Malta Citizenship

Citizenship in Malta

This website is the Malta Citizenship information site run by  Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker, the Malta member of CCLEX, a global professional association of immigration lawyers and citizenship consultants.

Maltese citizenship is governed by the Maltese Citizenship Act. 

Maltese Citizenship by Birth

Between 21st September 1964 and the 31st July 2001, all children born in Malta were automatically entitled to Maltese citizenship at birth. From August 2001, Malta switched from a ius soli to a ius sanguinis jurisdiction.  A person born in Malta acquired citizenship at birth only if born to at least one Maltese parent.

Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Following amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act in 2007, persons of Maltese descent became eligible for Maltese 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 Maltese citizenship as otherwise Maltese citizenship link would have been broken.  More on Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation

What is naturalisation? It is a process through which a non-Maltese person (alien) is granted citizenship by the Minister (the Minister at the time responsible for matters relating to Maltese citizenship, from here onwards referred to as “the Minister”) though a certificate of naturalisation if he/she satisfies the following requirements:

  • He/she has resided in Malta throughout the twelve months immediately preceding the application; and
  • He/she has, during the six years immediately preceding the said period of twelve months, he has resided in Malta for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than four 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.

Moreover, naturalisation can also be obtained if the applicant can prove Maltese descent or if he/she has authority over a minor child who is a citizen of Malta. In addition, a minor may be granted citizenship by naturalisation if he/she is under the authority of a Maltese citizen.

Maltese Citizenship by Exceptional Services

July 2020 witnessed amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act whereby the Government of Malta introduced a route to Maltese citizenship for exceptional services to Malta.  Under article 10 (9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act , individuals who are able to demonstrate that they have rendered exceptional services to Malta in the following areas may apply for Maltese Citizenship for exceptional services scientists , researchers, athletes, sports persons, artists, cultural performers, investors, entrepreneurs.  More on Malta Citizenship by Exceptional Services

Maltese Citizenship by Marriage

Acquisition by Registration is the registration for Maltese citizenship by a person who marries a citizen of Malta. The Maltese Citizenship Act further provides that such person may only be granted citizenship if, at the time of application, he/she is still married to a Maltese citizen or is his/her widow. Furthermore, if it is the case that they are not still married, either through de facto or de jure separation, the non-Maltese person may still apply for Maltese citizenship if, upon the celebration of their marriage, they had been living together for at least 5 years.