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Complete guide to becoming a citizen of Malta, the criteria, and FAQs

Malta is a beautiful place to work, live, and study; obtaining Malta citizenship is like securing your living. 

You will be able to live in a place that offers you everything you need for a better and safer lifestyle. However, you need to fulfill some requirements and criteria for Malta citizenship. 

How to Get Maltese Citizenship?

To get Malta citizenship, you have the following options:

  • Malta citizenship by birth. 
  • Malta citizenship by naturalization. 
  • Malta citizenship by registration. 
  • Malta citizenship by investment.
  • Malta citizenship by marriage.

Benefits of Malta Citizenship

Malta citizenship offers you different great benefits: 

  • You will have EU protecion. 
  • You can live, work, and study in all other EU countries.
  • You will have the freedom to travel to 185 different destinations, visa-free.
  • Malta is a beautiful place to live and own a second home in.
  • Malta is a very stable economic place to extend your international business. 

Malta Citizenship by Birth

Malta became independent on 21 September 1964- as such, anyone born in Malta after this date to at least one Maltese parent is also considered a Malta citizen. 

The conditions of obtaining Maltese citizenship depending on your birthdate and the conditions surrounding your birth are listed below.

If you were born before Malta’s independence (21 September 1964), you automatically obtained Malta citizenship if:

  • You were born in Malta before 21 September 1964, and at least one of your parents was born in Malta.
  • You were born abroad, but your father as well as a paternal grandparent was born in Malta. 
  • You were still a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies on 20th September 1964. 

If you were born between 21 September 1964 and 31 July 1989, you acquired Malta citizenship if:

  • You were born in Malta, and your non-Maltese father did not enjoy diplomatic immunity in Malta.
  • You were born abroad, and your father was a citizen of Malta by birth, naturalization, or registration. Maltese citizenship can not be passed down if your parent or grandparent has Maltese citizenship by registration based on descent. 

If you were born on or after 1st August 1989, you are considered a Malta citizen if:

  • You were born to a Maltese parent who had to give up their citizenship after moving abroad.
  • You were born abroad and at the birth time, either of your parents was a citizen of Malta by birth, naturalization, or registration. Maltese citizenship can not be passed down if your parent or grandparent has Maltese citizenship by registration based on descent. 
Note: If you were born in Malta, you do not need to apply for a residence permit. You can only submit the documents as proof of your origin and register as a citizen.

Malta Citizenship by Naturalization

You can apply for Malta citizenship by naturalization after at least 7 years of living in Malta with a residence permit. However, the process can be extended to 18 years. The conditions are as follows:

  • You are older than 18. 
  • You are considered a good person. 
  • You have knowledge of Malta and the Maltese language. 
  • You have lived in Malta with a residence permit within the last 12 months before applying for citizenship. 
  • You have lived in Malta for a minimum of four years during the six years which precede the twelve months mentioned above.

To apply for citizenship by naturalization, you must have two sponsors. The sponsors can not be your relatives. Their signature needs to confirm and complete the application process.

The first sponsor can be 

  • A member of parliament. 
  • A judge. 
  • A medical practitioner. 
  • A police officer not below the rank of inspector. 
  • A notary public.
  • A legal procurator.

The second sponsor can be a citizen of Malta who does not have any of the professionals mentioned above. Any citizen of Malta can be the second sponsor as long as they are over the age of 18.    

Malta Citizenship by Registration

You can apply for Malta citizenship by registration if: 

  • You are the spouse of a Maltese citizen, who has been married for five years, is still married, and living together. 
  • You are the widow or widower of a person who was a citizen of Malta before their death, and you were married together for at least five years. 
  • You are the widow or widower of a person who was a citizen of Malta before their death, and if not for the person’s death, you would have been married together for five or more years.
  • You are the widow or widower of a person who passed away before 21 September 1664. If it weren’t for their death, they would automatically become citizens of Malta since (they were born in Malta and their parents were born in Malta), and you were living with them when they passed away.
  • You are the child (born before 21 September 1964) to a mother also born in Malta, who on the date of your birth became a Maltese citizen or would have become a Maltese citizen, but passed away.
  • You are the child of a mother who was a citizen of Malta by birth, even if you were born abroad on or after 21 September 1964 and before 1 August 1989.
  • You were a former citizen of Malta and were born abroad, but did not live abroad for more than six years; therefore did not qualify for dual citizenship. 
  • You were a former citizen of Malta, and you gained your citizenship by either registration or naturalization. 
  • You are the grandchild or a child of a Maltese citizen. Please note that you can not be qualified for citizenship by registration if your grandparent is a Maltese citizen, but your parents are not. If you are a minor, your legal guardian must apply on your behalf. 

Malta Citizenship by Investment

Malta offers a citizenship by investment program that allows you to gain a Maltese passport if you can invest a specific amount in the country. For example, you can obtain Malta citizenship by investment within:

  • One year, if you invest an amount of €700,000 to the national development fund.
  • Three years, if you invest an amount of €600,000 to the national development fund. 

Malta Citizenship by Marriage

You can obtain citizenship in Malta by marriage if you are married to a Maltese citizen and have been married for at least five years. Since 2014, this also includes same-sex marriages.

Even if you are divorced, or your partner has died, you can still apply for citizenship as long as your marriage has lasted five years.

Does Malta Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Malta allows dual citizenship. This means you can keep the passport of your origin country while also obtaining the Malta passport. Remember that this rule applies only if your country of origin also allows dual citizenship. 

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