An agreement between the Government and MUMN on a number of issues affecting nurses and other health professionals hailing from countries outside the European Union, and who are employed in the public sector, has been announced.
At the end of two meetings held between Government representatives led by Principal Permanent Secretary Mr Mario Cutajar, and the MUMN led by Mr Paul Pace, and in consultation with Identity Malta Agency, an agreement was reached through which, with immediate effect, the Agency starts employing these procedures to substitute the procedures in force till now.
1. Residency permit valid for three years
An agreement was reached primarily so that Identity Malta Agency starts issuing a residency permit valid for three years, instead of year-by-year, to nurses and other professionals in the health sector employed in the public sector on an indefinite contract.
2. Substantial decrease in fees
Employees hailing from countries outside the European Union and who are employed by the Government as nurses in other medical professions will also have the usual application fee substantially reduced. These employees will start paying €250 for their work permit in their first year, with the permit being valid for three years; moreover, they will now start paying €82.50 for the card to be issued. This will replace the €27.50 fee payable annually for the card issuance. The total sum will be €332.50 and will be paid once, instead of a total payment of €832.50 over the three-year period.
3. Applications to be processed in fifteen days’ work
At a time when the country deems these works as most essential, Identity Malta Agency will start processing applications filled in correctly, with all information and requested documents, in a period of fifteen days of work from when the application is submitted. Once the application in question is approved and the card is ready for collection, the applicant will receive a letter by post to collect the card in person.
4. Conditions to be extended also to family members
Family members, who constitute wife or husband, son or daughter, of the applicant employed in the public sector, will also be issued a three-year residency permit, as long as the application is filed together with that of the principal applicant. Identity Malta will start processing these applications also within fifteen days’ work from date of submission, as long as they are filled in correctly with all necessary documents also being submitted.
Family members of sponsors who have a Long-Term Residence Permit will be issued a residency permit valid for five years, as these acquire a status of residence on the basis of L.S.217.06. In case this does not happen, they will have to renew their permit every three years.
Finally, in case the employee’s work with the public sector is terminated, the measures listed above will no longer apply.
There was also agreement that all necessary medical examinations that employees in the public sector hailing from countries outside the European Union need will be free of charge by local health services, whilst Identity Malta Agency also extended this agreement for all applicants coming from outside the European Union who are employed on an indefinite contract with the public sector.