Acquisition Of Maltese Citizenship Through Marriage

Prior to the 10 February 2000 the foreign spouse of a citizen of Malta could apply for registration as a citizen of Malta immediately after marriage. This is no longer the case. As from the said date the foreign spouse can apply for Maltese citizenship only if he/she would have been married to a citizen of Malta for at least five (5) years and if they would still be living together at the time when an application for citizenship is made (Sections 4 and 6 of the Act).

In the case of a foreign person whose Maltese spouse died before the fifth year of marriage, such person would also be entitled to apply for Maltese citizenship when five years would have elapsed from the date of marriage and as long as the said foreign spouse was still living with the Maltese spouse at the time of his/her demise.

The law has been amended to make it possible for those foreigners who are separated dejure or defacto from their Maltese spouse to also be entitled to be registered as citizens of Malta as long as the separation occurred after the fifth year of marriage and the couple had lived together during the said period of five years.

N.B.: It should be noted that Maltese citizenship shall be granted only if the Minister responsible for citizenship matters is satisfied that such grant is not contrary to the public interest.

The above cases are better illustrated by the following set of questions and answers.

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