Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 23/05/22


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Beneficiaries of international protection have access to the labour market both as employees and self-employed workers.[1]

Refugees are entitled to access the labour market under the same conditions as Maltese nationals. To do so, they need an employment licence issued by JobsPlus. The maximum duration of the employment licence is 12 months and is renewable. In such cases, the person is granted an employment licence in their own name. Obstacles in this area include the application costs. A new application costs €58, while annual renewal costs €34.[2]

Refugees are eligible for all positions and have access to benefits including employment insurance and pension. They also have access to employment training programmes at JobsPlus.

Subsidiary protection beneficiaries may not be eligible for certain jobs e.g., police and military. Although they must pay tax on wages, legislation foresees that the social welfare benefits granted to beneficiaries of subsidiary protection may be limited to core social welfare benefits with no access to many employment benefits, including employment insurance and pensions. They have access to employment training programmes at JobsPlus.

In Malta, research findings by the European Network Against Racism indicate that non-EU qualifications are often not recognised.[3] Another obstacle is the difficulty in obtaining the necessary certificates from their country of origin. The Malta Migrants Association (MMA) argues that even when refugees are aware of the possibility of their qualifications being recognised, it is a protracted process, in some cases taking up to five or six months. The situation is even more laborious for those who require a warrant to practise their profession: once they have their qualifications recognised, they then need to start another process to be able to work in Malta.

In its 2019 “Working Together, a UNHCR report on the employment of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malta” report, UNHCR documents the difficulty for refugees to have their certificates or academic qualifications recognised.[4] It is reported that this process, in respect of recognising their qualifications, often results in a negative reply. Moreover, another burden is the cost incurred in translating certificates. In the report, UNHCR recommends several actions to be taken to address those shortcomings, such as the establishment of a special body to assess the skills of refugees; the promotion of vocational testing; the setting of a mechanism for refugees to access university; or a support to employers to pay the cost of translating certificates.

Jobsplus indicated that in 2021 it delivered 200 work permits to refugees, 805 permits to subsidiary protection beneficiaries and 89 for beneficiaries of THP.




[1] Regulation 20c Procedural Regulations.

[2] European Commission, Challenges in the Labour Market Integration of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, EEPO Ad Hoc Request, May 2016.

[3] European Commission, Labour market integration of asylum seekers and refugees: Malta, 2016, available at:

[4] UNHCR, Working Together, a UNHCR report on the employment of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malta December 2019, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation