Malta’s Independence Constitution was established on the 21st September 1964 and this established that a citizen of Malta is created automatically by birth in the same islands. A new Citizenship Act was established in 2000 and here some new restrictions were created but some new categories of persons who can apply for citizenship were also introduced. Amendments to the Citizenship Act came into force on the 1st of August 2007 where it now became possible for second generation Maltese as well as future generations who were born abroad to acquire citizenship.
A short checklist will be useful to get to know what the conditions are when one is applying for citizenship.
You are entitled to apply for citizenship of the Maltese islands if you have been married to a Maltese man/woman and you have been living permanently on the island for at least five years. Upon applying, you still have to be married. However, if you have lived with the person for five years, you can still apply for citizenship even if you are undergoing separation proceedings or have been separated after the five year period.
If you are a widow/widower and have lived for at least five years after being married to a Maltese citizen and was living with him/her upon the time of death, you may also apply for citizenship. The same criteria apply if you had been legally separated from the citizen who died provided you had been married to that person for at least five years.
If you were born abroad of Maltese grandparents, you will also automatically become a citizen of Malta provided that your grandparents had been living together and had been married for at least five years, even if one of them had passed away before the 21st September 1964.
If you are a child who was born before 21st September 1964 and who was born in Malta automatically becomes a citizen of Malta. If you are a child that was born between 21st September 1964 and before 1st August 1989 outside of Malta to Maltese parents, then you automatically become a Maltese citizen in a dual capacity. A direct descendant or subsequent generation person can also apply for dual citizenship, in the case of a minor, the person who is the legal guardian will have to submit the application for citizenship.