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What do I need before leaving?

Are you a non-EU citizen living in Malta and would you like to bring your non-EU family members to live with you there? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights your family members can enjoy during their stay.

You are entitled to apply for family reunification if you have:
  • resided in Malta for at least one year;
  • have a reasonable prospect of getting a permanent residence;
  • have accommodation which is comparable to that of Maltese families;
  • have stable and regular resources (including an additional 20% of the average wage per family member).
Your family members include:
  • your spouse who is over 21 years of age;
  • yours and your spouse’s unmarried minor children, including adopted children;
  • unmarried minor children under yours or your spouse's custody.
Your family members will generally be allowed to join you after you have resided for two years in Malta and must obtain a residence permit and, if necessary, a visa.


Where and how to apply

Residence permits are issued by the Director of the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs to family members who have been granted a right to stay in Malta for more than three months.

If subject to a visa requirement, your family members must obtain a visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin or residence, prior to their intended arrival in Malta. 

You and your family members may be required to attend, and successfully complete, courses in the Maltese language.
Documents required You must prove:
  • existence of the family relationship;
  • sufficient financial resources;
  • medical insurance;
  • sufficient accommodation.
Duration of validity of permits Residence permits granted to family members are valid for one year or for the same duration as your permit's.

After five years, your spouse and children who have reached the age of majority can apply for an autonomous residence permit, valid for one year.
Appeals An appeal against a decision to refuse a residence permit can be made to the Immigration Appeals Board but must be filed within three working days from the decision subject to appeal.
Further information

More on residence permits

More on visas

The applicant who is subject to a visa requirement, must obtain a visa at the Embassy or Consulate in his/her country of origin or residence, prior to his/her intended arrival in Malta. 



Access to employment Your family members can work in employment and self-employment under the same conditions as youself.
Long-term residence A family member can obtain long term resident status after five years of legal and continuous residence provided that he/she:
  • your income is equivalent to the national average wage, with an additional 20% for each family member;
  • you provide evidence of having complied with certain integration conditions;
  • you prove adequate accommodation;
  • you provide a letter documenting employment history, current and previous residence, family members if living with him/her and any other relevant information.


Competent Authorities