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Long-term migrants to be able to apply for permanent residence permit under new integration programme

Interested migrants can voluntarily apply to join the programme which will also include Maltese and English language classes and basic 'societal and cultural orientation'

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Yannick Pace
15 December 2017, 3:05pm
A new integration programme launched today will allow long-term migrants to apply for permanent residence in Malta
A new integration programme launched today will allow long-term migrants to apply for permanent residence in Malta
Migrants who have lived in Malta for more than five years will be able to apply to enter an integration programme leading to a permanent residence permit, under a migrant integration plan launched this afternoon.

Addressing a press briefing on the new policy, equality minister Helena Dalli said an Integration Unit would be set up within the Directorate for Human Rights that would oversee the programme. 

The minister said that the country's positive economic performance was in part due to the presence of migrant workers, but stressed that while many workers had integrated into Malta's economy, the same could not be said for their integration with Maltese society. 
She said the new policy would seek to structure integration efforts, something which to date, has only occurred in a haphazard manner.

"Integration is what turns migration into an opportunity," she said, adding that this why the country needed a clear and effective integration policy.

"Integration is what turns migration into an opportunity," equality minister Helena Dalli said at the launch of the programme
She said the strategy would give migrants the opportunity to learn English and Maltese, as well as a better understanding of Malta's laws and culture.

Dalli added that ignorance of the law and country's norms would no longer be an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

Silvan Agius, director of the Human Rights Directorate explained that the programme would be looking at various services for migrants from within the EU and third country nationals, as well as those having refugee or humanitarian status. Moreover, he said that those with a rejected status could also apply for the programme.

He stressed that the courses would be mainstream and would not be specific to any one demographic of people. Rather, he said, government would ensure that all people had proper access to the programme.

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...