Key Employee Initiative Application (KEI)

Key Employee Initiative Application (KEI)

Key Employee Initiative Application (KEI)

Key Employee Initiative Application (KEI)

designed for highly-qualified Third Country Nationals (TCNs)
relevant to managerial or highly technical posts
residence permit valid for one year

The Key Employee Initiative (KEI) programme has been recently approved by the Maltese Authority for high-qualified TCNs.

The said programme is applicable to managerial or highly-technical posts which require the relevant qualification or adequate experience related to the job being offered in Malta.


In order for a TCN to submit a KEI application, s/he has to be in possession of the following eligibility criteria:

  • To receive an annual gross salary of at least Eur30,000 per annum;
  • To provide certified copies of relevant qualifications, warrants or the necessary work experience of at least three (3) years;
  • To submit a declaration by the prospective employer in Malta stating that the applicant has the necessary credentials to perform the duties being assigned.

Submission of application

Applications can be submitted either whilst the TCN is in Malta or by the prospective employer in Malta whilst the TCN is still abroad.

A list of required supporting documentation to be submitted is available in the following link:

Further documentation and clarification may be required by the competent authorities upon submission of application.

  • KEI applications are to be submitted to the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs.
  • A non-refundable processing fee of Eur280,50 is due upon submission of application.


The Authority should provide preliminary feedback within five (5) working days only from the date of submission of the KEI application. Therefore, the entire procedure is “faster” than that the standard single work permit procedure outlined above.