7 reasons you should take advantage of Malta’s new remote work program
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Is your office is still closed due to COVID-19?
If you’re thinking about hitting the road while you work remotely, you might want to add Malta to the consideration list. This Mediterranean island is 122 square miles of pure sunshine and even has two bonus islands, Gozo and Comino.
Typically, U.S. visitors can stay in Europe for just 90 days. But thanks to Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit, you can stay for a whole year and work remotely as a digital nomad on this European island. Here are the requirements:
- Have a monthly gross income of 2,700 euros (roughly $3,150)
- Be a third-country national with valid travel documents
- Have health insurance that covers you in Malta
- Have a work contract for an employer in another country that’s not Malta
- Offer freelance services to clients in other countries besides Malta
- Show a rental or purchase agreement
- Be able to pass a background check
- Present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination
- Pay 300 euros (about $350) to apply
You can even add dependent family members by paying an additional 300 euros ($350) for each. This includes spouses, partners and children.
Although Malta is no longer paying tourists to visit like it was back in June, the digital nomad visa is an incredible opportunity for travelers to enjoy Malta as a local. But that’s not the only reason you might want to strongly consider relocating to Malta for a year-long remote work adventure.
It’s 3 islands in 1
Travelers can enjoy the Maltese sunshine on not one, or even two, but on three islands. The main island of Malta is the biggest and has the most to do.
People searching for peace and quiet should head to Gozo, a tiny island that’s home to beaches, Neolithic temples and famous dive sites; plus its own version of the Blue Lagoon (a distinctly different lagoon experience than what you’d find in Iceland or Cyprus).
Gozo even has its own version of the Christ the Redeemer statue, the Tas-Salvatur, which sits on a hill and overlooks the sea.
Comino is ideal for travelers who want to get off the beaten path, with just a handful of hotels and virtually no cars. It’s the place to be if you’re seeking a far-flung surf, windsurf or dive adventure.
These islands are within easy reach (under 30 minutes) of each other by boat. Malta’s island hopping experience is a far cry from neighboring Greece, where it may take several hours or even days on a ferry to reach other islands.
It has one of Europe’s highest vaccination rates
Although traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic always comes with some risk of exposure, more than 80% of Malta‘s population is vaccinated (90% of citizens 18 and older). This may set some visitors at ease, especially anyone who is nervous about traveling right now.
U.S. travelers are currently able to visit Malta if they’re fully vaccinated within 14 days of their trip. If not, they’ll have to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel, and may have to quarantine upon arrival at their own cost. As stated above, anyone applying for the Nomad Residence Permit needs to show proof of full vaccination when applying. Visitors also need to fill out a passenger health form.
There’s perfect beach weather
Although winter temperatures may not be warm enough for swimming in the sea, Malta is still the perfect destination for autumn, spring and winter sunshine — and, of course, summer swimming. The best part is that when summer ends, the crowds leave too, making the off-season a delightful, tourist-free time for a visit.
Malta’s November temperatures have an average high of 70 degrees Farenheight, ideal for sunny beach strolls and sightseeing. And when it comes to beaches, Malta has an excellent selection, including Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Ramla Bay on the island of Gozo.
English is widely spoken
Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. Most locals speak both, and many also speak Italian given the island’s proximity to Sicily. So, don’t worry if you aren’t fluent in Maltese; you’ll be able to get around with ease by speaking in English.
Culture and history abound
One of the most famous sites to see is St. Johns Co-Cathedral in Valletta, which dates back to the 16th century. The town of Valletta itself is one of the three UNESCO sites on the island; its 55 square hectares feature more than 300 different monuments. For a dose of history dating even further back, visit Malta’s megalithic temples.
Use the handy VisitMalta+ app
Travel is significantly easier in the time of smartphones. These days, travelers can navigate, make dinner reservations, translate languages, take photos and more all using mobile apps. That’s why we love the VisitMalta+ app, which offers practical information as well as travel inspiration to help visitors organize the perfect trip.
Explore stunning natural wonders
Malta is one of the best diving spots in Europe with over 100 different dive sites, including caves, reefs and shipwrecks. The DoubleArch Cave in Gozo is one of the most famous, and the Um El Faround Oil Tanker is one of the largest and most unique wrecks to explore. Sunk after an explosion in 1998, the shipwreck is 115 meters long.
Above ground, make sure to hike and explore the island’s highest point, the Dingli Cliffs. Or, visit the Dwejra Inland Sea in Gozo, a lagoon made of saltwater created from a tunnel that feeds the water through some rocky cliffs.
Malta’s high vaccination rates and rich natural and cultural wonders make the country a safe and enjoyable destination for your next vacation, whether you want to hop over now to enjoy a final dose of summer heat or you’re waiting for a sunny winter getaway.
But for people looking for a real escape, consider the Nomad Residence Permit and call Malta your home for year.
(Feature image courtesy of Szymon Capinski/Getty)
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