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7 reasons you should take advantage of Malta's new remote work program

Sept. 28, 2021
7 min read
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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.

The colors of Malta. (Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty)

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

The island of Comino in Malta. (Photo by danilovi/Getty)

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.

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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

Victoria in Gozo, Malta. (Photo by Westend61/Getty)

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

A beach in Malta. (Photo by Wendy Rauw Photography/Getty)

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

The Blue Lagoon. (Photo by Paul Biris/Getty)

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

Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty)

While Malta is the perfect place to lounge on the beach, shop or enjoy local wine and cuisine, it also has an extensive history, as it's been inhabited since around 5,900 B.C.

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

The VisitMalta+ app. (Photo from iTunes/Apple)

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

Dwejra inland sea. (Photo by Dreamer Company/Getty)

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.

Bottom line

Dingli cliffs in Malta. (Photo by Frans Sellies/Getty)

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)

Featured image by Getty Images/500px Prime
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023