Identity Malta Agency would like to inform the general public of the updates made to the Specific Residence Authorisation Policy, which the Government launched in 2018. The objective of the said policy was intended to replace the status Temporary Humanitarian Protection – New (THPN) introduced in 2010.
Former THPN beneficiaries were given the opportunity to be granted the Specific Residence Authorisation (SRA) automatically, provided that they have not been convicted of a serious crime and have a stable employment. Successful applicants will have their status renewed, subject to the fulfilment of the integration measures set out in the 2018 policy.
Failed asylum seekers who have been living in Malta before 2016 were also given the opportunity to obtain this new authorisation of stay. Applicants who satisfy the requirements set out in the SRA policy, including good conduct, stable employment, and efforts to integrate in the Maltese society, are issued with a residence permit, with a possibility of renewal.
The existing policy is being updated in order to streamline the provisions outlined in the original policy, mainly:
- To prove one’s integration efforts, applicants must provide an integration certificate issued by the Human Rights Directorate (HRD). Applicants who are awaiting to start or finish the integration courses may still renew their status. Others who do not have the ability to take the relative courses may provide in lieu an assessment report by the HRD.
- Applicants who were found guilty of an offence and were sentenced to a minimum of 12 months imprisonment shall be disqualified from obtaining the status. This also applies in the case of a suspended sentence.
- Family unity will be maintained on similar principles to the Maltese asylum legislation, provided that the family members also entered Malta irregularly prior to 31st December 2015. In this regard, spouses, partners and minor children who were already in Malta or accompanied the beneficiary at the time the said beneficiary arrived in Malta irregularly, and who prove that their residence in Malta has been registered by a Maltese authority, shall be granted the status even if they do not qualify for such status in their own right.
- The updated policy invests the responsibility on the authorities to provide unsuccessful applicants the opportunity to return to the country of origin voluntarily. Access will be provided to assisted voluntary return programmes in order to facilitate re-integration in the country of origin. Such process does not exclude forced return where applicable.
New applications for the SRA will be accepted until the 31st December 2020. Existing holders of the SRA will still be able to renew their status in accordance with the revised policy. Family members of existing SRA holders that fulfil the conditions outlined in the policy will still be able to acquire the SRA status even after 31st December 2021, including children born to parents who are both SRA beneficiaries.
The updated SRA policy can be accessed on Identity Malta’s website.