The Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta provides for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship through naturalisation. Naturalisation is a legal act by which a non-Maltese citizen acquires Maltese citizenship after a period of continuous residence in Malta.

Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation: Requirements

Article 10(1) of the Maltese Citizenship Act lays down the legal requirements for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship through naturalisation. Article 11 on the other hand refers to the acquisition of Maltese citizenship by minors. It is important to note that the ultimate decision on whether to grant citizenship through naturalisation is at the discretion of the Minister responsible for citizenship who is not required by law to give a reason explaining his decision.

Article 10(1) stipulates that a non-Maltese national who is of full age and mental capacity can make an application to the Minister responsible for citizenship if he satisfies the following requirements:

  • That he/she has resided in Malta throughout the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application, and
  • That during the six years immediately preceding the said period of 12 months, he/she has resided in Malta for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than 4 years, and
  • That he/she has an adequate knowledge of the Maltese or English language, and
  • The he/she is of good character, and
  • That he/she would be a suitable citizen of Malta

In order to submit an application under this Article, an applicant needs to provide a copy of the current passport, all other expired passports and evidence for each year of residence in Malta such as work permits, FS3s , bank statements and payslips. The applicant is also required to submit his/her birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), passport and residence permit, Jobsplus working history, a lease agreement or contract of sale in Malta, an original police conduct and a letter stating the reason why the applicant wants to acquire Maltese citizenship.

As part of the application, an applicant is required to have two sponsors signing the application form who confirm that the applicant is of good character and would be a suitable citizen of Malta. One of the sponsors can be any citizen of Malta while the other sponsor is required to be a lawyer, a notary public, legal procurator, medical practitioner, a parish priest, or a public officer not below the rank of principal.

Applicants who are approved will be considered to have become Maltese citizens from the date on their certificate of naturalisation. Applicants are then required to register their foreign birth certificate at the Malta Public Registry.

Article 19 of the Maltese Citizenship Act stipulates that the Minister responsible for citizenship shall not be required to give any reason for the approval or refusal of a citizenship application submitted through naturalisation.

Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation: Minors

Article 11 of the Maltese Citizenship Act lays down the legal requirements for the acquisition of Maltese citizenship through naturalisation by minors. It stipulates that the Minister responsible for citizenship may grant Maltese citizenship to a minor child of a citizen of Malta. Thus, a parent who was not a Maltese national at the time of their child’s birth and at a later stage acquired Maltese citizenship, may submit an application on behalf of their child.

Together with the application, the parents are required to submit a passport sized photo of the minor, his/her birth certificate and current passport together with the parents’ passports and residence cards. The parents are also required to submit a letter stating why they are applying to naturalise their minor child as a citizen of Malta.

Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation: Applications

Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation Applications are to be submitted to the Maltese Citizenship Agency.  Our immigration firm has submitted numerous applications under this route.  Led by Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker, our winning Immigration & Relocation Law team is the oldest specialised immigration law practice in Malta. We have successfully represented individuals and families ranging from expatriate retirees, emigrants seeking citizenship and resience, to HNW individuals on the Forbes List.

We are able to advise you on the tax and legal implications and requirements of the Malta citizenship application process and indicate expected time frames based on the specific circumstances and nature of your application. Our advice covers the rules applicable to immigrating to Malta under a number of available residence and citizenship programmes as well as practical relocation assistance ranging from transportation and insurance to schooling and health insurance coverage.