The Malta Key Employee Initiative


Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, as a full member of the European Union (EU), Malta is an ideal jurisdiction from which to do business within the EU and also outside the EU.  A number of international businesses have established a presence in Malta for this reason, taking full advantage of Malta’s strong legal and regulatory system, excellent commercial infrastructure and framework and competitive tax system.


As a result of the increase in commercial activity in Malta, a number of Malta based companies require the services of employees from outside Malta.


In this regard, the Maltese authorities have introduced the Malta Key Employee Initiative (KEI) to facilitate applications for residence and work permits for these employees.




The KEI provides a fast track service to highly specialised Third Country Nationals (ie non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals) who are employed to work in Malta.


The KEI is available for persons in managerial or highly technical posts that require relevant qualifications/experience relevant to the post in question.


The KEI is also available to innovators involved in start-up projects which are endorsed by Malta Enterprise.


Applications under the KEI may be submitted while the applicant is physically in Malta.  However, Third Country Nationals who require a visa to visit Malta must be in possession of such visa before travelling to Malta.




Approved applicants will be issued with a residence and work permit in Malta valid for 1 year.  The permit may be renewed for a maximum of 3 years.


The KEI facilitates the issuing of residence and work permits to prospective key employees within 5 working days from the date of submission of the application.


Main Conditions


The applicant must have an annual gross salary of at least €30,000 in Malta.


The prospective employer must declare that the applicant has the necessary credentials to perform the relevant duties he/she is employed to do, and certified copies of relevant qualifications, warrants and/or relevant work experience will be requested.


The applicant must be covered by a comprehensive full refund health insurance policy, showing all aspects being covered, which supports the applicant in the eventuality of requiring any type of medical assistance or hospitalisation during the whole period of stay in Malta.


The applicant must lease or purchase a property in Malta in which to live during his/her stay in Malta.  If renting a property, a Rental Declaration Form must be submitted.


Depending on the nationality of the applicant and the type of job being applied for, a relevant health screening might be required for approval from the Maltese authorities.


Application Process


Applications for the KEI follow the single application procedure for a single permit as regards residence and work, adopted in conformity with the relevant EU directive.


A non-refundable application fee of €280.50 is payable to the authorities upon application.




Author: Thomas Jacobsen
Managing Director
Papilio Services Limited

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