Guidance

Living in Malta

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

What you should do

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021, you need to apply for a new residency card by 30 June 2021.

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:

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Malta before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You must apply for a new residence status by 30 June 2021 to secure your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

If you were resident in Malta before 1 January 2021, you need to apply for a new residency card by 30 June 2021.

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.

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 you should contact Identity Malta to book an appointment to apply for your new card

For information on visas and residency you can:

Additional support

UK nationals who were resident in Malta before 1 January 2021, and need help to complete their residence application, can get support from organisations funded by the UK Nationals Support Fund.

This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties.

Support available includes:

  • answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works
  • guiding you through the process, if necessary
  • support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the IOM:

Moving to Malta

Check the entry requirements for Malta and read the Maltese government’s guidance on visas.

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence card (EU card or eResidence card), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your card, carry your certificate of application.

If you have not yet applied for a residence card, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Malta. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Malta, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Malta.

Passports

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Malta.

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.

Renew your passport before booking your travel 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 have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

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.

Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.

Driving in Malta

You should exchange your UK driving licence for a Maltese one by 1 July 2021.

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.

Driving in the UK with a Maltese licence

You can use your Maltese licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test. We will update these pages if there are any changes to the rules, as soon as information is available.

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 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 were living in Malta before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 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.

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in Malta
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

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 were legally resident in Malta before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

If you are planning to come to Malta to work, you may need a visa. Read the Maltese government’s guidance on how to get a visa and other necessary documents.

When looking for work, you may need to:

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

Frontier workers

If you live in Malta and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before 1 January 2021 you may need a permit to show you are a frontier worker. You must also apply for a new residency card.

Studying in Malta

You will be eligible for the same tuition fees as Maltese nationals, as long as you were legally resident in Malta before 1 January 2021. You must apply for the eResidence card.

Read our guidance on:

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 need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Malta.

Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. 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 for more information on cross-border banking.

Pensions

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Malta.

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:

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

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.

Benefits

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Malta.

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

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

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:

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

If you have a pet passport issued by Malta or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

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 18 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Visas and residency section updated with information on the UK Nationals Support Fund for those who may find it harder to complete their residency application.

  2. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on driving, pet travel and moving to Malta

  3. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  4. 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.

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

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

  7. Updated 17 April 2020

  8. Updated 23 March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  25. 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.

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

  27. Updated October 2017

  28. First published.