The Malta Independent 17 July 2019, Wednesday

Malta with highest rate per population of first residence permits issued in EU

Albert Galea Thursday, 25 October 2018, 14:10 Last update: about 10 months ago

The highest rate of first resident permits issued in the European Union in 2017 when compared to total population was recorded in Malta, new data published by the EU's statistics body Eurostat shows.

The data showed that 10,974 first residence permits were issued by Malta to non-EU nationals in 2017, a statistic which equates to 23 issued for every thousand residents - the highest rate in the European Union and Economic Area. In this statistic, Malta is followed by Cyprus (22 per thousand), Liechtenstein (21 per thousand), and Poland (18 per thousand). The EU average meanwhile saw 6 first residence permits being issued per thousand residents.


A first residence permit is defined as a residence permit issued to a person for the first time. A residence permit is considered as a first permit also if the time gap between the expiry of the previous permit and the start of validity of the new permit is at least 6 months, the document explained.

The overwhelming reason for the issuing of first residence permits across Europe was for employment.  Indeed, 54.6% of the permits issued by Malta were for employment reasons, whilst 14.4% were issued for family reasons, and another 13.9% for education reasons.  The remaining 17% are registered as having been granted for "other reasons".

These "other reasons" include permits issued for residence only (such as in the case of pensioners with sufficient financial means), international protection status (including refugee status and subsidiary protection), humanitarian reasons, permits issued to non-asylum related unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking in human beings and other reasons not specified (such as beneficiaries of national regularisation programmes).

Malta is one of eleven member states which predominantly issued residence permits for employment reasons, with states such as Poland, Lithuania, Croatia and Slovenia also providing a majority of permits for reasons of employment.  Ten other member states, such as Italy, Spain and Belgium, issued most residence permits for family reasons, whilst education was the predominant reason for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Romania.

The nationalities of those being issued with first residence permits in Malta is diverse, but the most such permits were issued to Serbians, followed by those hailing from the Philippines and then those hailing from India.  In fact, 2,033 Serbians received a first residence permit in 2017 in Malta, whilst another 1,180 Filipinos and 784 Indians also received permits to live in the country.

There were 563 Macedonians receiving permits as well, along with 532 Libyans, 486 Russians, 472 Chinese and 405 Turks.  249 Syrians also received first residence permits.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were citizens in minimal numbers from far-flung nations such as Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Chad, Madagascar, Lesotho, Guyana, Guatemala, Tanzania and Mongolia with a first residence permit issued to them in 2017.  Citizens from various Pacific islands such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands also attained first residence permits in Malta last year.



  • don't miss