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One can define citizenship as the legal bond between an individual and the state. Content of this bond is derived from national legislation. The bond is different in each country and may be subject to changes depending on political and social situation.

The Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap.188), amongst other matters, establishes who should become a citizen of Malta automatically by birth, and who can be registered or naturalized as a citizen of Malta. Acquisition of Maltese citizenship by registration means that a person, provided he satisfies the conditions established by laws has the right to acquire citizenship upon application. Prior to the year 2000, Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Malta contained quite substantive provisions regarding Maltese Citizenship, which were complemented by the provisions of the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap 188). Following the relative amendments the said Constitution contains now only the general principles and citizenship matters are regulated by the Maltese Citizenship Act. On the 1 August 2007, further amendments to the said Act were enacted.  As a result of these amendments, Maltese born abroad, who can prove descent from an ascendant and one of the parents of such ascendants were also born in Malta may acquire Maltese citizenship by registration.


Matters concerning citizenship and residence fall within the competence of the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security.
Ways of Acquiring Citizenship
Acquisition of Citizenship by Naturalisation
The Maltese Citizenship Act provides for the acquisition of citizenship by naturalization, whereby most of the provisions concerned give the Minister responsible for citizenship matters discretion in the grant of Maltese citizenship. A person is eligible to apply for Maltese citizenship if prior to his application he has resided in Malta for a period of five year. He is of good conduct. Such eligibility does not, however, give him the right to become a Maltese citizen. As has been mentioned the Minister has the discretion regarding the grant of citizenship and in general requests are acceded to in accordance with the relative policies.
Children of citizens of Malta who have not acquired citizenship automatically at birth or cannot apply for registration by descent can acquire Maltese citizenship by naturalization. Recently the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) was introduced into Maltese Citizenship legislation, whereby such persons and family members may acquire Maltese citizenship by naturalization. Further information in this regard will be given hereunder.
Acquisition of Citizenship by Registration
Spouses of citizens of Malta can acquire Maltese citizenship provided they satisfy the relative conditions.
Persons of Maltese descent can also obtain Maltese citizenship by registration provided that they can prove by documentary evidence such descent.
Regaining Maltese Citizenship
In the case of a Maltese citizen, who had lost the citizenship due to various factors, the Maltese Citizenship provides the legal mechanism in order that Maltese citizenship can be regained.
Dual Citizenship
As from 10 February 2000 the concept of dual citizenship became the rule and not the exception. Maltese citizens can retain any other citizenship which they hold.

As a result of such amendments foreigners who acquire Maltese citizenship are not required to renounce their foreign citizenship/s in order to retain their Maltese citizenship. Furthermore Maltese nationals who had lost their Maltese citizenship, in view, that Malta did not allow dual nationality, re-acquire their Maltese citizenship automatically provided that they satisfy the relative conditions. If such conditions cannot be satisfied the persons concerned the persons concerned can re-acquire Maltese citizenship by means of registration.

 Contact Name

The Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs Department

Evans Building
St. Elmo Place
Valletta VLT 2000

+356 2590 4000
+356 2590 4800
+356 2590 4821


 Contact Name 
Identity Malta Agency
Mediterranean Conference Centre
Old Hospital Street
Valletta VLT 1645
+356 21 225232