The legal notice provides for the regularisation of British citizens already established in Malta prior to the withdrawal date of the United Kingdom from the European Union, whereby these individuals and their respective family members, shall be entitled to continue to reside in Malta and enjoy the right of free movement into and from Malta. However, it is important to note that such British nationals will remain eligible to residence and free movement in Malta only if such individuals have enough funds to maintain themselves in Malta, which funds shall be equivalent to the national minimum wage in Malta and have in their possession sickness insurance.
A beneficiary under these new regulations shall enjoy the status for a period of ten years from the withdrawal date, which status may be renewed upon application provided that the minimum conditions continue to be satisfied.
Upon the submission of the relative application together with the required supporting documentation such application will be referred to the Principal Immigration Officer in order to ensure that there are no grounds to consider the applicant’s residence in Malta to be contrary to the public interest.
Whilst the applicants await the new residence permit to be processed, the residence document previously issued to the individual shall be deemed valid until the new permit is provided.
Beneficiaries under these new regulations will be entitled to take up any employment or self-employment activities in Malta and shall not require an employment license for such purpose. These beneficiaries shall also have:
- Access to healthcare, if the beneficiary is a worker or student, or a family member thereof;
- Access to healthcare entitlements if the beneficiary has in his possession a certificate of entitlement under the SI scheme;
- Access to education in the same way as EU nationals;
- Equal treatment with Maltese nationals with regard to recognition of diplomas, certificates and professional qualifications, provided that an application for recognition is submitted prior to the withdrawal date;
- Equal treatment with Maltese nationals with regard to access of goods and services made available to the public;
- Equal treatment with EU nationals with regard to social benefits including housing benefits; and
- Access to exchange the driving license issued by a competent authority in the United Kingdom into a driving license issued by the competent authority in Malta.
A beneficiary’s entitlement to the status under these new regulations shall cease if, amongst others:
- The beneficiary absents himself from Malta for a continuous period of two tears;
- The beneficiary has been found guilty of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more;
- The beneficiary no longer has enough funds to maintain himself in Malta and no longer has sickness insurance; and
- The beneficiary does not submit an application for a residence permit under these new regulations within two years from the withdrawal date;
Malta is at the forefront regarding the implementation of a strategy to provide British citizens a special status should Brexit take effect without a Withdrawal Agreement in place. Through the said legal notice, Malta shall protect the life and work choices taken by those British nationals who have relocated to Malta as part of their rights of free movement provided by the European Union.
About the Author
The article has been authored by Dr Christina Borg DeBono, Advocate at CSB Legal, who specialises in Company Law, Immigration, Yachting, Intellectual Property and Employment Law.