The below frequently asked questions were provided by a representative of Identity Malta.
1. As advised by the Authority, new TCNs applications are not being accepted. Till what date will this notice remain in force? Does this mean that all pending applications which had already received prior Covid-19 are not being processed?
The measures taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak are temporary and will remain in place until further notice.
Following the Government’s decision, Identity Malta Agency is not accepting new single permit applications, except for highly skilled workers (Key Employee Initiative) and medical professionals.
Furthermore, for the time being, Identity Malta Agency will not be issuing new decisions and once these measures are lifted, pending applications will be re-evaluated and a decision will be communicated accordingly.
2. Who is a ‘highly skilled worker’?
Highly skilled workers include Key Employee Initiative applicants and those provided for in Subsidiary Legislation 217.15 CONDITIONS OF ENTRY AND RESIDENCE OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS.
The criteria outlined in the Key Employee Initiative remain unchanged, and still apply.
New applications for highly skilled workers (KEI) and medical professionals, renewals and change in employment should be submitted online on https://singlepermit.gov.mt/, once the employer has registered on [email protected].
3. For renewals and/or changes in employment of TCNs, applicants are being requested to submit their request online. Are there any changes in procedures?
No new restrictions or eligibility criteria were introduced for renewals. Expired single permit are not automatically renewed, and applicants should apply online. It should be remarked that all applications, irrespective of whether new or renewal, are still subject to labour market considerations.
4. What is the situation with regards to the extension period for live-in carers and health professionals?
The COVID-19 measure was introduced mid-March and is still in place. Live-in carers and healthcare professionals whose single permit is about to expire should send an email to [email protected] to have their permit extended by a return email for a period of three months.
5. How are interim permit extensions being processed? Are there any restrictions and change in policy in this regard, due to COVID-19?
Those TCNs who need to extend their interim permit should send their request to [email protected] and ask for a confirmation email. It must be underlined that TCNs with an interim permit are not authorised to work in Malta, unless they were issued with a ‘Temporary Authorisation to Work.
6. (a) What happens to a residence permit of a TCN who is made redundant? Due to COVID-19 circumstances, will the employee be forced to leave the island immediately?
Employment-related residence permits are revoked as a result of a termination of employment. In this connection, redundant workers who do not manage to find alternative employment are expected to depart from the country. Given the exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19, TCNs are permitted to stay in Malta until it is possible for them to make arrangements for repatriation.
In the meantime, Jobsplus has introduced a new employment advisory service in order to assist these redundant foreign workers in finding alternative employment. Should the TCN who was made redundant find a new job during this interval, the applicant would need to submit a change in employment request on https://singlepermit.gov.mt/ and once the application process is finalised, the TCN may continue to work and reside in Malta.
6. (b) Does the Employer need to inform Identity Malta about the employee's termination?
In the eventuality of a job termination, the employer must submit a Termination Form to Jobsplus within four (4) days of the termination date (as per Legal Notice 426/12) and inform Identity Malta Agency on [email protected]. Identity Malta Agency only revokes a single permit if a termination form is officially submitted to Jobsplus and an alternative employment is not secured.
7. What is the procedure for family members of TCNs working in Malta in light of Covid-19?
Family members of third-country nationals can submit a new application or renew their permit by sending an email to [email protected]. Each application is still individually assessed, and a decision is communicated accordingly.
Family members are allowed to join on the strength of their sponsor’s residence permit. If the sponsor loses the right of residence, then so do the family members.
8. What is the procedure for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to obtain their resident document extension, in light of Covid-19?
In accordance with EU legislation, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals have the right of free movement in the EU if they are workers, self-employed, economically self-sufficient or students. Such right of free movement is also enjoyed by family members who are accompanying them. The possession of a residence document is, therefore, just an administrative process that reflects their immigration status.
As already outlined, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, as well as their family members, who (i) have either been in Malta for (3) three months and have not yet registered their residence or (ii) whose residence document has expired, should send an email to [email protected]. Applicants will receive a confirmation email as proof of their registration of residence.
The COVID-19 measures taken by Identity Malta Agency can be found on the following link: https://identitymalta.com/covid-19-change-in-expatriates-unit-central-visa-unit-service-provision/.
Identity Malta Agency will communicate to the press and its stakeholders, should these measures be lifted, or new ones are introduced.
It is also to be remarked that Identity Malta Agency does not keep record of termination of employment or change of employment of EU nationals. Processes regarding termination of employment of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are managed by Jobsplus.