Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | 24 Aug 2017

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Maltese Citizenship by Descent can be acquired on the basis of the birth in Malta of an ascendant and his/her parent, upon making the apposite application and taking the oath of allegiance.

Grounds for Eligibility for Maltese Citizenship by Descent

By virtue of the 2007 amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act, more persons of Maltese descent became 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 a citizen of Malta. In this case there is no residency requirement. Moreover, if the applicant has parents or grandparents who are still alive and are also direct descendants themselves, they would also have to apply for Maltese citizenship as otherwise Maltese citizenship link would have been broken. 

Ineligibility for Maltese Citizenship by Registration

An important provision found in the Maltese Citizenship Act holds that if the parent of an applicant was alive on 1st August 2007 and dies after 1st August 2010 without applying for Maltese citizenship, the link is broken and the applicant loses the right to apply.  If any of the ascendants died before 1st August 2007 or if the parent of the applicant dies within three years from this date without applying for citizenship, he or she would still be deemed to have acquired citizenship, safeguarding the right to Maltese Citizenship by Descent

Maltese Citizenship by Descent: Stateless Persons

The law also provides for other modes of acquiring Maltese Citizenship by Descent:

Under the Maltese Citizenship Act, where a person is of full age and capacity and happens to be a citizen of a country other than that in which he or she resides, and whose access to the country of which he or she is a citizen is restricted, may acquire Maltese citizenship if he proves descent from a person born in Malta. This is subject to the Minister’s opinion that the grant is not contrary to the public interest.

Where a person is and has always been stateless and happens to have been born in Malta may also be granted Maltese citizenship if he or she has been ordinarily resident in Malta for a period of five years at the time of the application. The applicant must not have been convicted in any country of an offence against the security of the state or sentenced in any country to a punishment restrictive of personal liberty for a term of not less than five years.

Our Maltese Citizenship Services

Our citizenship law practice is lead by Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, a tax and immigration law specialist who enjoys over 15 years of experience handling citizenship and residency cases.  JP holds licence no. IIP 001 and has satisfied the additional requirements imposed by the Citizenship Regulations over and above the requirements for ARMs under other legislation. More info about our Malta Citizenship Applications service.  Chetcuti Cauchi's Citizenship & Residency practices boasts over 10 immigration specialists and lawyers focusing exclusively on various routes to Maltese citizenship and residency, including Maltese Citizenship by Descent and Maltese Citizenship by Investment. We are a team of specialized Malta Immigration Agents and we have run a Malta immigration law practice for more than 15 years, handling the largest number of citizenship and residency applications in Malta. And We are proud of our 100% succes rate.

Maltese Citizenship and Residence by Investment

Are you not a national of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you are not eligible to become a Maltese citizen by descendent? You can still acquire Maltese citizenship by investing in the 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 descendent, 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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