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Moving to Malta

Moving to Malta is especially popular among expats from the United Kingdom, who are drawn by the sunny lifestyle and the fact that English is widely spoken.

Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world, with a land area of just over 300 square kilometres and a population of about 460,000 people. It offers beautiful weather, diverse culture and an opportunity to live and work in the Mediterranean.

The island’s location means that it has been sought-after through the ages, from Ancient Greece to the British Empire. As a result, it has a rich history commemorated through various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the chambers of the Hypogeum, the world’s only prehistoric underground temple. Valletta, the capital city, was established by the Knights of Saint John and is a listed heritage site in its own right. 

Along with Maltese, English is the official language of Malta and is spoken by 90 percent of the population, while many locals also speak Italian.

Malta boasts an enviable climate, with around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. The beach is never far away and Malta is consistently named in surveys as one of the safest countries in the world with regards to natural disasters.

The Maltese road network is constantly being improved thanks to EU funding, but many roads are narrow and poorly surfaced, which can make driving difficult. There is a small but effective public transport network of buses run by Malta Public Transport.

Citizens from elsewhere in the EU are free to live and work in Malta; however, the country places tight restrictions on immigration for non-EU citizens looking for a working visa for Malta.


Fast facts

Population: Around 460,000

Capital city: Valletta (also largest city)

Neighbouring countries: Malta is an island nation so shares no physical borders with any other country, but is located south of the Italian island of Sicily and east of Tunisia.

Geography: Malta is an archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea. There are three inhabited islands: the main island of Malta, and the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino. 

Political system: Unitary constitutional parliamentary republic

Major religion: Roman Catholicism

Main languages: Maltese is the national language. English is also spoken and widely understood, as is Italian.

Currency: The currency of Malta is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. It is relatively easy for expats to open a bank account in Malta.

Tipping: Tipping is customary in Malta. Between 5 and 10 percent is common if a service charge isn't already included.

Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)

Electricity: 230V, 50Hz. Flat three-pin plugs are standard.

Internet domain: .mt

International dialling code: +356

Emergency contacts: 112

Transport and driving: Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. Malta has an established transport network consisting of buses and taxis.

Embassy contacts for Malta


Maltese Embassies

  • Malta Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 462 3611

  • Malta High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7292 4800

  • Consulate General of Malta, Toronto, Canada: +1 416 207 0922

  • Consulate General of Malta, Melbourne, Australia: +61 3 9670 8427

  • Maltese Honorary Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa: +27 11 435 0463 

  • Embassy of Malta, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 676 2340

  • Consulate of Malta, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 970 2509


Foreign Embassies in Malta

  • Embassy of the United States, Malta: +356 2561 4147

  • British High Commission, Malta: +356 2323 0000

  • Consulate of Canada, Malta: +356 2552 3233

  • Australian High Commission, Malta: +356 2133 8201

  • South African Embassy, Italy (also responsible for Malta): +39 06 85 2541

  • Embassy of Ireland, Malta: +356 21334744

  • New Zealand Consulate, Malta: +356 2143 5025

Public Holidays in Malta

 

2019

2020

New Year's Day

1 January

1 January

Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck

10 February

10 February

Feast of St Joseph

19 March

19 March

Good Friday

10 March

2 April

Freedom Day

31 March

31 March

Labour Day

1 May

1 May

Sette Giugno

7 June

7 June

Saint Peter and Saint Paul

29 June

29 June

Assumption Day

15 August

15 August

Victory Day

8 September

8 September

Independence Day

21 September

21 September

Immaculate Conception Day

8 December

8 December

Republic Day

13 December

13 December

Christmas Day

25 December

25 December

Working in Malta

Malta has a highly industrialised, service-based economy and expats working in Malta will find themselves at a pivot point between Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


Job market in Malta

Malta is popular with European retirees and workers in the online gambling industry. It also attracts foreign investors with a well-trained workforce and low labour costs. Its EU membership is attractive in its own right, but an added bonus is that the island has been less affected by various financial crises than other Eurozone countries while maintaining low unemployment rates. Still, as conditions in Europe have started to improve, so has the economy in Malta.

The Maltese economy is government-regulated, but there is a large emphasis on free enterprise and privatisation. The economy depends on foreign trade, electronics manufacturing, tourism, online gambling and financial services. There is a growing film industry and many well-known movies have been filmed in Malta. It also houses one of the largest merchant marine fleets in the world, attracting international shipping companies with favourable legislation and low taxes.

The online gambling sector attracts a large amount of foreign workers and is a major contributor to Malta’s expat population, being one of the few countries in the world to grant licenses to online gambling operators. 


Finding a job in Malta

Most expats who don’t speak Maltese end up working in IT, internet gaming and call centres, or set up their own business in the country. Smaller businesses prefer local candidates who demand lower salaries and don’t need to adapt as much. Another plausible avenue for expats is to work for a Maltese company with foreign interests.

Although it is easier for citizens of the EU, it can be difficult for expats from other countries to find a job in Malta. These foreign nationals require a Maltese work permit and a local job offer, as well as possess skills that are lacking in the country and work in a sector with a particular demand for workers.

Expats looking for a job in Malta should search online or through local newspaper listings, or consider working through a recruitment agent. Organisations such as the Malta Chamber of Commerce host seminars and gatherings which provide a good way to network with other expats.

The working week in Malta differs according to industry, although employees should not work more than 48 hours a week by law, unless they consent to do so. In most cases, employers are required to pay overtime.

Doing business in Malta

With business practices and etiquette that are similar to elsewhere in Europe and North America, doing business in Malta is not complicated.

Malta is a natural business hub in the Mediterranean owing to its central location, investment incentives, modern infrastructure and political stability. Tourism and the service sector are some of the largest and most lucrative industries in Malta. The country also offers a low-cost venue for manufacturing operations, particularly for electronics, ship building and pharmaceuticals. In addition to being the capital, Valetta is the commercial centre of Malta. 

In the World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business Survey, Malta ranked 84th out of 190 countries. The biggest challenges to doing business in Malta are getting access to credit (134th), starting a business (103th) and registering property (151th).


Fast facts

Business hours

Office hours are generally between 8.30am and 5.30pm from Monday to Friday.

Business language

Maltese, although English is widely spoken.

Dress

Smart, conservative business attire is typically expected. Men should wear a suit and tie, while women may wear a suit or dress, particularly for meetings. Some business sectors accept less formal clothing. 

Gifts

Gifts are never required, but a small gift is always a nice gesture. Giving something from an expat’s home country such as sweets or beverages is common and appreciated.

Gender equality

Women are generally viewed as equals and often hold senior positions.

Greeting

Handshakes and exchanging business cards on the first meeting are normal business greetings in Malta.


Business culture in Malta

Malta has a well-educated population and English is taught in all schools. Nearly everyone speaks Maltese and English, and many can also speak additional languages such as French and Italian.

Most business is done in English, including legal documents, commercial documents, and official correspondence, which limits communication barriers for expats who speak the language.

Business people in Malta expect prompt service and correspondence; emails and phone calls should be acknowledged quickly. Expats will need to be patient though – doing business in Malta takes time, usually due to restrictions and regulations.

Malta is a fairly conservative and family-orientated country. Although not the case anymore, it used to be tradition for women to resign after they married because men were supposed to provide for their families. Today, women are usually treated as equals in business and it is common to find women in senior management positions.

This patriarchal, family-focused view does still affect business in Malta. Traditional notions of company loyalty and a family atmosphere persist, especially in smaller businesses. This can be a good thing, but it can complicate resigning and changing jobs.

Maltese associates should be acknowledged by their personal or professional titles (Mr, Mrs, Dr) until a good working relationship is established and they suggest moving on to a first name basis.


Dos and don’ts of business in Malta

  • Do acknowledge emails and phone calls

  • Do maintain eye contact and be direct

  • Do address those in a senior position in a formal manner 

  • Don’t be late for appointments or meetings

  • Don’t dress casually for business meetings

Visas for Malta

Malta is a Schengen member state, which means that citizens from a number of countries can enter for short stays without having to apply for a visa. Those who require a Schengen visa to enter Malta will need to fill in a visa application from a diplomatic mission or official website. The signed application is accompanied by a valid passport, passport photos, biometric data and an application fee.

The system of visas and residence permits in Malta is administrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Short- and long-stay visas for Malta

Schengen visas are arranged into categories including tourism, business, visiting family and studying. There are broadly two types of visas: “C” type visas are for shorter stays and “D” type long-stay visas are valid for stays of longer than three months.

Expats from non-Schengen countries who want to work, study or live in Malta will need to enter the country on a long-stay visa and apply for the relevant residence permit after they arrive. The Central Visa Unit at the Ministry of Home Affairs can advise expats on the closest Maltese foreign mission that processes “D” visas.

Short-stay visas are valid for three months during a six-month period, and are valid for one or multiple entries over a maximum of five years, depending on the visa.  In addition to a passport, application forms, photos and proof of accommodation, expats will also need proof of travel insurance and onward travel.

In most cases, the decision to accept or reject an application is made within 15 days.


Business visas for Malta

A business visa enables an expat to enter the country for business purposes but a working residence permit enables them to live and work in Malta. An expat wanting to move to Malta for employment will have to enter the country on a business visa and apply for a residence permit soon after they arrive.


Residence permits for Malta

Applications for residence in Malta are submitted in person to the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs in Valletta. Applicants have to submit a number of documents, including forms, passport copies, proof of insurance, bank statements, a letter of employment, salary slips and proof of residence.

The Maltese residence permit comes in the form of an e-Residence document which functions as a form of identification.  The requirements an applicant needs to fulfil depend on whether they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and what the purpose of their stay is. Expats not from those European countries will have requirements of their own. The different requirements attached to each category are listed on the respective application documents.

Under the Schengen Agreement, EEA and Swiss nationals have the right to stay and work in Malta or retire in the country if they can prove they have the means.

E-Residence documents are available under different categories, including for employment, study, economic self-sufficiency, family members and the EU Blue Card, which is granted to highly skilled non-EU expats.

Expats applying to renew their residence permit have to do so at least 30 days before their current permit expires.

Applications take several weeks to process, although expats can inform the Department of emergency cases.

*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats are advised to contact their nearest Maltese consulate for the latest information.

Cost of Living in Malta

Despite performing better than much of the Eurozone, Malta has not been immune to the financial market and the Maltese have felt some strain.

The prices of goods and services have steadily risen but salary increases have failed to keep pace.

The cost of living in Malta is lower than cities like London and Paris, but average incomes are also lower than the European average.


Cost of accommodation in Malta

Valletta, the Maltese capital, and Sliema are popular with expats. They offer resorts, retail shops and modern housing, and are more expensive and populated than other areas. Within the cities, rent becomes cheaper further away from the city centre.

It’s possible to find a modern, furnished property with a small garden and one to three bedrooms at better value for money in Malta than in major European destinations such as the UK. Utilities are also less expensive, and most rentals are furnished.


Cost of food and clothing in Malta

Local products are cheaper than imported brands, and supermarkets are cheaper than smaller grocery stores. Produce from roadside markets is cheap as well as fresh. Eating out in Malta is slightly cheaper than much of Europe.

The cost of clothing is on par with the rest of Europe, and expats will be able to find many of the same designers and brands. Since Sliema and Valletta cater to tourists and expats, high-end clothing shops and small retail stores are easy to find.


Cost of healthcare and education in Malta

Malta has been recognised by the World Health Organization for offering some of the best healthcare in the world. Health insurance costs are reasonable.

Expats have access to free public schooling in Malta. Private schools are popular but expensive.


Cost of living in Malta chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in July 2019.

Accommodation (monthly)

Furnished one-bedroom apartment

700 EUR

Furnished two-bedroom apartment

900 EUR

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

2.50 EUR 

Milk (1 litre)

1 EUR 

Rice (1kg)

1.75 EUR 

Loaf of white bread 

1 EUR 

Chicken breasts (1kg)

6.50 EUR

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

5.50 EUR 

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

8 EUR

Coca-Cola (330ml)

1.60 EUR 

Cappuccino

2.20 EUR 

Bottle of beer (local)

3.20 EUR 

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

50 EUR 

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

0.25 EUR

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

30 EUR

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

100 EUR

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

2.80 EUR

Bus/train fare in the city centre

1.50 EUR

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

1.40 EUR

Culture Shock in Malta

Culture shock is a big part of the expat experience. Moving to a new country means that expats need to form new routines in an unfamiliar place, where what is usually taken for granted becomes completely unfamiliar.

Many people are attracted to Malta because of the pleasant weather, English being widely spoken and its affordability relative to other European destinations. The island has a large foreign population, hosts countless tourists and offers a broadly Mediterranean lifestyle. Despite some things being familiar, however, there are specific details of life in Malta that expats will have to get used to.

Aside from missing their loved ones, the main things expats have trouble adjusting to in Malta is the slower pace of life and the small-town atmosphere, which is partially a result of its size and the influence religion has on Maltese society.

An expat’s happiness often depends on their ability to accept and adapt to their new surroundings, and dealing with culture shock in Malta is no different.


Language barrier in Malta

How expats approach the language barrier in Malta depends on their expectations. Since English is widely spoken, most expats don’t learn to speak Maltese, and get through their daily business without much trouble. However, this often means that they don’t make local friends and spend most of their time with other expats.

Expats who value integrating into their surroundings should make some effort to learn Maltese. The language stems from Arabic, uses a Latin alphabet and borrows words from European languages, reflecting the archipelago’s interesting history. A few basic phrases can go a long way to bridging cultural differences and endearing expats to their hosts.


Religion in Malta

Roman Catholicism is the state religion in Malta and the foundation for many of its customs. The most important dates on the Maltese social calendar are Catholic festivals and saints’ feast days, which are celebrated on a large scale.

Even though other views are recognised and respected, Catholicism has shaped Maltese society and the people themselves. An emphasis on the traditional family structure affects every level of interaction, and is reinforced by how small the islands are. Gender roles are more traditional and social groups are close-knit. Making local friends can be challenging but helpful, especially to expats interested in doing business in Malta.


Time in Malta

Many of the expats living in Malta are retired and attracted by the idea of living life at a slower pace. While this sounds easy enough, recent retirees and expats who come for work might take a while to adjust.

People don’t mind taking their time walking between specialised traders to get their groceries, so there aren’t as many supermarkets. Many of these smaller businesses close for a few hours in the middle of the day for a siesta, and stay open a bit later. Service in general can seem unhurried, which can be frustrating for expats from faster-paced places.

Understanding and accepting that things take a bit longer are vital to adjusting to life in Malta – and stopping to appreciate the little things can improve an expat’s stay in the country. 

Accommodation in Malta

Securing accommodation in Malta is relatively straightforward and expats will likely find good quality housing to suit their lifestyle and budget. 

The stability of the real estate sector is based on a number of factors, including local demand, the fact that there is limited space to build property in Malta and a growing expat population. Expat investors capitalise on high-end property for the eventual returns, while pensioners are lured by lower property taxes and young professionals are attracted by reasonably priced accommodation and work prospects.

Property prices in Malta are more affordable than major European capitals, but there are regional variations and restrictions on foreign property ownership, so many expats rent in Malta at first.


Types of accommodation in Malta

There are various kinds of accommodation in Malta, including apartments, farmhouses, villas, townhouses and maisonettes (apartments with their own private entrances).

Maltese townhouses are divided between old and new. Older townhouses usually have several floors, are built from stone and their exteriors have to be preserved by law. Newer townhouses, or terraced housing, are built from bricks and don’t have the same restrictions.

A distinctly Maltese type of housing is the house of character. These typically have thick, unpainted stone walls, a central courtyard and sometimes even a well. Three- and four-bedroom houses are the norm and some houses of character date back to the 17th century. Supply is limited, although there are newer houses that replicate this traditional style with a modern twist.


Finding accommodation in Malta

Real estate agents can be helpful to expats who are unfamiliar with the local market. Aside from taking their clients through the process of renting or buying property, some agents assist with setting up utility accounts such as electricity and internet access.

Online property portals and local newspapers are other popular ways of finding accommodation in Malta, but listings can be outdated and don’t always give an accurate representation.


Renting property in Malta

Even though a lot of rental accommodation is short-term and aimed at tourists, expats will have numerous options when it comes to renting property in Malta. 

The areas that are most popular with expats are traditionally Sliema, St Julian’s and Swieqi, which are a short distance outside of Valletta.

Most rental properties are furnished, so expats may have to make special arrangements if they want to bring in their own furniture. Overall, properties are well-equipped, but, especially when it comes to houses of character, their interiors may be somewhat dated.

After finding and securing a property, the tenant and the landlord sign a tenancy agreement. This specifies how bills are to be paid, the duration of the lease and how far in advance notice has to be given before the agreement can be terminated. Utility bills such as electricity and internet are not usually included in long-term rentals, and expats should ensure that anything they want to be fixed is listed in writing before they sign the tenancy agreement.

Real estate agents’ fees usually amount to half a month’s rent, while deposits are equivalent to one month’s rent and are refunded at the end of the lease, with pending bills and damages subtracted. 

Healthcare in Malta

Healthcare in Malta is divided into public and private sectors, and has a reputation for offering high standards of care.

Residents are not obliged to take out health insurance and there is no specific national health insurance in Malta. All workers do, however, pay social security contributions that cover a variety of public welfare needs, including healthcare.

Maltese citizens and EU health card holders have access to free and subsidised healthcare, but most expats will likely need to take out private insurance.


Public healthcare in Malta

Public healthcare in Malta is provided at the level of public health centres (clinics) and hospitals. Since residents are assigned a clinic based on their place of residence, they generally have shorter waiting times and are a good option for less serious ailments.

Health centres provide services such as immunisation, gynaecology, physiotherapy and psychiatry, in addition to general practitioners and nurses.

While there are others, the main hospital in Malta is the Mater Dei Hospital, which is one of the biggest medical buildings in Europe. The Gozo General Hospital in Victoria is the main hospital on Gozo.


Private healthcare in Malta

Although the sector is small, private healthcare in Malta is accessible and holds high standards. Private hospitals offer the benefit of shorter waiting times and superior facilities, but these come at a price.

Private hospitals in Malta are, however, affordable when compared with other European countries and are especially popular with British patients who want to avoid NHS waiting lists.

Most foreign residents need private medical insurance which can either be taken out with a local insurance company or an international provider.


Pharmacies in Malta

Every village in the archipelago has at least one pharmacy, and many have more. Pharmacies in Malta dispense medication and provide the services of general practitioners, while some offer on-site specialists at certain times.

Most pharmacies are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm, and from 9am to 12pm on Saturdays.


Emergency services in Malta

The emergency number in Malta is 112. Calls are answered in Maltese and English, and the line can be used to contact various emergency services.

Education and Schools in Malta

A former British colony, the system of education in Malta takes its cue from its former parent country and will be familiar to many expats.

School is compulsory for children between the ages of four and 16 years old, and the education system is divided into public and private sectors.

The school year in Malta runs from September to June, with a three-month summer holiday. Christmas and Easter holidays usually last around two weeks.


Public schools in Malta

In Malta, a child’s education is split between kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and high school. Although state education is free, parents are responsible for buying their children’s uniforms.

Except for English lessons, the language of instruction in state schools is Maltese, so older expat students may have difficulty adjusting.


Private schools in Malta

Private schools in Malta are either affiliated with the Catholic Church or independent, but all of them are overseen by the ministry of education and offer similar curricula.

Private schools often favour English as their language of instruction and give expats children an alternative to Maltese-language state schools.

While the quality of independent education is high, so are the costs.

Church schools

Generally, church schools in Malta do not charge monthly school fees but parents will have to pay for school supplies and are asked for an annual donation. Spaces are limited and children are often enrolled through a lottery system.


International schools in Malta

There are several international schools that cater to foreign students in Malta. The most popular are the Verdala International School, QSI International School of Malta and International Vocational College Malta.

St Edwards College is also a popular option for expats. While it is strictly an independent school, it offers English-language instruction and is based on the British public school system, while also offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

International schools usually have very high standards, but expats will naturally have to pay for this privilege.

Transport and Driving in Malta

Given its small size, public transport in Malta is limited to buses, with extensive routes on the two larger islands.

Other options are taxi cabs and, for expats who would prefer driving in Malta themselves, vehicle hire.

Travel between the islands is made possible by ferry, sea plane and traditional water taxis, dgħajsa (pronounced ‘dysa’), which have been used for centuries.


Public transport in Malta

Malta Public Transport operates bus services on the islands of Malta and Gozo. The last time there were trains in Malta was in 1931, with old buildings and pieces of track serving as reminders. Taxis are available but more expensive.

Buses

There are numerous bus routes on Malta and Gozo. Buses on both islands usually run from 5.30am to 11pm, seven days a week.

Buses in Malta travel outwards from central hubs on both islands. Victoria Bus Station is the main transport hub in Gozo and the main station in Valletta is near the City Gate. Other important hubs on Malta are at Mater Dei Hospital, to the west of the city, and Malta International Airport, to the southeast of the city.

Generally, one- or two-digit routes are mainline routes that operate to and from Valletta, while routes that are marked ‘X’ are express routes that run to the airport.

Single- and multiple-journey tickets can be bought at ticket booths and vending machines at central locations, such as the Valletta Terminus, the university campus and the airport. Certain tickets can be purchased from bus drivers.

Expats who will be using buses often should consider buying a Tallinja Card, which offers better deals on fares and can be recharged at vending machines and tickets offices.


Taxis in Malta

The most common taxis in Malta are painted white, with a ‘taxi’ sign on the roof and a registration number on the front doors. New arrivals can catch a taxi from the airport to various destinations at set fees, but passengers hailing a taxi off the street or at a taxi stand should agree on a price beforehand. There are also black cabs which may offer more comfort, but these need to be reserved in advance.


Driving in Malta

Expats driving in Malta should do so defensively, since the country has somewhat of a reputation for erratic driving. Cars drive on the left in Malta, with speed limits of 50mph (80km/h) on the open road and 30mph (50km/h) in built-up areas.

Expats will need a valid driver’s licence if they intend on driving in Malta. Licences from other EU countries are accepted and can be exchanged for a Maltese licence if the holder has lived in the country for six months.

Expats from elsewhere can use their home country licence for up to 12 months, after which they will have to get a driver’s licence in Malta.

Banking, Money and Taxes in Malta

In addition to abundant sunshine and warm winters, easy banking and low taxes in Malta make it an excellent expat destination. Malta is renowned for its advanced financial sector and has been an offshore banking haven. Better-known local banks include the Central Bank of Malta, APS Bank, Banif Bank and Bank of Valletta.


Money in Malta

The Maltese currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents.

  • Notes: 5 EUR, 10 EUR, 20 EUR, 50 EUR, 100 EUR, 200 EUR and 500 EUR

  • Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 EUR and 2 EUR

Currency exchange in Malta

Expats should exchange money at banks instead of hotels or restaurants. Rates are more favourable straight from the source. Banks are open until the early afternoon from Monday to Friday, and sometimes until 12pm on Saturdays. Working hours differ and can vary according to the season. 


Banking in Malta

Most Maltese banks will open an account for new arrivals that haven’t finalised their residency, although banks without foreign interests are likely to take longer. International banks are accustomed to the workings of expat finances, although choosing a basic account with fewer services can expedite the process.

Expats who need banking access as soon as they arrive will have to do some work ahead of time. Non-residents from the EU only need to produce photo identification and proof of address, and they don’t have to be in Malta to apply. Non-EU citizens will need to fill out an additional savings tax form.

Getting an e-Residence card on arrival from the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs is fairly simple and speeds up the process of opening a bank account in Malta.

ATMs and credit cards

ATMs can be found all over the islands, near retail shops and restaurants. To avoid problems, expats should only use bank-issued ATMs. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted, but expats wanting to use a debit card should ensure it is authorised for international use. 


Taxes in Malta

Many expats are attracted by the tax planning and asset protection on offer in Malta, but the benefits vary depending on whether or not one is still working. Income tax is fairly low, and Malta has double taxation avoidance treaties with numerous countries, meaning that tax paid in one country can be offset against taxes in the other country.

Malta is in a fairly unique situation when it comes to living off of savings. Capital and overseas capital gains can be remitted tax-free when received through a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) account. The help of a wealth manager is recommended for navigating the tricky details of overseas finance and retirement in Malta.