Identity Malta introduced 'The Key Employee Initiative' (KEI), a scheme providing a fast-tracked service to highly specialised Third-Country Nationals employed in Malta and applying for a work/residence permit. The scheme facilitates the issuing of such permits to prospective key employees within 5 working days from the date of submission of the application.

Who is eligible to apply?
Individuals holding managerial or highly-technical posts which are in possession of the relevant qualifications or adequate experience related to the job being offered may apply for the KEI scheme.
Moreover, they must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
1. They must have an annual gross salary of at least €30,000 per annum;
2. Certified copies of the relevant qualifications, warrants or the necessary work experience; and
3. Declaration by the employer stating that the applicant has the necessary credentials to perform the duties being assigned.
Innovators involved in start-up projects which are specifically endorsed by Malta Enterprise may also apply for the KEI scheme.

What is the application procedure?
Applications under the KEI shall be submitted when the applicant is physically in Malta or still abroad. Approved applicants will be issued with a residence permit valid for one year, which may be renewed for a maximum period of 3 years, subject to the presentation of a valid employment contract as well as the original annual tax declaration form stamped by the Inland Revenue Department.