Prior to 2013, under Maltese Law, there were three ways by which Malta citizenship and Maltese Passports can be acquired, namely:
- By birth – People born in or outside Malta need to satisfy certain criteria for them to be eligible for Maltese citizenship, depending mainly on their date of birth;
- By registration – A person has the right to acquire citizenship upon application under the provisions of the Maltese Constitution; and
- By naturalisation – A person may acquire Maltese citizenship by naturalisation through the Maltese Citizenship Act which complements the provisions made under the Maltese Constitution.
In 2013, amendments were introduced to the Maltese Citizenship Act by the Government of Malta, thereby establishing the ‘Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta’ (IIP) as another way of acquiring Maltese citizenship. This Malta Investor Programme grants Maltese citizenship by naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families, by contributing to the economic development of Malta.