To have the right to apply, it's necessary to tick these boxes:
- Come from outside the EU
- Earn a minimum of €2,700 per month
- Avoid working in Malta but keep working remotely
You can be either an employed specialist or a partner/shareholder in an organization registered in a third-party state.
To apply for this visa variety, it's necessary to prepare:
- Two passport-style photos
- Application form
- Cover letter to explain the purpose of your relocation to the island and your plans for living there (where and for how long)
- Proof of employment
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of shaving sufficient savings
- Relationship status
- Health declaration
- Health insurance
All the papers need to contain valid information and lack mistakes or misprints.
The application process for the Malta digital nomad visa is simple and straightforward:
- Gather the papers
- Submit your application to [email protected]
- Wait for approval
- Visit the island in person to pick up your residence permit
At the last stage, you should bring your passport, the results of your background check, proof of accommodation and health insurance certificate.
If you match all the eligibility criteria, your odds for approval should be high. Some foreigners forget to attach selected documents to the sets that they submit. In this case, their applications might end up rejected — and it's the most common reason for rejection.
What's So Special About Malta
Digital nomads love this island for the following reasons:
- Warm and mild climate. The average temperature throughout the year is +20°C. In summer, the air doesn't get sizzling hot. In winter, you shouldn't expect a lot of snow. Probably, you'll be able to sunbathe even in October and November.
- No language barriers. English is one of the two official languages here, along with Maltese.
- Low crime rate. You shouldn't leave your bags unattended on the beach — but in general, it's an exceptionally safe place to live.
- Maximum respect for human rights. Malta is a democratic state that thoroughly protects its residents and guests.
- Pristine nature. In addition to admiring it and taking pictures, you can practice snorkeling, diving and surfing.
- Rich cultural heritage. Even though Malta is compact, you'll be spoilt for choice when you start exploring its museums, archeological sights and art exhibitions.
- Opportunity to relocate together with your dearest and nearest.
- Excellent transport links. To cut down expenses and enjoy tranquility, you might want to settle down in a rural area. It won't be a problem for you to commute from there to an urban area or to the sea on cheap and reliable public transport. To avoid costs related to buying and maintaining a car, you may resort to electric scooter sharing, electric car-sharing or taxi services.
- 5G nationwide coverage. The highest quality of mobile and broadband Internet is one of crucial Malta's competitive edges, from the point of view of a digital nomad.
- Simple application process and reasonable requirements for applicants.
- Opportunity to travel visa-free across the Schengen Area. Your visa will let you spend up to three months in any chosen state within this region (but you won't be allowed to work there).
This island began to attract digital nomads long before it introduced a dedicated visa for them. In the next few years, Malta is expected to become a true gem among the favorite global locations of remote workers.
The digital nomad visa involves a fee of €300 per individual. There are no discounts for family members who apply together with you. If you fail to get the approval, there will be no refund.
Plus, there is a smaller fee of €27.50 for obtaining a residency card.
Typically, the authorities take around one month to review your documents. The exact duration can vary depending on:
- Time of the year (if too many foreigners apply together with you, you might need to wait longer)
- Necessity to submit additional papers (if you fail to provide all of them at the first attempt)
- Territory where you come from
When your visa is ready, it will remain valid for one year. Then, you'll be able to extend it for one more year, if you wish. You'll be allowed to repeat the process as many times as you want.
The situation with taxation for digital nomads is a bit tricky. On the one hand, the authorities say that foreigners who work remotely are exempt from taxes. They only need to pay taxes in their homeland as usual and provide the confirming documents in Malta.
On the other hand, the Maltese legislation hasn't been 100% adjusted to this innovation. According to the law, if an expat stays on the island for at least half a year per year, they become a local tax resident and are supposed to pay all their taxes here. Currently, the authorities are working on resolving the contradiction. To play safe, ask for legal advice before applying for your visa to avoid any pitfalls.
Which Family Members Can Apply Together with You
If you'd love to relocate to the island together with your dearest and nearest, feel free to apply together with:
- Partner (it's necessary to be officially married)
- Underage kids
- Kids who have already come of age but can't sustain themselves without your assistance
To prove that your children still require your assistance, you should provide documents. It can be your son's or daughter's health declaration or proof of them studying at a university and not working yet.
Cost of Living
Malta is not the cheapest destination for digital nomads. Because it's an island, businesses have to pay extra to transport goods here. This affects the ultimate prices of many products, except for locally manufactured ones. At the same time, the cost of renting accommodation tends to be considerably lower than in the UK, the US and most Western European countries. Besides, there are various ways of cutting down your expenses without compromising too much on your living standards.
A monthly budget of $3000 per person should be enough to live here comfortably. Accommodation and various services are more expensive in urban areas and close to the sea. In remote urban areas, your expenses can be lower.
It might be tempting to live in a historical building — but there are two pitfalls. First, houses that didn't undergo renovation might be not in their best condition. Second, historical buildings require additional maintenance costs. If you don't mind paying a bit extra for the maintenance, look for houses that were renovated. They preserve their beautiful facades that can be several centuries old — but are brand new from the inside.
If you prefer to live in the city center, you should be able to rent a one-bedroom apartment for around €800-€900. Outside the city center, an identical apartment can cost you around €700. To pay your household bills together with the Internet, you should have around €130 per month in your pocket.
A one-way ticket for a bus costs less than €2 and a monthly pass costs less than €30.
The mobile tariffs can be more expensive on the island than on the mainland. If you realize that you're paying too much, explore the alternatives. Consider different operators as well as prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans.
When it comes to healthcare services, many local residents pay as little as €50 for their insurance. Those who want a more extensive range of services pay more for private schemes. Digital nomads aren't eligible for government-supported programs, so their expenses are usually higher than €50 per month.
If you'll be living alone, €200 per month should be enough for you to buy groceries. Supermarkets offer an extensive range of international branded products — but they aren't cheap. The most affordable imported alimentary products come from Italy. Locally sourced products are renowned for their exceptional taste and a large concentration of vitamins and nutrients. Visit markets where farmers sell vegetables, fruits, milk and fish on stalls to get a notion of the genuine Mediterranean lifestyle and optimize your budget.
A meal for one person in a budget-friendly restaurant can cost you as little as €15. In fine-dining establishments, a delicious romantic dinner for two can cost €100 or even more.
Which Area to Opt for
Here are the primary digital nomad hotspots on the island:
- Valletta. It's the island's capital. Its infrastructure is highly developed and there are many coworking spaces to choose from. The architecture is incredibly beautiful and there are many entertainment options to enjoy.
- Sliema. It's the epicenter of high-end life. Foreigners appreciate local premium hotels, fine-dining restaurants and multiple shops. Digital nomads value Sliema for its exceptional safety and top-notch Internet connection.
- Zurrieq. It's the oldest city on the island. Consider it if you appreciate the historical vibes and proximity to the ocean.
- Mosta. It's compact, cozy and charming. At the same time, there are many cafes where you can work and shops where you can buy everything you need.
- San Gwann. It's a cultural site that lets you travel back in the time machine to the 20th century or even earlier. Accommodation tends to be very affordable here.
- Victoria. This city is located not in Malta but on its neighboring island of Gozo. It's a haven for expats who adore secluded life and want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
Actually, you can consider any location you fancy. Just make sure the Internet there is stable and reliable.
Top coworking spaces on the island are strategically located: they can boast superb transport accessibility and have stunning views. Some of them operate 24/7 and have leisure amenities. Selected businesses also double as coliving spaces.
Coworking spaces can offer three types of services:
- Hot desk — you arrive without any pre-bookings and take any desk that is not occupied
- Dedicated desk — you rent a dedicated desk for a fixed period of time (week or month)
- Private office — you rent an office within the coworking complex for a mid- or long-term
The range of services, their price brackets and conditions can vary greatly from one space to another. Now, let's have a look at the most popular coworking projects in Malta.
Grand Central has two locations in Valletta and both are dog-friendly. The scope of amenities is rather basic — but there are bike desks and adjustable standing desks. If needed, you can expand your workspace to an additional monitor.
Mindo Coworking and Serviced Offices operate 24/7. It will take you only ten minutes to get here from the international airport. You'll be able to benefit from a fully equipped kitchen with free fruits, snacks, coffee and water. When you feel like taking a break, visit the rooftop terrace.
The guests of the SC Coworking and Coliving Campus can rent a room in a shared apartment or a private studio. For them, the amenities of this coworking space are available 24/7. Among the key advantages of this lovely place, there is a restaurant lounge and a large pool.
Soho Office Spaces have branches on The Strand, in Savoy Gardens and St. Julian's. Depending on which branch you prefer, you might be able to rent a permanent office or a meeting room for one-off events. A private chef cooks delicious lunches for coworkers. There is a well-equipped gym and fitness classes. The Soho Office Spaces are eco-friendly. The designers largely relied on natural materials and placed many plants inside.
New spots are regularly opened in different areas of the island, so you might want to monitor the Maltese news to stay updated.
In this aspect, Malta is one of the most advanced territories on the planet! 5G is already available here. The Internet coverage is very extensive and reliable.
On the flip side, the speed and quality of the connection can vary depending on the location. In budget-friendly hostels, the Internet can be slower — while top coworking spaces provide state-of-the-art connectivity. Across the island, there are over 400 free public wifi spots available to anyone.
When comparing the local home and mobile Internet providers, pay primary attention to:
- Melita — the most accessible
- Epic — the most reliable
- GO — the golden middle between the previous two
Before signing a contract, make sure that the chosen provider is available in your area. Ask them whether the installation is free or not. Only individuals aged 18 or older can sign contracts with Internet providers. Be ready to prove your identity, show your proof of residence and provide the landlord's permission to install Internet in the rented accommodation.