Maltese Citizenship Act
Malta Citizenship and its modes of acquisition are regulated by the Maltese Constitution and the Maltese Citizenship Act (Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta). Processing of Malta citizenship applications is done by Community Malta Agency, a Government Agency tasked with accepting and processing applications for the acquisition of Malta Citizenship through various routes including Malta Citizenship by investment, descent, naturalisation, registration and marriage. ACC Advisors Ltd is licensed to represent prospective applicants for Malta Citizenship.
Maltese Citizenship by Direct Investment
In July 2020 amendments were made to the Maltese Citizenship Act whereby the Government of Malta introduced a route to Malta Citizenship for exceptional services to Malta. Under article 10 (9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act, investors who are able to demonstrate that they have rendered exceptional services to Malta may apply for Malta Citizenship.
The Granting of Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment is regulated by the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (L.N. 437 of 2020). Under these Regulations, the Applicant must apply for residency in Malta through a licensed Malta citizenship agent (ACC Advisors Ltd) to whom a Power of Attorney to act on the applicant’s behalf is given. The applicant must then hold residence status in Malta for at least 36 months with an exception of 12 months against a higher investment, and pass an eligibility assessment, before applying for citizenship.
The applicant under these Regulations must satisfy all of the following requirements:
- Make a non-refundable exceptional direct investment of €600,000 after completing the 36 months requirement of holding residency status in Malta OR €750,000 after completion of at least 12 months of residency
- Purchase a residential property worth at least €700,000 or rent a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, which must be kept by the main applicant for a minimum of 5 years
- Donate a minimum of €10,000 to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic NGO or society
This is in addition to demonstrating connecting factors with Malta through personal, social, commercial, investment and philanthropic engagement with the host country Malta.
Maltese Citizenship by Descent
Following amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act in 2007, persons of Maltese descent became eligible for Malta Citizenship by registration if they can prove they are descendants in the direct line of an ascendant born in Malta of a parent also born in Malta. Whilst there is no residency requirement, if the applicant has parents or grandparents who are still alive and are also direct descendants themselves, they would also have to apply for Malta Citizenship as otherwise Malta Citizenship link would have been broken.
More on Malta Citizenship by Descent
Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation
What is Citizenship of Malta by naturalisation? It is a process through which a non-Maltese person (alien) is granted citizenship by the Minister at the time responsible for matters relating to Malta Citizenship, though a certificate of naturalisation if he/she satisfies the following requirements:
- He/she has resided in Malta throughout the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the application; and
- He/she has, during the six (6) years immediately preceding the said period of twelve (12) months, resided in Malta for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than four (4) years; and
- He/she is of good character; and
- He/she has an adequate knowledge of the Maltese or the English language; and
- He/she would be a suitable citizen of Malta.
Maltese Citizenship by Marriage
The Maltese Citizenship Act provides for the Acquisition of Malta Citizenship through Marriage. An individual who is the spouse of a Maltese national and has been married and living together for at least five (5) years can apply for Malta Citizenship. The Maltese Citizenship Act further provides that an application can also be submitted by a widow/er of a person who was a citizen of Malta if during the time of death, the widow/er had been married and living together with the now deceased person for at least five (5) years.