Many Europeans move to Malta. The attraction of island life, sun and the Mediterranean can prove quite alluring to some. EU Freedom of Movement laws and Maltese residence permits will enable you to relocate to Malta and get set up, at least for a few years. But what do you do if you decide that you want to stay for the long haul, possibly forever? The best way to ensure those rights is to obtain Maltese citizenship.
The road is tough and challenging, but here is what you need to know to do just that…
Know Your Path to Citizenship
The first thing that you must obviously do is reside in Malta. This is the same process, no matter whether you are an EU citizen or a non-EU citizen. The amount of time you must live in Malta varies depending on which category you fall into, so you must note the difference straight away. Both can see you acquire Maltese citizenship with residence, but they are not the only ways in which you can become a citizen of Malta.
Ordinarily, EU citizens can apply for citizenship after living for six consecutive years in the island country. For non-EU citizens, this rises to 18 years. Citizenship based on residence can only be issued once these criteria have been met, and there are no restrictions on dual nationality, so you can be a citizen of Malta and your original, home country.
Citizenship Through Other Means
It is possible for you to obtain Maltese citizenship through other means, too. If you have at least one Maltese parent (irrespective of where you were born), you can acquire citizenship by birth. If you are legally married to a Maltese national or adopted by Maltese parents, you can also claim citizenship. You may also claim Maltese citizenship by residing in Malta through the Individual Investor Program.
Perks to Maltese Citizenship
There are perks to becoming a citizen of Malta. For a start, you will have the same rights as Maltese nationals. Moreover, you will be allowed to live and work in Malta, indefinitely. You can travel freely to all other European Union countries, and you can become a Maltese citizen without relinquishing your nationality of birth. Maltese citizens can work freely in all other EU countries, and starting up a business in Malta is ideal, as they have one of the lowest taxation rates in the world.
Becoming a Maltese Citizen
As with becoming a citizen of any country outside your birth, there are a few hoops you are going to have to jump through. Moreover, you need to be committed to your adopted nation, as acquiring citizenship is a long process for many. However, the perks are unquestionably worth the wait if you intend on spending a large chunk of your life living in the Mediterranean country. Anybody interested should visit a Maltese immigration lawyer, or the migration authorities in Malta to see how they might qualify for Maltese citizenship.