Maltese Citizenship by Birth

When Malta became an Independent State on 21st September 1964, the Independence Constitution established who would be entitled to an automatic claim to Maltese citizenship by either birth or descent and who may register as a citizen of Malta. The relative provisions of the Constitution regarding citizenship legislation were further complemented in 1965 with the enactment of the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap 188). Later in the year 2000, the provisions concerning the abovementioned citizenship matters were removed from the Constitution and included in the Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap 188).

Who became a citizen of Malta automatically with Malta’s independence?

Persons who were:

  • Born in Malta before 21stSeptember 1964 and at least one of their parents was born in Malta; OR
  • Born abroad but his/her father and a paternal grandparent were born in Malta; &
  • On 20th September 1964 they were still citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

Who automatically acquired Maltese Citizenship by birth between 21st September 1964 and 31st July 1989?

Persons who were:

  • Born in Malta during the said period provided that their father, who was not himself a citizen of Malta, did not enjoy diplomatic immunity in Malta; OR
  • Born abroad during the said period and at the time of birth their father was a citizen of Malta by birth (in Malta) or by naturalization or by registration.*

*Maltese citizenship shall not be transmitted to the child of a person who had acquired Maltese citizenship by registration on the basis of descent.

Who became a citizen of Malta by birth on or after 1st Augusut 1989?

Persons born on or after 1st August 1989 who were/are:

  • Born in Malta and at the time of their birth, their father or mother was/is a citizen of Malta or a person who enjoyed/enjoys freedom of movement (that is a person born in Malta of parents born in Malta before 21st September 1964) and ceased to be a citizen of Malta after emigrating; OR
  • Born abroad and at the time of their birth, their father or mother was a citizen of Malta by birth (in Malta) or by naturalization or by registration.*

*Maltese citizenship shall not be transmitted to the child of a person who had acquired Maltese citizenship by registration on the basis of descent.