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An Expat Guide to Malta

The Mediterranean island of Malta may be an appealing expat destination, especially if Maltayou like long, hot summers, ocean views and beautiful beaches. Its long history as a British territory makes it an appealing destination for English speakers, and there are many pros to relocating there. Learn about working and living in Malta.  

Working in Malta

Entry level jobs are plentiful, but more senior positions are harder to find. Malta has become a hub of internet gaming program and design, so tech skills are in high demand. It is also a hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing, shipbuilding, and tourism. EU residents do not need a work permit, but Americans do, and you’ll need to have a job lined up, as your employer applies for the permit on your behalf.  Non EU residents may also need visas and residence permits; check with the embassy to see what’s required. While English and Maltese are the official languages, most business is conducted in English.

Economy

The cost of living in Malta is lower than in the US or much of Europe, but salaries are also lower. Housing in outlying areas is less expensive than in popular expat areas around Valletta, the capital. The official currency is the Euro, and opening a bank account takes photo ID, proof of address, and, for non-EU residents, filling out a tax savings form. Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are easy to find.  

Lifestyle in Malta

Despite its large foreign population, living in Malta may feel like living in a small town, with a slow pace of life and a culture shaped by the official religion, Catholicism. State schools teach religion, divorce was only legalized in 2011, and there is a blanket abortion ban. Expect a family focused atmosphere and tight-knit groups which can make finding Maltese friends difficult.

Housing in Malta is affordable and rental properties are well-maintained, although interiors may be a bit dated. There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property.  Before buying, be aware that some traditional townhouses cannot have their facades updated. Houses of character are old, stone houses with courtyards; these are in short supply.

With 300 days of sunshine, you may spend much of your free time on the beaches or boating. Be forewarned though: Winter in Malta may not be cold (low temperatures will be around 50 degrees), but your house probably won’t have central heat or be well insulated. Many expats find winter on Malta a chilly and numbing experience.

Moving with Kids

Malta has free education, split between Maltese and English instruction, but you must attend the school in your district. Religion classes may be compulsory, although you may be able to opt for ethics classes instead. There are also private religious schools, many of which teach in English, and four international schools on Malta.

Moving to Malta

Weigh the pros and cons of moving to Malta carefully before you go. No matter the reason for your  move, you’ll need an experienced moving company to handle the transportation and moving process.

Categories: International Moves