Plus, 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 when you arrive, and how much money you can expect to earn.
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...
Malta Relocation Guide
Download a FREE copy of our Malta Guide, introducing work, life and money on the island. Let us know if you're currently recruiting or looking for your next job opportunity.
1 - Introduction to Malta
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.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Contained within its’ sunny climate, beaches, thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing malta history, is a leading tourist destination. 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.
As Mediterranean climate goes, Malta provides a sunny climate with a daily average of around 12 hours sunshine in the summer going down to 5 to 6 hours in winter. And 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.
Through the long-standing relationship between 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.
Malta is renowned for its hospitality and has a homogeneous population of 423,025 (2018). 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.
Language & Religion
In spite of the various historical influences, Malta acquired a unique cultural identity and language, which have survived centuries of domination. Maltese although the national language. For official and business, English is preferred. Besides, nationals being very fluent in both, 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 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.
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.
Safety & Services
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.
The Maltese Government launched an integration web portal, where foreigners can find advice and useful information regarding education, work and social services visit https://integration.gov.mt.
02 - Working in Malta
Getting a Job
Considering working in Malta? Whether you’re looking for entry-level work or are advancing your career, Malta has plenty of jobs available for expats.
In fact, Malta’s job market is thriving, and there are thousands of great job opportunities hiring now. Unemployment in Malta is among the EU’s lowest – at 3.7% as of January 2018 – making it an excellent place for those looking to kick-start their career, gain industry experience or boost the bank balance.
Familiar expat jobs like waiting, language teaching and tour operators are – of course – available, but many of the best jobs available to expats are in tech start-ups and international companies. The city’s invested heavily in gaming, finance and tech, containing some of the best companies to work for in digital.
Our key tips for getting a job in Malta as an expat:
Start early: get your CV on the market long before you leave home. Employers are well used to hiring from outside Malta and will be open to interviewing by Skype or phone.
Take a stepping-stone job. Considering a full-time career in gaming, tech and finance? Great news: many rising start-ups and international companies are searching for entry-level talent to nurture: you’re already in demand!
Ask for help. Use any existing contacts you know in the city; join expat forums or talk to a specialist local recruitment agency [since you ask… try Pentasia Malta!]
Bring your digital skills. There’s a serious digital skills shortage here in Malta. If you’re able to demonstrate tech skills, knowledge and – ideally – experience, you’ll immediately be at the front of the pack for jobs in gaming, eCommerce, payments and technology companies.
Take the leap. Ultimately, fortune favours the brave. You won’t be the first to move to Malta for work, and it’s proven brilliantly successful for many before you. Dive in and get started!
EU and EEA nationals do not require a work permit. Members can also apply for permanent Malta residency upon five years of legally living in Malta.
For non-EU nationals, the employer must apply for an employment license. Work permits are issued for specific periods (normally one year) and for specific purposes, only following a failed attempt to engage a suitable EU/EEA citizen. In reality, these work permits are only accessible to a minority of applicants.
For more information, we recommend you visit www.eures.europa.eu
03 - Salary Guides
Employing staff in Malta?
Pentasia can provide Malta salary guides and salary benchmarking, allowing you to plan effectively. Custom market mapping and exclusive talent pool insight is also available on request.
Request A Consultation
Anthony, Hennessey, Managing Consultant, Pentasia Malta
04 - Cost of Living
Is Malta Expensive? See our cost of living comparison with other EU Tech capitals:
(Source: Numbeo, checked 2018)
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.
Expats living in Malta have a range of options available to them when it comes to accommodation. Malta’s architectural heritage has provided the country with more than its fair share of attractive villas and townhouses, but modern developments have added both luxury and affordable options.
Property can be rented or purchased – though there are some government restrictions on expats buying property, particularly as second homes. Rental tenants have the choice of private rentals, managed or shared.
Prices vary greatly dependent on style, location and arrangement, particularly:
Location The south of the island is typically less expensive than the north or central areas. But where to live in Malta? Well...Popular areas like Sliema and St. Julians will inevitably be much more expensive than inland towns.
Style A brand new apartment with quality furnishings, new appliances and fittings will generally cost more than an older equivalent sized property, though sometimes character comes with its own cost.
Type Many expats in Malta chose to live in one of the many apartment blocks along the coast. Families may chose to live further inland, where houses and villas are more commonly found.
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’s reciprocal agreements with a number of countries whereby visitors from those countries are eligible for free emergency medical treatment at the state hospitals.
Income Tax Malta
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.
05 – Taxes; Rates for Expats
Tax rates in Malta compare favourably to many other working destinations. Lower rates can be a welcome surprise for many arriving to work in Malta.
The following tax bands are applicable for 2018 basis year:
The Maltese government also sets particularly attractive rates for senior professionals in certain key industries – such as gaming and finance – which significantly reduce the amount paid on top-tier salaries. Aimed at bringing high-net-worth individuals and senior talent to the island, this tax policy can be an attractive draw for senior candidates.
06 - Exploring Malta
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.
Sports, Nightlife & 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. Not a sports fan? 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 Mediterranean 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.
Expat life in Malta for those who enjoy the nightlife, there are a number of hot spots around the island, be it restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs.
Malta’s capital Valetta was been awarded the prestigious European Capital of Culture title for 2018, a year of events that will raise an already-high bar. Theatre, jazz, arts, festivals and film scenes are all active here in Malta. Plus, as a Catholic country, religious festivals are celebrated and enjoyed across the island.
Official languages are Maltese and English, the latter of which is widely spoken. Yet, Malta is a true mixing pot of cultures, with welcoming communities of expats from all around the world.
The Italian influence is clearly evident in Malta’s food scene. In fact, you’ll find cuisines from across Europe and worldwide here: a remnant of the island’s multiple rulers, perhaps. Local delicacies include Pastizzi - a snack pastry, Timpana – a pasta pie, and Malta’s national dish – rabbit stew.
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Attracting professionals from all over the world, Malta is an emerging digital hub with hundreds of businesses - gaming, tech and finance hiring now.
For more information about working and living in Malta, or planning your relocation, get in touch with us today: pentasia.com/malta
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