• published on 3/18/2024
  • 4min

Living in Malta as an Expat

According to Malta’s national statistical office, more than 100,000 foreign residents were living in Malta in 2021, making up nearly 20% of the population. [1] With it’s sunny weather, beautiful coastline and white sandy beaches, it’s understandable why Malta is a popular choice for expats in Europe.

Living in Malta as an Expat

Table of contents

1. Deciding on a place to live

2. Residency and visas for Malta

3. Malta's healthcare system

4. Transport

5. Working in Malta

In this blog, we will take a look at different elements of life in Malta to give you an idea of what you can expect as an expat living here.

Deciding on a place to live

There are a variety of great locations across Malta that are suitable for expats. You might favour being in a smaller fishing town that offers serenity and wonderful sea views, or prefer a busy town centre that has an exciting buzz.

One of the big appeals for those looking to move to this European country is the weather. Malta has a sub-tropical climate, where expats can experience hot and dry summer months and mild, but sometimes rainy winters.

Some places you might consider living include:

  • Valletta: the capital of Malta, this small city of just 5,000 people has a lot to offer residents. It is in a desirable location where residents can visit its famous historical sites or wander around the main shopping area of Republic Street and Merchant Street.

  • Sliema: found on the eastern side of Malta, Sliema is a bustling town that is home to 22,000 people. With lots of cafes and restaurants to sample and 5km-long waterfront, there is plenty here for you to explore in your free time.

  • Marsaskala: located in southeast Malta, this fishing town provides a quieter feel than other places and is known for its rocky coastline and stunning bay, as well as being a World UNESCO heritage site.

  • Mellieha: a hilltop village in the northern part of Malta with a population of 11,000 residents, its sandy beaches and natural scenery make it an attractive place for expats who like being in relaxed surroundings.

Residency and visas for Malta

When moving abroad to Malta, it might be necessary for you to apply for a visa. Ensure you check your requirements well ahead of your move so you can be fully prepared.

If you're an EU/EEA citizen, then you do not need a visa for living, working or studying in Malta. However, should you wish to stay in the country for longer than a 3-month period, then you will need to acquire a residence card.

Non-EU/EEA citizens who want to live, work or study in Malta for more than three months will need to apply for a type 'D' national visa. This is valid for up to one year but can be renewed.

As part of your visa application, it is necessary to schedule a visa appointment. which can normally be done at the closest embassy or VFS application centre. Some of the documentation you must provide as part of this includes:

  • Proof of private medical insurance

  • Accommodation information

  • Valid passport

  • Passport photos

  • Application form

As well as applying for a visa, you could also be required to get a residence permit if you're thinking about relocating to Malta. The type of residency permit you need will depend on your personal circumstances, such as your nationality and the reason for living in the country.

At APRIL International, we offer flexible and high quality international medical insurance for expats to protect their healthcare needs during their time abroad.

Malta's healthcare system

Malta's healthcare system system is funded by social security contributions and taxes, with the majority of services free to use for citizens, residents and EU nationals.

There are a mixture of public and private treatment facilities in Malta, consisting of eight public hospitals and two private hospitals, and the system is funded by social security contributions and taxes. Examples of some of the healthcare services incorporated in the state system include:

  • Specialist treatment

  • Maternity care

  • Inpatient care

  • Emergency care

In Malta, GPs can provide a number of healthcare services to patients, which can include administering vaccinations, specialist referrals and prescribing medications. Patients can seek help from a GP at one of the country's 10 healthcare centres, or sometimes at a pharmacy.


An important consideration for expats when moving abroad is what kind of transport is available.  Malta International Airport, located in Valletta, is the most convenient method for travel overseas, flying to busy locations across the world, including London, Madrid and Munich.

One of the main forms of travel within the islands is buses, which provide a regular and free service for users with a Tallinja card. However, having a car may be a more suitable mode of transport for some expats, as it means you don’t have to rely on public travel and can start the journey at a time convenient to you.

Ferries also provide another source of transport for Malta for both domestic and international trips. There are daily arrivals from Sicily from the ports of Pozzallo and Catania, as well as regular crossings between the three Maltese islands during the day.

However, for those that enjoy scenic travel, riding a bicycle is a great opportunity to be in the outdoors and getting some exercise. You can get a glimpse of famous historical sites during your journey, as well as take in the wonderful sea views.

Working in Malta

In Malta, working days tend to be 40 hours per week, and employees are entitled to 24 days of holiday per year. Having language skills might be necessary when applying for a job here; the official languages spoken in the country are Maltese and English.

If you’re looking to work in Malta, then it’s worth bearing in mind that some of the main industries found here are:

  • Manufacturing

  • Financial services

  • Tourism

  • IT

  • Shipping

For those considering having children while living abroad, it is worth bearing in mind that workers is entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave by their employers. You can also take an additional four weeks of maternity leave, but this will be unpaid.

Moving abroad can be a big adjustment, full of adventures but sometimes taking time to settle into your new life. Check out our blog here for some tips that can help you feel more comfortable living in a different country.