There are a plethora of benefits that come with having Maltese citizenship. This explains why it is not very easy to get citizenship in Malta. According to the Maltese legislation Amendment Act of 2013, there are three major categories by which one can obtain Maltese citizenship.
Citizenship by Birth
All individuals born in the state automatically become citizens on the very day of birth.
Citizenship by Descent
The Maltese legislation, amendment of 2007 made it possible for individuals born by a Maltese parent to acquire citizenship by descent. The only prerequisite is to provide substantiation that one is from a Maltese family through their parent. If the individual has other non-citizen relatives who are also of the lineage, they can also be registered for citizenship.
Citizenship by Naturalization
This is when a foreigner is made a citizen by the Minister in charge during that period. The applicant is obliged to pass specific expectations before they can be issued a naturalization certificate. These expectations relate to the period of stay of the individual in Malta and their general character in society. It is expected that an applicant should have lived in the state for a minimum of 6 years, with 4 of them uninterrupted. Prior to the application, the individual should have been in the country for a year. Other requirements relate to the character of the applicant which should be acceptable and they have to be eloquent in either English or Maltese language.
In other cases, citizenship by naturalization can be conceded when there is a situation of guardianship at play. If the applicant is a guardian to a child who is Maltese he/she can get citizenship by naturalization. On the other hand, a child who is dependent on a Maltese guardian could also be issued citizenship. In both cases, the Minister after going through the details has the power to grant them citizenship. Furthermore, if an applicant can show that they are a descendant of Malta, they can also be granted citizenship by naturalization.
Citizenship by registration
The acquirement of Maltese nationality by registration happens when an individual gets married to a Maltese citizen. The legislation does not only accommodate individuals who are legally married to citizens to register but also widows and widowers to a deceased Maltese citizen. Moreover, a non-Maltese not married through legal means can still register for citizenship if they finally have a wedding after residing together for five years.
Citizenship by investment
The government also made it possible for foreign individuals to acquire citizenship through investor programs appropriated by the EU. The EU introduced programs that allow people to move to other member states because of business or personal reasons. This type of citizenship is not temporary, it’s a permanent arrangement. People who acquire citizenship through this process benefit from the flexibility of the process which allows the whole family to become citizens including adult children. Descendants will spontaneously become citizens afterward. In Malta, the processes to get citizenship only takes four months.
For more insights on the Maltese citizenship, you may contact SIGTAX. Our invaluable team, which consists of expert lawyers, accountants and consultants will give you detailed information and counsel during each step. Our lawyers can also provide you with finer details on the legal aspects pertaining to citizenship in Malta so that you don’t skip any necessary steps.