Third Country Researchers

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Third Country Researchers

The Regulations published by virtue of L.N 212 of 2018 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Legal Notice’) brought into effect the provisions of Directive (EU) 2016/801 by Malta. This Legal Notice supersedes the pre-existing Legal Notice 102 of 2008 which had already established a number of the principal functions of MCST.

Immigration Act  L.N 212 of 2018

Research Organisation Approval


As per Regulation 2, a ‘research organisation’ is defined as a public or private organisation which conducts research and which has been approved by MCST in accordance with the procedures established internally by MCST.


Regulation 9(1) further provides that a research organisation wishing to host a researcher under the terms laid down in the regulations, shall be approved for that purpose by the Council in accordance with procedures established by it.


It is to be noted that, in accordance with these provisions, the Council has established a standard form  to recognise research organisations as such for the purposes of LN212/2018, based on internal policy. A list of such approved research organisations is available on our website.


MCST may refuse to renew or revoke the approval given to a research organisation by virtue of Regulation 9(4) for the following reasons:


  • Which no longer meets the conditions laid down by the Council for the purposes of Regulation 9(1), the provisions of regulation 8(1)(b) or the provisions of regulation 10(8); or

  • Which fails to provide to the Council, within two months of the date of expiry of the hosting agreement referred to in regulation 10 with confirmation that the work has been carried out for each of the research projects in respect of which a hosting agreement has been signed; or

  • In cases where the approval has been fraudulently acquired; or
  • Where the said research organisation has signed a hosting agreement with a third-country national fraudulently or negligently.

Hosting Agreement


As per Regulation 8, third country nationals submitting an application for the purposes of research  must submit a hosting agreement setting out the legal relationship and working relationship between the host entity and the researcher, the modus operandi and showing that the conditions set out in Regulation 8(1) have been met.


According to Legal Notice 212 of 2018, particularly Regulation 10(1), Identity Malta in consultation with the Council sets out guidelines highlighting the requirements necessary in a hosting agreement for such agreement to be deemed valid. Identity Malta (ID Malta) will be entrusted to ensure completion and vetting of such documentation.


Regulation 10(2) states that the contract between the hosting entity and the researcher may be considered as a hosting agreement as long as it satisfies the requirements found in Regulations 10(3) and 10(4) and any other requirements deemed necessary by Identity Malta and the Council.


Regulation 9(4)(b) provides that the host entity must, within 2 months from the expiry of the hosting agreement, provide confirmation to the Council that the work was carried out  for each research project for which the hosting agreement was signed.


Researchers from a host entity in another European Union Member State, who opt for a period of mobility with a host entity in Malta, also have to complete a hosting agreement with the research organisation in Malta. To this effect, a research organisation wishing to host a researcher shall sign a hosting agreement with such researcher and that said agreement shall be submitted to Identity Malta and MCST for approval.


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Third Country Researchers - Contact Form

This article was last updated on: September 20, 2023