The Visa Code establishes the procedures and conditions in issuing visas for short stays (maximum of 3 months during any 6 months period) in and transit through EU Member States applying the Schengen acquis in full, and the associated states. Therefore, any visa applications to enter Malta for short stays shall conform to the procedures established by the said Visa Code.

Visa Application

Visa applications must be in writing and should give all the details required on the Visa Application Form (this can be downloaded from this website or acquired from one of Malta’s Diplomatic Missions abroad).

The Visa Application Form must be signed by the applicant, and should include:

  • Passport (validity of which must not be less than 3 months); and
  • one (1) passport-size photograph (in colour, taken against a white background and the face should be clearly visible);

Time limit for processing a visa application

In most cases, applications are reviewed within seven (7) to fifteen (15) days. In certain individual cases, the review period can be extended up to thirty (30) days and in exceptional cases, even up to sixty (60) days. 

It is recommended not to file a visa application later than fifteen (15) days prior to a planned trip, or otherwise it cannot be guaranteed that the application will be processed 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 six (6) months. Visa applications of family members of EU citizens will be reviewed in the shortest possible period of time.

Supporting documents

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION, DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF VISA REQUESTED AND/OR ACCORDING TO THE MISSION/REPRESENTATIVE, SHALL INCLUDE:

  • The purpose of the visit;
  • Means of transport and for the return journey;
  • Means of subsistence (support) during the journey and stay;
  • Accommodation arrangements.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REGARDING THE PURPOSE OF THE VISIT SHALL MEAN:

  • A letter of invitation;
  • A summons;
  • Certificate of enrolment;
  • An organised trip.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REGARDING MEANS OF TRANSPORT AND RETURN SHALL MEAN:

  • A valid return ticket; or
  • A certificate of a reserved and prepaid journey.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REGARDING MEANS OF SUBSISTENCE INCLUDE:

  • Cash in convertible currency;
  • Traveller’s cheques;
  • Cheque books for a foreign currency account;
  • Credit cards;
  • Or any other means that guarantees funds in hard currency.

The level of means of subsistence shall be proportionate to the length and purpose of the stay.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS WITH REGARDS TO THE ACCOMMODATION INCLUDE:

  • Hotel reservation or reservation for a similar establishment;
  • Documents proving the existence of a lease or a title deed in the applicant’s name to a property situated in the country to be visited;
  • Where a third-country national states that he/she shall stay at a person’s home or in an institution, the applicant must present a written declaration (Declaration of Proof) by the host, vouching for his/her commitment to accommodate the third-country national. The Diplomatic Mission and Consular posts will verify such declarations, where such checks are necessary;
  • Or present a certificate in the form of a harmonised form, which must be filled in by the host/institution and stamped by the competent authority in Malta (according to the provisions laid down in its national legislation), vouching for the host’s commitment to accommodate the third-country national.

TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE

In support of an application for a short-term or travel visa, applicants must show that they are in possession of adequate and valid individual or group Travel Medical Insurance, which covers any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment. The insurance must be valid throughout the Schengen Member States and should cover the entire period of the person’s stay. The minimum coverage is €30,000.

DECLARATION OF PROOF

Applicants, who are being invited from a reference host person in Malta, must present a Declaration of Proof, whereby, the Maltese host will declare that he/she are able to accommodate the applicant and/or being able to bear the applicant’s living costs and repatriation.

The Declaration of Proof form must contain information about the purpose of the applicant and indicate, in particular, the following:

  • Whether its purpose is proof of sponsorship and/or of accommodation;
  • Whether the host is an individual, a company or an organisation;
  • The host’s identity and contact details;
  • The invited applicant(s);
  • The accommodation’s address;
  • The length and purpose of stay;
  • Possible family ties with the host.

It should therefore contain complete and relevant information about the host person extending the invitation, the applicant (as the invited person) and their relationship (including any family relationship), along with the purpose of stay to be covered by visa. The invitation should also state whether the host person extending the invitation will also be the financial guarantor for the applicant.

By completing and signing the Declaration of Proof, the reference host person guarantees to be financially responsible for any expenses incurred in connection with the applicant’s stay in Malta and repatriation, if the applicant fails to return to his/her country of origin before the expiry of the visa applied for.

The Declaration of Proof is to be certified, witnessed and stamped by a legal representative. If any information provided is found to be false or incorrect, the host person, whether an individual, a company or an organisation, is liable to criminal responsibility under the Laws of that particular Member State. In Malta, Articles 188 and 189 of the Criminal Code (Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta) and Article 32 of the Immigration Act (Chapter 217 of the Laws of Malta) will apply along with any other law or regulation which may be in force at the time of the unlawful declaration.

Courses not exceeding 90 calendar days

Third-country nationals attending courses of a duration that does not exceed 90 days are to be issued with a Schengen Short-Stay Visa (C-Visa).

The  applicant  is to present  his/her application  at one of the submission points indicated below where the applicant resides or is legally present together with supporting documents:

  • Directly at one of Malta’s missions or consular posts;
  • At the premises of another Member State representing Malta, or;
  • At the premises of an authorised External Service Provider.

Together with his/her application, the applicant is required to submit their biometric data.

If  approved,  the visa shall  be granted on the  basis of a multiple  entry visa for the duration of the entire course, plus a 7-day grace period, provided that the total amount does not exceed 90 days.

In  normal  circumstances,  the processing time,  from the date of submission  of the application to the final decision on the application, shall not exceed the period of 15 working days.

The  above  procedure  is not applicable  for students who are  listed as visa-exempt nationals.

Courses exceeding 90 calendar days

Applicants (including those TCNs who are visa exempt for 90 days) who apply for courses which exceed 90 calendar days are to be issued with a National Long Stay Visa (D-Visa).

Applicants must present their application at one of the submission points indicated below:

  1. Directly at one of Malta’s missions or consular posts, or;
  2. At the premises of an authorised External Service Provider, or;
  3. In exceptional cases, where it is physically impossible for the prospective applicant  to submit his/her application in one of the submission points mentioned in (a)  and (b) above, the prospective applicant may submit his/her application via courier/postal service subject to prior authorisation by the CVU.  Such procedure is subject to the condition that no restrictions exist on the passport to travel via courier. The following procedure refers:

The prospective applicant will be initially requested to send a scanned copy of   his/her application duly completed in English, together with all supporting  documentation, a soft copy of a passport-sized photo of the applicant, and the respective visa application fee.

Once the Consular post is satisfied with the documents in hand and is able to issue a provisional approval, the applicant will be requested to submit all original documents as indicated above via courier or postal services. Furthermore, the applicant is to forward to the consulate the receipt issued by  the school, showing that she/he has duly paid the course fees (more details are available in point 15 of Section 5). The Consulate is to confirm the authenticity of these receipts directly with the schools. The provisional approval is without prejudice to further verification carried out once the original documentation and the passport are received at the Consular Post.

If  the application  at the first instance  merits a refusal, the consulate  will inform the applicant of the said  refusal via email with the refusal letter attached.

The applicant will be requested to make his/her own arrangements for the delivery of documentation to the Consular Post.

Applicants do not need to provide their biometric data.   If approved, the applicant will be provided with a multiple entry D-Visa for a period that does not exceed 180 days, or the duration of the entire course plus a grace period of 7 days, if the course does not exceed 180 days.

If the course is longer than 180 days, the provisions on the extensions of stay will be provided through the CVU or DCEA as explained below.

It  is important  to note that extensions  of stay are only granted  subject to good performance and satisfactory attendance of students.

Extension of Stay

  1. In  all cases  where the course  exceeds 90 days, except  for higher-education courses recognised by MQRIC at Malta Qualifications Framework Level 5 or higher, the further authorisation to stay in Malta shall be extended by a national D-visa for a maximum period of 365 days counting from the initial date of entry into the Schengen area.
  2. Students  who would  require a further  authorisation to stay  in Malta are required to contact the CVU not before 30 days, and by not later than 21 days, before  the expiry of their visa, and present all the required documents including proof of satisfactory performance and attendance.
  3. If  the duration  of the course  exceeds 365 days  and the student would  have already exhausted the  validity of the national visa,  or his/her stay in the Schengen area  already exceeded 365 days, the student  must apply for a residence permit in order to extend his/ her stay in Malta. Applicants will be required to contact the DCEA not before 30 days and by not later than 21 days before  the expiry of his/her visa and present all the required documents including proof of satisfactory performance and attendance.
  4. Students (as defined in Subsidiary Legislation 217.22) following a higher-education course which exceeds 90 days must apply for a residence permit before the expiry of their initial authorisation to stay.

Relevant documents in support of a visa application

  1. Completed and signed visa application form duly filled  in English, together with one recent passport-sized photo;
  2. Valid  passport,  showing at  least three blank  pages, with a validity  period beyond the duration of the entire course plus three months;
  3. Proof of sufficient financial means which are equivalent to 75% of the national minimum wage for every month of study;
  4. Air ticket/s to the final destination with the return trip, where applicable;
  5. Host/hotel confirmation for the duration of the course;
  6. Letter  of sponsorship,  including a copy  of the identification  document and contact details of sponsor/s,  if the applicant is sponsored by a third party;
  7. Proof of scholarship, if applicable;
  8. Students who are not pursuing a higher-education qualification must provide an enrolment/ acceptance letter from a local education institution licensed by the national regulator. For courses below MQF level 5, the documentation must include  a confirmation that the student will be covering a minimum of 15 contact hours per week, a copy of the time table and a schedule of lessons per every month of study.
  9.  Students who are pursuing a higher-education qualification must provide an enrolment / acceptance letter from a local education institution licensed by the national regulator. The document must include a confirmation that 60 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) are obtained within a maximum period of one year. The same proportion will be applied for other credit systems. These students also have to present evidence of the times table and a schedule of lessons per every month of study.
  10. Proof of sufficient language proficiency to be eligible to apply for the selected course of study;
  11. Travel medical insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000;
  12. Full-refund medical health insurance from a recognised provider covering the entire duration of the course. The policy must cover the entire duration of the course and not the duration of the visa originally issued to the applicant;
  13. Birth certificate/family book, in case of minors;
  14. Authorisation  of the two parents  or legal guardians, in  case of minors. The authorisation document has to be duly authenticated. In case of any doubts the Consul may always request further information or documents;
  15. Passport data page of both parents or legal guardians, in case of minors;
  16. Proof of payment received by the education institution related to the applicant’s course:
    1. For courses of a value of up to €1,000, the receipt covering full payment shall be requested;
    2. For  courses  of a value  of more than  €1,000 but less  than €2,500, the receipt covering up to 75% of the course shall be requested;
    3. For courses of a value that is equal to or higher than €2,500, the receipt covering up to 50% of the course shall be requested;
  17. Any  additional  documents that  may be deemed necessary  by the Consular Post.

General Rules & Obligations

  1. Representatives of educational establishments will be requested to submit a list of accepted students to the CVU prior to the commencement of the visa process. Following preliminary checks, CVU will communicate the approved list of students to the respective Consular post or Member State (in case of representation). CVU shall inform the respective educational establishment of the  list of students that may submit their application and the relevant submission point. CVU clearance does not equate to an approval of the visa application.
  2. Normal visa procedures, including interviews with the applicants and additional due diligence procedures, are to be followed at the discretion of the CVU and the Consular Post.
  3. Consular offices will process student visa applications as provided for by CVU in line with IMA policies.
  4. Consular offices will keep CVU updated on the outcome of the visa process. They  must return the list of applicants together with information about the outcome of their applications.
  5. CVU shall inform the relevant educational establishment, MEDE and DCEA of the list of students who have been granted a visa to pursue a study course in Malta.
  6. Education establishments are obliged to inform MEDE and CVU immediately regarding:
    1. Non arrivals of student/s in Malta who have therefore not reported to the school;
    2. Any changes in accommodation arrangements or course of study of the students;
    3. Unjustified students’ absence from the school, or;
    4. Any other relevant matters which may lead the authorities to revoke an issued visa or residence permit.
  1. Schools may be obliged to forward to IMA monthly attendance records of each student issued with a visa or residence permit. IMA may also request a progress report on individual students.
  2. IMA and the Police Immigration Office may carry out physical inspections at the school and monitor attendance of the students concerned. Any information concerning irregularities of shortcomings by the schools with respect to immigration matters will be passed on to the relevant national regulators for any action which may be deemed appropriate.

Employment

Students who do not qualify under the provisions of Subsidiary Legislation 217.22, and are following courses which exceed 90 days, may take up employment in Malta. Access  to employment may be granted subject to conditions imposed by Jobsplus, including those sectors where these students would be allowed to work. Students will only be allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week after their first three months of study in Malta. These provisions are subject to change from time to time according to the discretion of the Ministry responsible for Jobsplus.

TCNs pursuing a full-time course 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 study. In such instances, the student may apply for a work permit upon the issuance a residence permit, which will include specific reference to S.L. 217.22.   It must also be noted that an application for a work permit will be considered more favourable if the employment offer is related to the student’s chosen area of studies.