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Malta: Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI)


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For highly skilled third-country nationals who may not be eligible for the Key Employee Initiative but who possess the necessary academic, vocational, or technical abilities in accordance with their employment offer in Malta, there is an alternate path known as the Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI). Applications for SEIs are filed in accordance with the Single Permit Regulations.

Applications submitted through SEI will be processed within 15 working days of the date of submission. It costs €300 to apply.

The only people who can apply are nationals of third countries who have a signed contract with a business that is registered in Malta.

Eligibility criteria for the Specialist Employee Initiative

Applicants for the Specialist Employee Initiative must:

  • Have an annual gross salary of at least €25,000 per annum.
  • Be in possession of:
    • either an MQF Level 6 or higher in an area directly related to the employment position being offered in Malta; or,
    • other academic, vocational or other certified qualified skill qualifications, which equate to an MQF level lower than MQF Level 6, but which are directly related to the position being offered by the Maltese employer, together with, a minimum of 3 years’ experience in a position directly related to the one being offered in Malta. Proof of experience must be presented in the form of either or a combination of the below:
      • Previous employment contracts (signed by both employer and employee).
      • Employment history issued and officially certified (stamped or legalised) by the official employment authority in the country where employment was held.
      • Reference letters by former employer/s. Reference letters must show the start and end dates and details of the work carried out. The letters should contain clear contact details of the referee including a valid email address, postal address and contact number.

Identità may request additional documentation to ascertain eligibility, should the documentation submitted not be deemed sufficient for further processing.


The employer must email a completed application along with all necessary attachments in accordance with the relevant checklist. Identitá will ask the applicant’s permission before submitting the application and supporting materials.

Following receipt of this approval, the application will be handled in accordance with set protocols. Both the company and the candidate will receive an informational email and an acknowledgement, along with additional instructions on how to pay the application fee during the biometrics stage.

Any documents missing will lead to the application being delayed or refusal. It is important to ensure all mandatory documents are submitted per the checklist.

Once a decision is made on the application, both the applicant and the employer are informed with the outcome via e-mail.

Visa duration and conditions

A residence permit will be granted to successful applicants for a period of one year in their first year. If the employee remains in compliance with the eligibility criteria and their employment contract applies to all periods of validity, this authorisation may be renewed for an additional period of up to three years.

Support with global immigration

If you require support with applying for Malta’s Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI), the global immigration team at Smith Stone Walters can help. To speak to an advisor, please contact us today.

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