Maltese gov’t plans to maintain ‘free movement’ for UK nationals

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UK citizens who reside in Malta on 29 March 2019 will continue to have the right to live in Malta, and the residence document they currently hold as EU nationals will remain valid until a new document is issued, the Maltese government says in its guidelines recently published for a possible scenario of no-deal Brexit.

Citing its figures, the government says that Malta is home to approximately 13,000 UK nationals, out of whom 5,000 are in employment, all exercising their EU treaty rights.

Under the decision of the Maltese government, UK citizens “who are, or will be exercising their freedom of movement rights in Malta” until 29 March 2019 will be able to maintain their freedom of movement with the conditions outlined below:

  • The residence document they currently hold as EU nationals will continue to be valid until a new document is issued reflecting their new immigration position;
  • A new document will be issued in the format specified by Regulation 1030/2002 (the uniform EU document laying down the standard specifications for third-country nationals), as suggested by the European Commission;
  • The application for a new residence document and the issue of the document will be free of charge;
  • The new and special immigration status of such UK nationals shall be valid for a ten-year period.
  • The document shall be renewed when it expires, providing the criteria continues to be met.
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Government agency Identy Malta says it is committed to facilitating “matters to ensure a smooth and streamlined process for those in possession of a residence document as EU nationals and can prove that they were residing in Malta on the withdrawal date.”

The Maltese government says that UK nationals will have unrestricted access to the local labour market for ten years, and will be exempt from the need to hold an employment licence.

“The government has decided to give UK nationals moving to Malta after 29 March 2019 residence documents valid for ten years, as long as they satisfy established criteria. Fees currently applicable to third-country nationals will apply,” the entry on the government’s official website says.

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The fact sheet published by the Maltese government with further details is available on their official website.