If you’ve just landed on Malta and are planning to stay here for quite a while, there are some basic things you need to know about if you’re intent on making the re-location transition smoother. Here is some basic help to guide you through the maze.
If you plan to work on Malta, you will need specific permits and papers to be regulated. You will need to be registered with the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) which has a central office in Valletta from where you can get a great deal of related information. You might have to register with the VAT Department as well as get a working permit.
Useful offices to contact are the Department of Information (DOI) in Valletta from where you will find out about specific government departments, Maltese legislation, contact details, scholarship, organisations and other.
It will help if you find out which Local Council is in charge of your neighbourhood. There is as yet no council tax to be paid, and the councils offer a support system to residents in their locality and can provide information about sundry topics such as:
– The whereabouts of the nearest district health clinic which you can visit or contact to check opening hours and range of services. Remember that the main public hospital is Mater Dei Hospital but there are other private hospitals and smaller private clinics as well.
– Time of day when garbage is picked up – service is free. Ask for information about the quality of appropriate garbage bags for waste separation purposes.
– Days of the week when bulky refuse is collected – service is free.
– Location of the nearest waste separation bins.
– Information about specific services offered by the local council including educational classes or summer school for children.
– Information about local amenities such as the public library, social service offices, gas stations, pharmacies, etc.
While you’re out and about remember that driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Free parking is permitted in white bays. Yellow bays are prohibitive whilst in some localities such as in Valletta, blue bays are reserved for residents or at specific limited times.
Schools in Malta are very high in standard. There are primary and secondary level public schools, and a number of private and church schools. To contact different schools or most businesses and service providers, get hold of a copy of the Yellow Pages or seek out Yellow Pages Malta online as this is the best local source for all contact numbers and websites that you can find.
Religion is very important in Malta and there is freedom of worship. Being predominantly Catholic, there are numerous 350+ Catholic churches in 79 parishes parishes around Malta and Gozo. Parish and large churches are open daily whilst chapels are open on specific times or days. Other denominations on Malta are, amongst others, the Anglican Church, Muslim Mosque, Greek Orthodox Church, Reformed Baptist Church, Church of Scotland and Methodist. There are also varied communities including a Jewish community and a Hindi community and such communities organise regular get together events which are excellent opportunities for socialising. Find out more from the embassy or consulate representing your country on Malta.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday. On Sundays only utility shops are open such as stationeries, confectionaries and pharmacies. The latter are open in diverse localities by rota on Sundays, although the pharmacy at the Malta International Airport is open every day for longer hours. Shop opening hours are generally 09.00 – 13.00 and 16.00 – 19.00, although supermarkets are generally open all day. In some localities such as in Valletta and Sliema, some shops remain open all day.