Malta: Labour Regulation
Although Malta'a accession to the EU has brought with it freedom of movement and employment for EU nationals, in fact Malta operates quite strict policies as a result of historically high unemployment, although it is now much less of a problem. Normally a work permit will only be issued to a foreigner if there is no suitably qualified local, and the employer will need to operate training and 'understudy' schemes. The regime is less restrictive when foreign investment is involved, and if an expatriate controls 40% of a project, he will always be able to get work permits for himself and for one other expatriate. A permit is usually valid for one year but may be issued for three years at the express request of the employer, if the employer can sufficiently justify their request.
Anyone who wishes to reside permanently in Malta other than in conjunction with permitted work must apply for a residency permit under the High Net Worth Residence Scheme (formerly known as the 1988 Residence Scheme). An applicant must provide evidence of sufficient capital of EUR352,500 or an annual income of EUR23,500. A permit holder must buy or rent property on the island, but benefits from tax and import duty incentives.