Employees / Pexels

Identità will be introducing a new expedited process catering for qualified and highly skilled foreign workers in January 2024.

The Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI), an extension of the Key Employee Initiative (KEI), is intended for specialised workers who do not currently meet the criteria of the existing schemes. Applicants must have an offer of employment in Malta linked to a gross wage of €25,000. SEI applications will be processed within 15 working days from the date of a fully submitted application.

This will only be applied to those instances where it is not possible to find a Maltese employee or an EU citizen to fill that particular vacancy.

The KEI states that companies bringing third-country nationals (TCNs) to Malta in order to fill highly technical or managerial positions may benefit from a fast-track scheme to issue work or residence permits in just five days. Previously, KEI applicants eligible had to have a minimum gross annual salary of €30,000, yet this has now been revised upwards to a minimum of €35,000 in order to align with salary adjustments.

Announcing these schemes, Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality Byron Camilleri recalled that this initiative is one of the measures in Government’s electoral programme, and it is a way of creating an “expedited and efficient process” for employers who employ high-quality workers.

“Through this initiative, we are supporting businesses and companies in Malta providing high-quality jobs with competitive wages,” he said.

“Although prioritising Maltese workers is paramount, with such initiatives we are ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of the local labour market now and in the future,” he continued.

Mr Camilleri said that on the other hand, stringent measures “will persist” against employers or individuals who exploit workers. “In this way, we continue to encourage these companies to focus more on quality,” he concluded.

Identità CEO Colonel Mark Mallia said that through a more efficient application process, the schemes will benefit both employers looking for skilled employees, as well as the employees seeking new employment.

“We understand the importance of continuing to attract high-quality talent from around the world, and our latest initiative is demonstrating our commitment to simplifying the application process for qualified foreign workers,” he added.

He continued to explain that in order to be considered for the SEI, applicants must meet specific criteria. Apart from the €25,000 wage, the employee must also have an MQF Level 6 or higher qualification in an area directly related to the offered position in Malta or alternative academic, vocational, or certified skills qualifications that correspond to an MQF level lower than Level 6, but are directly relevant to the offered position in Malta. In addition, the employee is also required to submit documentation verifying three years of pertinent experience related to the prospective job, including previous employment contracts, officially documented employment history, and reference letters.

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The process is part of a wider upgrade that includes more investment in human resources and broad consultation with stakeholders