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Expats Relocating with Families and Pets in Malta

Submitted: November 2013

Relocation with Families

Malta is a welcoming place for families. It is generally very safe, has a high standard of education, and offers plenty of child-friendly venues and activities. Hence, relocating to Malta can be an exciting adventure for all family members! However, it is crucial to start planning well in advance as it is can be a lengthy process to sort out the required paperwork and find appropriate schooling/childcare.

First of all, you should look into immigration requirements. While there are no restrictions for EU citizens moving to Malta with their families, non-EU citizens should familiarise themselves with visa requirements early on. For this purpose have a look at the Expat Briefing articles on Immigration in Malta and consult the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security website.

Another important step is to look into schooling options. There are state, church and private schools as well as international schools, such as the Verdala International School or the catholic St. Edward’s College. The education system is modelled on the British education system and is at a very high standard. However, keep in mind that popular schools can have long waiting lists; therefore it is essential to apply early and apply to several schools.

The website of the Maltese Ministry of Education provides a list of primary schools and secondary schools in Malta and their contact details. To read more about the curriculum in Maltese schools see the government website on Curriculum. For geneeral information on schooling options in Malta see Education in Malta.  You should also have a look at online reviews and forums where you can read about others’ experience with the schools of your choice.

If you have younger children you will also need to take care of childcare arrangements. For this purpose, see the article Family life and Childcare in Malta. For a list of childcare institutions see the List of Kindergartens and Nurseries available on the KidsMalta website. That website is a valuable resource for families moving to Malta, providing extensive information on various topics of parenthood, childcare, kids’ health issues, and activities for children.

Finally, you should take ample time to prepare your children for the move. If approached the right way, the move will be an exciting new start for your children too. Make sure to tell your children about Malta and teach them about the local culture before the move. It is also a good idea to enrol them into a language school if they do not yet speak English nor Maltese. For other useful guidance on preparing children for relocation, see Resources for People on the Move: Kids’ Relocation Issues.

Relocation with Pets

Expats relocating to Malta will be glad to hear that they are generally allowed to bring their pets along. They can either be brought in as guest baggage or unaccompanied cargo on the most direct route to Malta. Before doing so though, you will have to obtain an import permit for your pet by contacting the Maltese Veterinary Regulation Directorate on +356 21650393 or under petstravel.mrra@gov.mt. It is recommended to take care of this at least a week before you travel.

If you are relocating to Malta from the EU or a listed non-EU listed country with your pet dog, cat or ferret, your pet will generally need to have a microchip, vaccination against rabies (at least 21 days prior to entering Malta), and an EU pet passport or an official third country veterinary certificate. If you are relocating from a non-listed country, your pet will also need a blood test 30 days after the rabies vaccination and will have to wait three months prior to entering Malta. In either case, dogs will also have to be treated against tapeworm with Praziquantel at least 24 hours and not longer than 120 hours prior to travel.

Once your pet arrives to Malta, it will be subject to checks at the border control. The pet owner normally has to pay a fee of €50 to import the pet.

Clearly, it is also a good idea to hire a specialist pet relocation company to help you move your pet to Malta. Not only do these providers have suitable travel containers for pets, they also assist with the complicated paperwork. Among the most prominent companies offering pet relocations to Malta are:

For detailed information on pet importation regulations have a look at the guidelines provided on the website of the Malta Veterinary Association and on the website of the Veterinary Regulation Directorate. You can also contact the Directorate for further information on +356 21650393 or under petstravel.mrra@gov.mt.

 

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