Maltese Citizenship for Exceptional Services to Malta

Investors, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Researchers, Athletes & Artists now eligible for Maltese Citizenship

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti co-authored with Antoine Saliba Haig | Published on 20 Nov 2020

Maltese Citizenship in light of the Nottebohm case

The Grant of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations, issued by means of Legal Notice 335 of 2017, the Government of Malta has introduced a route to Maltese citizenship by virtue of exceptional services to the Republic of Malta.

Maltese Citizenship: Exceptional Services 

Article 10(9) of the Maltese Citizenship Act after amendments in 2017 and July 2020, provides for the acquisition of Maltese Citizenship by individuals who render exceptional services to Malta in the following areas:

  • scientists, 
  • researchers, 
  • athletes, 
  • sports people, 
  • artists, 
  • cultural performers,
  • investors and 
  • entrepreneurs. 

Exceptional services are defined as services that are unusually excellent or manifestly superior at a local level, and refers primarily to contributions given by scientists, researchers, athletes, sports people, artists, cultural performers, investors and entrepreneurs. Maltese Citizenship is granted to the applicant who renders such exceptional services as well as all eligible dependants of such individual.

The Minister may grant a certificate of naturalisation as a citizen of Malta to an alien or stateless person, who has rendered exceptional services to the Republic of Malta or to humanity, or whose naturalisation is of exceptional interest to the Republic of Malta, and who satisfies the requirements prescribed under this Act. 

Forthe purposes of this sub-article "exceptional" means manifestly superior, and refers primarily to contributions by scientists, researchers, athletes, sports people, artists, cultural performers, investors and entrepreneurs:

Provided that the Minister shall also grant a certificate ofnaturalisation to an eligible dependent of an alien or a statelessperson who has rendered exceptional services to the Republic ofMalta through investment:

Regulator for Maltese Citizenship

The granting of citizenship for exceptional services will be regulated by a Regulator appointed by the Prime Minister of Malta in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The Regulator shall ensure that the process of naturalisation through exceptional services is duly followed.

Within the legal framework, an evaluation board will consider the person’s contributions and decide on the eligibility of that person for naturalization.  The Board shall evaluate applications for Maltese citizenship for exceptional services within 180 days from the receipt of the application and shall then relay its report to the Minister responsible for Citizenship.  It is the Minister responsible for Citizenship who must then evaluate and decide within 60 days whether the applicant should be granted Maltese citizenship for exceptional services to Malta.

Qualifying Criteria

An applicant for Maltese citizenship must satisfy the following criteria:

  • residence in Malta for at least 8 months preceding the date of the application
  • proof of ownership of residential property in Malta;
  • provision of exceptional services to the Republic of Malta or to humanity;
  • recommendation by two people who are qualified to act as sponsors.

Applications are subject to thorough due diligence checking performed by one or more internationally recognised due diligence agents.

Our Maltese Citizenship Services

The law firm is a leader in citizenship law and advises international families on all aspects of taxation, citizenship and residence law.  The law firm's Maltese citizenship law practice is lead by immigration lawyer Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti and senior partner Dr Priscilla Mifsud Partner.

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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056411

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Senior Lawyer

+356 22056446