring the island's history and traditions can also enhance your integration experience. Additionally, Facebook groups and online communities specifically tailored for South Africans in Malta can provide a support network and facilitate connections.
Final Checklist for Relocating
Before leaving South Africa, ensure you have all the necessary documents, such as valid passports, visas, and medical records. It's essential to familiarise yourself with Malta's customs regulations to avoid any issues upon arrival. Immediate tasks upon arrival may include registering with the local authorities, securing accommodation, and opening a bank account. Long-term tasks for settling in include enrolling children in school, obtaining healthcare coverage, and exploring opportunities to engage with the local community.
Moving to Malta from South Africa is an exciting adventure that offers new opportunities and a change of scenery. By understanding the immigration process, exploring employment and business options, and familiarizing yourself with the local culture, you can embark on a successful transition to your new home. With proper planning and the right support, your journey to Malta can be a fulfilling and enriching experience.