Living and working remotely from an exotic location is a dream for many professionals today. As a digital nomad, your office can be wherever you want it to be – a beach in Bali, an apartment in Mumbai, or a villa on the Mediterranean Sea.
Out of all the potential destinations for digital nomads across the globe, Malta stands out as an optimal choice. This island country offers digital nomads an affordable lifestyle, access to the EU, gorgeous landscapes, seaside living, a thriving expat community, and, most importantly – a dedicated digital nomad visa.
- An Introduction to Malta Nomad Residence Permit
- Eligibility Requirements for Malta Digital Nomad Visa
- Step-by-Step Malta Digital Nomad Visa Application Process
- The main benefits of obtaining the Malta Digital Nomad Visa are as follows
- Renewing Your Malta Digital Nomad Visa
- Is Malta’s Digital Nomad Visa Right For You?
- Helpful Websites for Malta Digital Nomads
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Malta Digital Nomad Visa
An Introduction to Malta Nomad Residence Permit
In June 2021, the Maltese government introduced the Nomad Residence Permit, which provides a residence pathway for digital nomads and remote workers outside the EU.
This one-year renewable visa allows eligible applicants to live in Malta while continuing to work or operate a business remotely. The initial visa term is one year and can be renewed twice for a maximum stay of three years.
For remote professionals who can show stable remote income, this visa presents the opportunity to make Malta your new home base while taking advantage of the country’s Mediterranean lifestyle and convenient access throughout Europe.
Eligibility Requirements for Malta Digital Nomad Visa
To qualify for Malta’s digital nomad visa, there are several requirements related to your work, income, health coverage, and more. Meeting all eligibility criteria is crucial for a smooth application process and approval.
A third country national, excluding EU, EEA and Switzerland. Nationals of the currently ineligible countries of Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela (or with close links to them) are not eligible. In addition, applications from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are currently ineligible. The list of ineligible countries may be revised from time to time by the Agency at its discretion.
First and foremost, you must prove that you work remotely for an employer, own an established foreign business yourself, or work as a freelancer with foreign clients. Any applicants seeking to perform in-person services in Malta will be ineligible.
You must also prove that you fall into one of the following three categories categories below:
a. Employed – with an employer registered in a foreign country and has a contract of contract of employment.
b. Self-employed – carrying out business activities for a company which is registered abroad and of which the applicant is a partner/shareholder.
c. Freelance – providing freelance or consultancy services to clients whose permanent foreign country and with whom the applicant has contractual agreements.
Minimum Income Threshold
A minimum income threshold is required to qualify for the Nomadic Residence Permit. You must have an income of €32,400 per year (gross), regardless of how many dependants you have.
Income can be from employment, contracts, freelance work, or business ownership – as long as it comes from abroad and not within Malta.
Like any visa application, you must possess a valid passport that will remain valid for the duration of your time in Malta. Ensure your passport has at least two blank pages for the visa sticker and stamps upon arrival.
Proof of Accommodations
While optional, once approved, you must present proof of accommodations in Malta that cover your entire stay. This can be either through a long-term property rental or lease agreement. Accommodations must be suitable for habitation and cannot include hotels, hostels, or short-term rentals.
Health Insurance Coverage
Private health insurance coverage is mandatory for your stay in Malta. Once approved, you can use an international insurer or purchase coverage through a Maltese provider. Minimum policy coverage should be €30,000.
Step-by-Step Malta Digital Nomad Visa Application Process
Now that you understand the eligibility criteria, let’s go through the detailed application process and documents you’ll need to obtain your Malta digital nomad visa successfully.
Gather and Prepare All Required Documents
After you confirm you meet all eligibility criteria, it’s time to begin gathering supporting documents to include in your Nomad Residence Permit application.
Here are the essential documents you’ll need:
- Passport – Copy of biometric information page and any visa pages
- Proof of Remote Employment – This may include:
- For remote workers – A letter from the employer
- For business owners – Registration of business
- For freelancers – Signed client contracts
- Bank Account Statements – Last 3 months of statements showing regular income
- Health Insurance Proof – Coverage document showing international or Maltese policy
- Accommodation Contract – Lease or rental agreement in Malta (provided after initial approval)
- Other Documents – Employment history, qualifications, health declarations
It’s highly recommended you use a checklist to collect and prepare all required documents for your visa application.
Complete the Online Visa Application
The application will request your biographical information, employment details, health declarations, and supporting documentation uploads.
Be sure to double-check all entered information and that your documents are clear and eligible before submitting the application.
Please note that applications are to be typed in, not written by hand.
Pay the Visa Application Fee
You must pay a non-refundable €300 administrative fee as part of the application process. This must be paid via direct bank transfer, which you can initiate once your application has been received.
Payment details will be provided after your application is submitted and reviewed. The application review can only begin after this fee is received, so complete the transfer promptly.
Wait for Application Approval
Once you submit your complete digital nomad visa application and the administrative fee, your application will enter the review and approval phase.
The average application processing time is around 30 working days. Residency Malta and relevant government agencies will assess your eligibility, perform background checks, and validate all submitted documents during this time.
You will be notified by email as soon as a decision has been made regarding your Nomad Residence Permit application. Avoid changing your email address after applying to take advantage of this crucial approval notice.
Collecting Your Digital Nomad Visa After Approval
If successful, your Nomad Residence Permit approval process has a few remaining steps before you can officially obtain your visa.
Submit Remaining Documents
After being approved ‘in principle,’ you will be asked to provide the following:
- Signed property rental or purchase agreement – Must cover the entire duration of visa validity
- Valid health insurance policy – Covering your stay in Malta with minimum coverage of €30,000
Once submitted and accepted, you will receive final approval and the next steps for visa issuance.
Biometric Appointment and Visa Paperwork
All nationalities must have their biometrics collected at the Residency Malta Agency itself. This quick, face-to-face process involves taking fingerprints, photographs and digital signatures.
Firstly, a Letter of Final Approval will be issued. If you need an entry visa, the Central Visa Unit of the Identity Malta Agency will contact you to help you through the procedure. Applicants who are accepted are eligible to apply for the premium visa service.
Once in Malta, the applicant must contact Residency Malta Agency by email to arrange an appointment for biometric capture. It will take between two (2) to three (3) weeks for the Residence Card to be issued. Once the card has been issued, the applicant will be notified by email and asked to collect the card in person from the Residency Malta offices, bringing their passport with them.
The main benefits of obtaining the Malta Digital Nomad Visa are as follows
Once granted, the Nomad Residence Permit provides several excellent benefits for eligible remote workers.
Longer Term Stays in Malta
The clear advantage of this visa is the ability to live and work remotely from Malta legally. The initial visa is valid for one year, with two potential renewals for up to three years. This is an ideal solution for digital nomads seeking a new temporary home base.
Visa-Free Schengen Area Travel
Maltese residents can travel freely within Europe’s Schengen Area. As a Nomad Residence Permit holder, you can visit any 26 Schengen countries for up to 90 days out of every 180. This allows for a convenient weekend or monthly trips around Europe during your remote work stint in Malta.
Incredible Lifestyle in Malta
Malta offers an incredible Mediterranean lifestyle for digital nomads. You’ll enjoy stunning beaches, incredible history and architecture, sailing across the sea, delicious cuisine, and an English-speaking population. Malta has everything you need to blend remote work with a high quality of living.
Vibrant Expat Community
Malta has cultivated a dynamic community of transplants and digital nomads from around the world. It’s easy to meet fellow laptop-toting travelers to collaborate and socialize with. Coworking spaces and networking events facilitate these connections.
Unlike some other exotic destinations, Malta’s official languages are English and Maltese. You can seamlessly navigate daily interactions without an intimidating language barrier.
Renewing Your Malta Digital Nomad Visa
The Malta digital nomad visa is initially issued for one year. However, you may apply to renew your Nomad Residence Permit up to two times for a maximum cumulative stay of three years.
Renewals are subject to continued eligibility and are issued at the sole discretion of Maltese immigration authorities. Here is an overview of the renewal process:
You should submit your renewal application at least 45 calendar days before the expiration of your current visa. This prevents any lapses in your legal residency status in Malta.
It is your responsibility to maintain a valid visa at all times. Immigration officials recommend applying 60+ days out where possible.
After your initial one-year digital nomad visa expires, renewal permits are issued for subsequent one-year periods. You cannot extend for a shorter duration – all renewals provide another 365-day stay.
To qualify for renewal, you must still meet all standard program requirements related to remote work and minimum income. You also must show proof you resided in Malta for at least 183 days during the previous visa period.
Providing this evidence and proof of ongoing eligibility criteria is critical for a smooth renewal approval.
Is Malta’s Digital Nomad Visa Right For You?
If you meet the eligibility criteria and Malta appeals to you as a remote work destination, Malta digital nomad visa provides an excellent opportunity.
One of the biggest perks of Malta is the vibrant expat community. You’ll be able to connect with fellow digital nomads and remote professionals from around the world who have made Malta their temporary home.
With sunny weather nearly year-round, maritime activities, delicious cuisine, tons of history to uncover, and English-speaking locals, you’ll never run out of things to experience after your workday wraps up.
Helpful Websites for Malta Digital Nomads
Nomad Residence Permit – Malta’s government portal for the digital nomad visa requirements, application, fees and more.
Visit Malta – Malta’s official tourism website to discover sights, culture, events and trip planning.
WikiTravel Malta – Wikitravel’s Malta guide covering destinations, transportation, housing and safety.
Nomad List Malta – Digital nomad resource profiling Malta’s cost of living, wifi speeds, fun activities and more.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Malta Digital Nomad Visa
Who is eligible for Malta’s digital nomad visa?
Eligible applicants must:
• Prove remote employment or freelancing with foreign entities
• Earn a minimum of €2,700 per month
• Provide various documents like passport, health coverage, accommodations contract, and bank statements
EU citizens cannot apply. See official guidelines for other exclusions.
How long does it take to get approved?
It typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to get approved after submitting a complete application with all documents. The process involves background checks.
Can I bring dependents with me to Malta?
You can include dependents like a spouse or children in your original application. The minimum income requirement increases based on the number of dependents.
Can I travel around Europe with this visa?
Yes! Once granted, the permit provides 90 days of visa-free travel in any 180 days to other Schengen countries.
What happens if I get rejected?
You will receive an email notification if your digital nomad visa application gets rejected. Unfortunately, the specific reasons for rejection cannot be shared. You may re-apply after 12 months.
Can I work for a local company or do freelance projects in Malta?
No. The visa requires you to provide only remote services to companies and clients abroad. You cannot participate in the local Maltese economy.
What is the minimum income for Malta digital nomad visa?
An applicant must have a minimum gross yearly income of €32,400
What is the application cost of Malta digital nomad visa?
A non-refundable application fee of €300 per person, to be paid to Residency