Removals to Malta could make your fantasy come true if you have dreamt of life on an idyllic island. Malta will indeed allow you to enjoy a sunny climate while keeping all the luxuries of modern life. However, if you are moving to Malta there is a lot you’ll need to research before you set off, such as the transport available on the island and whether you’ll need to learn the language. We’ve done some of the hard work for you with this guide which covers the essential info that every expat considering relocating to Malta should know.
Moving to Malta: About Malta
Malta is the smallest state within the EU, with a population of just 400,000 stretched over 316 square kilometres. The country is actually an archipelago which is comprised of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Malta is the biggest of the three islands and has the most sites of interest as well as being the administrative and commercial hub. Gozo is quieter with more rural areas, as it is primarily utilised for fishing, agriculture, tourism and crafts. The last of the three, Comino only has one hotel on the island and is uninhabited.
This trio of islands is set in the middle of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily and north of Africa. This brings a hot and sunny climate with many hours of sunshine each day. Winters are short and mild with only occasional bursts of cold weather.
After joining the EU, Malta went on to adopt the euro in 2008 and this is now the only legal tender currency in the country.
Moving to Malta: Language
Although Malta has its own cultural identity, it has a long history of being linked to other nations which have given other languages a platform within the country. As such, there are two official languages of Malta: Maltese and English.
According to the stats, approximately 98% of the population now speak Maltese with 88% speaking English as a second language. Over a third speak Italian, and one in ten speaks French, creating a melting pot of tongues and providing lots of opportunities for conversation between different nations.
For expats moving to Malta, if you can speak English you won’t find there’s any need to learn Maltese. All business and official documentation are in English, and with so many people in local communities speaking fluent English, learning Maltese won’t provide any tangible benefits. This is quite an unusual circumstance in Europe.
Moving to Malta: Healthcare
Malta offers an excellent standard of healthcare; They rank fifth globally in the World Health Organisation’s chart. This outstrips larger countries such as the UK and US by a long way and demonstrates the quality which is available within the state system.
Any emergency medical treatment is free of charge to everyone, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage. Once they are stable, they will need proof of cover for further treatment.
the terms of their EHIC card cover EU citizens arriving for a short-term visit only. The card provides access to free treatment for emergency and necessary medical treatments; it is not a proper replacement for travel insurance.
For those EU nationals who are staying within Malta for longer, they will need to register to qualify for state insurance. This is funded through salary contributions which are roughly equivalent to 10%. Self-employed people can opt to make contributions to also benefit from the state cover available.
As a small island, Malta organises its referrals and treatment geographically, a system which helps to cut back on waiting times. However, there still may be delays for treatment, just like any state health system. Individuals who are keen to avoid waiting a long time for routine referrals can opt for private healthcare instead. This is more expensive but provides better options and shorter waiting times so it’s often a preference for expats.
Non-EU nationals will not be able to take advantage of the state healthcare and will need to take out either travel insurance or private healthcare which offers cover while overseas.
Moving to Malta: Transport
As the archipelago of Malta covers such a small space, transport in and around the islands is very easy.
Driving offers real freedom to visit wherever you want and allows you access to the furthest stretches of the island. In Malta, cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. Likewise, the signs are all in English.
The buses make a good alternative to driving and are a reliable, safe and clean form of public transport. Typically operating between 5 am and 11 pm, there are 80 routes around the Maltese islands. There are even buses that travel between Malta and Gozo. The buses are modern with air conditioning, and all feature low rise entry and wide doorways to accommodate disabled passengers. You can get a Tallinja card that you can top up online.
There aren’t any proper railways on Malta.
White taxis are another quick way to get around but aren’t the cheapest option. They can pick passengers up from anywhere other than bus stops; Make sure you remember to check the fare before setting off.
Removals to Malta: Visa Requirements
As part of the EU, the rules about living and working on this tiny island are straightforward. EU citizens can live or work in Malta without having to apply for any kind of visa or work permit. However, if they plan on staying for longer than three months, they must apply for the formal registration certificate.
Non-EU nationals will have to secure approval from Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs to work in Malta. There are several requirements attached to this type of application including supporting evidence from the employer. This visa can be renewed up to a maximum of three years although may possibly be extended in exceptional circumstances.
If you are an EU citizen, living in Switzerland or if you live in an EEA member country then you don’t need to apply for an employment license (unless you live in Croatia) but it is advisable to contact EURES to see if there any additional requirements before you work in Malta.
Moving to Malta: Removals to Malta
Due to Malta being in the middle of the sea, transporting your possessions can take a little more organising. An experienced, reputable European moving company can help plan your move and offer you the option of air freight or shipping. The latter will take longer but work out much cheaper, so it depends on your priorities.
Opting for a furnished property in Malta will cut down on the number of items that you need to ship.
Your moving company will be able to give you advice on costs and customs rules which govern entry.
Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to help you with the full list of restrictions that apply to removals to Malta and also provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.