Guidance

Living in Malta

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Malta, including guidance on residency, passports and driving and the Withdrawal Agreement.

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Maltese Government and your local authority. You can also read our Malta travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British High Commission regularly hold events across Malta for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Malta.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Malta at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Malta.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Malta. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Malta.

Residency

If you are resident in Malta on or before 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay. You will need to obtain a new residency card by 30 June 2021, in line with the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you have been living in Malta for three months or more and have not yet registered for residency, or if your residence document has expired, you should contact Identity Malta by emailing eu.ima@gov.mt.

If you have previously registered for residency, you will receive a letter from Identity Malta by 31 December 2020 about your new card. The letter will tell you when and where to go to apply for it, as well as what documents you will need to take with you.

Read the Maltese government’s guidance on residency on the Identity Malta Facebook page.

Due to the impact of coronavirus, Identity Malta temporarily paused some parts of this service. The full application process re-launched on 1 July 2020:

  • if you have already received a letter to obtain your new card, you should attend your appointment
  • if you have already registered but have not yet received a letter, Identity Malta will send one to you. You should attend the appointment stated in the letter to apply for your new card

For information on visas and residency you can:

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Malta.

Passports from 1 January 2021

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip.

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Malta, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on it.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.

Entry requirements

From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.

Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Driving in Malta

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are resident in Malta, you should exchange your UK licence for a Maltese one by completing Transport Malta’s DRV30 form.

If you are resident in Malta, you will not be able to renew a lost, stolen or expired licence with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You should therefore exchange your licence for a Maltese one before your UK licence expires.

For information on driving in Malta, you can read our guidance on:

You can also read the EU’s guidance on exchanging or renewing your driving licence.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Malta

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Once you’re resident in Malta, your imported car must have Maltese number plates.

Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Malta. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Healthcare

If you are living in Malta or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you will have life-long healthcare rights in Malta as you do now, provided you remain legally resident.

If you are legally resident in Malta and paying into the Maltese Social Security System, you will be entitled to full access to healthcare and you will be able to apply for a Maltese EHIC.

If you don’t qualify for healthcare cover through your national security contributions, you should check if you are eligible to apply for the Maltese RHA Entitlement Card.

Your RHA Entitlement Card allows you to register at your nearest health centre on the Maltese government website and make GP appointments. You will need to bring an identity card or passport. RHA Entitlement Card holders are not entitled to long-term care and treatment outside Malta and are not eligible for a Maltese European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

In an emergency, go directly to Mater Dei Hospital or Gozo General Hospital.

Read our guidance on healthcare in Malta and make sure you are correctly registered.

If your UK employer has sent you to Malta temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.

State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and are living in Malta before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 1 January 2021 if you are either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Malta and commutes to work in the UK

Read our guidance on how to get an S1 form to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

Visiting the UK as an S1 holder

If you visit the UK whilst residing abroad and require medical treatment, you must provide a copy of your S1 certificate. In some EU member states the S1 certificate is requested and retained in order for you to receive healthcare. If you do not have a copy or need to get a new certificate, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 191 218 1999.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Malta, you must not use an EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in Malta.

When you travel from Malta for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state healthcare for free or at a reduced cost.

If you’re a UK student in Malta or have a registered S1 you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC. This EHIC will remain valid from 1 January 2021. Apply now for a new UK EHIC.

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in Malta

If you are registered as a resident in Malta, you have the right to work in Malta. You can read our guidance on working in an EU country.

When looking for work, you may need to:

If you are resident in Malta on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work or study will not change, as long as you remain resident in Malta.

Eligibility for financial support requires a minimum of 5 years residency in Malta.

Frontier workers

If you live in Malta and commute to work in an EU or EFTA country, from January 2021 you may need a permit to prove that you are a frontier worker. We will update this guidance when more information is available.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Malta to ensure people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. You can ask the relevant tax authority about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Malta have not changed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

You can read guidance about:

For advice on paying tax in Malta, you can find an English-speaking lawyer.

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your UK State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Banking

Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking after 31 December 2020. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes after 31 December 2020 for more information on cross-border retail banking.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Malta, you can claim:

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Pensions after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Malta by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Malta, you will still be able to add your previous UK social security contributions towards your Maltese pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes after 31 December 2020 for more information on cross-border pensions.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Malta. You should:

If you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks, many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Maltese benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Maltese social security benefits. You should:

Benefits after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Malta, your previous UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Maltese contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Voting

You can vote in local municipal elections. You cannot vote in general elections in Malta or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Malta, would will need to register a birth abroad.

If someone dies in Malta, you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance on renting and buying property in Malta.

You may need to meet certain eligibility requirements when purchasing property in Malta, including applying for an Acquisition of Immovable Property [AIP] Permit.

Read the Maltese government’s guidance on buying property for more information. You may also wish to seek legal advice.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

The emergency number in Malta is 112.

If you need urgent help, are the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis in Malta, contact the British High Commission Malta.

Returning to the UK

Essential actions to take before leaving Malta:

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

If you receive healthcare in Malta through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Maltese authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 28 April 2016
Last updated 10 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  2. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  3. Visas and Residency section updated with information about the new residency registration scheme returning to full service.

  4. Updated 17 April 2020

  5. Updated 23 March 2019

  6. Visas and residency section updated with information on the new residency card that the Maltese government will issue.

  7. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal

  8. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  9. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  10. Added new information in Healthcare section about S1 certificates.

  11. EU Exit update: added changes to 'Passport Validity (6 Month Rule) and EU Visa-Free Travel' section

  12. EU Exit update: updated information in pensions, healthcare, passports and returning to the UK sections

  13. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  14. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  15. EU Exit update: Added information on double-taxation after EU Exit under the 'Money and Tax' section

  16. EU Exit update: added information about Maltese government helpline for UK nationals in Malta (Freephone 153) and instructions about driving licences

  17. EU Exit update: Added further details of Malta´s offer to UK nationals and existing UK-Malta bilateral healthcare agreement in health section.

  18. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  19. EU Exit update: added latest announcement from the Maltese government to the EU Exit section.

  20. EU Exit update: Added information about outreach meetings for UK nationals living in Malta and Gozo

  21. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.

  22. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  23. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  24. Updated October 2017

  25. First published.