As a law firm working in the fields of immigration and employment law, we are often asked questions and see many similar scenarios on the topic of immigration, work permits problems, visa refusals, unjustly terminations and more. Therefore, we have come up with a set of Frequently Asked Question revolving around these topics to assist any TCNs with all their queries.
In this article we are pinpointing the top FAQs. To read all the FAQs in full please go to this page: https://sciberras.legal/practice-areas/immigration-law/immigration-faqs-for-third-country-nationals
Prior to your arrival in Malta
My employer is requesting money to employ me. Do I pay him?
You should never sign for any job that requests you to pay money. That goes against the fundamental human rights of your right to work and is equivalent to human trafficking. You should not accept any job which requests you to pay.
What is the procedure to apply for the Single Work Permit?
The procedure to apply for work in Malta for TCNs is called the Single Work Permit application.
The employer or agency will apply for you on a ‘still abroad’ basis. The application is straightforward and you need to fill the form and attach all relevant documents. Normally the employer will prepare the form with your input and submit to obtain an Approval in Principle letter.
How long does it take to get a work-permit?
Typically, from the day of submission with Identity Malta, it usually takes 30-60 days to get approved. Following this, you have six months’ time to travel to Malta, subject to visa clearance.
What do I do in case that my application for work is not accepted?
If you or your employer receive an email by Identity Malta Agency stating that your application cannot be processed, you have a right to appeal with the Immigration Appeals Board. You must consult an immigration specialist law firm like Sciberras Advocates who can understand the case and guide you accordingly. Similarly, if you receive a refusal letter you have three days’ time to appeal at the Immigration Appeals Board.
What happens when a visa is refused?
If a visa for work permit is refused, you have a right to appeal within 15 days with the Immigration Appeals Board. Appeals can also be sent via email. It is advisable to consult an immigration specialist law firm like Sciberras Advocates who can understand the case and guide you accordingly.
How long do appeals take to get an answer?
Appeals in Malta are done in writing. Once the appeal is submitted, the Appellant is given another 15 days to submit any further documentation to substantiate his appeal. At the same time, the various stakeholders (Identity Malta, Jobsplus, Immigration Police, Central Visa Unit) are asked to give their feedback depending on the type of appeal. Typically appeals take between 6 to 9 months to get a final definite answer.
Arriving in Malta
What happens when I arrive in Malta?
Once in Malta, you need to fulfil the final steps to complete the conditions of your work permit application and obtain the Maltese Residence Card. The work permit and residence card will be valid for one year. It is important that during the first weeks in Malta and beyond you ensure that:
- You are correctly registered with Jobsplus
- You are getting a payslip every month
- You ensure that your National Insurance contributions are being paid by your employer
- You are getting the correct amount of leave and overtime rates
- You are being given an FS3 (your annual statement of earnings)
- You are not terminated without being informed or not given advance notice to find a new job.
What if I am stopped in my workplace or pulled over by the police?
There is nothing to worry about, if you always carry your Residence Card, there should be no issues. It is important that if you work permit covers a specific job with a specific employer, you are doing so. Working illegally is subject to detention and removal orders and it will be very difficult to challenge it in the courts.
Changing jobs in Malta
What happens if I am unhappy with my job?
Remember the contract that you signed before coming to Malta and remember the important clauses. You still have an opportunity to leave however it is advisable that first you have found another job. When changing jobs, you only have a 10-day window to apply between termination and application. Furthermore, when you apply for a new job, it does not automatically mean you can start working straight away. You need to get a new employment license and approval from Identity Malta Agency, and this takes some time. Whilst you can legally reside in Malta when changing jobs, the application does not give you automatic rights to work.
What if my employer terminated me without informing me?
It is not the first time that employers terminate employees, send the Jobsplus termination form a month late and back date it. This would put you in an automatic overstay position and make you irregular in Malta. In that case you need to speak to an immigration and employer lawyer specialist such as Sciberras Advocates to see if there is a chance of redress.
For assistance on immigration law and any type of work permit appeal, visa appeal or return order appeal, please contact us on [email protected].
Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.
Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627795222 or via email on [email protected].