6 Ways to Acquire Maltese Citizenship

November 5, 2018
Read: 7 minutes
Obtain Maltese Citizenship 

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How to Obtain Maltese Citizenship 

In the 21st century, acquiring citizenship in a politically stable and strong economy should be at the top of your list.
Acquiring second citizenship and as a result be in possession of a powerful passport is your golden ticket to the rest of the world. It gives you that reassurance that you, your family and your business are secure for the future with a worthy passport in your back pocket. There are a number of countries offering second citizenship to non- European nationals.
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In this article, we will explain how the Maltese passport is one of the strongest in the pack.
There are a few things to note when applying for Maltese Citizenship, such as the different types of applications and which program is best tailored for you.
It is important to understand that although you can acquire Maltese Citizenship by investment, there are other ways to obtain citizenship which might not be applicable to you.
Let us explain further.
In this article we will discuss:

Maltese Citizenship by Birth

Maltese Citizenship by Birth

The first process to acquire Maltese Citizenship is by birth.

Although this is not a process you can opt in or out of, it is still worth mentioning. Maltese Citizenship by birth came into the Maltese constitution on the 21st of September 1964. The Independence Constitution established who should become a citizen of Malta automatically by birth.

Previously the constitution stated that any person who is born on Maltese soil is a citizen of Malta from his or her date of birth.

For anyone who is born on or after the 1st August 1989, shall only be entitled to Maltese citizenship, if his or her father or mother was or is either a citizen of Malta. Maltese Citizenship can be granted if the parents were born in Malta.

This is a human right granted to all born in Malta. Also, newborn infants who are found abandoned in any location of Malta and deemed to be stateless.

Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Maltese Citizenship by Descent

The second method of applying for Maltese Citizenship is by descent.

For anyone who falls under this bracket, you must:

  1. Be a Maltese descent
  2. Submit the Maltese Citizenship application
  3. Take the oath of allegiance

For those wishing to apply, you must be of full age and must provide the necessary evidence that you are related to a person born in Malta.

It’s important to note that the acquisition of citizenship will only be granted by the Minister. If the Minister is of the opinion that it is not contrary to public interest.

Maltese Citizenship through descent is also applicable to those who have always been stateless and happen to be born in Malta. However, the applicant must be an ordinary resident for a period of five years at the time of the application submission.

Note: 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.

To summarize, to apply for Maltese Citizenship by descent you must;

  1. Related to a person born in Malta
  2. Stateless and born in Malta
Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation

Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation

The third pathway to apply for Maltese Citizenship in through an esteemed program called the Individual Investor Program. Perhaps you’ve heard of this scheme but you’re still unsure of the benefits it could give you and your family. 

Here are some of the immediate benefits: 

  1.  A European Passport;
  2. Visa-free travel to 183 countries including USA, Canada & Australia;
  3. Right to work and reside in 28 EU countries;
  4. The secure economic and political environment;
  5. Second citizenship to families;
  6. Investment opportunities;
  7. Citizenship granted for life; and
  8. Citizenship will be passed onto future generations.

 The Malta Citizenship by investment program is the first of its kind to be launched in Malta. 

The program aims to offer high net-worth individuals and their families an option to obtain a second citizenship. 

  1.  Thriving economy;
  2. Advantageous tax rates;
  3. Stable political environment;
  4. Centre of the Mediterranean;
  5. Property opportunities.

 Malta also forms part of the European Union and has been a member since 2004 together with the Schengen area since 2007. 

Like most Mediterranean countries Malta enjoys great weather and 300 days of sunshine which have a positive effect on its inhabitants. 

The Republic of Malta maintains a stable political climate together with a durable economy. Malta is, in fact, one of the few European countries along with Germany that was unscathed by the financial crisis. 

Click here to find out more about the Individual Investor Program. 

Maltese Citizenship by Marriage

Maltese Citizenship by Marriage

The fourth way to acquire Maltese Citizenship is by marriage. To qualify for this program you must: 

  •  Submit an application
  • Take an oath of allegiance
  • Be married for a minimum of 5 years
  • Be living with your Maltese spouse

In the event that the couple is separated, it is necessary that they would have lived together for a minimum of five years. The same rules apply in the unfortunate event that the applicant’s spouse is dead. 

Acquisition of citizenship will only be granted if the Minister is of the opinion that it is not contrary to public interest. 

Maltese Citizenship by Adoption

To be able to acquire Maltese Citizenship by adoption, the child who is adopted by Maltese citizens acquires Maltese citizenship automatically. The adopted child is provided to be less than ten years of age at the time of adoption by the Maltese Citizens. 

Maltese Citizenship at Independence

Maltese Citizenship at Independence

The sixth way to acquire Maltese Citizenship is at Independence. Citizenship was granted to nationals of the United Kingdom and Colonies to become Maltese citizens following independence. The criteria to acquire citizenship is: 

  • Direct family descent
  • Marriage
  • Permanent residence*

 *Before the appointed day 

The Maltese Citizenship Act

Malta is internationally renowned for its rich centuries-old culture which makes it so strong today.

The Maltese Islands which are located in the center of the Mediterranean where subject to a long list of colonizers. As nations continued to establish their dominance, Malta was always on the list of countries to capture due to its easy access and prime location. This brings us to the Maltese Citizenship Act which came into fruition in 1964, the year Malta became an independent state.

Regulating the laws for Maltese Citizenship was naturally one of the first things on the list.

The government of Malta clearly defined the main legislation that regulates Maltese Citizenship in 1964.

As the country moved from strength to strength the Maltese Citizenship Act was once again debated and eventually revised later on to meet with the EU laws. The Maltese Citizenship Act was last amended in 2013 with the highly anticipated introduction of the Individual Investor Program.

This has led to the 6 ways to apply or acquire Maltese Citizenship which we will discuss in further detail.

The Maltese Citizenship Act


Acquiring Maltese Citizenship is the pathway to working and living in the world’s largest economic zone and the luxury of visa-free travel to 183 countries. 

The Maltese citizenship act enables you and your family to secure your second citizenship. By default a powerful passport from one of the most secure countries worldwide. 

Although above we mentioned 6 ways to acquire Maltese Citizenship, as you can see the majority of them are linked to the family legacy. 

If you have no ties to the Maltese Islands then the only way to acquire citizenship is through investment. 

Wahaat’s team of professionals can guide you and your family further here.  Find more about the Individual Investor Program here.

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Malta Tax Structure

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Malta Individual Investor Program 
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