Malta is becoming one of the most preferred destinations for investors and expatriates from around the world. This is owed to its stunning climate, attractive business opportunities among other reasons. Like any other country, the Maltese government has put in place a number of laws and regulations to control the immigration and the acquisition of citizenship in the country. The Maltese Citizenship Act was established for the purpose of individuals in need of citizenship in Malta.
According to the Maltese citizenship Act, foreigners from European Union member states can become permanent residents of Malta after living for a minimum of 6 years in the state. A few more years are expected for foreigners outside Europe to become Maltese nationals. The legislation requires non-EU tenants to have resided in Malta for at least 18 years to be eligible for citizenship. There is no other way to acquire citizenship by a residency in Malta unless these conditions have been fully met.
For individuals wishing to have dual citizenship, it’s acceptable with the government except if the subject engages in tax misappropriations through domiciliation of one of either state.
An outline on ways to become a Maltese citizen:
The prescribed ways through which foreigners could become citizens are by:
Birth - if born in the country with one of the parents being a citizen of Malta
Descent – if born out of the country with one of the parents being a citizen of Malta
Residency – if they are foreign EU citizens who have resided in Malta for over six years
Marriage – if married to a citizen of Malta
Adoption – if adopted by a couple who are citizens of Malta
Investments – by means of participation in some investment programs
Becoming a citizen in Malta
All the above conditions qualify an individual to attain citizenship in the state of Malta. Individuals born where either of the parents is Maltese qualify to apply for citizenship. This condition applies for both persons born inside or out of the state. Those born inside the state qualify for citizenship by birth, while the later qualify by descent. For individuals who cannot become Maltese by birth, the simplest route is to become a Maltese nationality by residency. In the steps to acquiring a Maltese citizenship by residency, one has to get a temporary residence permit before getting a permanent one. It is from this point after living in the state for six years that an individual can get citizenship. Within the six-year period, four of them have to be continuous! The same conditions apply for foreigners outside Europe. However, these may need a work permit before a residence permit.
Marriage and adoption
Marriage is the other means one can become a citizen in Malta. A person legally married to a Maltese citizen can apply for citizenship if they have been married for at least 5 years, this also applies to divorced individuals. The legislation also allows adopted children of less than 10 years of age to be given citizenship.
The investor program
The individual investor program is for foreigners who can become citizens by participating in the National Development and social fund. The applicant must have continuously lived in the state for a year before the application. The applicant must submit evidence of owning a property in the state including proof of having stayed in the state for a year. For more information conduct the Maltese state lawyers.
Documents required to get citizenship under the investor program
Some of the documents needed when making the citizenship application are copies of passport, health insurance, bank statements, medical report and a police clearance among others. The processing of the paperwork may take up to half a year before the naturalization certificate can be produced under the investor program.
For more insights on Maltese citizenship, you may contact SIGTAX. Our invaluable team, which consists of expert lawyers, accountants and consultants will give you detailed information and counsel in each step. Our lawyers can provide you with finer details on the legal aspects pertaining to citizenship in Malta so that you don’t skip any necessary steps.