Moving to Malta: All About Highly Demanded Destination for Expats
Are you fond of the stunning coastline and natural surroundings of an island? If so, then Malta is the perfect location for you if you intend to relocate to the Mediterranean region.
The island stands out with its pleasant climate, extensive sandy beaches, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Aside from the favorable tax structure, other reasons why expats choose Malta as their relocation country include the extensive use of English, the laid-back way of life, and the proximity to the continent.
If you are requiring additional justifications to move to Malta, IMovingTo is here to provide comprehensive guidance.
Brief Info about Malta: Culture, Climate & Language
Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean between Italy and the coast of North Africa. Therefore, moving to the Mediterranean region with its mild winters and warm summers is a great advantage for expats.
The average annual temperature in Malta is 19°C, and it features more than 3,100 hours of sunlight. While autumns are pleasant and winters are mild, summers are hot and dry. Midsummer high temperatures typically exceed 30°C, and daytime lows are rarely below 10°C.
What’s more, Malta is a definite linguistic advantage for relocation. Maltese is the island’s oldest native language. However, English is the second officially recognized language, and it is used by around 90% of the population. Moreover, up to two-thirds of Malta’s population speaks Italian fluently. Moving to Malta is not a concern as long as you are proficient in one of these languages.
Maltese culture is typically characterized as a fusion of the influences that the various rulers who have come and gone over the centuries brought to the island of Malta. The Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs all left their mark on the history of Malta as well as its customs and traditions. Local people on the island are typically warm and inviting, although the Mediterranean temperament may be shown in oppositional behavior, especially in sports and politics.
Cost of Living in Malta
In general, living in Malta is less expensive than in many other countries in Europe, the US, and the UK. You may pay up to €1600 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in a brand-new building in a highly desirable district of St. Julian’s. Depending on your rate and consumption, the average payment for water, electricity, gas, and Internet can range from €150 to €200.
Malta generally has inexpensive entertainment. A Heritage Malta Multipass is worthwhile to get if you enjoy visiting historic places, which are plentiful in Malta. The most affordable food purchase can be made at farmers’ shops, roadside markets, or supermarkets that offer locally grown produce. Both imported brands and prices in smaller grocery stores are slightly more expensive.
The following aspects of life will enhance your understanding of the general cost of living in Malta.
- Average monthly net salary: €1,186.
- Three-course meal for a couple in a mid-range Restaurant: €62.50
- Monthly transport pass: €26
- Cinema ticket: €9.50
Healthcare System in Malta: How to Get Insurance
Malta provides a comprehensive public health system. You are entitled to free hospital care if you are a Maltese citizen or a resident who contributes to social security. Government clinics across the nation offer free general practitioner services as well. A private GP appointment will cost about EUR 20, and they are typically found in pharmacies. A private specialist’s initial consultation costs EUR 50.
For non-emergency cases, private hospitals are also available. While foreigners should obtain health insurance before moving to Malta, the standard of service in Maltese hospitals is generally good.
If you’re an expat, it’s recommended to choose international health insurance over a local health plan. You can select insurance plans provided by companies with a global presence, including Cigna, Allianz, and others.
Visa Options & Permit Requirements in Malta
If your country and the EU have a visa-free travel agreement, you may remain in Malta for up to 90 days during your 180 days. Otherwise, to stay longer, you should obtain a long-stay “D” visa, the validity of which is 1 year. After your arrival, you should apply for a temporary residence visa if you plan to stay longer than a year.
If you intend to work in Malta, you need to obtain a work permit. Apply at the Malta Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence, which is the most convenient option.
While, except for Croatia, prospective foreign employees are not required to get a work permit, expats from another EU country need to obtain an official registration certificate within 3 months of arrival after having settled in Malta. The Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs is in charge of issuing work permits to citizens of third-party countries.
You should have lived legally in Malta for 5 years before you can apply for permanent residency. After that, you can apply for permanent status with the Maltese immigration board.
How to Find Accommodation in Malta?
Malta has a strong and dynamic rental market. This indicates that, although there are many properties available, they come and go quickly from the market. Prices for a one-bedroom apartment can start at around €400 in more rural locations and around €800 in urban areas. The price you will pay is influenced by the property’s size, location, and amenities.
There are numerous real estate agencies in Malta, including global names like Malta Sotheby’s International Realty, that represent premium property on the Maltese Islands and are supported by associates with extensive knowledge of the local market and multiple languages.
Locations like Valletta, St. Julian’s, Gzira, Sliema, Swieqi, Mdina, and Birgu are popular for renting out real estate. All offer a convenient central location with quick access to transportation and business options.
Furthermore, Malta has Special Designated Areas where foreigners are free to purchase any type of property without a license or other limitations. However, they need to obtain an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit from the government if they intend to buy property outside the SDA.
Career Opportunities for Expats
The Maltese job market is struggling to keep up with the demand for workers as a result of its expanding economy. Numerous national and international companies are available for you to work for in Malta if your field of expertise is either information technology (IT), pharmaceuticals, medical, legal, or financial sectors.
For expats, there are several places where you can locate Maltese job postings due to the popularity of internet job hunting. Remember to register with Jobsplus if you work for or provide services to a Maltese company.
You can start by looking at the following websites:
- Malta Park
- Times of Malta
Konnekt is the biggest employment agency in Malta. They can assist you in finding an employer who matches your skill set and job history.
Sorting Out Finances & Managing Taxes
Malta generally provides favorable tax treatment to expats. The nation is attempting to draw wealthy people with its retirement Program and Residence Scheme. Following these programs, expatriates only pay a flat tax of 15% on any income they send back to Malta.
Capital gains and foreign capital gains can be transferred tax-free, while income in Malta is only charged to the extent that it is transferred to the country, where the top tax rate at the highest margin is 35%.
Therefore, if you have capital, you may live entirely tax-free because there is no minimum income requirement. To make sure you continue to comply with tax laws, it is crucial to obtain professional assistance.
Another thing that makes Malta’s taxation system convenient for retirees and expats is that it doesn’t have annual property taxes, income taxes, or inheritance taxes. The guidance of an international financial advisor may make a difference to your financial circumstances when you cease to be a tax resident in your home country and become an expat.
Ways to Ship Your Belongings in Malta
If you’re trying to ease the tension regarding restrictions about moving your belongings in Malta, you should probably take advantage of international moving services provided by reputable companies in the industry. Still, let’s take a look at key information about transforming your possessions.
The most common method of shipping your possessions abroad is via ship. Although it takes longer than flying, this approach is substantially less expensive and can deliver heavier items. The greatest alternative for relocating with a lot of heavy furniture and packages is by sea freight.
It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in travel trunks, boxes, or bags while only bringing the necessities with you. For this, you can use the service of international movers and packers as well. The amount of time it takes for your belongings to arrive by air freight or sea transfer depends on how far they have to travel. You should allow up to 5 days for air freight and 6 weeks for sea freight.
Best Places for Expats to Live in Malta
Valletta is a somewhat calm and pleasant city, despite being the capital. If you respect culture and legacy, it’s among the best places to reside in Malta.
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site involves certain obligations and restrictions, therefore there isn’t much nightlife to speak of. The city is undoubtedly culturally rich and retains a certain air of bohemia. In fact, it was named the European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Look around the Harbor Area if you desire a more vibrant social life. Greater Valletta, another name for the Harbor Area, is centered around the Grand Harbor, one of the most magnificent round natural harbors in the world.
With a large number of shops, taverns, and cafés, it is a very lively and diverse neighborhood. It is crowded, built up, and frequently clogged with traffic all year. Additionally, there is vibrant nightlife along the seashore.
Swieqi & Pembroke
The region is a favorite among upper-middle-class residents because of its convenient location and serene atmosphere. It also has all the conveniences and services needed to make life there comfortable and pleasurable.
Mellieha, St Paul’s Bay & Buġibba
Mellieha ranks highly on the list of the best places to live in Malta. It is a favorite among British retirees and is known for its beaches and picturesque surroundings, which perfectly capture the old-world charm of Malta.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Malta
This region has established a reputation for itself internationally and sets itself apart from other Mediterranean countries with its mild weather, clear waters, and vibrant culture like no other.
However, there’s much more to this island’s attractions than just sunbathing, kayaking, and exploring. The island’s colorful culture and rich history are among its best qualities, and they are very much on display everywhere you go.
Due to its central location in the Mediterranean, Malta is easily accessible from a variety of locations.
You can travel by flight in 2 hours or less to Italy, Germany, or Greece. Only a small distance separates Cairo, Tel Aviv, London, and Paris from the location. If you don’t travel through Europe frequently, you’ll soon discover how affordable it may be.
Malta has one of the lowest unemployment rates in all of Europe, at just 3.7%.
In Malta, there are many growing industries looking to hire foreigners, including game development, online gambling, and fintech (with a concentration on the blockchain). The largest source of seasonal employment for foreigners is tourism, particularly that which is tied to yachts.
It can be challenging to avoid rush hour when you live and work in Malta since the buses can become extremely crowded. Due to this, many Maltese with financial means choose to drive. However, the difficulty is that parking inevitably becomes a concern as well.
The distance to the Mediterranean from any location in the country is reasonable. There aren’t many wide areas of sand appropriate for spreading out a beach towel, though, due to the rocky coasts and high cliffs that made Malta such a formidable fortress island in the Middle Ages.
There are a few excellent possibilities, such as Mellieha Bay, although they can get very crowded. More remote beaches, like Ghajn Tuffieha, are calmer if you’re willing to take an adventure.
Since relocating to any foreign country comes with several factors you need to be aware of, you are encouraged to take into account our guidelines.
Take advantage of international relocation services at IMovingTo and plan everything following our best international moving practices. So, wish you luck with your relocation to Malta!