Legislation Constitution of Malta - Chapter 3 Maltese Citizenship Act (Cap 188)
How Maltese Citizenship is acquired A person can be a citizen of Malta: by birth (in Malta or abroad), or by registration, or by naturalization
By birth Articles 3 and 5 of the Maltese Citizenship Act refer Article 3 Persons born in Malta prior to 21/9/64: Jus solis and jus sanguinis principle: One of the parents also born in Malta
Continues…… Persons born in Malta 21/9/64 – 31/7/1989: Maltese citizenship acquired by mere birth in Malta 1/8/1989 – to date: the jus solis and jus sanguinis principle applies again, one of the parents has to be a citizen of Malta.
Birth outside Malta: Article 5 Prior to Independence and during the period 21/9/64 – 31/7/1989: Maltese citizenship transmitted through the father only (in certain circumstances if child born out of wedlock through the mother) From 1/8/1989 – to date : Citizenship transmitted through the father and the mother NB Maltese citizenship is not automatically transmitted in the case where the parent was also born outside Malta.
By Registration In such circumstances it is of right Who acquires citizenship by registration? The spouse of a citizen of Malta after five years of marriage (certain conditions apply – couple should have lived together for 5 years and the grant of citizenship is not contrary to the public interest) Children born abroad to Maltese mothers prior to 1/8/1989 Persons who are of second and subsequent generations born abroad of Maltese descent (two ancestors born in Malta)
By Naturalization Acquired… By Adults: On the basis of residence in Malta By Children: Who are still minors Grant of citizenship by naturalization is discretionary: The Minister responsible for citizenship matters grants citizenship in accordance with current policy guidelines.
Dual citizenship As a result of amendments to citizenship legislation in 1989 and 2000 (Previously dual citizenship was only possible until the person concerned attained his/her 19 th birthday) Malta accepts the concept of dual or multiple citizenship. From the year 2000, it is no longer the exception but the rule.
Family members of Maltese nationals They enjoy “exempt person” status
What is “exempt person status” ? In accordance with Article 4(1) of the Immigration Act (Cap 217) persons enjoying such status do not require permission to reside and work in Malta Among the list of persons enjoying such status one finds: The foreign spouse of a citizen of Malta and dependent children under 21 years of age. (Such status would be automatically lost if the couple are not living together).
Document confirming such status In the case that such family members are EU nationals a letter is issued by the Department confirming such status. On the other hand if they are third country nationals they should have in their passports a residence document in the form of a sticker reflecting such status. In the space reserved for category on the said sticker the words “Persuni Ezenti” appear.
EEA Nationals and their family members EEA nationals and their family members have the right of free movement in accordance with the Acquis Communautaire in this field. The Treaty, the relative directive/s and relevant regulation give such right. Swiss nationals enjoy free movement in accordance with the provisions of a special agreement between EU and Switzerland. Provisions regarding free movement implemented in Maltese legislation by means of Legal Notice 191of 2007 EEA nationals (currently with the exception of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals) and their family members (those defined in the Legal Notice 191/2007) have equal rights as Maltese citizens as regards access to the labour market
Administrative procedures Persons exercising a Treaty right in Malta are required to register with the Department for Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs. Such registration is not mandatory during the first 3 months of residence in Malta. EEA nationals are issued with a registration certificate by the Department. Family members who are third country nationals are issued with a “residence card” in the form of sticker affixed on their passport
Further Information For further information regarding eligibility of family members who are third country nationals (TCNs) of EEA Nationals for employment with the Public Sector kindly contact the Public Service Commission for advice. Information on citizenship and immigration matters can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: http://www.foreign.gov.mt/default.aspx?MLEV=52 &MDIS=19 http://www.foreign.gov.mt/default.aspx?MLEV=52 &MDIS=19