Malta is part of the Schengen system, giving total freedom of movement to Schengen Member State nationals and members of their family to/from Malta. Other foreign nationals must present a valid passport for entry to Malta, and may be required to obtain a visa.
Visas are authorizations, in the form of a sticker issued and affixed to a passport by a diplomatic mission (Embassy or Consulate) to a third-country national (non EU/EEA national). Visas authorize the bearer to stay or travel through Malta during a limited, specified period.
Foreign nationals from most EU/EEA countries, the USA, and Commonwealth countries do not require a visa to enter Malta for stays of less than 90 days. You should verify with the nearest Maltese Embassy or Consulate whether you require a visa to enter Malta, and the specific visa requirements for your country.
You can also find a list of countries which require visas for entry to Malta here.
Visas are valid for 90 days, after which non-EU/EEA foreign nationals must apply for a uniform residence permit, and EU/EEA nationals must register their presence in Malta.
Non-EU/EEA nationals, or third country nationals (TCN’s), cannot stay in Malta on a 90-day visa more than 90 days (3 months) of any 180-day period (6 month).
TCN visitors to Malta must also be in possession of documents substantiating the purpose of their stay in Malta and have sufficient means of support for their stay and return transit to their country of origin. TCN’s in possession of a residence permit from a Schengen Member State are exempt from this set of requirements.
Visa applications for entry to Schengen Member States must be filed at the diplomatic mission of the country that is the main destination of your visit. If you intend visit several Schengen states with stays of approximately the same duration, you must file your visa application for the first Schengen Member State you will be visiting.
Therefore, if Malta is your main destination, or the country of first entry into the Schengen area, you must file your applications at Malta’s diplomatic missions or its representations.
Most TCN expats or visitors to Malta who require a visa will apply for a Schengen Type D Long Term/National Visa, or a Schengen Type C Short-Stay Visa.
Temporary visitors may also apply for Airport Transit Visas (Type A).
You can only apply for Type C visas in countries where Malta has no diplomatic post. Type C visas are valid for 90 days, and applicants must apply for temporary residence permits once in Malta to extend their stay. Applicants must first obtain a Type C visa, if required to enter Malta, before applying for a residence permit.
You can apply for a Type D visa at Malta’s diplomatic missions or consular posts. Type D visas are valid for the duration of your stay in Malta (longer than 90 days, with one or multiple entries). Applicants must first obtain a Type D visa, if required to enter Malta, before applying for a residence permit.
You can apply for a visa at your local Maltese Embassy or Consulate.
To find out where to apply for a visa in your country of origin, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.
All embassies and consulates will require documentation when you apply for a Type D or Type C visa. This documentation may vary from embassy to embassy, therefore it is highly recommended you verify with your country’s embassy or consulate as to their specific requirements. General documentation requirements include:
You may also be required to undergo an interview, in person, at your country’s Maltese Embassy or Consulate.
For a list of other required documentation for specific purposes of stay (business, studies, tourism) visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.
By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.