The Maltese working holiday visa for New Zealand citizens

The New Zealand-Malta working holiday scheme is possibly the least used working holiday scheme, partly due to the lack of eligible population in both New Zealand and Malta.

Contents

Vital stats

Date agreement signed: 20 May 2004 [1]
Agreement signed by: TBC
Number of visas available for New Zealanders: 100
Average annual quota used: 0-10 (Estimate)
Processing time: TBC
Visa length: 1 year [2]
Visa fee: TBC
Age requirement: 18-30 inclusive [2]
Difficulty to get visa: TBC
Time allowed before entry: 12 Months
Can apply outside of NZ: Yes – Apply via post at Latvian Embassy in Australia
Extra immigration steps: Yes – residence permit
Work/Study restrictions: TBC
Notes:

Overview

The Malta working holiday scheme is a two step process (similar to Ireland), where you make an application to a local embassy by post and are [hopefully] given an acceptance letter, which you then need to take Identity Malta on arrival to apply for a residence permit ID card.

Getting the acceptance letter is easy. But getting the residence permit ID is harder!

The acceptance letter took about 1 month, and best to allow 2 months for the residence permit when you arrive (assuming you are diligent on you application or it will take longer).

Eligibility

  1. New Zealand citizen
  2. Have NZD$4,860 to support yourself
  3. Passport is valid for more than 12 months at time of application
  4. 18-30 years old inclusive at time of application

Application Requirements

Initial application

  1. Two recent identical passport size photos;
  2. A certified copy of a current New Zealand passport (data page and all stamped permit pages) (the passport should be valid for over 12 months);
  3. A police history criminal clearance report from your state/territory of residence;
  4. A bank statement demonstrating that you have sufficient funds to provide for your initial stay in Malta (Minimum: NZ$4,860);
  5. Your flight itinerary so that your permit may be issued from the day of your arrival in Malta;
  6. Money Order/Bank Cheque for A$100, payable to the Malta High Commission.
  7. Certified copy of Birth certificate

Residence permit application

The things that you need for the residence permit ID are:

  1. Approval letter from Australia
  2. Application for a residence permit (CEA Form O)
  3. Identity Registration form (Form ID 1A)
  4. Proof of travel insurance (specifically medical expenses)
  5. Bank statement
  6. Copy of passport (data page and all stamped permit pages)
  7. Proof of address (see below)
  8. 27€
  9. Lots of patience!

The hardest part is getting proof of address. There are two ways to do it:

  1. Rent an apartment for a long lease (6-12 months). You need the rental agreement, and a rental declaration form from Identity Malta, with your & your landlord’s names and signatures.
  2. Have family or a friend who have bought a property in Malta, and be willing to provide a copy of the purchase agreement of the property, and a notarised letter stating they are letting you stay with them.

These requirements seem heavy handed, especially for a working holiday visa where people will often try to move around and make the most of their time exploring different areas. One could potentially co-sign for a flat, it seems common for people to live together in flatting situations in New Zealand, but unless you are starting a new lease, landlords are not motivated to add and remove new people to rental agreements, some even prefer no paper work for tax avoidance purposes.

Process

The process for the Acceptance letter is pretty straight forward, collect all the stuff, send it away and wait.

The process for the residence permit is more involved so here’s what to expect:

  1. Collate all your application requirements
  2. Submit the application & fee at Identity Malta in Valletta (You need to liaise with a specific person via email to do this). You will have biometric and photo taken, and receive a receipt that you must bring with you later to collect your card when it is ready.
  3. Wait – about 7 weeks
  4. Receive a letter to collect your permit at your address
  5. Take your letter, and receipt of your application submission to collect your ID card
  6. Done!

Completing immigration for this working holiday scheme (or any long stay visa in Malta) is painful. To set your expectations: Malta is a nation of two small islands, so safe to assume things work on island time. Also, it’s based in the Mediterranean, so as is popular in the region – a siesta is taken, or it’s not uncommon for offices to call it a day at 1pm.

Also popular in the region is bureaucracy. While this isn’t as bad as the Italian or Spanish systems, it’s still slow. Expect to spend 2 months after arrival until it is complete.

Your residence permit is dated to expire exactly one year from the date you submit the application. So make sure there are no mistakes, and view it as a 10 month permit.

Conclusion

The Maltese working holiday visa is tough one. The low volume of use doesn’t help – not many locals have heard of it. I estimate about 5-10 people use it a year from New Zealand and Australia.

Once you’ve done all the above, getting setup with a bank account, social security number, and tax number are equally frustrating.

If you do go for it you may want to ensure you’re setup with a bank that doesn’t charge fees for international card transactions. Citibank Australia is an easy one to set up.

  1. [2] Official Dinner, Hotel Le Meridien Phoenica, Malta | beehive.org.nz PMLP – NEW ZEALAND