Malta Rules on Third Country Nationals Relocation


The Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals in the Framework of an Intra-Corporate Transfer Regulations (“Regulations”) transpose Council Directive 2014/66/EU of the 15th May 2014. These Rules were brought into force through Subsidiary Legislation 217.21.

The scope of these Regulations is to determine the conditions of entry to, and residence:

  1. For more than ninety days in Malta for third country nationals and their family members;
  2. When Malta is not the Member State which first grants the third country national an intra-corporate transferee permit.

An intra-corporate transfer is defined in the Regulations as the temporary secondment for occupational or training purposes of a third-country national who, at the time of application for an intra-corporate transferee permit, resides outside Member States, from an undertaking established outside the Member State, and to which the third-country national is bound by a contract of employment prior to and during the transfer, to an entity belonging to the undertaking or to the same group of undertakings which is established in Malta, and, where applicable, the mobility between host entities established in other Member States

The Regulations thus apply to third country nationals who reside outside the EU at the time of the application and either:

  • apply to be admitted into Malta under these Regulations or
  • have been admitted to the territory of another Member State in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer as managers, specialists or trainee employees.

In order to be able to apply for an intra-corporate transferee permit, a third-country national needs to provide:

  1. Evidence that the host entity and the undertaking established in a third country belong to the same undertaking or group of undertakings;
  2. Evidence of employment within the same undertaking or group of undertakings, from at least three up to twelve uninterrupted months immediately preceding the date of the intra-corporate transfer in the case of managers and specialists, and from at least three up to six uninterrupted months in the case of trainee employees;
  3. A contract of employment containing the following details:
    • The duration of the transfer and the location of the host entity or entities;
    • Evidence that the third-country national is taking a position as a manager, specialist or trainee employee in the host entity or entities in Malta;
    • Remuneration as well as other terms and conditions of employment;
    • Evidence that the third-country national will be able to transfer back to an entity belonging to that undertaking or group of undertakings established in a third country at the end of the intra-corporate transfer;
  4. Evidence that the third-country national has the professional qualifications and experience needed in the host entity to which he is to be transferred;
  5. Documentation certifying that the third-country national fulfils the conditions laid down under the Recognition of Professional Qualification Regulations to exercise the regulated profession to which the application relates, where applicable;
  6. A valid travel document and an application for a visa or a visa, if required;
  7. Evidence of having, or of having applied for, a sickness insurance for all the risks normally covered or Maltese nationals concerned for periods where no such insurance   coverage   and   corresponding entitlements to benefits are provided in connection with, or resulting from, the contract of employment; and
  8. Present an address in Malta at the time when the intra-corporate transfer permit is issued.

An application shall be refused where:

  1. The evidence required under the conditions of admission is not presented;
  2. The documents presented were fraudulently acquired, or falsified, or tampered with;
  3. The host entity was established for the main purpose of facilitating the entry of intra-corporate transferees; or
  4. The maximum duration of stay has been reached.

Identity Malta may, at its discretion, also refuse applications in any of the following cases:

  1. Where the employer or the host entity has failed to meet its legal obligations regarding social security, taxation, employment rights or working conditions;
  2. Where the employer’s or the host entity’s business is being or has been wound up under the Companies Actor if no economic activity is taking place;
  3. Where the intent or effect of the temporary presence of the intra-corporate transferee is to interfere with, or otherwise affect the outcome of, any labour management dispute or negotiation.

An application shall be submitted whilst the third country national is residing outside Malta. An application needs to be submitted to Identity Malta, the Maltese Authority, only where the first stay in Europe shall take place in Malta or if the stay in Malta will be the longest overall stay during the transfer. The maximum duration of the intra-corporate transfer shall be three years for managers and specialists and one year for trainee employees after which they shall leave Malta unless they obtain a residence permit on another basis in accordance with law.

For further information about how GVZH Advocates can help you with your employment legal requirements, kindly contact us on workpermits@gvzh.com.mt.