Malta, a small island archipelago, has one foot in the past and another in the future. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean, its strategic location and good harbors have made it a waypoint for passing ships since the 4th millennium B.C. Since then it has welcomed – of its own accord and otherwise – the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and French, among others. A British colonial possession until 1964, Malta emphasized its political neutrality during the Cold War (and famously hosted a summit between then-US President George H.W. Bush and then-Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989) and was admitted to the European Union in 2003.
With is rich history, favorable climate, and English-speaking citizenry, Malta is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations and is a growing hub for students who want to learn English. Likewise, as a member of the Schengen Agreement (and, since 2008, of the Eurozone), it has become easier than ever for students from Europe and elsewhere to get a Malta Student Visa. Accordingly, given its unique role as a English-speaking member of the EU, it has developed an extensive network of English language schools that attract students to learn English in Malta.
Malta’s appeal, then, is undeniable. What is less clear, perhaps, is the Malta Student Visa process. Thus, if you are interested in applying for a student visa in Malta, consider the following questions:
Who needs a Malta student visa?
Two main factors determine whether or not you need a visa to study in Malta: your nationality and the length of your stay. As a member of the European Union, citizens of other EU countries do not need a visa to visit or study in Malta (pending program acceptance) for up to 90 days. For programs that lasting longer than three months, students must apply through the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs to obtain a long-term study permit.
Even non-EU citizens can enroll in short term programs without a student visa, however. For example, many students from “Third Country” nations – see a complete list, here – can study in Malta without applying for a visa for up to three months. Those wishing to pursue programs lasting longer than 90 days must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit after their arrival in Malta to obtain an extension.
Finally, any other students who does require a visa to visit Malta must obtain one of the two following types of Schengen visas. Schengen Type D visas are long-term permits designed for students pursuing programs which last longer than three months. By contrast, Schengen Type C visas are designed for students who plan to study in Malta for three months or less. Students on a type C can extend their stay by applying for a Temporary Residence Permit as detailed above.
So how do I qualify?
You can start applying for a student visa in Malta by downloading their free online application. To complete it successfully, applicants demonstrate acceptance and maintenance.
- Acceptance – applicants must prove that they have been accepted by an academic program offered by producing a letter of invitation or declaration of status from an approved educational institution.
- Maintenance – all applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves for the duration of their studies.
Can I work while there?
Although Malta is a member of the European Union, its transitional agreement allows it to give priority to Maltese workers over other EU nationals. Designed to prevent a massive influx of foreign workers, it is designed to be phased out over time. In the meantime, non-nationals may still take advantage of the country’s other work permit schemes (namely, employment based on specialized skills) to work in the country.
In the end, however, Malta remains an ideal place for English immersion. With its tranquil setting and friendly people, all that’s missing is you!