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Family reunification

Family Reunification

Family Reunification may occur in three circumstances:

  • Family member of EEA National
  • Family member of Third Country National
  • Family member of Third Country National (Long Term Resident)

Family Members of EEA Nationals

Family members of an EEA national have the right to join and accompany him/her in Malta. The family is defined as:

  • The spouse
  • Children or grandchildren of EEA nationals or those of his/her spouse, who are under 21 years of age or who are dependent on him/her
  • The dependent parents or grandparents of the EEA national or of his/her spouse


 (NB In the case of a student only the spouse, or dependent children are entitled to a right of residence.)
Other relatives, for example, extended family members, such as brothers, sisters and cousins (who are referred to in the above-mentioned Order as other family members) and partners do not have an automatic right to live in Malta. In order that their request for facilitation of residence may be considered, the extended family members or partners must be able to demonstrate that they are dependent on the EEA national. In the case of partners they must be able to show by documentary evidence that they have been in a durable relationship with each other for at least two years.


Family members of third country nationals

The Family Reunification Regulations - Legal Notice 150, regulates the reunification of family members in Malta, which is based on the European Union Directive 2003/86.

Third country nationals, who are legally residing in Malta, have the right to apply for the reunification of the family members:

 The spouse who shall be 21 years or over

  • Minor unmarried children under 18 years of age

The sponsor, that is, the third country national who applies for family reunification, shall enjoy such right only if he/she: 

  • Has reasonable prospects of permanent residence in Malta;
  • Has accommodation regarded as normal for a comparable family in Malta;
  • Has stable and regular resources which would be the equivalent of the average wage in Malta, with an additional 20% of the said average wage for each member of the family.
  • Has resided for a minimum of 2 years
  • Family member not considered to be a threat to public policy, public security or public health
After five years of residence in Malta and in other circumstances as specified in the relative Regulations, family members are entitled to an autonomous residence permit.
They shall have access to employment and self-employment, education and vocational guidance, initial and further training in the same way as the sponsor.
After five years of residence in Malta and in other circumstances as specified in the relative Regulations, family members are entitled to an autonomous residence permit.

Family Members of Long Term Residents
Only the family members identified in the Long-Term Residents Regulations and who resided with applicant in the first Member State may accompany or join him/her in Malta. The said application, apart from the documents indicated therein, should be accompanied also by:
  • The long-term resident EC residence permit or residence permit, as the case may be;
  • Evidence of residence as a member of the family of the long-term resident in the first Member State
  • Sickness insurance in respect of all risks normally covered for Maltese nationals.

​The validity period of a residence permit issued in such a case shall be for a period of one year. The residence permit issued to members of the family shall have the same duration as that of the residence permit holder.


In the case that such family members were not constituted in the first member state, family members shall be allowed to accompany the third country national holding the long-term residence permit if the applicable provisions of the Family Reunification Regulations are satisfied.

Last updated in June 2014.