“Do you need a visa to visit Malta?“
If you’re asking this, then know you’re not alone.
I wondered the same thing, shortly after the UK voted to leave the EU.
Since then, I have had my fair share of experience with visas since moving to Malta. Though the process can seem somewhat daunting, it is totally achievable and…
Before long, you’ll be exploring Malta’s centuries-old streets and completely immersed in Maltese culture!
As a newly acquired “third national”, I have created this post to simplify the visa process and help you get it right the first time.
Malta & The Schengen Area
On 21st December 2007, Malta (and eight other European countries) entered the Schengen Area. Not to be confused with the EU (which is a separate entity). The Schengen Area now comprises of 26 countries.
A bit of background for you (and history): The Schengen Area was formed in 1985 and named after the small town in Luxembourg where France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands signed the (Schengen) Agreement.
Signing the agreement opened up borders between members granting free access to goods and passport-free travel.
Fun fact: The UK was never officially part of the Schengen area, however enjoyed similar benefits courtesy of the European Commission. (Like…priority airport queues and freedom of movement).
Anyone outside of the Schengen Area are referred to as third nationals. (Why, hello there!👋🏾). So, what this means is: At a bare minimum, you’ll need a valid (10 year) passport/travel document, with at least six months left.
You may also require what is called a Schengen Tourist Visa (Cat C – short stay) before you can visit Malta. Whether or not you need one, depends on your nationality.
Schengen Tourist Visas allow holders to travel within the Schengen Area (or pass-through via a connecting flight) for up to 90 days within a six months period (or 180 days) to the following Schengen states:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden Switzerland – Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are associated members of the Schengen Area
(Another fun fact: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are not part of the EU nor associated members of the EU but their countries border, therefore they are also included in the Schengen Area)
Do You Need A Visa To Visit Malta?
Currently, there are over 60 third countries where nationals can visit Malta visa-free. For the other 80+ third countries, a Schengen tourist visa is required to visit Malta.
Even if you can travel visa-free to Malta, like Schengen Visa holders, your permitted stay is also 90 days within a six months period. Should you wish to remain in Malta longer, you will need to apply for a national visa. Otherwise you risk a ban and/or fine.
Third National Countries Who Require A Schengen Visa To Visit Malta
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Cote D’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic Of Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Palestinian Authority*
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
*Countries not recognised as a state by at least one member of the EU.
Third Nationals Countries Who Can Visit Visa-Free to Malta
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bosnia & Herezgovina **
- Brunei Darussalam
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia**
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- St Kitts & Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent & The Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Vatican City State
- **Schengen Visa Exemption applies to biometric passport holders
- (…But, excludes Serbian Passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate)
- Holders of Hong Kong (SAR) Passports
- Holders of Macao (Regiao Administrativa Especial De Macau)
Schengen Visa Exemptions
- Cabin Crew Staff/Pilots working
- Emergency Workers in the event of a major disaster
How To Get A Visa to Visit Malta
First off to apply for a visa, you need to download a visa application form online. (I’ve added one for you below, click to download). Be aware, that a (completed) separate form is required per person and must be signed by you.
Applications for under 18’s must be signed by a parent/guardian. If you are planning on a Euro-Trip and intend to visit other countries within the Schengen Area, you apply to the country that you will stay in the longest.
For example: 7 day holiday to London V’s 14 days in Malta = apply via the Malta Consulate in your home country.
You can make an application for your tourist visit from six months before your trip right up to 15 days. Identity Malta states on their website processing of a visa application takes between 7 and 15 days, but added: “…in exceptional cases this can be extended by an additional 60 days.“
My take: with something as important as this…
why leave it until the last minute?
Get it out of the way and do it as soon as you can! There’s a sun-drenched beach waiting with your name on it!
That said, you will need to provide all the necessary information (and the onus is on you) to support your Schengen Tourist Visa application.
Malta Tourist Visa: Supporting Documents Required
Along with your valid passport (which must have 2 empty pages) and have at least six (6) months left before expiry (or validity beyond 3 months after leaving Malta or the Schengen area), a recent passport-sized photo.
The photo needs to comply to the same usual (ICAO) standards as applying for a passport, i.e. colour, no face covering, no baring your teeth etc. And under 3 months old. Also, you will need to provide documentation.
Amongst reasons for denied visa applications are: insufficient documentation, fake documents and inadequate income, so take your time to go through the list of required information. Be honest on your form and provide the relevant information.
Be mindful, the Embassy may ask you for further documents to support anything you include on your application.
And another thing: Visa fees are payable on submitting your Schengen Visa application and are non-refundable. So another reason to get it right the first time – more spending money.
Before I get into the documents, please note all documents provided must be official and original.
- Travel Insurance – must cover you throughout your stay in Malta (or throughout your visit to Schengen Area). Minimum cover of at least €30,000.
- Travel Itinerary – Flight reservation confirming you have booked both your flight to Malta and a returning flight home.
- Proof of Accommodation – Proof of where you will stay throughout your visit to Malta. Such as:
- Hotel Booking – proof of reservation. This must show dates and full address of the hotel.
- Short Let Agreement -cover letter from landlord confirming exact details of the room/property you have booked. The agreement must also include full name, address, date of birth and Maltese ID number of the landlord.
- Invited to stay with a friend/family during your stay in Malta? Lucky you! But, you will need to prove it. Ask your friend to provide a formal invitation, detailing their full name, address. Their letter should include the size of their property, the exact dates you can stay and their relationship to you.
Proof of Financial Means
Though it isn’t said outright, the main reason for providing financial info, medical insurance etc, is to reassure the embassy that you won’t end up a financial burden to Malta (or any other country you visit in the Schengen Area) or become an overstayer.
So, you need to show you have the means to support yourself for the entire trip and… intend to return home. The minimum amount in Malta is around €50 per day (excluding accommodation) Proof can be:
- Your bank statement received within the last three months confirming your account balance.
- If you are being sponsored: supply a cover letter from the said person currently resident in Malta. The letter should state they will financially support you for the full duration of your stay and must be accompanied by their bank statement (received within the last three months).
- Hard cash/traveller cheques/cheque book/bank or credit card
If you don’t yet meet all the requirements, it might be best to save yourself the disappointment (and €80) before applying.
Embassies/Consulates also require further documents depending on your employment/student status. Please see below for what you will need to submit.
- Employment contract and/or last six (6) months payslips.
- Certificate of earnings (COE) confirming income received to date as well as tax deducted.
- Bank statements for the last six (6) consecutive months.
- A cover letter from your employer (with contactable information) confirming permission for the dates of your leave. Ask your employer to include:
- “On (your) annual salary of X [insert amount] you have the means to pay for your trip and capability to support yourself during your visit to Malta”.
- Confirmation of business licence such as official registration with tax office.
- Business bank statements for the last six (6) consecutive months.
- Official Income Tax Return (from tax office).
- Proof of pension received in the last six (6) consecutive months
- Cover letter from the company detailing your monthly/annual income
- A recent letter signed by the head, confirming attendance from place of study/school and permission granting leave. If student receives a scholarship or student grant the letter must include:
- Amount awarded
- Breakdown of expenses covered
- Proof of Parent/Sponsor’s income (as per their employment status listed above)
- Under 18’s must also provide permission from parent/guardian
Unemployed/Married to EU/EEA Citizen
- Proof of all your financial assets, (home and abroad)
- Current bank statements for the last (6) consecutive months.
- Cover letter from sponsor and/or (EU/EEA)partner
- Evidence of their income as per their employment status detailed above
- Partner’s current valid passport (if married to EU/EEA Citizen)
- Official Marriage certificate Certified as True and made available in either English or Maltese
Where to apply for Visa to Visit Malta?
As mentioned, your completed Schengen visa application must be submitted to the Malta Consulate in your country. Where there isn’t a Malta consulate, you need to apply to the EU representative instead.
For example, if you’re applying for a visa to visit Malta from Pakistan, you’ll need to apply to Consulate General of Italy in either Karachi or Islamabad. Whereas, if an application from Nigeria should be made via the Consulate of Italy in Lagos. Find a complete list of Maltese embassies/consulates (all over the world) and where you need to apply.
Malta Tourist Visa Fees
It is important to note:
Visa fees are payable each time you make an application, regardless of the outcome. Priced at €80 (for adults (and children aged 12+) they’re not exactly cheap. Visa fees are also payable for children and cost 40 EUR for children aged 6-12 but free for children under 6.
*Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia are priced at a reduced rate of €35.
Malta Visa Denied, Now What?
If your Schengen visa application is denied, the reasons are sent to you in writing. Should you disagree, you have 15 days from the date of letter to lodge an appeal. Identity Malta state you need to email and send appeals by post (take a photocopy of letter and send by registered mail).
Almost There….(Or Here!)
A Schengen Tourist Visa is the only thing standing between you and the gorgeous delights of Malta. Take your time to complete the form, gather all your documentation. Make sure all your information has been issued by official bodies and is
Good luck, I hope this post serves as a guide and helps you get your Malta tourist visa.
Sources: Identity Malta, European Commission
*Current COVID-19 travel restrictions may apply.