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A new expedited application process for highly skilled foreign workers

Identità Agency will be introducing a new efficient and expedited process catering for qualified and highly skilled foreign workers, in January 2024. Building on the success of its Key Employee Initiative over the past years, the agency is further extending this streamlined pathway for highly skilled third-country nationals.

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

The Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality Byron Camilleri recalled that this initiative is one of the measures in the Government's electoral programme. Additionally, it is also a way of creating an expedited and efficient process for those employers who employ quality workers:

“Today we can do so through the Specialist Employee Initiative by Identità Agency to support businesses and companies in Malta providing high-quality jobs with competitive wages. Although prioritizing Maltese workers is paramount, with such initiatives we are ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of the local labour market now and in the future. On the other hand, stringent measures will persist against employers or individuals who exploit workers. In this way we continue to encourage these companies to move on the road to press more on quality," concluded Minister Camilleri.

"By simplifying the immigration process, this more efficient track of application benefits both employers and skilled employees, as well as employees themselves seeking new employment. We understand the importance of continuing to attract quality and state-of-the-art talent from around the world, and our latest initiative is demonstrating our commitment to simplifying the immigration process for qualified foreign workers," said Colonel Mark Mallia, Chief Executive Officer of Identità.

Mallia emphasised that applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria to be considered for the Specialist Employee Initiative, including a gross basic wage of €25,000.  The employee must have an MQF Level 6 or higher qualification in an area directly related to the offered position in Malta or alternative academic, vocational, or certified skills qualifications that correspond to an MQF level lower than Level 6 but are directly relevant to the offered position in Malta. In addition, the employee is required to submit documentation verifying three years of pertinent experience related to the prospective job, including previous employment contracts, officially documented employment history, and reference letters.

The Key Employee Initiative has undergone revisions to align with salary adjustments implemented over the years. For eligibility, KEI applicants must now have a minimum gross basic salary of €35,000.

Both initiatives strategically promote the importation of highly skilled personnel, over numerical expansion in the foreign workforce.

06/12/2023 identita
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