A new process for the application of highly skilled foreign workers

Next January, the Identity Agency will be launching a new and more efficient process for the engagement of qualified foreign workers with a high level of skills. While continuing to build on the success of the Key Employee Initiative (KEI), the Agency is continuing to extend this simplified process for third country nationals with a high level of skills.

The Specialist Employee Initiative (SEI) is an extension of the Key Employee Initiative and is intended for specialized workers but who currently do not meet the criteria of the existing schemes. Applicants must have an offer of employment in Malta linked to a gross basic salary of €25,000. SEI applications will be processed within fifteen working days from the date of complete application submission. This only applies in those instances where it is not possible to find a Maltese employee or a citizen of the European Union to fill that vacant position.

The Minister for the Interior, Security, Reforms and Equality Byron Camilleri reminded that this initiative is one of the measures in the Government’s electoral program. It is also a method of creating a speedy and efficient process for those employers who hire quality workers.

“Through this initiative we are assisting those businesses and companies in Malta that offer quality jobs with good wages. While the first preference should always remain the Maltese worker, with such initiatives we are ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of the local labor market now and in the future. On the other hand, there will continue to be a very hard hand against those companies or persons who abuse workers. In this way we are continuing to encourage these companies that follow the path of putting more emphasis on quality,” concluded Minister Camilleri.

The Chief Executive Officer of Identità Mark Mallia said “Through a more efficient application process it will benefit both employers and those looking for skilled employees, as well as the employees themselves looking for a new job. We understand the importance of continuing to attract quality and top-level talent from around the world, and the latest initiative demonstrates our commitment to simplifying the application process for qualified foreign workers.”

He went on to explain that applicants must meet specific criteria to be considered for the Specialist Employee Initiative, including a gross basic salary of €25,000. The employee must have qualifications of MQF Level 6 or higher in a field directly related to the position offered in Malta or alternative academic qualifications, vocational, or certified skills that correspond to MQF level lower than Level 6, but which are directly relevant to the position offered in Malta. In addition, the employee must provide documentation that proves that he has three years’ experience relevant to the job he will be engaged in, including previous work contracts, officially documented employment history, and letters of reference.

Meanwhile, a review of the Key Employment Initiative was carried out to match the salary adjustments implemented over the years. Therefore, in order for applicants to be eligible for the KEI they must now have a gross basic salary of €35,000 minimum. These two initiatives, KEI and SEI, promote foreign workers with a high level of skills.