Frequently Asked Questions

General questions on integration 

Q1. What is the purpose of I Belong Programme?

The I Belong​ Programme aims to facilitate integration. Integration is a complex process that requires multiple steps, as well as a strong sense of commitment. Given that integration takes place within a community, it is key to take the initiative to start feeling part of the local community and society.

 

Q2. How can the I Belong Programme and the Intercultural and Anti-Racism Unit help me integrate in Malta?

The Intercultural and Anti-Racism Unit’s (IARU) services assist individuals wishing to integrate into the Maltese society primarily through Maltese and English language courses, as well as cultural orientation courses. The language courses focus on daily use to facilitate a person’s integration into society. The cultural orientation covers the social, cultural, economic, and historical aspects of Malta and the constitution, law and democratic values. Through the Stage 2 courses, the IARU helps migrants to fulfil the integration criteria established by Identity Malta to acquire a long-term residence permit.  

 

Q3. Do I have to submit an integration request?  

Yes, an integration request must be submitted by filling in this form.

 

Q4. Can everyone – regardless of status or country of origin – apply for the courses?  

All migrants may apply for the courses in Stage 1 and 2. Priority for Stage 2 is given to persons who intend to lodge an application for a long-term residence status with Identity Malta.  

 

Q5. Must I reside in Malta to benefit from this course? 

Yes, applicants must be in possession of a valid residence permit and intend on staying in Malta long term.

 

Q6. What do I need to do to get a long-term residence permit?

A number of criteria to achieve the long-term residence permit have been set up by the Expatriates Unit at Identity Malta. It is best to contact them for more information on:

Email: noneu.ima@gov.mt

Website: https://www.identitymalta.com/unit/expatriates-unit/

 

Q7. How long would it take to finish the Stage 1 & 2 courses?  

Stage 1 consists of 20 hours of Maltese language courses, 20 hours of English Language courses and 20 hours of Cultural Orientation courses. Stage 1 classes are two-and-a-half hours long, given once per week. Completion of Stage 1 should take a minimum of 8 weeks.  

Stage 2 consists of 120 hours of Cultural Orientation courses (around 50 weeks/1 year) and 50 hours Maltese Language courses (minimum 25 weeks/6 months).  

Stage 1 and 2 participants may opt to attend more than one subject per week, depending on availability.

The time to complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 is dependent upon how many classes will be held per week.   

 

Q8. Is it true that if I attend and successfully completes both stages, I would be given a Long-Term Residence permit?  

No. Attending and successfully completing both stages would only fulfil one of the criteria needed to attain a Long-Term Residence permit, namely ‘evidence of integration measures.’

  

Q9. What other benefits would I get if I complete the courses?  

Knowledge of Maltese and English languages as well as awareness of central aspects of life in Malta are key components of successful integration. The Programme also provides a platform to socialise and build new friendships.

 

Q10. Can I still apply if I don’t know how to read and write? 

Yes. In this case, client will attend the required Foundation Courses at Life Long Learning prior to participating in I Belong courses.

  

Courses information – Stage 1 

Q11. When are the lessons going to start?  

Applicants will be notified (average) three weeks before starting date.  

 

Q12. Where are the lessons going to be held?  

Lessons are held either Online, MCAST Paola, or MCAST Mosta. Clients may state their preference during Integration Request Meeting.   

 

Q13. What time are lessons held? 

Monday – Friday: 17:00-19:30 

Saturday: 08:30-11:00 

                  11:30-14:00 

Client’s availability will be confirmed during the Integration Request Meeting.  

 

Q14. How many times per week will I have classes? 

Classes are held once a week for a period of eight weeks, per skill kit.  

Total number of classes: 8 

Times per week: 1 

Total period of course: 8 weeks 

 

Q15. I work in the morning. Can I attend a Stage 1 courses in the evening?  

The date, time and location of the classes will be discussed during the Integration Request Meeting.  

 

Q16. If I already have a Maltese Language MQF Level 1 certificate, would I still need to participate in Stage 1 Maltese language?  

No, clients who present an MQF Level 1 certificate in Maltese Language are exempt from doing I Belong Stage 1 Maltese Language. 

 

Q17. If I am proficient in the English Language, would I still need to participate in Stage 1 English Language?

No. Client’s language skills will be evaluated during the Integration Request Meeting. A Personal Integration Plan will be mapped accordingly.  

 

Q18. Do I need to pay for the courses?

No, courses are free of charge. However, if applicants drop-out without a valid reason or do not pass the assessment, applicants may be asked to pay the course fees if they wish to recommence the course.  

 

Q19. What happens after I submit my application?

The IARU offices will get in touch to schedule a one-to-one Integration Request Meeting. This meeting may be held on WhatsApp or in person. 


Course information – Stage 2

Q20. When can I submit my Stage 2 application?

Application for Stage 2 may be submitted immediately upon successful competition of Stage 1.

The Stage 2 Application Form is found on this link.

 

Q21. Is a Pre-Integration Stage 1 Certificate a prerequisite for Stage 2?

Yes, a Pre-Integration Certificate granted upon completion of the Stage 1 courses is required to enrol in Stage 2.

 

Q22. What does the course assessment consist of for Stage 2?

For Stage 2 the Cultural Orientation Course will be assessed through participation and attendance and a small spoken project at the end (75% pass mark). The Maltese for Integration language course is assessed on class participation and an exam (65% pass mark). The applicants will be tested on an appropriate level of reading, writing, listening and speaking, in the exam.

 

Q23. If I already have both a Maltese MQF Level 2 certificate with a pass mark of at least 65%, and a course of at least 100 hours in Maltese cultural orientation, would I still need to participate in Stage 2? What would be the next step to get my Long-Term Residence permit?

It is only necessary for applicants for Long-Term Residence who have not already achieved a 65 % pass mark in MQF Level 2 Maltese, to participate in the Maltese course in Stage 2.

As for the cultural orientation component, only the cultural orientation course of Stage 2 of the 'I Belong' programme will be valid to satisfy the Long-Term Residence requirements on integration, besides the Maltese language component.

 

Q24. How long (on average) will it be before certificate of Stage 2 is issued in view of Long-Term Residence permit?

Certificates are issued almost immediately.

 

Q25. For how long are Stage 2 certificates valid?

Stage 2 certificates are valid for LTRP application for a period of 1 year. Applicants are encouraged to consider this when applying for Stage 2

 

Q26. If I have other questions, who can I contact?  

For further inquiries, contact Human Rights Directorate on 22263210 or visit our offices.

Please provide the mobile number used for applying when contacting HRD.   

 

Opening times:          

Winter hours: Monday – Friday from 07:00 -16:00.  

Summer hours: Monday – Friday from 07:00 - 13:00. 

 

Address: Human Rights Directorate, A3 Tower, Level 0, Triq L Arkata, Paola 

Email: ibelongcourses@gov.mt