Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 09 Nov 2016

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Naturalisation is the process by which an alien, that is a non-Maltese person, is granted Maltese citizenship and nationality, on condition that s/he satisfies a number of requirements laid down in Malta’s laws. Malta Citizenship by naturalisation, also referred to as citizenship by registration is often granted to persons with Maltese descent. However, this may also be granted on a humanitarian basis, as well as to persons who “have rendered exceptional services to the Republic of Malta or to humanity”. Moreover, since 2013, citizenship may also be granted on the basis of an investment to Malta through the Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Chapter II of the Constitution of Malta and the Malta Citizenship Act (Chapter 188 of the laws of Malta), are the main legislative instruments which deal with all the legal aspects of Malta’s citizenship law, including the attainment of Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation. Part V of the Malta Citizenship Act deals with the naturalisation of aliens and stateless persons, and establishes who may be eligible for Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation, lays down the conditions which a person must satisfy in order to be granted Maltese citizenship.

Who can become a Maltese citizen by naturalisation?

According to the 1987 Cabinet Citizenship Guidelines, applications which satisfy one of the following criteria shall be considered favourably:

  • If a person was a former citizen of Malta.
  • If a person was born abroad to Maltese parents who are returned migrants.
  • If a person was born in Malta, holds a foreign citizenship, and at least of his/her parents is a citizen of Malta.
  • If a person was born to non-Maltese parents, but one or both parents subsequently acquired Maltese citizenship.
  • If a person was not born in Malta, but is of Maltese descent.

According to the Malta Citizenship Act, aliens or stateless persons who are of age and capacity, may forward an application to the Minister according to a prescribed form. A certificate of naturalisation will be granted provided that the minister is satisfied that:

  • The applicant has been a Malta resident for a period of 12 months before an application is submitted.
  • Before the aforementioned period of 12 months, the applicant must have resided in Malta for an aggregate of 4 years, spread over a period of 6 years. In special cases, the Minister has the discretion to allow periods of residence earlier than seven years before the date of application to be taken in consideration when computing the aggregate mentioned.
  • The applicant must have an adequate knowledge of the Maltese or the English language.
  • The applicant must be of good character and would be a suitable citizen of Malta.

Malta Citizenship by Naturalisation – The application

Applicants who want to be naturalised to Maltese citizenship shall need to present the following documents:

  • The applicant’s birth certificate;
  • A copy of the applicant’s Passport;
  • Identity card;
  • A police conduct certificate;
  • Three passport-size photographs;
  • A letter explaining why s/he wishes to become a citizen of Malta;
  • In the acquisition of Maltese citizenship by naturalisation, the applicant must then find two sponsors who will be required to complete the relevant part of the application form.

At Chetcuti Cauchi, our team of immigration lawyers can assist you throughout the entire application process, thus ensuring that your application will be successful. Our longstanding experience in the field, extensive knowledge of the regulations and years of dealing and communicating with the local regulator have put us in a position to advise clients when submitting applications. We submit the clients' applications with confidence, knowing that all requirements have been satisfied.

The Malta Individual Investor Programme – Malta Citizenship by Investment

Affluent persons of impeccable standing and repute may opt to be naturalised and to receive Maltese citizenship on the basis of a contribution to Malta and a significant investment in the island through the Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Chetcuti Cauchi has gained the reputation of a key player in the sphere of residency and citizenship law in Malta. The firm was the first to be granted ‘Approved Agent’ status by Identity Malta, and holds Citizenship Agent Licence no.IIP 001. We have represented the first group of HNW and UHNW family applicants as part of the pilot programme, and continue to assist clients seeking Maltese Citizenship, vaunting a 100% success rate on all applications submitted.

For more information regarding fast-track Malta Citizenship by Investment, please click here, or contact one of our immigration lawyers.


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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Global Managing Partner & Founder

+356 22056411

Mr Kenneth Camilleri

Senior Partner, Global Immigration & Tax

+356 22056414

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Legal Associate

+356 22056446

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