The Republic of Malta is an island in the European Union consisting of an archipelago right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian island of Sicily. The archipelago is made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a population of over 500,000 inhabitants.
When considering countries for second citizenship or residency, applicants look at a number of qualities the country should have. These include safety & stability, good quality of life, and excellent healthcare and educational facilities. Malta ticks all the boxes for those who wish to relocate to a safe European country.
The island enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and is surrounded by some of the clearest waters in the world. Malta’s strong economic landscape makes it an ideal base from where to do business. With booming industries such as hospitality, i-gaming, financial services and pharma, investors are encouraged to contribute and invest to the country’s economy.
Safety & Stability
Malta is a democratic European Union (EU) country with a strong history of political and economic stability. It is part of the Schengen, the Eurozone and also a member of the Commonwealth. Malta ranks as the safest place in Europe and the second safest place in the world. Malta’s official languages are Maltese and English, and foreigners moving to Malta immediately feel safe and secure. In addition, government announcements and services, media and road signs are offered in both languages, hence making it easier for expats to relocate to Malta.
Malta’s ideal strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea has ensured that Malta becomes a hub for transport and transit stops. This hasn’t changed in modern times; whether it is a stop on a cruise, or a transfer stop for long international journeys, Malta plays host to hundreds of ships and planes on a daily basis.
Serviced by most major European airlines, Malta International Airport has won several international awards for its service and business management. There are direct flights from most major European cities. Malta International Airport also hosts several low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, Wizz Air and EasyJet.
With its many ports and harbours, air is not the only way to travel to and from Malta. The island welcomes many cruise lines throughout the year. Several daily ferry services run between Malta and Sicily via catamaran. There is also the option to sail in on your own private yacht and berth in one of the many marinas around the island.
Education & Schooling
Modelled on the British system, the education system adopted by the Maltese island comprises two compulsory stages: primary education and secondary education. Following completion of secondary education, youths are free to choose whether to complete their education at a post-secondary, and eventually tertiary level or they may opt to join Malta’s workforce.
There are three kinds of educational institutions in Malta and Gozo which cater for compulsory education: private schools, government owned schools and church run schools.
Malta boasts one of the highest levels of post-secondary education in Europe, with over 11,000 registered students. There are public and private sixth form institutions. Alternatives to sixth form is the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), which offers higher education at various levels ranging from part-time evening courses to university level degree course; or the Institute of Tourism Studies.
Following completion of post-secondary education, many students opt to continue their studies at a tertiary level, where a number of options are available. The largest tertiary education institution is the University of Malta, where education at an undergraduate level is free of charge. It is also possible for students to opt for private universities in Malta.
Malta is one of the few countries where the state funds public healthcare for all citizens and residents through taxation and weekly national insurance contributions paid for by employers and employees. One may find both private and public healthcare hospitals or clinics. Malta’s main public hospital, Mater Dei, is the largest and most technologically advanced hospital in the country. It boasts over 800 beds, 25 operating theatres and a new oncology centre.
The most recognized private hospital is St. James Hospital, which has numerous clinics offering a variety of services. These include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, eye surgery, obesity treatment and access to both general and specialized medical practitioners. All patients seeking private healthcare are required to cover the necessary payments, either through direct payment or private local health insurance policies.
Medical tourism has been growing steadily and is closely linked to private healthcare, offering both simple and complex treatment. Medical tourists normally enlist private services in order to avoid waiting lists. Given the high level of expertise offered by Malta’s most qualified specialists, together with its competitive prices and favourable climate, Malta is an idyllic place for treatment and recuperation. Choosing what type of care is needed depends on the individual’s desires, costs and waiting times.
Most visitors to Malta buy private health insurance, but European Union nationals visiting Malta who are in possession of a European Health Insurance card (EHIC) may make use of public health services at no cost if they are injured or become ill. The EHIC does not cover persons travelling to Malta purely to seek medical treatment. Neither does it cover the medical transportation fees. Health insurance may be purchased from multiple local insurance companies. Prices are competitive, so researching and comparing costs are vital in securing the best policy per individual. It should be noted that this insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.