Key Employee Initiative

The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) provides a fast-tracked service to highly-specialized Third-Country Nationals who are employed in Malta. The scheme will facilitate the issuing of work/residence permits
to prospective key employees, which under normal circumstances should not exceed 5 working days from the application’s submission date

What is the application procedure to be followed?

Applications for a single permit under the KEI may be submitted while the applicant is physically in Malta or still abroad. The checklist for single permit applications submitted under the KEI may be downloaded from this website.

Who is eligible to apply?

The scheme is applicable to managerial or highly-technical posts which require the relevant qualifications or adequate experience related to the job being offered. Applicants have to provide information to the Expatriates Unit within Identity Malta to confirm the following eligibility conditions:

  1. Annual gross salary of at least €30,000 per annum.
  2. Certified copies of the relevant qualifications, warrants or the necessary work experience.
  3. Declaration by the employer stating that the applicant have the necessary credentials to perform the duties being assigned.

The KEI is also extended to innovators involved in start-up projects which are specifically endorsed by the Malta Enterprise.

Approved applicants will be issued with a residence permit which will be valid for a period of one year in its initial year. Subsequently, this may be renewed for a longer period (up to three years), provided that the applicant presents (i) a valid definite or indefinite contract, together with (ii) the original annual tax declaration form stamped by the Inland Revenue Department.

Checklist for Third Country Nationals applying for a single permit under the Key Employee Initiative

Applicants must be in possession of a valid authorisation to reside in Malta. Such authorisation may be in the form of a residence permit or a Visa. Non-Visa nationals must submit their application within three months upon arrival in Malta.

The applicant is required to present the following documentation in original format:

  1. CEA Form C (Non-EU) – Application for a residence permit on the basis of employment. The form must be endorsed by the employer with an official stamp and signature of the responsible official;
  2. Form ID 1A – Identity Registration Form – Non-Maltese Nationals, together with an application fee of €280.50. Payment must be addressed to ‘Identity Malta Agency’ if made by cheque;
  3. Full copy of passport, including the blank pages;
  4. Covering letter by the employer, explaining in detail why this position is necessary and stating that the applicant has the necessary credentials to perform the duties being assigned.
  5. Work contract signed by the applicant and employer indicating a minimum annual gross salary of €30,000.
  6. Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, according to template provided, signed by the applicant.
  7. Certified copies of relevant qualifications, warrants or reference letters of the applicant relating to the job that needs to be provided, together with recognition from the Malta Qualifications Recognition and Information Centre (MQRIC). Where recognition has not yet been obtained, a copy of the receipt from MQRIC needs to be attached with the application.
  8. Comprehensive health-insurance policy, showing all aspects being covered, which supports the applicant in the eventuality of requiring any type of medical assistance or hospitalisation during the whole period of stay in Malta;
  9. Lease agreement or purchase agreement of property which makes clear reference to the applicant. If renting property, the applicant is required to present a Rental Declaration Form signed by the owner of the same property. The termination date should be specified in the lease agreement;
  10. Employers are requested to send an email to [email protected] and to read and follow the instructions that will be communicated by the automatic email of the IDCU work permit unit (part of infectious disease prevention and control unit). Once ALL documents are received and vetted, employers will receive the approval form by email. The approval form must be presented to Identity Malta with submission of application of the employee.

The prospective employer is requested to submit the Declaration of Suitability confirming competence of the TCN applicant.

Identity Malta retains certified copies of documents where original documentation would not be possible to retain.

Applicants whose application will be submitted while still abroad must present the original documentation once their application is approved in principle.

Identity Malta may request additional clarifications on applications. Where it is found to be impossible to conclude the application process within five working days, the applicant and the employer will be informed with the reasons of the delay affecting the application process.

The Agency reserves the right to exclude applicants and employers from the KEI if it is confirmed that applications submitted under the scheme contained false or misleading information.