Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel.
Good business practices applicable in the United States also apply to doing business in Malta. Maltese buyers appreciate quality in products, prompt service and support, and competitive prices. Businesspersons in Malta appreciate prompt replies to their inquiries and expect acknowledgment of all correspondence. Conservative business attire is recommended at all times. Business appointments are required, and punctuality by visitors is expected for meetings. Although Maltese and English are both official languages in Malta, the Maltese conduct virtually all business in English.
Current travel advisory information for Malta is available on the Department of State’s website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Malta.html, including the latest information about COVID-19 travel guidance.
Every U.S. traveler entering Malta must have a valid U.S. passport. No visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Malta for fewer than 90 days, but a visa is required for longer stays. On arrival in Malta, immigration officers will normally ask American citizens how long they intend to stay in Malta. U.S. citizens planning to work in Malta must first obtain a work visa from the Identity Malta. For further information concerning entry requirements for Malta, travelers can contact the Maltese Embassy at 2017 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington D.C. 20008; tel: (202) 462-3611 or (202) 462-3612 or fax (202) 387-5470; e-mail: email@example.com, or the Maltese Consulate in New York City; tel (212) 725-2345.
Malta joined the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on December 30, 2008. Maltese citizens need to meet the following conditions to be eligible to travel to the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program:
- The visit is less than 90 days;
- The visit is for tourism or business;
- The traveler holds a valid biometric passport;
- The traveler registers for and receives an approved travel authorization, or ESTA, by entering their travel details at esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta prior to commencing travel;
- The traveler has a valid return ticket; and
- If arriving by air or sea, the traveler will arrive on a regularly scheduled carrier.
Maltese citizens who do not have a biometric passport may continue to travel to the United States if they are in possession of a valid U.S. visa. Maltese citizens may apply for a U.S. visa at the American Embassy, Ta’Qali National Park, Attard, Malta, but they should first follow the instructions for visa applicants found on the U.S. Embassy website.
U.S. companies that require Maltese citizens to travel to the United States for business purposes are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links:
State Department Visa Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html
Consular/Visa Section, U.S. Embassy, Valletta, Malta: https://mt.usembassy.gov/visas/
Malta’s official currency is the Euro (€).
Go, formerly a state monopoly, is the primary fixed line telecommunication provider in Malta. International telecommunication costs to and from Malta compare favorably with those in any large U.S. city. Businesspersons may use international telephone cards for calls to the United States. One has the opportunity to buy international and local calling cards locally. The international rates compare favorably with U.S. rates. By dialing 800-901-10 followed by 1-800-837-2396, you may carry out international directory (AT&T direct) inquiries. The country code for Malta is 356; there are no city codes.
The cellular network throughout Malta is excellent. One needs a tri-band or quad-band GSM (unlocked) cell phone to make cell calls from Malta to the U.S. and vice versa. One can rent or purchase GSM cell phones locally. One also can arrange with a U.S. carrier to offer global calls before traveling to Malta. A number of commercial applications also exist to provide for free international calling over wifi.
Malta has a modern and improving transportation infrastructure.
- Malta Freeport is a major maritime transshipment logistics center in the Mediterranean. It offers regular networking to around 100 ports worldwide (https://www.maltafreeport.com.mt/ ).
- Malta International Airport is a modern facility that has the capacity to handle 6.8 million passengers per year (https://www.maltairport.com/).
- Direct scheduled flights are available to over 40 major centers in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East via Air Malta, the flag carrier (https://airmalta.com/en), and other airlines.
- Malta is a major cruise ship destination with an average of 310 cruise ship visits yearly and an estimated 765,696 visitors in 2019 (https://www.vallettawaterfront.com/).
- The government has been resurfacing and expanding roads in Malta over the past several years. Some projects remain in process.
- Inland transportation is normally by bus, private car, or taxi. Buses are safe and inexpensive. Car rental agencies are all around Malta. As in the United Kingdom, steering wheels are on the right and traffic drives on the left. Traffic normally is heavy during rush hours. A taxi service from the Malta International Airport offers trips to all localities on a fixed rate basis; we recommend that individual’s book and prepay for a trip at the taxi office in the arrival lounge of the airport. A regular ferry service operates between Malta and its sister island, Gozo (https://www.gozochannel.com/).
Maltese and English both are official languages of Malta. The Maltese conduct virtually all business in English, although some tradesmen are less fluent in English.
While medical services are widely available, free care under Malta’s nationalized health system is not available for U.S. citizens who are not residents of Malta. Medical services are good and medical standards compare with those in the United States. The Embassy Consular Section maintains a list of English-speaking doctors, which can be found on the Embassy web site at https://mt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/doctors/.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s web site at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.
For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) web site at https://www.who.int/en.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.
Local time, business hours, and holidays
The time in Malta is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States (Eastern Standard Time).
Government offices open from 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, from October to mid-June. Between mid-June and September, government working hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Private sector companies generally follow the government’s work schedule but do not operate on half-days in the summer. Banks are open Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, banking hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., but some branches do not have Saturday banking hours during the summer. Commerce and industry hours are from 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. In general, shops in Malta open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Some shops open on Sundays, and, during the Christmas period, more shops tend to open on Sundays and public holidays, and some even increase their opening hours to as late as 10 p.m. However, many retail establishments are closed on Sundays, especially in rural areas.
The following is a list of holidays observed by Malta during calendar year 2021
Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings
The temporary entry of certain materials and personal belongings to Malta are exempt from customs duty. Items that would be eligible for such treatment are: personal property belonging to individuals coming from countries situated outside the European community; goods imported on the occasion of a marriage; personal property acquired by inheritance; school outfits, scholastic materials and other scholastic household effects under certain conditions; imports of negligible value; capital goods and other equipment imported on the transfer of activities; importation of certain agricultural products and products intended for agricultural use; therapeutic substances, medicines, laboratory animals and biological or chemical substances; goods for charitable or philanthropic organizations; importation in the context of certain aspects of international relations; goods for the promotion of trade (e.g. goods used or consumed at a trade fair or similar event); goods imported for examination, analysis or test purposes; tourist information literature; documents and publications of foreign governments and publications of official international bodies; and coffins, funerary urns and ornamental funerary articles, etc.