Directorate for Consular Services and Maltese Living Abroad

Director Consular Services and Maltese Living Abroad

Mr. John Buttigieg

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Palazzo Parisio,

Valletta VLT 1171

Tel: (+356) 2204 2333



Assistant Director Consular Services and Maltese Living Abroad


Ms. Roberta Zahra

Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion

Palazzo Parisio,

Valletta VLT 1171

Tel: (+356) 2204 2259




General consular assistance


The Consular Services Directorate could be described as the showcase of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion (MFTP) as it deals directly with services aimed at the general public. With the invaluable assistance of Maltese diplomatic staff serving abroad, the Directorate provides a broad array of services to Maltese individuals, ranging from medical assistance, assistance to victims of crime and loss or theft of travel documents amongst others.


In such situations, the Directorate acts as the point of contact between the individual who is abroad and his/her family at home, facilitates financial transactions when needed, and in countries where Malta has a diplomatic presence, ensures that Maltese diplomatic agents, whenever possible, visit and assist the person in distress. The Directorate also helps in searching for Maltese citizens reported missing while abroad or provides information to the family who seeks information in this regard.

Arrest or detention while abroad


Whenever a Maltese national is arrested or sentenced by a foreign court, MFTP acts as the means of communication between the detained individual and his family in Malta, and tries to ensure that the convicted citizen has access to adequate legal representation in a language that he or she may understand.

Emergency or crisis situations


Whenever a country or region is affected by an emergency or crisis situation, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, the Directorate serves as the point of contact between Maltese nationals who may get caught in the crisis and their concerned families at home. In such cases, MFTP sets up an ad hoc Emergency Crisis Centre, equipped with emergency telephone lines to address the public’s queries. The Directorate also maintains constant communication, through its Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, with the local authorities where the crisis occurred and with other EU member states to ensure that it receives the latest official information on the particular crisis.

Visa applications and travel advice


The Directorate provides general information concerning visa requirements and visa application procedures to Maltese nationals wishing to travel abroad. We also provide regularly updated travel advice to Maltese nationals who may need to travel to countries where the political situation or otherwise may not be conducive for travel.



The Directorate has a legalisation unit which issues so-called Apostilles or Legalisations. Apostilles and legalisations are authorised endorsements of public or commercial documents that are officially recognised by both the country of issue and the country in which they are to be used.



Local and foreign governments offer a number of scholarships for Maltese citizens who may wish to follow up theirs studies abroad. Following an official notification of an offered scholarship, the Directorate issues a press release, distributes and receives applications from interested parties, and coordinates interviews, where applicable. The Scholarship Unit within the Directorate also offers practical guidance to successful candidates.

Rogatory letters


Every legal process that involves Maltese and foreign jurisdictions, seeks the Consular Services Directorate’s assistance, which through its network of Embassies and Consulates abroad, serves as the main point of contact between the juridical authorities of the countries concerned.



The main objective of the Consul on the Move (COTM) Programme is to provide a number of consular services, which normally are available at Malta’s Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates General abroad. The initiative started in 2016 following the introduction of the biometric passport, which require the applicant to physically call at the Mission to apply and have his biometric data captured. Besides passport applications, the services offered through the COTM include applications for life events certificates and Maltese citizenship. The Programme conforms with the government’s policy to bring its services closer to the citizens. Currently the service is available in five main countries with the most number of Maltese residents, namely: Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The Consular Services Directorate coordinates the annual visits together with the High Commissions, Embassies involved as well as give advice on any issues related to the programme with a view to ensure that the mobile service offered to Maltese citizens resident abroad is of the highest possible level.

Maltese Living Abroad Unit


The Directorates main duties and responsibilities


Act XX 2011 lists the Directorate’s main responsibilities to protect the interests and rights of the Maltese living abroad.


The Directorate’s main duties are as follows:


·         To serve as a focal point of information for policy-making related to Diaspora issues

·         To keep regular  contact with all stakeholders related to the Maltese living abroad

·         To monitor local legislations and EU regulations potentially affecting Maltese Living Abroad

·         To provide consultation and advice to Government on Diaspora matters

·         To maintain close and effective liaison with Malta’s overseas diplomatic missions

·         To keep close contact and assist the Secretary of the Council of Maltese Living Abroad

·         To ensure the implementation  of decisions made by a CMLA.

·   To assist the Secretary of the CMLA in the organization of the convening in Malta or teleconferencing of the CMLA

·         To assist in the preparation for the Convention for the Maltese Living Abroad

·         Maintain a register of NGO’s and Associations of the Maltese living abroad

·         Maintain a register of successful Maltese living abroad

·         Promote and encourage the voluntary registration of Maltese citizens living abroad, ‘Known as Notification D’

·    In conjuction with the Office of the Attorney-General, monitor all newly introduced and gradually review legislation to ensure that the rights and obligations of Maltese living abroad are safeguarded​

Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion
Palazzo Parisio
Merchants Street
Valletta, VLT 1171

2124 2191

2123 6604