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Health Entitlement to Refugees/Migrants

1. Status: Before applying for protection

Definition: This refers to the period between when a third country national (TCN) or stateless person has disembarked following a SAR (Search and rescue) operation and the time when that person applies for international protection.

Rights (re health entitlement): These persons are entitled to emergency healthcare and essential treatment of illnesses, including of serious mental disorders. 


2. Status: Asylum-seeker/applicant for international protection

Definition: a third country national (TCN) or a stateless person who has made a request for protection in Malta, in respect of whom a final decision has not yet been made.

Documents: In possession of an Asylum-seekers Document issued by the Office of the Refugees Commissioner.

Rights (re health entitlement): These persons are entitled to receive the necessary health care which shall include, at least, emergency care and essential treatment of illness and of serious mental disorders. Also, necessary medical or other assistance should be provided to applicants who have special reception needs, including appropriate mental health care where needed.


3. Status: Refugee Status

Definition: a third country national or a stateless person who has been recognised as a refugee in Malta in line with Article 1 of the 1951 Geneva Convention.

Documents: In possession of a refugee protection card (valid for three years) issued by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner stating that the person has been granted refugee in Malta, and a residence permit issued by Identity Malta also valid for three years.

Rights (re health entitlement): Persons who are awarded refugee status are entitled to receive State medical care.


4. Status: Subsidiary Protection Status

Definition: a third country national or a stateless person who has been granted subsidiary protection in line with Article 15 of EU Directive 2011/95/EU

Documents: In possession of a subsidiary protection card  (valid for three years ) issued by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner stating that the person has been granted subsidiary protection status in Malta, and a residence permit issued by Identify Malta also valid for three years.

Rights (re. health entitlement): Persons granted subsidiary protection status are entitled to receive State medical care.


5. Status: Temporary Humanitarian Protection (THP) Status

Definition: a third country national or a stateless person who is found not be eligible for recognition as a refugee or a beneficiaries of a subsidiary protection, but who are nonetheless considered to be in need of protection due to special humanitarian reasons.

Documents: In possession of a (THP) protection card (valid for one year) issued by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner and a residence permit issued by Identity Malta also valid for one year. 

Rights (re health entitlement): Persons granted Temporary Humanitarian Protection status are entitled to receive State medical care.


6. Status: Failed Asylum-seeker/Rejected

Definition: a third country or a stateless person who is found not eligible for recognition as a refugee or beneficiary of a subsidiary protection.

Documents: In possession of an immigration booklet (yellow colour and the size of a passport) issued by the Immigration Police. 

Rights (re health entitlement): These persons are entitled to life saving medical assistance.


7. Status: Appellant from Refugee Commissioner’s decision (Asylum Seeker/applicant for international protection)

Definition: a third country or a stateless person who is found not eligible for recognition as a refugee or beneficiary of a subsidiary protection by the Refugee Commissioner and who has appealed the decision before the Refugee Appeals Board.

NB - The legal status of appellants reverts to that of asylum seeker.

Rights (re health entitlement):  These Persons are entitled to receive the necessary health care which shall include, at least, emergency care and essential treatment of illness and of serious mental disorders. Also, necessary medical or other assistance should be provided to applicants who have special reception needs, including appropriate mental health care where needed.


8. Status: Temporary Humanitarian Protection Status N (THPN)

Definition: This administrative procedure is granted ex-gratia to failed asylum-seekers/rejected persons, who entered Malta before 2008 and who could not be returned to their country of origin due to legal or factual reasons and through no fault of their own, and who have integrated into Maltese society.

Documents: In possession of a THPN protection card (valid for one year) issued by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner and a residence permit issued by Identity Malta (also valid for one year) and a residence permit issued by Identify Malta (also valid for one year). (The card is renewed as long as the beneficiary still meets the eligibility criteria or protection has been withdrawn.)

Rights (re health entitlement): These Persons are entitled to life saving medical assistance. 


9. Status: Specific Residence Authorisation (SRA)

Definition: Persons whose application for international protection has been finally rejected by the relevant asylum determination authorities may be granted a Specific Residence Authorization after an assessment based on the criteria and guidelines outlined below has been carried out by Identity Malta in cooperation with the immigration authorities.

Documents: In possession of a document issued by Identity Malta Agency confirming the granting of a Specific Residence Authorization.

Rights (re health entitlement): Access to State medical care according to the Specific Residence Authorization policy of 2018.