Maltese Citizenship can be acquired by birth, descent, marriage, or residence depending on a number of factors and conditions. The Independence Constitution in 1964 established who was automatically entitled to Maltese citizenship while the Maltese Citizenship Act (Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta) further complimented these provisions. The Malta Citizenship Act has recently also been amended by means of Act XV of 2020.
The responsible office is the Citizenship Unit within Identity Malta which sets out the list of necessary documents that one needs to submit with an application for the confirmation or otherwise of citizenship by registration or naturalisation. Additional documents may also be requested by the said Authority.
The concept of dual citizenship was introduced in 1989 although at that time it was only limited to those persons who were born in Malta but later emigrated to another country of which they became citizens and had spent at least 6 years in the said country of emigration. In the year 2000 important changes were introduced to the legislation so that those who had ceased to be citizens of Malta could automatically reacquire Maltese citizenship subject to certain conditions.
Among potential applicants there are descendants, second or subsequent generation, born abroad of an ascendant born in Malta whereby one of the parents of the said ascendant was also born in Malta. Thus, the link between the ascendants and the applicant needs to be established by means of documentation including copies of birth certificates and marriage certificates where applicable. Conditions differ depending on whether a person was born in Malta or abroad, before or after specific dates set out in the law.