Having Maltese citizenship means citizenship in an EU Member State that is stable, neutral and highly respected, tying in a solid investment and a lasting bond with the country. There are currentlythree ways to acquire Malta citizenship and Maltese passports, with a fourth option to come into force soon.
Under Maltese law, the following are the three ways through which Malta citizenship and Maltese passports can be acquired:
- By birth > people born in or outside Malta need to satisfy certain criteria for them to be eligible for Malta citizenship, depending mainly on their date of birth;
- By registration> spouses of a Malta citizen after five years of marriage, widow/widower of a Malta citizen, children born abroad to Maltese mothers prior to 01/08/1989 and persons who are of second and subsequent generations born abroad of Maltese descent (two ancestors born in Malta) are all eligible for Maltese citizenship; and
- By naturalization> citizenship by naturalization is normally considered favourably if one is a former Maltese citizen; one is born abroad to Maltese parents who are returned migrants; one is born in Malta, holds a foreign citizenship and at least one parent is a Maltese citizen; one is born to parents who were non-Maltese but one of whom or both subsequently acquired Maltese citizenship, and if one is born abroad and is of Maltese descent. Foreigners with no marriage ties to a Maltese citizen, but who have obtained residency, can apply for citizenship as well; however such applications will only be considered after a long number of years on a case by case basis.
In addition to the above, new rules shall come into force soon, introducing a fourth option through which one can acquire Maltese citizenship. These rules shall allow for the granting of citizenship to duly qualified, reputable foreign individuals and families who make a significant contribution to the economic development of Malta.
Successful candidates will be granted citizenship through a certificate of naturalization, which can also be extended to include their dependents. The Maltese authorities guarantee an efficient application process, and strict due diligence and vetting of applicants, thus ensuring only highly respectable clients will be admitted.
Once a candidate is awarded Malta citizenship, this automatically includes EU citizenship, thus obtaining the right of establishment in all 28 EU countries and Switzerland. Other benefits include the ability to work and/or set up business in Malta and visa-free travel to more than 182 countries in the world, including the USA and Canada. The right to a Maltese passport is automatically inherited by descendants which are still unborn whilst those which are already born can be included in the application.
- Applicants must make a contribution of €600,000 and reside in Malta for a minimum of 3 years before applying for citizenship; Or
- Applicants may alternatively make a contribution of €750,000 and reside in Malta for 1 year before applying for citizenship.
- Moreover, the applicant is required to make a philanthropic donation of €10,000.
- Applicants must purchase a property for a minimum value of €700,000 or lease a property for at least €18,000 per annum.
Up to 400 citizenship applications are to be approved per year, capped at a maximum of 1,500 successful applicants.
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