Entry Conditions and Visa
Entry and residence in Malta depends on a number of factors that one is to take into account, so it is advised that anyone wishing to visit or stay in Malta, looks into the various types of VISA and requirements.
Individuals from an EU country and countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement wishing to visit Malta for stays of up to three months do NOT require a Visa but must register with the local authorities after this period.
Third country nationals who wish to enter Malta and reside in Malta are able to do so under the following circumstances:
1. Posses a valid Schengen visa, National visa or is a Third Country National entitled to a visa free regime
2. Granted Resident Permit by another European Union Member State
3. Granted a Resident Permit by Malta for a specific purpose
The Central Visa Unit (CVU) is responsible for:
- The monitoring of the visa process
- Ensures that the application of the ‘Common Consular Instructions on Visas’ is properly applied in all of Malta’s diplomatic missions and consular posts
- Consultation/s with central authorities of other Schengen Member States through the Schengen consultation network - VISION
- The training of Malta’s Consular Staff
- The preparation of Training Manuals for MFA Consular Staff
As Malta’s central authority, the CVU is equipped to forward and process visa requests rapidly, via the Visa Management System, which together with the networking facilitation between all of Malta’s diplomatic missions and consular posts, plays a vital role in the acceleration of application and authorisation procedures.
The Central Visa Unit website provides all VISA related information.
There are three types of visa for travelling to Malta, depending on the type of journey you intend to make:
Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
These visas allow the holder to cross the international transit zone of Malta’s International Airport. Nationals from countries included in the list of countries with the obligation to carry an Airport Transit Visa must be in possession of this visa.
Short-stay “C” visa (Schengen)
These visas allow the holder to transit through or remain in the territory of Malta and all other Schengen Member States for a maximum period of three months (90 days) within a period of six months (180 days) from the entry date into the Schengen area.
Number of Entities
The validity period of a Schengen (short-term) visa is determined in accordance with the length of travel, for a maximum of 5 years. According to
- single entry – entitles to a single uninterrupted stay during the period stipulated in the visa, which may not exceed than 3 months;
- double entry visa – entitles to two stays during the period stipulated in the visa, while the sum of the lengths of stay may not exceed (3) three months within a half-year;
- multiple entry
visa– entitles to multiple stays during the period stipulated in the visa, while the sum of the lengths of stay may not exceed (3) three months within a half-year.
National Long-stay “D” visa
These visas allow the holder to stay in the territory of Malta for periods longer than three months (90 days).
Applications for long-term or “D” visas are not subject of representation arrangements and the applicants should contact the Central Visa Unit for further information as to which of Malta’s diplomatic missions and consular posts would accept their visa applications.
Schengen visa applications must be lodged at the diplomatic mission of the country which is the main destination of the visit. In the event, therefore, that an applicant intends to visit several Schengen Member States (with stays of approximately the same duration), the application must be lodged at the diplomatic mission of the country of first entry into Schengen. Thus, applicants wishing to visit Malta as the main destination, or being the country of first entry into the Schengen area, must lodge their applications at Malta’s diplomatic missions. More information can be found here.
Visa applications must be in writing, giving all details required on the Visa Application Form which can be acquired free of charge from Malta’s diplomatic missions and consular posts or downloaded from this
The Visa Application Form must be wholly and legibly completed, and signed by the applicant, and accompanied by:
- a valid travel document (passport) validity of which must not be less than three (3) months;
- two (2) passport-size photographs, in colour and taken against a white background, with face clearly visible;
- the visa fee.
Time limit for processing of visa applications
Applications for Schengen short-stay visas can be lodged within 3 months prior to the planned trip. Applications are in most cases reviewed within 7-15 days. In individual cases, the review period can be extended up to 30 days and in exceptional cases up to 60 days. It is recommended not to lodge a visa application later than 15 days prior to the planned trip, as it cannot be otherwise guaranteed it will be reviewed in time. Holders of multiple-entry Schengen short-stay visas can lodge a visa application before this visa has expired, provided it has been valid for at least 6 months. Visa applications of family members of EU citizens will be reviewed in the shortest possible period of time.
* Following the practice of Schengen Member States, Malta entered into representation agreements with
The Amsterdam Treaty, which came into force on 1st May 1999 harmonised the visa rules applying to travel for non-EU nationals.
Bound by Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 and as modified by Regulation (EC) No 2414/2001 and by Regulation (EC) No 453/2003, the list of third-countries whose nationals are subject to the visa requirement, when travelling to Malta and/or any other EU Member State can be seen here.
A limited set of derogations and exceptions exist for specific categories of persons, notably on grounds of international law or custom. Member States may therefore exempt from the requirement to carry an EU visa, or reintroduce the visa obligation when they would otherwise be exempted, the following categories of persons:
- holders of diplomatic passports, official duty passports and other official passports;
- civilian air and sea crew;
- flight crew and attendants on emergency or rescue flights and other helpers involved in
disasteror emergency relief;
- the civilian crew of ships navigating in international waters;
List of third-countries whose nationals seek to enter
In those countries where Malta is served by a Visa Application Centre, applications are to be submitted through these centres.
Where Malta has no diplomatic mission or consular post, third-country nationals are obliged to apply for a visa at the EU diplomatic missions and consular posts, who issue visas in
Full list can be seen here.
- Admission into Malta, through its external border, is only permitted to
third countrynationals who:
- seek entry through a border crossing point;
- are in possession of a valid passport or equivalent recognized travel document permitting them to cross the border;
- are in possession of documents substantiating the purpose and the conditions of the planned visit and have sufficient means of support, both for the period of the planned visit and to return to their country of origin (or to travel in transit to a Third State). A third country national who already holds a residence permit issued by one of the Schengen Member States is exempted from this requirement
- are in possession of a valid entry or transit visa, if required;
- have not been prohibited to enter through an alert in the Schengen Information System; and
- are not considered to be a threat to public policy, national security or the international relations of any of the Schengen States, under the Laws of Malta or of the law of another Schengen State.
any oneof the aforementioned conditions is not met, the third-country national may be denied entry by the border authorities even if in possession of a valid entry or transit visa.