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May 08, 2018 Tuesday 12:39:31 PM IST

Malta Announces New Student Visa System

International Policy

Malta: Malta has announced changes to its student visa policy that will simplify and streamline the process for non-EU students and include work rights. According to the official statement, this new change is aiming at making Malta more attractive for international students while maintaining the reputation of the local education sector.

It will also allow private education providers to tap into certain markets where Malta has limited consular representation, by allowing students to apply for a visa without presenting themselves in person.

Non-EU students enrolled in a higher education course for more than 90 days will also be allowed to work 20 hours a week, and international graduates will be able to extend their stay in Malta for six months after graduation to look for work.

English language students on courses longer than three months will also be allowed to work and they will need to apply for a residence permit only if they extend their stay over a year.

Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta (FELTOM) CEO James Perry said the possibility to work while studying English in Malta will definitely boost interest in the island nation as a study destination.

The new system, he explained, will allow students to start working as of the 13th week after their arrival and for up to 20 hours per week. This work license is issued once the student visa is approved, and the students can apply for it once they find employment.

Last year, FELTOM called for the introduction of work rights and ‘walk-ins’ – allowing tourists to easily convert to a student visa – as a measure to tackle shorter rates of stay.

The system will also aim to ensure that only bona fide students obtain student visas, so will require the Ministry for Education and Employment, Identity Malta and the police to maintain a system of data sharing on students and educational institutions.

Malta is a group of Islands in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.

(Source: The Pie News)