Candidate Guide: Relocating to Malta - Our introduction to work, life and money on the island
Considering relocating to Malta? Perhaps you've been tempted to this stunning Mediterranean island by the climate, the lifestyle or career opportunities. But where to start?
Download: Candidate Guide - Relocating to Malta [PDF]
Moving to any new country is a big decision. If you're considering moving to Malta, you'll want to be sure you know all there is to know about the island. You'll want to know what it's like to live there, what to expect, and how it'll affect your pocket.
Pentasia has over 10 years' experience helping candidates relocate to Malta. We've helped people like you to move to Malta from countries all over Europe and Worldwide. To answer some of the most common questions we hear from candidates, we've created this guide to relocating to Malta, featuring...
An introduction to the island
And when you need a bit more help - whether it's finding a job, or choosing where to base yourself - feel free to drop us a line: pentasia.com/malta
Download: Malta Relocation Guide
Candidate Guide: Relocating to Malta [PDF]
An introduction to Malta: A sun-drenched Mediterranean island
The Maltese Islands
The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea - 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of the African coast. It consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino over an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km (not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo). Malta has a population of 423,282 (2015).
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterized by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is mostly uninhabited.
The Maltese Islands enjoy a superbly sunny weather, beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history. With a little help from any guidebook, captivating places of interest are immediately identified - the world famous Hypogeum selected as a place of World Heritage by UNESCO, prehistoric temples and grand palaces in the capital Valletta and the old silent city of Mdina are but a few.
The long relationship between the Islanders and the various nationalities that occupied Malta over the centuries has created a marriage of styles and traditions, giving the Islands a fascinating eclectic culture.
Both English and Maltese are official languages with Italian being widely spoken.
The climate is typical of the Mediterranean and is strongly influenced by the sea. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate with a daily average of around 12 hours sunshine in summer going down to 5 to 6 hours in winter.
Summers are hot, dry and very sunny, spring and autumn are cooler, winters are mild with occasional short cold periods. Annual rainfall is low, the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.
Discover Malta's History
Everywhere you go in Malta, you can find evidence of its rich historical past. Temples, catacombs, palaces, cathedrals and forts are some of the visible evidence left by many through the ages including the Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John, the French and the British.
The myriad of civilizations that have swept through Malta, along with its geographical position between Africa and Europe and its fantastic natural deep harbours have contributed to Malta’s unique culture.
Malta is renowned for its hospitality and has a homogeneous population. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with a density of 1,311 persons per square kilometre. The average annual population growth rate is 0.4%. Malta has a multi-lingual labour force that is very flexible and adaptable.
Birth rate averages 10.24 birth/ 1,000 people and the death rate averages 8.96 deaths/ 1,000 people. Even though the rich history of the islands has caused the present population to be an amalgam of various stocks, the Maltese people are mainly considered to be Southern Europeans.
Living in Malta: language, money, safety and lifestyle
Language & Religion
In spite of the various historical influences, Malta acquired a unique cultural identity and a language, which have survived centuries of domination. Maltese is the national language but for both official and business purpose both Maltese and English are official languages. Besides being very fluent in both the above two languages, many Maltese can also speak one or more additional languages such as Italian, French and German.
The Maltese language is a combination of Semitic and Romantic origin, with the former having a major influence on its structure. It is written in Latin characters. The people on the islands have diverse linguistic skills. In fact, English is the second official language of the country.
The predominant religion in Malta is Roman Catholics, however there are also several other religious communities, including non-Christians, who have their own place of worship and who can practice their beliefs without restrictions.
Malta is on Central European Time (CET), one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During daylight savings time, from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October clocks are advanced one hour.
Cost of Living
Being one of the least expensive places to live in Europe, groceries, clothing, furniture and utility services are all very reasonably priced. Accommodation is still reasonably priced, although prices are rising based on an ever-increasing demand.
Safe and Friendly
It is well known that Malta is a remarkably safe country. The low crime-rate coupled with the Mediterranean lifestyle and weather; result in the Maltese having a well earned reputation as a friendly nation.
Currency & Banks
The official currency in Malta since January 1st 2008 is the Euro. There are a number of commercial Banks in Malta, such as Bank of Valletta, HSBC, FIMBank, Banif Bank. The banks are normally open until early afternoon from Monday to Friday, and until midday on Saturday. Some banks/branches work longer hours. Summer and winter opening hours may differ.
Exchange bureaux at Malta International Airport are open 24 hours a day. International bank cards are widely accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. Banks, ATMs and exchange bureaux can be found all over the Islands.
Providing for you and your family: work, life and health
Compulsory education is from age of 5 up to the age of 16, with the Government offering a free system of education. Education is offered by state schools, independents schools and private schools which include Church schools. Transport is provided by most state schools. Both English and Maltese are used in state schools.
The University of Malta is publicly funded and open to all. Currently has some 11,500 students including over 1,000 international students (450 are visiting students) from 92 different countries, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses, many of them run on the modular or credit system.
The Maltese Government launched an integration web portal, where foreigners can find advice and useful information regarding education, work and social services. http://integration.gov.mt
Health care in Malta is available through both public and private hospitals and the quality of the care services is excellent. There are 42 clinics around Malta with a 11,100 total workforce. There are eight Health Centres around Malta which are the hub of public primary healthcare services.
All EU nationals resident in Malta are eligible for free medical treatment from state hospitals and health centres, which can be found in most localities.
Malta also has reciprocal agreements with a number of countries whereby visitors from those countries are eligible for free emergency medical treatment at the state hospitals.
Money matters: work, tax, permits and property
The job sector is thriving. The main sectors are Technology, Finance and Gaming, Marketing, Tourism but there are also great opportunities in the Medical and Educational fields.
Unemployment in Malta is among the EU’s lowest – at 5.7% as of April 2016.
View all our current vacancies in Malta
EU and EEA nationals do not require a work permit. For more information, we recommend you visit www.eures.europa.eu
For non-EU nationals, the employer must apply for an employment licence. Work permits are issued for specific periods (normally one year) and for specific purposes following a failed attempt to engage a suitable EU/EEA citizen.
In Malta the taxation of an individual’s income is progressive, that is the higher an individual’s income, the higher the tax s/he pays, starting at 0% and rising in stages to 35%. There are reduced rates of taxes for certain income earners.
The following tax bands are applicable for 2015 basis year:
There are a wide range of properties available for rental, from villas to apartments.
Property rental prices in Malta depend on three main factors:
1) Location – The south of the island is typically less expensive than the north or central areas. Popular areas like Sliema and St. Julians will inevitably be much more expensive than inland towns.
2) Quality – A brand new apartment with quality furnishings, new appliances etc will generally cost more than an older equivalent sized property equipped with older furniture and appliances.
3) Size - This will sound obvious, but you can get a bigger apartment or even a house in a quiet village for the price of a 2-bedroom apartment on Sliema seafront.
A lively cultural hub with international connections
Transportation & Communication
Unless you live and work in the same town or village, driving your own car or motorbike is pretty much a necessity. Public Transport Buses are frequent but tend to be slow.
Malta lies at an average 2-3 hours from anywhere in Europe. Being at the centre of the Mediterranean, makes catching a flight easy and convenient. Air and sea connections are efficient and frequent with a large number of airlines operating to and from the island and a fast-ferry service operating to and from neighbouring Sicily (southern Italy) on a regular basis.
Internet connectivity is excellent and inexpensive. Malta has two main mobile number providers, Vodafone and Go Mobile.
Sports, Culture & Events
One can practise quite a variety of outdoor sports all year around. Many of the leading hotels in Malta have health and fitness facilities. Apart from sports, the theatre is a widespread mode of recreation. Cultural events such as Malta Fireworks Festival, the Malta Arts Festival, Notte Bianca, the Malta Jazz Festival and Mediterranea takes place every year and are becoming tradition. Festive commemorations are also a time of food, drink and merriment which brings out the Mediterranean roots of the locals.
For those who enjoy the nightlife, there are a number of hot spots around the island, be it restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs.
For more information about working and living in Malta, or planning your relocation, get in touch with us today: pentasia.com/malta
Candidate Guide: Relocating to Malta [PDF]