Malta Citizenship by Birth

February 15 00:00 2020 by The Editor Print This Article

Maltese Citizenship by Birth

Previously,  between 21st September 1964 and the 31st July 2001, all children born in Malta automatically acquired Maltese citizenship at birth. This was however changed to a mark a shift from the ius soli to the ius sanguinis principle and from August 2001, a person born in Malta acquired citizenship at birth only if born to at least one Maltese parent.

Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Following the 2007 amendments the Citizenship Act now provides that those born outside Malta on or after the independence date, are entitled to apply for registration as Maltese citizens if they prove that they are the direct descendants of a Maltese ascendant born in Malta of a parent likewise born in Malta. However, if the applicant has parents, grandparents and other ancestors who are still alive and are also direct descendants themselves in this sense, they would also have to apply for Maltese citizenship under the new provision, as otherwise the Maltese citizenship link would have been broken down the line.

Read more on how to become a Maltese Citizen by Descendent

Persons of Maltese descent may be eligible for Maltese Citizenship by Descent.  Citizenship may be acquired through birth of an ascendant and his/her parent Maltese in Malta, making them eligible for registration for Maltese citizenship by descent. A person born outside Malta who proves that he is a descendant in the direct line of an ascendant born in Malta of a parent also born in Malta shall be entitled to be registered as a citizen of Malta.

Am I eligible for Maltese Citizenship by Descent?

Thanks to the 2007 amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act, Maltese citizenship by descent is open to persons of Maltese descent who are now eligible for Maltese citizenship by registration. A person born outside Malta who proves that he is a descendant in the direct line of an ascendant born in Malta of a parent also born in Malta shall be entitled to be registered as Maltese Citizen by Descent. This does not require any minimum physical presence in Malta as a pre-requisite for Maltese citizenship by descent.  If the applicant has parents or grandparents who are still alive and are also direct descendants themselves, the parents or grandparents are required to apply for Maltese citizenship to ensure the Maltese citizenship link is not broken.

Applying for Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Applications for Maltese citizenship by Descent are often made through Maltese lawyers specialising in citizenship matters.  This article should not be relied on as legal advice and you are advised to seek expert citizenship law advice from a suitably experienced lawyer based in Malta to assess and advise on your eligibility, assist with the preparation of the application and also help with following up your application after submission.

Other Ways of Acquiring Maltese Citizenship other than Descent

Other modes of acquiring citizenship in Malta include acquiring Maltese citizenship by investing in Malta. Here is how to become Maltese citizen through the MIIP - Malta Individual Investor Programme.

Alternatively, if you are not a national of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you are not eligible to become a Maltese citizen by descendant, you can opt for a residence by investment solution - the Malta Global Residence Programme. Here is how to apply for the Malta Global Residence Programme.

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