COVID-19 | Changes to the Expat & Central Visa Unit Services & Procedures

March 23, 2020 | 4 minute read

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Identity Malta Agency has implemented the following protective measures with immediate effect in response to the Coronavirus outbreak:

Customer Care Desk

Customer Care Service: The Customer Care service is only available to the public remotely via eresidence.ima@gov.mt. Alternatively, one may call on +356 25904800.

Interim Permit Extensions: To extend their interim permit (blue paper), applicants are instructed to request an extension on eresidence.ima@gov.mt and ask for a confirmation via email.

Card Collection: Applicants can collect their residency card from Identity Malta’s premises in Msida only upon receipt of the confirmation letter.

Single Permit Section- Third Country Nationals (“TCNs”)- Employment

Renewals and Change in Employment: TCN’s whose residence permit expires between the 13th March and 31st March 2020 must arrange with their employer to submit a request to https://singlepermit.gov.mt, after registering via email on  onlinesinglepermit.ima@gov.mt. If this is not possible the application may be submitted in person by the Expatriates Unit’s instructions.

A new measure implemented by the Government of Malta ensures an automatic 3 month renewal of those residence and work permits about to expire, with respect to foreigners who work in the health sectors and sectors of care for the elderly and people with disabilities. To obtain the aforementioned automatic renewal, eligible applicants are to email  medical.ima@gov.mt. This extension will be free of charge. This will also apply in the case of change of employment, where there is a change in the operator that shall be providing employment to the foreigner in question.

New applications

  • Following a decision taken by the Government of Malta, no new applications for residence and work permits of TCN’s will be accepted other than those of highly skilled workers and medical professionals.

  • Eligible new applications must be submitted online through Identity Malta Agency’s online platform. Identity Malta will only accept the submission of an application in person if

    1. It is not possible to submit the application online; and

    2. The applicant did not arrive in Malta from abroad in the last 14 days preceding the date of entry into Malta. Applicants should only visit Identity Malta offices upon instructions from the Expatriates Unit.

  • All those TCN’s who have applied while abroad, issued with an approval in principle and currently physically present in Malta, must submit their application for a residence permit, not earlier than 14 days from their date of entry into Malta, upon the Expatriates Unit’s instructions. With respect to those TCN’s who are not physically present in Malta, Identity Malta will not be issuing new decisions with respect to applications already submitted. Identity Malta shall inform the Public on the resuming of such services in due course.

Other TCN applicants

  • TCN’s who intend to apply for a visa or residence permit for purposes other than work and entered into the Schengen Zone between the 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2020 should not visit Identity Malta’s premises before 1st April 2020 or before 14 days from the date of entry into Malta, as applicable.

  • TCN’s who are/were authorized to stay in Malta during March 2020 will be allowed to submit an application for a visa or residence permit after 1st April 2020.

  • Other TCNs who do not intend to apply for a visa or residence permit, must leave Malta immediately upon the expiry of their authorization to stay.

EU Section: EU Citizens and their Family Members

  • EU nationals and their family members are to apply for a residence card if they plan to reside in Malta for a period exceeding 3 months and do not require to be in possession of a residence card during said 3-month period.

  • Those EU nationals and their family members who entered Malta from abroad between 1st March-31st March should not visit Identity Malta offices before 1st April 2020 or before 14 days from the date of entry into Malta, as applicable.

  • EU nationals and their family members may apply to renew their residence document if they did not enter Malta from abroad during the preceding 14 days. They may do so by visiting Identity Malta offices. In light of the ensuing circumstances, such are not obliged to apply for renewal before the date of expiry of their residence document.

  • The above points in this section are also applicable to UK nationals and their family members since for the time being the UK Nationals’ residence application process in terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and therefore L 217.25 is currently suspended. However, those who have received an appointment letter in relation to such will still be seen to on the dates indicated.

Visas

Requests for visa issuance will only be acceded to in exceptional cases such as family members of EU citizens and in the case of health professionals and carers.

The aforementioned measures shall remain in effect until communicated otherwise by the relative authorities concerned.

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