Malta’s government, in response to the EU state’s shortage of skilled labor, is issuing work permits to skilled workers from outside of Europe, such as Nigerians, through the ‘Specialist Employee Initiative.’ This initiative offers a fast-track application process for skilled foreign workers in Malta.
In January, the government launched a program to assist employers in locating highly skilled international professionals and accessing a broader global talent pool. According to the Times of Malta, eligible applicants include university graduates and individuals qualified for managerial or technical positions, with a minimum annual salary of €25,000.
Malta, situated in the Schengen area, is part of a group of countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. Travelers to and from Schengen areas will not require passport checks at the borders, although they may need to present other documents to immigration police.
WHO CAN APPLY:
Only nationals of third countries who have a signed contract with a business registered in Malta are eligible to apply for the SEI.
The Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI) is designed for highly skilled individuals from outside of Europe who hold the required academic, vocational, or technical qualifications specified in their job offer in Malta. The position secured must offer an annual gross salary of at least €25,000.
Applicants must meet specific educational and professional experience requirements to be eligible for the SEI:
– Hold a relevant bachelor’s degree or higher, or possess relevant educational qualifications (even if below a bachelor’s degree) along with a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience.
– Provide proof of experience through signed previous employment contracts, stamped employment history, and reference letters from former employers.
Additionally, as a requirement, there should be no Maltese or EU workers available who can perform the applicant’s role, although it is not explicitly stated how the Maltese government would determine this.
The application process involves the following steps:
1. The applicant’s employer must email a completed application along with all necessary attachments as requested. The application portal, Identitá, will seek the applicant’s permission before submitting the application and supporting materials.
2. Upon receiving the application, it will be reviewed, and both the company and the candidate will receive an informational email and an acknowledgment, along with additional instructions on how to pay the €300 application fee during the biometrics stage.
3. Applications may face delays or rejection if any documents are missing. A checklist is provided during the application to prevent this.
4. Once a decision is made on the application, the applicant and employer are informed via email. The standard government processing time for eligible applications is 15 business days from the date of submission.
In the final stage:
– Successful applicants are granted a residence permit for one year initially. This authorization may be renewed for up to three years if the employee remains compliant with the eligibility criteria and their employment contract remains valid.
– The SEI provides an alternate pathway to the older Key Employee Initiative, which has a quicker standard government processing time of five business days but stricter eligibility requirements, including a higher minimum gross annual salary of €35,000.
For Malta work visa requirements, applicants need to submit the following documents:
1. Valid passport with at least two blank pages.
2. Completed and signed work visa application form.
3. Passport-sized color photos with a light background.
4. Work contract containing job description, salary, and employment dates.
5. Updated CV with previous work experiences and references.
6. Travel health insurance with €30,000 coverage within the Schengen area.
7. Proof of accommodation in Malta.
8. Proof of booked flight to Malta.