5 Common Problems Faced by Expats Settling in Malta
3,000 hours of sunshine per year, endless number of beaches, various job opportunities, friendly locals and a reputation for safety…no wonder several people from all over the globe are becoming enticed by the idea of moving and settling in Malta.
In fact, over the past few years, the number of foreign workers in Malta has exceeded and chances are that if you are a business owner, you have at least one foreign employee within your team. Although life in Malta is as exciting as it can get, adjusting to life in a new country may be quite challenging.
Below we have compiled a list of difficulties commonly faced by expats in Malta and how to best tackle them. Read on to discover more!
1) Setting up a bank account
The process of setting up a bank account in Malta may take months. Thus, it is advisable that as soon as you move here, you immediately set up an appointment in any one of the four main banks in Malta (Bank of Valletta, HSBC, Banif, APS) as to get the ball rolling. As a temporary solution, one may also consider resorting to digital banking alternatives, such as Revolut which currently has a lot of hype surrounding it.
2) Getting the documents needed to work
The process to start working in Malta comprises of ensuring that you have compiled all the documents needed to be able to legally work here. Apart from being entitled to live and work in Malta, EU nationals (with the exception of Croatian nationals) are also granted a work permit automatically. On the contrary, it is of utmost importance that non-EU nationals are in possession of a work permit (aka employment licence). For further information regarding the application of such licence, click here.
Moreover, anyone planning to work in Malta will also need to get a National Insurance Number (aka social security number), which can be applied for online.
3) Renting property
As Malta’s standard of living rises, increasing property prices is an issue currently being faced by locals and expats alike. If you are looking to rent or to buy decently-priced property in Malta, the trick is to start looking at places which are not hubs for tourists or expats such as Sliema or St. Julians. Rather, opt for areas which are less-touristy yet not remote, such as towns and villages in Malta’s Southern and Southeastern regions.
4) Making use of health services
Just because you are in a foreign country, you should not be discouraged about getting regular doctor check-ups and any tests you might require. The quality of Malta’s medical care is excellent and operates within both the public and private sectors. You may visit doctors either in their private clinics, in local pharmacies, in any of the eight health centers around Malta, in private hospitals or otherwise in Malta’s public hospital. The island of Gozo also has its own public hospital.
5) Fitting in the locals
Finally, perhaps the most overlooked problem faced by expats anywhere in the world is that of integrating with the locals and building relationships. However, fret not as after all, the Maltese are known for their friendly and warm attitudes. All you should do is choose the right place to hang out and take a break from the tourist-crowded areas. For instance, you should certainly take advantage of the fact that ‘festa’ season has officially kicked off on the island. By attending some feasts, you won’t only be guaranteed to befriend some locals but you’ll also learn some local catch-phrases!
As can be seen above, although settling in Malta may seem overwhelming at first, there is always a viable solution to any problem that may arise, making your foreign employees’ move to Malta as smooth as possible.
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