Citizenship of Malta

March 30 19:09 2020 by The Editor Print This Article

Maltese citizenship can be acquired by birth, by marriage, by descent or for exceptional services by direct investment in the Republic of Malta.   This page covers all modes of acquiring the Citizenship of Malta.

Citizenship of Malta by Birth

Persons born in Malta are deemed citizens of Malta as from the date of birth.  New-born infants found abandoned anywhere in Malta are granted Maltese citizenship and are deemed stateless until they establishes their right to any other citizenship.

Persons born on or after the 1st August, 1989, shall only be entitled to Maltese citizenship if their father or mother was or is either a citizen of Malta or was born in Malta. Applicants need to show their ordinarily residence in Malta for three years on the date of application and that have not been convicted in any country of an offence against the security of the state.

Citizenship of Malta by Descent

Person may obtain Citizenship of Malta if they are of Maltese descent by filing an application and taking the oath of allegiance in due course. Contact us for details of an eligibility assessment.

Citizenship of Malta for Exception Services

Citizenship of Malta may be acquired by persons who have rendered exceptional services to the Republic of Malta or to humanity. A certificate of naturalisation may be granted to the applicant and his/her spouse.

Citizenship of Malta by Direct Investment

Individuals and families who are willing to do business in Malta, invest in Malta or incorporate Malta in their lifestyle may acquire investor residency for 3 or 1 year and, upon passing a financial, criminal and reputational due diligence, may apply for Maltese Citizenship by Direct Investment conditional to making a significant qualifying direct investment in Malta.

Citizenship of Malta: Individual Investor Programme

The Malta Citizenship program, based on a significant financial contribution to and investment in Malta, was first introduced into Maltese law by amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act published in November 2013 and the granting of Presidential assent in February 2014 to the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations (Legal Notice 47 of 2014).  A citizenship quota of 1,800 families was set for the whole programme and this was reached in 2020.  (Amendments Expected to Malta Citizenship Programme in 2020)

Citizenship of Malta for Stateless Persons

Persons who are and have always been stateless and happen to be born in Malta may also be granted Maltese citizenship if he or she has been ordinarily resident in Malta for a period of five years at the time of the application. The applicant must not have been convicted in any country of an offence against the security of the state or sentenced in any country to a punishment restrictive of personal liberty for a term of not less than five years.

Malta Citizenship Applications

Citizenship applications must be made through Authorised Agents, legal and professional firms that represent applicants with Identity Malta, the authority set up to handle all aspects of immigration into Malta, especially the Malta Citizenship Scheme.

The shortest time frame within which a Certificate of Naturalisation may be issued under the Malta citizenship scheme is 6 months from date of application.  For cases which require further investigation or verification, the law allows a period of up to two years for the issue of the said certificate.

Duration of Malta Citizenship

Originally, the Maltese Government imposed a cap of 1,800 applications to the Malta Citizenship Scheme. However, after negotiations with the European Commission, the EU and the Maltese Government agreed that this cap would be unnecessary as nationality remained exclusively in the domain of national law of each member state of the EU.   The government has since stated that its position on the IIP will be considered again on reaching the cap but that it does not feel bound by a cap, even more so after the clarification on this point by the European Commission. 

Maltese Citizenship Impressions from the Expert

We spoke to Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti at the Valletta offices of top tier Maltese law firm Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates who specialises in tax and residence and citizenship by investment programmes around the world:

The Maltese Citizenship Programme legitimately places in the top tier of Citizenship by Investment Programmes in the world, offering a European way of life and standard of living, a Mediterranean quality of life and over 180 visa-free destinations. The Malta Individual Investor Programme is an exclusive programme for elite families able to prove their credentials and good standing.


Reference materials on Malta Citizenship