ESTA Application for Citizens of Malta
ESTA Required: Yes
Malta joined the United States of America’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on December 30, 2008. It was decided after a meeting between the Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and the U.S. Ambassador Molly Bordonaro in a joint press conference at Auberge de Castille just a few days earlier. The year after, in 2009, the U.S. introduced their online application system named the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). From then on, the application has only been available online for citizens of Malta and all other visa-waiver-countries.
The ESTA grants Maltese access to visit the U.S. for up to ninety days for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes), and to participate in non-credit study programs. It is essential to understand the differences between the ESTA and a visa. They are not the same. A visa for the U.S. comes in many shapes and has specific purposes. We have some information about U.S. visas here if you need to learn more. A visa has to be applied for at a U.S. Embassy which means a bit more planning is required compared to applying for an ESTA.
U.S. Immigration statistics for visitors from Malta (2017):
- The total amount of visitors from Malta: 7 319
- Approved ESTA applications: 6 252
- Students and exchange visitors: 102
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 156
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 243
- Other types of visitor categories: 27
Traveling to the U.S. From Malta
Malta International Airport (MLA) is located on the island of Malta, southwest of Valletta in the town Gudja. There are as of today (April 4th, 2019) no direct flights from Malta to the U.S., but there are plenty of layover flight connections available. A popular budget-route is Malta-Gatwick (EasyJet) then Gatwick-New York (Norwegian) which will take around 17 hours.
Malta International Airport:
Some guidelines on parking:
- Get your ticket from the automated ticket dispenser at the car park entrance. The ticket must be kept for exiting the car park again.
- Park your car anywhere within the car park but avoid the designated blue spaces that are reserved for “blue badge” holders.
- Bring the parking ticket with you into the terminal to pay via the pay machines
- Pay station machines are located outside the arrival hall, in the basement tunnel, and within the car park by the central fountain.
- As you enter the ticket into the slot, the fee will be displayed. Press the receipt button to get your receipt before you insert your money. Coins and notes (€5/€10/€20) are accepted. You can also pay with a Visa or MasterCard.
- Retrieve your ticket when paid and return to your vehicle.
- To get out of the car park, you must insert your ticket into the automated machine at the exit point. The barrier will be raised shortly after scanning the ticket.
- Press the assistance button for remote help if you experience any issues with the barrier.
You can test the Parking Rates Calculator and see the parking map here.
Shopping at MLA:
- Located on the Landside are Agenda Bookshop, Claire’s, Hebe, Pharmacy, Samsonite, Vodafone, and WHSmith.
- Located on the Airside are Dufry, Hard Rock Retail, Hebe, Parfois, Saltwater, Swarovski, and WHSmith.
- Located in the SkyParks are Headlines Books & Stationary and Matrix.
Dining at MLA:
- Located on the Landside are Burger King, Costa Coffee, Dr. Juice Eating Place, Fat Harry’s Pub, KFC, McDonald’s, and Sandbell’s Flatbread Café
- Located on the Airside are Cleland and Souchet Wine Café, Costa Coffee, Hard Rock Café, and Relish
- Located in the SkyParks are Talbot & Bons, Vecchia Napoli, and Zen Sushi To Go
Other services at MLA that might be of interest:
MLA offers fitness and wellbeing services at the airport such as Chic Med Aesthetic Clinics, JIGAMI Hairdressing, Savina Dental Clinic, and Sky Spirit Fitness Lounge.
If you are traveling with kids, then check out YoYo Kids – Child Care Centre. They offer a babysitting service that is also a development center. It is located in the Skypark’s Business Centre that is in connection to the Airport.
If you are interested in VIP services at MLA, then be sure to check out La Valette Club. They offer services such as:
- Meet and Greet: Guests are assisted throughout their journey at Malta International Airport.
- Chauffeur Services: Guests are transported directly from the terminal to the aircraft, and vice versa, in a private car.
- Porterage: This service lets you pass through MLA without having to carry luggage. The luggage is taken care of by airport attendants from start to finish.
- Terminal Assistance: Support for guests while passing throughout the airport.
- Special Occasions Package: If you are on a honeymoon, birthday trip, bachelor’s trip, you might want to consider this service. It is as exclusive as it gets.
When should citizens of Malta apply for ESTA?
It has been since December 2018 required to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before boarding a U.S.-bound aircraft. Thus, it is recommended to apply weeks in advance to make sure that the travel authorization (ESTA) is approved in good time. Applicants that are denied must apply for a tourist visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy which can be quite time-consuming. If you have plans to visit the United States in the near future, then apply as soon as you can. Read more about the ESTA application here.
Travelers from Malta with an approved ESTA can check its status or make updates. Visit this page for more information: verify/update ESTA.
Quick facts for Maltese citizens
Maltese citizens can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for 2 years for visitors from Malta
Maltese can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Malta’s overstay rate is only: 0.55%