Moving to Malta? A Guide for Foreigners


​​​​​​The past couple of decades have seen an influx in the number of foreigners moving to Malta to purchase or rent property.  After all, the Islands have plenty to offer – a typically Mediterranean climate, great history, culture and entertainment options, an English-speaking population, relatively low costs of living when compared to other parts of the EU, high standards of healthcare and education, and a fantastic selection of properties to rent or buy.

Of course, there are various stages to go through. Renting is easier, and there are many good estate agents in Malta that will be able to guide you. If you are purchasing or investing, you will need to first establish the location where you want to buy, as well as the style of home.

Once that is sorted, there are numerous permits to be applied for, including sorting out the Promise of Sale agreement with a notary (known locally as a Konvenju), as well as carrying out the appropriate searches to verify legal title. On signing this agreement, you will be required to pay 1% provisional stamp duty as part payment of the full 5%. The balance of this is due on signing of the final deed. You will also need to pay an agreed deposit, which is generally 10% of the final price of the property.

Additionally, citizens of all European Union member states (including Maltese citizens), who have not resided in Malta for a minimum period of five years, require a permit to acquire immovable property as a secondary residence purpose.

Individuals who are not citizens of a European Member state may not acquire any immovable property unless they are granted an acquisition of immovable property permit.  You can find further information and contacts on how to apply for a permit to buy immovable property here and can download other relevant forms here


Who is eligible to apply?

An EU/EEA national and their family-members who reside in Malta for a period exceeding three-months are required to apply for a registration certificate in the case of an EU/EEA national and a residence card for family-members who are third-country nationals and are accompanying the said EU/EEA national. EU/EEA nationals are entitled to apply for a registration certificate, provided that they are employed/self-employed or are in education or training, have their own resources to live on, among other requirements.  More information can be found on the Identity Malta website related to Expatriates. 

Which forms shall be filled-in?

To apply for a registration certificate online, click here and select 'Expatriates'.  The approximate time to fill in the online form is approximately five (5) minutes. On submission, the applicant will receive a system generated acknowledgement email.

One may also opt to fill-in Forms ID1A and GDPR and submit a request via e-mail to:

Form submitted is dependent on status being sought, as follows:

  • CEA Form A - Employment/Self-employment;
  • CEA Form M - Study;
  • CEA Form J - Economic self-sufficiency;
  • CEA Form F - Family members

What is the process?

After vetting the application, Identity Malta Agency will give the applicant an appointment via e-mail within one (1) week from the receipt of the request.  Applicant will subsequently personally call at the offices of the Agency on the day of the appointment so that the required biometric features are taken.  In-person identification is carried out by means of the presentation of an identity card or passport.  The supporting documents which had been submitted electronically are to be produced in original format. 

After the capture of the biometrics, the file undergoes the final due diligence process and is approved, generally within no more than four (4) to six (6) weeks from date of capture of the biometrics. Following this, the card is printed and a collection letter with a unique PIN is mailed to the applicant via post.  Applicant will collect the card against the presentation of the collection letter.

What are the applicable fees?

The applicant shall not incur any fees when applying for a registration certificate or residence card. However, for lost or damaged documents the following fees shall apply:

  • For a lost document, a fee of 22€ is applicable; and
  • For a damaged document, a fee of 16.50€ is applicable.

Completion of Procedure

The procedure shall be completed at the earliest. On application, applicants are issued with a document confirming that they have complied with the obligation to register their residence in Malta.  Procedure is conducted in English. 

One may wish to consult the Identity Malta website for more information about the application of residence certificate / card. 

Lodging of an appeal

Any EU/EEA nationals and their family members who feel that their rights are being restricted may lodge an appeal before the Immigration Appeals Board, 15, 1st floor, City Gates Building, Ordinance Street, Valletta, as stipulated in Subsidiary legislation 460.17.


EURES (European Employment Service) is a cooperation network between the EU 28 countries plus Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The aim of EURES is to facilitate mobility across Europe and assist both jobseekers and employers in order to reach this goal. Therefore, if you would like to move to Malta and want to find out more information about how to search for a job, job opportunities, living and working conditions in Malta and more, make EURES Malta your first contact point. You can send an email on You can also visit their website for more information.​