For travelers from many countries, accessing Malta as a visitor is very straightforward, putting the sunshine and history within easy reach. If you are also traveling to other countries around Europe as well as Malta, just remember to not go over the maximum number of days allowed for your visit to the Schengen area. Here's what you need to know about visas for Malta.

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Who can enter Malta without a visa?

All citizens of the European Union are entitled to enter Malta and travel freely with a national identity card, except for travelers from Ireland, who must use an Irish passport card. At present, travelers from 63 countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States can also enter Malta and other countries in the Schengen area visa-free.

Travelers from visa-free countries will need a valid passport. The passport's expiry date must be at least 90 days after your confirmed departure date from Malta, and passports cannot be more than ten years old.

Who needs a tourist visa to enter Malta?

Malta is part of the Schengen area, a grouping of 26 European nations that issue a common visa allowing travelers a maximum stay of 90 days during any 180-day period. This is valid for travel across the Schengen Area.

Travelers from countries who cannot enter Malta visa-free must apply for a Schengen tourist visa in advance of travel – details are on the government's Identity Malta website. Information required for the application includes dates and details of transport arrangements to enter and exit the Schengen zone, proof of accommodation, and proof of financial means of support. The cost for the application is €80 for adults and €45 for children.

Mother with two kids on a scenic road in Malta
A stay of up to 90 days allows plenty of time for exploring the quieter corners of Malta © Nadezhda1906 / Getty Images

Extending a Schengen area visa

If you wish to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, it is possible to extend a Schengen visa, but extensions are granted rarely, and approval is usually only given for humanitarian reasons or because of force majeure (for example, a natural disaster in your home country). For longer stays in Malta specifically, you can apply for a National Visa – also known as a Long Stay or ‘D’ visa.

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) rules for 2023

Under the new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) – expected to go live from early 2023 – travelers from the 63 non-EU countries currently permitted visa-free entry to the Schengen area will need to complete an online application to confirm authorization to enter the Schengen zone.

There's a €7 fee and applications will take around ten minutes to complete online. Successful authorizations will be valid for three years, or for the remaining validity of the applicant's passport if it expires sooner. Note that a maximum stay in the Schengen area of 90 days across a 180-day period will still apply. 

Two women tourists looking at hte skyline of Valletta, Malta
Malta is a favorite stop for a quick sunshine break from the UK © TheLiftCreativeServices / Shutterstock

Post-Brexit travel from the UK to Malta

The UK departed from the European Union in 2020, but citizens of the UK are still permitted to enter the Schengen area without a visa, including to visit Malta. However, British travelers will need to complete an application via ETIAS once the system goes live.

What if I need to leave and re-enter the Schengen area?

Multiple-entry access to the Schengen area – enabling travelers to re-enter after exiting to non-Schengen countries – is usually granted automatically to visitors from the 63 visa-free countries. It's a convenient option for travelers from southern hemisphere countries such as Australia and New Zealand who also wish to visit popular non-Schengen zone destinations including the UK and Turkey.

When exiting and re-entering Malta and the Schengen zone, it's vital to still adhere to the maximum stay of 90 days across a 180-day period (this starts from the date you first enter the Schengen area).

COVID-19 rules for entry to Malta

As of May 9, 2022, wearing a mask in Malta is only mandatory on flights, or when visiting a hospital or care home for the elderly. While not mandatory, the Maltese government does still recommend masks are worn when attending large gatherings.

Travelers no longer need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) but must present either a vaccine certificate, a negative PCR test, or a COVID recovery certificate upon arrival. See Malta's Health Ministry website for the latest on COVID-19 regulations.

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