Malta, a Southern European island country, is the world’s tenth smallest and the fifth most densely populated country. However, the size of the country is inversely proportional to the strength of its passport. Malta is ranked among the 10 most powerful passports in the word. Since this island nation is a member of the Commonwealth as well as the European Union (EU), a Maltese passport holder can visit 165 nations without needing a visa. For those who love to travel or have business across the globe, Maltese citizenship can be a blessing. The Malta citizenship application process is easy and hassle-free.
The Malta citizenship application is governed by Chapter 188 of the Maltese Citizenship Act which came into force in 1965 when the island nation achieved independence. It was amended several times to make it more beneficial for those looking to enjoy the hospitality of Malta. One significant amendment that was made in 2013 was the introduction of the Malta Individual Investor Programme (IIP) or the citizenship by investment program.
Who Can Get Maltese Citizenship
Maltese passport can be held by reason of birth or by Malta citizenship registration. The process of getting Maltese citizenship by registration is a smooth one.
Broadly, Maltese citizenship can be obtained by fulfilling one of these conditions:
- Maltese citizenship by birth: Those born in Malta from and have at least one Maltese parent
- Maltese citizenship by descent: Those born outside Malta but from one Maltese parent
- Maltese citizenship by adoption: Those adopted by Maltese parents
- Maltese citizenship by marriage: Those married to a Maltese citizen
- Maltese citizenship by residency: Those foreigners living in Malta for six years or more
- Maltese citizenship by investment: Those making certain investments under the Malta citizenship by investment program
Malta Citizenship by Birth or Descent
As per the Citizenship Act, the Malta citizenship application can be made by those who have at least one Maltese parent. A foreigner can apply for citizenship if Malta is their birthplace and at least one of the parents is a Maltese. Alternatively, a foreigner can also apply for citizenship if they were born abroad but have at least one Maltese parent. Malta citizenship registration is not needed for such applicants.
Maltese Citizenship Application by Adoption
One of the reasons why obtaining Maltese citizenship is easy is because it is one of the most welcoming European countries in the world. If any Maltese citizen wants to adopt children from other countries, they can make a Maltese citizenship application and complete the Malta citizenship registration on behalf of adopted children, provided such children were below 10 years of age on the date of adoption.
Maltese Citizenship Application by Marriage
A person marrying a Maltese citizen can obtain Maltese citizenship by registration. However, certain conditions have to be met. The applicant must submit proof of having married a Maltese and must have stayed with them for at least five years. This is also applicable to a divorcee marrying a Maltese national.
Malta Citizenship Application by Residency
An easy way of obtaining Maltese citizenship and being eligible for Malta citizenship registration is becoming a resident of the country. First, a temporary residence permit can be obtained. This can be converted into a permanent residence permit later. Whoever wishes to obtain Maltese citizenship by residency must be a permanent resident of the country for six years and must have lived in the island nation for four years without interruption.
Maltese Citizenship Application by Investment
To obtain Maltese citizenship by investment, three conditions have to be fulfilled. A certain contribution is to be made for the development of Malta, there has to be a purchase of stocks or bonds, and there has to be a property transaction. The cost of these financial requirements, including government charges and Maltese citizenship application, would be under €900,000. The cost might be slightly higher for those who have a big family.
Life in Malta
Malta, located in the Mediterranean Sea, is a small island country with a pleasant climate all through the year, receiving sun for 300 days in a year. The climate of Malta is undoubtedly one of the most enticing reasons to settle down there.
Another great reason for settling in Malta could be the lower cost of living. Luxury apartments can be owned in less than half the price in Sweden and other Western countries. Healthcare and medical facilities are available at affordable costs too. Malta has been rated as being among the top six countries in the EU for excellent healthcare quality. The island nation is also well connected with cheap and affordable transportation.
Good and cheap education is yet another reason that makes Malta a desirable choice. Primary education is free of cost in Malta. The University of Malta offers a lot of courses for higher education at an affordable tuition.
English is a widely spoken language in Malta, making communication easy. Malta boasts of a lot of attractive work opportunities. According to a study, this small country is one of the best countries in the world to work in. While one can earn handsomely by taking up employment in Malta, living there can also reduce their tax obligations drastically since the country offers a lot of tax benefits and exemptions.
Last but not the least, Maltese nationals are among the nicest and kindest people in the world. They are welcoming and are known for going out of their way to help others.
Why Opt for Malta Citizenship
There are numerous benefits of holding a Maltese passport, the most obvious one being the liberty to freely move and reside in any of the European Economic Area as well as Switzerland.
- Citizenship for descendents: Once the Maltese citizenship application is approved and a Maltese passport is obtained, the descendant of the passport holder automatically acquire Maltese citizenship
- Good place for doing business: Absence of taxes such as the inheritance tax, estate duty, wealth tax, municipality taxes, and real estate tax make Malta an attractive place for conducting business.
- Safety and security: Malta is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world to live in.
- Good climate: For those coming from colder regions, this place can be a warm heaven.
- High standard of living: Compared to other European countries in the Mediterranean region, Malta has a high standard of living but at relatively low costs.
- Connectivity: Malta is an island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. Hence, it is accessible by sea too.
- Banking services: Major international banks have a presence in Malta, making it a good banking center, especially for those who have business interests in the country.
- Education system: Malta maintains high standards of education.
Documents Needed for Maltese Citizenship Application
The applicant must submit the Maltese application form along with due diligence documents. Additionally, the following documents need to be submitted:
- Proof of self-sustenance – This can be obtained by filling in an economic self-sufficiency form
- A copy of the passport
- A copy of global health insurance with a coverage of at least €50,000 ($56,227)
- Proof of financial resources, such as bank statements
- Application for naturalisation
- Electronic identity registration form
- Medical reports of the applicant
- Statement of annual income
- Statements quantifying the wealth of the applicant
- Details about family
- Proof of education
- Statement certifying that the applicant has a clean criminal record
- Marriage certificate
- Tax documents valid in the country of origin
- Address proofs and utility bills
Malta Passport Application
The Malta passport application process is very simple and quick. All that is needed is the right advisor and the right contacts to obtain a Maltese passport. The Maltese passport application form is available at the passport office. These can also be found at police stations, local council offices, famous travel agencies, etc. Alternatively, the Malta passport application form and other relevant documents can be downloaded from relevant websites.
About the Maltese Passport
Since 2008, biometric Maltese passports have been in use. These passports were issued by the passport office keeping in mind international standards and directives. The passport of this tiny island nation has an embedded chip which contains the facial image, signature and fingerprint biometrics of the applicant. For those who already have a passport and want to apply for a new one or update the old one, they too will receive a biometric Maltese passport.
About Maltese Passport Office
The passport office primarily issues passports to Maltese citizens. Apart from this, the passport office also provides passport-related assistance to the passport offices in Gozo, Maltese Embassies, Maltese High Commissions and Consuls.
The Maltese passport office is known for its quick services since it aims to issue the passport within four working days. In case of emergencies, the office expedites the process and issues the passport earlier. While issuing a passport is its primary function, the passport office also issues one-way travel documents to EU nationals and a document of identity to Non-EU Nationals.
The Maltese passport office also caters to people with special needs. For availing these services, one can go to Evans Building, Valletta.
Maltese Passport Application for Minors (Under the Age of 18 years)
To apply for a Maltese passport for minors under the age of 18 years, the Form A has to be filled by those applying for a passport on behalf of the minor. The date of birth of the applicant has to be filled with utmost care because the validity of the passport varies as per the age of the minor. Those under the age of 10 years will get a Maltese passport valid for two years. Those between the ages of 10 and 15 years will have a Maltese passport with a five-year validity. On the other hand, minors aged between 16 and 17 years, will get a passport valid for 10 years.
Keeping the children’s comfort in mind, the Maltese passport application process varies as per the age of the minor. If the child is six years or more, one passport size photograph has to be submitted. In the case of children below six years, two photographs are needed. However, in this case, these photographs would suffice. Such children need not be physically present at the office for verification.
If the Maltese passport application form is duly filled and all the conditions have been satisfied, the passport will be issued in four working days. To collect the passport, one of the parents will have to visit the passport office along with their ID card. Children above the age of 12 years will have to collect the passport themselves in the presence of one of their parents.
Maltese Passport Application for First-Timers Above the Age of 18 Years
Adults or those above the age of 18 years will have to duly fill Form A. The form will also have a separate section to be signed by a recommender. Any person can be a recommender provided they must have known the applicant for more than two years. This verification is only required in the case of first-time applicants.
Once the form is duly filled and complete, it needs to be submitted at the passport office. The applicant will then have to complete the biometric requirements and pay a certain sum of money as fees, either by cash, card or cheque.
If the Malta passport application form is filled correctly, a Maltese passport will be issued within four working days. The applicant must have a valid ID card while applying for and collecting their Maltese passport.
Maltese Passport Application for Refugees
An applicant who is a refugee will also have to fill form A and get it signed by a recommender who has known the applicant for more than two years. Those refugees who have a travel document must surrender their previous passport if they apply for a new one. For those who have a valid Maltese ID card, they need to present the same while applying for a Maltese passport.
To complete the Maltese passport application process, refugees must submit their Refugee Certificate issued to them by the Refugee Commission. The applicant must also pay the applicable fees. On meeting all the requirements, a Maltese passport is issued to the refugee applicant within four working days. The applicant must carry their Refugee Certificate while collecting their Maltese passport.
Maltese Passport Application for Aliens
For those applying for an alien passport, Form H must be duly filled. This form is available at Dar I-Emigrant, Emigrants Commission, Castille Place, Valetta. The director of Dar I-Emigrant must complete the said Form H or it must be completed in his presence. Alternatively, the director can authorise someone to complete the form. This form also needs to be filled and signed by the recommender, like in the case of adults, refugees, etc.
After due verification, the applicant will be called to be informed that their Maltese passport application has been approved by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Once this is done, the applicant must call the Emigrants Commission to fix an appointment for personal application. The applicant will have to complete the biometric formalities and must carry their Maltese ID card, Humanitarian/Subsidiary Certificate issued by the Refugee Committee. They must also pay the applicable fees.
If all the requirements are met, the applicant’s passport will be ready after 20 working days. Once the Maltese passport is collected, the applicant must surrender their Immigration Certificate issued by the police authorities.
Collective Maltese Passport Application
If a group of Maltese children (between 5 and 50) want to travel within Europe, the Passport Office issues Collective Passports. Form C must be collected by the group leader from the passport office which must be duly filled. They will need two recent coloured photographs of every child in the group for a collective Maltese passport application. One of every two photos must be signed by the recommender.
The application will be complete only if all the parents have given a form of consent. Such forms also need to be endorsed by the recommender. Also, both parents must sign the form of consent in the presence of the same recommender. Once the process is complete, each child will be issued a card with their full name and photo. The group leader can collect this card after one week of submission of the Maltese passport application form.
Issue of an Urgent Maltese Passport
The standard process takes four working days to issue a Maltese passport to those to apply for it. However, the passport office can also issue a passport within 24 hours for those who need an urgent passport, but certain conditions have to be met. Also, the reason for applying for an urgent passport must be one of the acceptable ones.
To apply for a Maltese passport on an urgent basis, the applicant must contact the Immigration Authorities at the Malta International Airport. This special service will cost the applicant some extra fee. Also, the applicant can expect an urgent passport only if they give prior notice. This must be done at least four hours before the scheduled departure.
If the passport provided on an urgent basis is lost, stolen or destroyed, no replacement passport can be provided after office hours.