With the completion of Brexit, many UK citizens are considering new horizons for relocation and work. Malta, a beautiful Mediterranean island nation, has emerged as a popular choice for those seeking a fresh start. This comprehensive guide will provide valuable information on moving to Malta from the UK, including visa requirements, employment opportunities, healthcare, education, housing, and practical tips for a smooth transition.
Why Move to Malta?
Malta offers an enticing blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean makes it an ideal hub for travel and business. The island boasts a rich historical heritage, with ancient temples, medieval cities, and stunning architecture. The warm climate, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters provide an idyllic setting for outdoor activities.
Malta's welcoming atmosphere and English-speaking population make it an attractive destination for UK citizens. The island's vibrant expatriate community, diverse cuisine, and bustling social scene create a multicultural environment. Additionally, Malta's low crime rate, excellent healthcare system, and high standard of living contribute to its appeal.
Citizenship & Residence Planning
Obtaining Maltese citizenship or residency can offer numerous advantages to UK citizens seeking international mobility and economic opportunities. As a member of the European Union, Malta provides UK citizens with the privilege of visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Area, encompassing 26 European nations. This unrestricted movement allows for seamless business ventures, leisure travels, and access to a vast consumer market. Moreover, Maltese citizenship grants UK nationals the right to live, work, and study in any EU country, expanding their horizons and career prospects within the EU job market.
Additionally, Malta offers an attractive tax regime, featuring a competitive corporate tax rate, tax refunds on dividends, and numerous incentives for high-net-worth individuals, making it an enticing destination for UK citizens seeking tax optimisation and wealth management opportunities. The Maltese government also supports a robust economy, fostering a business-friendly environment for foreign investors and entrepreneurs, which can be advantageous for UK citizens looking to expand or relocate their business operations. Ultimately, acquiring Maltese citizenship or residency opens up a gateway to unparalleled benefits, making it an ideal choice for UK citizens aiming to explore new horizons and embrace the advantages of EU integration.
Citizenship and Residency programmes available for UK citizens include:
The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) has been formulated to draw in exceptionally skilled individuals from non-European countries for employment in Malta. Through this programme, a simplified procedure for acquiring work permits is provided, enabling companies to hire international talent more efficiently.
This programme is aimed at individuals who have resided in Malta for a designated duration and fulfill specific criteria. These criteria encompass proficiency in the Maltese language and significant connections to the island.
The Highly Qualified Persons Scheme aims to attract skilled professionals to a particular country. Even though HQP doesn't lead to permanent residency, this programme offers benefits to individuals with outstanding qualifications.
The Malta Startup Residence Programme is specifically crafted for entrepreneurs from third countries, as well as their families and essential staff members.
Visa Requirements For Malta From UK
Following Brexit, UK citizens are subject to new immigration requirements when moving to Malta. As a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area, Malta adheres to the Schengen visa policy. UK citizens can visit Malta for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. However, for longer stays or to work in Malta, a visa is required.
There are various types of residency programmes available for UK citizens wishing to relocate to Malta for a longer or indefinite period of time.
It is advisable to consult with CSB Group’s Immigration Team to determine the most suitable visa category and understand the application process, costs, and timescales involved.
Employment in Malta
Malta has a thriving job market with opportunities in various sectors. The country's robust economy, particularly in Finance, iGaming, IT, Tourism, and the Maritime industry, attracts many international businesses. UK citizens often find employment in these industries due to their transferable skills and English proficiency.
When it comes to working in Malta, a work permit is required for non-EU citizens. It is essential to research job opportunities and potential employers in advance and ensure compliance with any specific industry requirements.
In order to apply for a work permit, one must have a signed employment contract with a Malta company in hand. Work permit applications are submitted online through the work permit online portal. Once the work permit is approved, an in-principle approval letter will be issued which will allow the applicant to book their biometric appointment. Once the biometric appointment is complete the applicant will be able to start working with the Malta company.
The single permit allows its holder to legally live and work in Malta. However, there are certain restrictions:
The holder cannot perform paid tasks given by third parties who are not the employer mentioned in the application;
Unauthorised work that is unrelated to the specific employment stated in the application is not permitted.
Single permits issued for employment purposes can be renewed annually. Applicants should submit a renewal application no earlier than 90 days before their residence document expires.
To work legally, the applicant must possess the single permit and cannot begin working without it. Employers are legally obligated to submit an Engagement Form to Jobsplus on the same day the employment starts.
Healthcare in Malta
Malta provides a comprehensive healthcare system, accessible to all residents, including UK citizens. While healthcare is not entirely free for Brits, the cost is relatively affordable compared to some other countries. UK citizens living and working in Malta are entitled to public healthcare services upon registering with the Maltese authorities.
It is advisable for UK immigrants to obtain health insurance coverage, either through their employer or private providers. Familiarising oneself with the healthcare system and understanding the requirements for registration and insurance coverage is crucial for a seamless transition.
Education System in Malta
Malta offers a well-developed education system that caters to both local and international students. For UK citizens relocating with school-age children, enrolling them in Maltese schools is an option. The curriculum generally follows the British system, providing continuity in education.
Higher education options are also available in Malta, with renowned institutions offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The Maltese government recognises UK qualifications, simplifying the process of obtaining equivalence and ensuring a smooth transition for those pursuing higher education in Malta.
Housing and Living in Malta
Finding suitable accommodation is a vital aspect of moving to Malta. Rental options, including apartments, townhouses, and villas, are available in various cities and towns across the island. A twtwo-bedroom apartment in a central location like Sliema or St. Julians cost around €1218 per month, excluding utilities bills. It is advisable to engage a reputable real estate agent who can assist in finding suitable properties that meet individual needs and preferences.
Compared to the UK, the cost of living in Malta is generally lower. However, certain expenses, such as imported goods and utilities, may be higher. It is important to consider these factors when planning a budget and understanding the financial implications of the relocation.
Newcomers should also familiarise themselves with Maltese culture and customs to ensure a smooth integration into society. Maltese people are friendly and welcoming, and understanding their traditions and way of life will enhance the experience of living in Malta.
Practicalities of Moving to Malta from UK
Before leaving the UK, several practical tasks need to be addressed. These include informing tax authorities, redirecting mail, and ensuring banking arrangements are in order. It is also essential to research international moving services if bringing belongings to Malta, including any necessary documentation for customs clearance. For those with pets, understanding the regulations for pet transportation and ensuring compliance is crucial.
Upon arrival in Malta, it is helpful to explore local communities, join expat groups, and engage in social activities to meet new people and make connections. Moving to Malta from the UK post-Brexit offers UK citizens an exciting opportunity for a fresh start in a beautiful Mediterranean island nation.
By understanding the visa requirements, employment opportunities, healthcare system, education options, housing market, and practical considerations, individuals can embark on a successful relocation journey. Malta's warm climate, rich history, and welcoming culture make it an attractive destination for UK citizens seeking a fulfilling and enjoyable life abroad.
The team of experts at CSB Group will be able to assist you every step of the way when relocating to Malta. Get in touch to learn more about CSB Group's services.