Malta issued the highest rate of residency permits in the entire EU in 2018, new figures have revealed.
Last year, Malta dished out 17,176 residency permits, a rate of 35 residency permits for every thousand people. The closest country was Cyprus at 24 permits per thousand. Meanwhile, the EU average stands at just 6 per thousand.
Anyone non-Maltese intending to reside legally in Malta for more than 3 months is required to apply for a residence permit.
Just under 60% of all applicants were given the residency permit for employment reasons, with around 20% coming for education.
The largest share of residency permits are given to Indian nationals (13.4%), Serbians (12.9%), and Filipinos (9.6%).
Despite the large number, Malta’s issues with third-country nationals acquiring residency permits are well documented, with queues lining up at Identity Malta’s offices hours before the day even begins, with authorities struggling to keep up with the demand for foreign workers.
The number is only expected to grow, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat regularly saying that Malta needs close to 40,000 foreign workers to sustain the booming economy.