Malta has launched a new visa policy for students coming from non-EU countries in an effort to become more competitive as an education jurisdiction.
Although Malta has a number of consular agreements with other member states, the Education Ministry said that some private operators in the education sector found it difficult to tap into certain foreign markets due to Malta’s limited consular representation and the current visa requirements. The new policy will bring about significant changes in terms of:
- Managing the admittance of English language students by means of a national visa instead of a residence permit. These students stay in Malta for a temporary period, hence it is recommended that their original authorisation to stay in Malta is extended by means of a national visa. These students will only be required to apply for a residence permit if their stay in Malta is going to exceed one year;
- Reaching out to jurisdictions where Malta is not represented by a consular mission or a visa office. The said objective will be achieved by, (i) giving students the opportunity to submit a visa application without the need to present themselves in person, and, (ii) making more efficient use of External Service Providers who are present in countries outside the territory of Maltese consulates abroad;
- Ensuring that only bona fide students are issued with a visa in order to travel to Malta. The policy also requires the Ministry for Education and Employment, Identity Malta and the police to maintain a system of data sharing on students and educational institutions;
- Giving all non-EU students in Malta access to the labour market as well as encouraging them to start a career locally. TCNs pursuing a full-time course (exceeding 90 calendar days) leading to a higher education qualification recognised by MQRIC may take up employment for a maximum period of 20 hours per week, starting from their first year of studies. Moreover, TCNs who obtain a higher education qualification in Malta recognised by the MQRIC may extend their stay in Malta by six months. The new arrangements will make it possible for the country to retain the talent of highly skilled third-country nationals.
Source: Press Release by the Ministry for Education and Employment, the Ministry for Tourism and the Parliamentary Secretariat for reforms, citizenship and simplification of administrative processes