10 things you need to know before moving to Malta
Malta has increasingly become a haven for expats in search of attractive job prospects in an English-speaking country. Combine this with glorious sunshine and an easy-going Mediterranean lifestyle and it’s very easy to see why! If you’re thinking of moving to Malta for work, or are already in the process of moving, then there are several things you will need to know to make the first few months run as smoothly as possible. Check out our guide to moving to Malta:
The Maltese lifestyle is much like any other Mediterranean country, relaxed and easy-going. The locals are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help you, so don’t hesitate to ask if you’re lost or need assistance with something.
2. Documentation from Home
Make sure you can gather up as much documentation as you can before you embark on your new life adventure. This can include anything from bank statements, work references, medical records and previous lease agreements. You may find that you won’t need everything, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Minimum wage in Malta stands at roughly €4.24 per hour so the cost of living is generally lower than some European countries. For two adults, €250 a month should be more than enough to budget for groceries. You should also put aside about €30 a month for transport if you’re taking the bus to work and about €100 a month for utilities. Going out in Malta is also inexpensive, drinks cost no more than €3.50, while going out for an average meal will cost you about €45 to €50 for two people, which would get you a fine pasta dish, gourmet burger, pizza, or protein dish such as grilled chicken or fresh fish, bottled water and beer or a decent bottle of wine.
4. Getting Around
Once you’re set with accommodation you should consider registering for a ‘Tallinja’ card. This will allow you to ride public buses at a significantly reduced rate, saving you a lot of money in the long run. You can register for your Tallinja card online and it will arrive in the mail within a week or two.
5. Finding Work
Finding work before you move to Malta takes a lot of pressure off you and your savings, once you get here. That said, finding a job is still relatively straight forward to do once you’ve arrived on the island. IGaming and hospitality are the two main industries to find work. Jobs in these sectors are abundant all over the islands. A contract is something that is essential to getting a residence card and setting up a bank account. Therefore, consider these jobs a stepping-stone to help you get your feet off the ground.
If you’re a non-EU citizen moving to Malta, you’ll need to apply for a residence/work permit at the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. Laferla offers tailor-made, low cost insurance to specifically suit the requirements of such a permit. Discover more about residence/work permit health insurance here.
6. Social Security Number
Once you have a job, preferably with an indefinite or definite contract, and accommodation sorted, you can then focus on applying for a Maltese social security number. This is an essential part of becoming a working resident in Malta and can take the next step towards applying for a residence card. You can apply for your SSN online here.
7. Residence Card
The resident I.D card is extremely important and simplifies a lot of for your day to day life in Malta. To apply for a residence card, you’ll first need to have your employment status confirmed by Jobsplus at their offices on St. Zachary Street in Valletta. Next you will need to visit Evans Building in Valletta where you can apply for your residence card. To apply for your residence card, you will need the following:
Original and Copy of:
- Your Passport
- Your work contract
- Jobsplus employment certificate
- A tenancy agreement from Malta
Make sure you take a full morning to get this done, as the application process can take a few hours. After a few weeks, you’ll receive a letter informing you that your residence card is ready to be collected.
So, where exactly is the best area to live and how much can you expect to pay per month? Well, this depends. Most of the expat communities in Malta are centred around the Sliema/St. Julian’s or the Gzira/Msida areas. Typically, a two-bedroom apartment in these locations can cost anywhere from €600 – €1,200 per month. You’ll have to pay a deposit and, depending on the landlord, up to two month’s rent up front. If you’re going through an estate agent, you should note that there will also be a one-off service charge on top of this. Our friends at Quicklets offer Laferla customers a 10% discount on agency fees when using coupon code RC1969819.
9. Bank Account
Setting up a bank account becomes a lot easier once you’ve received your residency card. There are several banks, both national and international, to choose from so do your research on each before you pick one. Most banks will require your ID, a letter of reference from a bank or your employer and a minimum deposit into your account to set it up. Once you’re set up you receive your ATM card so you can withdraw your funds without any incurred charges from using a foreign ATM card.
Healthcare in Malta is free to all citizens and registered working residents so once you have your Social Security Number and your residence card you can visit healthcare centres free of charge. Of course, you won’t have these luxuries when you first arrive so it’s best to apply for the European Health Insurance card before you leave for Malta. This card is available to all EU citizens and you can easily apply for it online. What’s more, the card is free of charge so it won’t cost you a single cent.
If you’re a non-EU citizen, fear not, Laferla’s residence/work permit health insurance ensures that you are covered in full when requiring hospitalisation.
In any case, if you prefer private healthcare services, or for added peace of mind, have a look at our comprehensive health insurance plans.
Now that you know what to expect when you move here, there’s only one thing left to do: get out to Malta and experience the mixture of sun, sea and relaxation for yourself!
written by Keith Laferla
Assistant General Manager