Well, Kai got a job! And because of that we are going to go get our Social Security Numbers (the same as National Insurance Number if you’re from the UK, or a Social Insurance Number if you’re Canadian). In Malta things work a little bit differently than in a lot of other EU nations. Here you cannot get your SSN until such a time as you have a work contract or register as self employed. In other countries you have to have your SSN before you can get a job, or otherwise you are emergency taxed which no one will like. So we were a bit surprised to find it was different here, though it certainly made life easier. We didn’t have to wait long to get it and deplete our savings even more.
It turned out that the most difficult part of getting the social security number was finding the building. It is not well marked, with only a plaque outside to mark the opening hours. A lot of the buildings on this street also have similar fronts so it can be difficult to distinguish. I am specifically referring to the Sliema office when I am speaking about this procedure. It is found at 101 Triq Sir Adrian Dingli (more commonly known as Dingli Street, but google maps only knows the Maltese spellings), in Sliema. If you are heading up from one of the bus stops or paths on the sea front, you’ll find it on your left hand side, just after an intersection. It is called the Department of Social Security (Dipartment Tas-Sigurta Socjali) and has specific opening hours for summer and winter, so make sure you have the correct times to be there or it won’t be open. The Maltese take their siesta breaks religiously! It is open during winter hours (which we’re still under) Monday through Friday 8:00am – 12pm and then in the afternoons from 1:30pm – 4:30pm. During the summer hours you will find it open from Monday to Friday 8:00am until 12:00pm.
Eventually we did find it and went inside. You immediately have to go up a flight of stairs to the upper floors of the building. You’ll encounter a set of double wooden doors and you go through to a set of desks. There are a variety of ladies and men who can help you so really just ask the first person you come to.
The whole procedure was very easy at that point. We handed over our passports and proof of work and Kai was issued a Social Security Number on the spot with a sheet of paper. For myself, being a non-EU national I had to provide proof that I was married to Kai. This was pretty easy as well and they photocopied our marriage certificate. I was told I couldn’t get my Social Security Number until I had a job as well, so I wouldn’t be getting mine today. That’s alright though, it will not be long before we get to make another trip back!
We were told we’d be mailed a tax certificate/number shortly to our registered address and we could use that to open a bank account, or at least would help. More about bank accounts will be in a post in the future as we are still navigating that minefield.
What to Bring With You if you are from the EU:
What to Bring With You if You Are from Outside the EU:
We heard that there could be large queues and to arrive early, however I believe because we were doing this in winter hours, rather than summer we didn’t encounter this problem. So for us we didn’t find a problem with queues though the process is pretty quick so even if there is a queue don’t be too alarmed. Just make sure you leave plenty of time before it closes so you don’t miss out.
The Sliema office I mentioned only serves the area in Sliema, St Julians, Sweiqi, Tal’Ibragg and Pembroke though so you’ll need to make sure you go to the right one for where you live. I’ve linked to the other list here.
If anyone has pictures of the offices in other locations I’d be greatful if you could send me them so I could add them here. Much easier to find when you know what the building looks like, right?!