Guidance

Living in Malta

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Malta, including guidance on residency, passports and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Malta. Read about how our High Commission in Valletta can help.

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

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Malta since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Coronavirus

Follow the advice of the Maltese Government and your local authority. You should also read the Malta travel advice.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Malta read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

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

Check the entry requirements for Malta and read the Maltese government’s:

To register for residency, or if your residence document has expired, contact Identity Malta.

Visas and residency if you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

If you applied by 30 June 2021 for the new biometric residence card issued under the Withdrawal Agreement your rights are protected, pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get this residence card if you do not have it yet.

Until you get your new Withdrawal Agreement (WA) biometric residence card, you can use your certificate of application as evidence of your legal status in Malta.

If any of your details on your WA biometric residence card change, such as your address or your name, you must get a new card. Contact Identity Malta to make an appointment.

If your WA biometric residence card is going to expire, email Identity Malta to renew it. Email brexit.ima@gov.mt or eresidence-brexit.mgoz@gov.mt (if you live in Gozo).

If you have not had a response to your WA biometric residence card application, contact ID Malta either by calling +356 2590 4800 or email brexit.ima@gov.mt or eresidence-brexit.mgoz@gov.mt (in Gozo).

Appeal process

If you want to appeal, you must tell the Immigration Appeals Board (IAB) within 3 working days of receiving the letter or email.

To appeal, send your ‘notice of intention to appeal’ by both registered post and email to:

The Immigration Appeals Board
15, First Floor, City Gate Building
Ordinance Street
Valletta
VLT1020

and

Email: immigrationappealsboard@gov.mt

Include the date you received the refusal letter or email. You should also attach the ID Malta refusal letter and an image of your passport photo page to your email. There is no fee for submitting an appeal.

We strongly recommend you seek independent, specialised legal advice to support you if you appeal. The British High Commission cannot get involved in an individual’s immigration application and we cannot provide legal advice. If you cannot pay for a lawyer, you may be able to access legal aid, depending on your financial situation. Contact the IAB to ask about legal aid services.

From the date you send your ‘notice of intention to appeal’, you have a further 15 days to submit your grounds for appeal. Use the same address and email you used for the ‘notice of intention to appeal’.

You can ask for your original residency application file direct from ID Malta, or you can ask the Court of Appeal to request it.

The IAB does not have a deadline to make a decision on your appeal. You will usually receive a letter extending your residency rights for 2 months. Your residency may be extended again if the IAB has not made a decision within this time.

You must tell the IAB if you want to attend the appeal hearing. You can attend with or without legal representation.

If your appeal to the IAB is unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Court of Appeal. This can be a lengthy and expensive process.

If your appeal is unsuccessful and your residency refusal is upheld, you may have to leave Malta, depending on your circumstances.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 30 June 2021. You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing it. Applications will be considered on an individual basis.

You must explain why your application is late and provide documents to support this. Contact ID Malta on brexit.ima@gov.mt as soon as possible to make an in-person appointment to submit your application.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Malta at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to on the Living in Europe page.

They must travel to Malta and after 90 days book an appointment with Identity Malta for a WA biometric residence card as your family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Maltese authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Malta.

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

Check the Malta travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area.

If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Malta using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Malta with a Maltese residence card or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Malta, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

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

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence document or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your WA biometric residence card, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your WA biometric residence card, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Malta, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Malta with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

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

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read our guidance on:

Working in Malta

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

To apply for a job you may need to:

Read:

If you work in Malta, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you have a Withdrawal Agreement residence card or have applied for one.

If you live in Malta and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Malta.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Malta officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Malta

If you plan to study in Malta, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Malta to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read our guidance on:

If you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Malta before 1 January 2021.

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Malta so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Malta. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Malta.

You can read guidance about:

National Insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions(NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Malta. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Malta.

If you plan to move to Malta and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Malta. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Malta.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

Check your UK National Insurance record.

Benefits

UK benefits

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

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

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Maltese benefits

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

Pensions

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

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Malta, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement 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 do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

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

Read:

You may also wish to seek legal advice. Read our list of English-speaking lawyers in Malta.

Driving in Malta

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Malta. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Malta:

If you hold a driving licence issued in the UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you can exchange it for a Maltese licence without taking theory or practical driving tests. You must do so within 12 months of arriving in Malta.

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence

If you moved to Malta after 1 January 2021, you can use your valid licence for 12 months from the date you moved there. Before the end of the 12 months, you must exchange your licence for a Maltese one. You do not need to take a driving test.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your UK, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you were living in Malta before 1 January 2021

You must exchange your licence for a Maltese one as soon as possible. You do not need to take a driving test.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your Overseas Territory licence

If you have a licence from a UK Overseas Territory, contact the British High Commission for help.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Malta, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Maltese disabled parking card.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Malta

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

Read the Maltese government guidance on:

Once you’re resident in Malta, if you import your car you must obtain Maltese number plates.

Driving outside Malta with a Maltese licence

You can use your Maltese licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Maltese licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Maltese licence you may need to apply for an IDP. Contact the Touring Club of Malta on +356 2123 8226 or email info@touringclubmalta.com.

Read the Maltese government guidance on how to renew a Maltese licence.

Read the EU guidance on:

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, marriages and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Malta, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Malta read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

Pets

If you’re moving to Malta with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Malta for the police, ambulance or fire brigade.

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If your child is at risk of being, or has been, abducted, read the guidance on international parental child abduction, the Maltese government guidance on child abduction, the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Malta, read the guidance on what to do and where to get support in cases of rape and sexual assault.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British High Commission Valletta.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Maltese and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

Before leaving Malta you must contact:

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

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

Useful information

Support for British Nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 28 April 2016
Last updated 11 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Important information in the ‘Working in Malta’ and ‘National insurance and social security contributions’ sections if you work in Malta, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  2. Changes to the Driving in Malta section to reflect the latest Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of the Republic of Malta and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  3. Driving section updated with latest guidance on exchanging your driving licence for a Maltese one.

  4. Guide reviewed and updated, including birth, deaths, marriages and pets sections.

  5. Support from the UK Nationals Support Fund will end on 30 September 2021. You should contact the UK Nationals Support Fund implementing partner before this date if you require additional support. If you are already being assisted via the Fund, you will continue to receive support until you have made your application.

  6. Driving section updated with deadlines for exchanging a UK driving licence for a Maltese one.

  7. Guidance reviewed for people who are moving or moved to Malta after 1 January 2021. Following the residency application deadline, it also includes sub-sections relevant to people living there since before 1 January 2021.

  8. Additional support section updated with link to guidance on UK Nationals Support Fund, healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working and studying in Malta section updated with information on studying in Malta, and links to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  9. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines

  10. 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. Updated 17 April 2020

  17. Updated 23 March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  34. 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.

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

  36. Updated October 2017

  37. First published.