Jobsplus, the government’s employment agency, received around 16,000 work applications from people outside the European Union (EU) in the first five months of 2019 alone, the Times of Malta reports.
In comments from Jobsplus CEO Clyde Caruana, the newspaper quotes him as saying that between January and May the number of applications for work permits reaches 12,185, while the number of applications for employment licences reached 3,572.
He highlighted the difference between employment licences and single residence work permits, with the former being valid for up to six months while the latter is valid for a year and may be renewed annually.
Compared with 2018, Jobsplus received a total of 13,388 applications from foreign nationals intending to work in Malta, with 10,162 being for work permits and 3,226 for employment licences.
Figures released by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical body, as well as the National Statistics Office earlier this week showed that Malta’s population has ballooned to 493,559 in the past year.
The island registered the largest population growth out of all EU member states, at 36.8 per 1,000 residents, with one in every seven people in Malta being a foreigner.