Identity Malta will have a ‘special unit’ which will be tracking the illegal employment of third-country nationals on the island. The unit will be authorized to carry out the inspection without prior notice at the foreign worker’s residence or office, including school premises.
Lovin Malta spoke to Identity Malta to get some more information on the new task force
“The setting up of this unit within Identity Malta is intended to support the agency’s due diligence process across the board, including the processing of residence permits to third-country nationals (mainly for employment and study reason) and the issuance of visas,” a representative told Lovin Malta. “The new unit has been given the statutory authority to carry out checks in order to verify whether third-country nationals are abiding by the conditions set out in their authorization to remain in Malta.”
“In addition to this, the unit will support other existing verification procedures maintained by Identity Malta in the processing of identity cards, passports, citizenship, and civil status certificates.”
These random inspections will be carried out in accordance with the law and with the assistance of the police. Anybody who will be obstructing authorities from carrying out their duty will be fined heavily (up to €5,000), charged with six months in prison… or both.
As per the official statement by Identity Malta, “The unit shall assist the different departments within Identity Malta and will also complement the functions of other operating entities in the immigration sector, including the Police immigration office and Jobsplus.”
Officials carrying out inspections at a private residence will be accompanied by a police officer. The functions and powers invested in the unit, including the execution of inspections, are regulated by law.
The need for a ‘special unit’ came after UHM Voice of the Workers CEO Josef Vella issued a warning back in April about the hazardous situations of third-country workers in Malta, stating the fact that they were paid as little as €1 per hour.
The ‘special unit’ was announced in the 2019 budget and is intended to consolidate efforts and share information amongst various enforcement entities, without overlapping roles.