Are you thinking about acquiring a second citizenship? Or are you looking for a better passport than what you already own? Perhaps you’re curious about which passports have the most power. If so, the Maltese passport is an excellent tier-one passport to consider. This guide provides in-depth information on owning a Maltese passport and the advantages that come with it. 

Malta Passport-Free Entry Countries 

The Maltese passport is a key biometric document issued to individuals who obtain Maltese citizenship. Since Malta is part of the European Union, a Maltese passport is essentially an EU passport; therefore, you have the same rights as all other EU citizens. Maltese passport holders have the right to live, work, and study in any country within the EU, with full freedom of movement and residence rights. The Malta passport provides visa-free travel to 172 countries, which includes the EU’s Schengen zone and most countries in Asia, the Americas, and Africa.

You can visit countries on every continent visa-free, with a visa-on-arrival, or with an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Let’s take a closer look at the countries accessible to Maltese citizens.

CountryVisa-free access Visa on arrivaleTAVisa onlineVisa required
American Samoa
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Congo (Dem. Rep.)
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French West Indies
Hong Kong
Marshall Islands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norfolk Island
North Korea
North Macedonia
Northern Mariana Islands
Palestinian Territories
Papua New Guinea
Puerto Rico
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Korea
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
St. Helena
St. Maarten
St. Pierre and Miquelon
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
US Virgin Islands
Vatican City
Wallis and Futuna

Malta Passport Benefits

A Republic of Malta passport functions as both an insurance policy and a way of unlocking new opportunities for yourself and your family. Holders of Malta passports enjoy a host of lifelong benefits. 

Malta’s passport power gets you:

European citizenship: Acquiring Maltese citizenship means you acquire citizenship of the European Union. This provides several benefits, which include ease of business across multiple countries, and enhanced consumer protection.

Freedom of movement: As Malta is a member of the European Union, Maltese citizenship grants you the privilege to travel, reside, work, and pursue studies across the entire European Union. Malta passport holders can quickly obtain a valid residence card for any EU country, and possess the right to expedited naturalization in EU countries like Italy.

Visa-free travel: Besides freedom of movement throughout the European Union, Maltese passport holders can travel visa-free to over 170 countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, and the UK.

Access to high-quality schooling: EU citizens and their family members can study in any EU member state under the same conditions as local students. This allows you to pursue educational opportunities and research collaborations in Europe’s top universities and institutions. Additional sponsorship and funding programs accessible to EU citizens accompany access to an expanded range of educational opportunities.

Access to top-rated healthcare: The highly-rated Maltese healthcare system is free for all citizens in Malta. Maltese passport holders can also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) available to EU citizens, which allows them to seek free emergency medical care in all EU countries.

Safe investments: With a stable economy and political neutrality, Malta offers a secure and reliable investment environment. The Maltese government enforces a robust legal framework that further reinforces investor protection and stability.

Special tax concessions: Malta’s favorable tax system includes no gift, wealth, or inheritance tax. Maltese nationals only pay tax on Malta-sourced income, and capital gains arising from outside Malta are also tax-free. Malta’s extremely advantageous tax exposure includes several double taxation treaties, with countries like the US, the UK, and all EU countries, that eliminate unfavorable tax consequences and risks.

Malta passport ranking

The Maltese passport is one of the best and most respected travel documents in the world, providing visa-free access to 172 countries worldwide, according to the Global Passport Index.

On the Global Passport Index’s power rank scale, Malta’s passport is incredibly powerful, ranking 34th in the world. 

Malta Passport Cost

Contrary to popular belief, Malta doesn’t offer a ‘passport for sale’ program. However, it’s possible to obtain Maltese citizenship by making an economic contribution to the country’s national development. The qualifying investment for the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program (CES) is a series of three separate investments starting from €600,000 plus costs. Investors must make an exceptional investment through a real estate investment and philanthropic donation to an approved organization or society. After making the investment and passing a four-tier due diligence process, investors gain the right to obtain a Maltese passport. 

Since 2014, Malta has provided citizenship by nationalization to qualifying foreign investors who invest substantially in the Maltese economy. The plan calls for a donation, in addition to the initial investment, of at least €600,000 and a three-year residency requirement, or €750,000 and a 12-month residency requirement in rare cases.

Regarding the Malta passport application process, there is a charge of €500 per applicant.

Malta Passport Requirements

A Malta passport application is assessed and ultimately approved by the federal government agency, Identity Malta. Among the specific requirements, applicants must prove that they have established honest links with Malta and must take the Oath of Allegiance to obtain citizenship and a Maltese passport.

The application process and Malta passport photo size requirements also include the following:

  • A completed Form A (passport application form) submitted to the Passport Office
  • Facial image, signature, and fingerprint biometric data submitted to the Passport Office
  • Two passport-size photos

How to get a Malta passport?

Getting a Malta passport is a simple procedure. However, the due diligence aspect can be challenging. If you meet the Malta passport requirements, you can be granted citizenship and a passport after just 12 or 36 months of residence in Malta.

There are several ways to obtain Maltese citizenship, depending on your situation and objectives.

  • You’re entitled to Maltese citizenship by descent if you have an ascendant in the direct line and a parent who is a Maltese national.
  • You’re entitled to Maltese citizenship by marriage if you have a Maltese spouse and have lived in Malta for five years.
  • You’re entitled to Maltese citizenship by naturalization if you have legally resided in Malta for a least four years starting from the previous seven years.
  • You’re entitled to Malta citizenship by naturalization by way of investment after 12 months or three years of residing in Malta.

Malta citizenship by descent

A person born in Malta could obtain citizenship by birthright if one of their parents was a Maltese citizen at the time of birth. A person born outside Malta could obtain Maltese citizenship by descent if one of their parents was a Maltese citizen by birth or naturalization.

There are exceptions depending on when you were born. Refer to the Maltese Citizenship Act for more accurate information on Maltese citizenship by descent laws.

Malta citizenship by investment

Malta’s citizenship by investment program – more accurately referred to as the Maltese Citizenship Act Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (CES) – is a Maltese citizenship program based on naturalization that provides qualifying investors with the opportunity to obtain passports for themselves and their family members, provided that they make a real estate investment, as well as financial contributions to a government fund and an investment in government-approved bonds.

Malta citizenship by investment is one of the most popular in Europe primarily because of the host of benefits it provides to investors, as well as the short timeframe within which you can get a new passport.

How to get a Maltese passport by investment

Applications for the Maltese citizenship scheme are carefully examined and evaluated through a four-tier due diligence process. Depending on the invested sum, applicants who meet the program’s requirements will receive Maltese citizenship within 12 or 36 months of residency in Malta and acquire the right to become Maltese passport holders.

To gain eligibility for the Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) program, you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Not be from a country on the list of “prohibited” countries
  • Have no criminal record
  • Invest at least €600,000 (about $646,000) to receive citizenship status in 36 months or at least €750,000 ($808,000) to receive citizenship status in 12 months
  • Donate €10,000 ($10,800) to a Malta-registered organization, approved by the Community Malta Agency (CMA)
  • Either place €700,000 (about $750,000) in the purchase of a Maltese real estate property or rent one for at least €16,000 (about $17,200) per year over five years
  • Submit a valid residency card as proof of your residency

Process of getting a Maltese passport by investment

There are four steps in obtaining a Maltese passport and citizenship through the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) program.

Maltese residency

To get residency in Malta, the primary applicant and any dependents included in the application must first apply for a Maltese residence card. They must first pass the CMA’s extensive due diligence assessment to obtain the residency card.

If the residency application is accepted, you will be issued a resident card with a 36-month validity period. Following that, you’ll visit Malta (excluding young children) to give biometric data for the residency card. You must first lease an apartment before submitting your residency application.

Payment: You must pay €10,000 for the residence permit to get the residency secured; Application fees from the government are €5,000 (about $5,400) for primary applicants and €1,000 for dependents, in addition to a €27.50 (about $30) residency card fee per applicant.

Citizenship eligibility

Applicants must submit a citizenship eligibility application to the CMA within 12 months, starting from the date of issuance of the residence card. Failure to submit the application within this period will result in the revocation of the card.

The CMA conducts due diligence to ensure that the application is completed correctly, and they may also require additional information. The CMA then applies to the relevant Maltese Minister, who decides if the applicants are eligible to seek citizenship.

On average, applications are processed within 120 to 150 calendar days. You will begin the naturalization process if you are deemed eligible, and you will be given a Letter of Approval in Principle, after which you must pay the additional payments.

Payment: Due diligence expenses are €5,000 for the primary applicant, €15,000 ($16,000) for the benefactor (if applicable) and €10,000 for each dependent aged 13 and above (paid directly to the Agency). You must also pay a €1,000 ($1,080) admin fee per applicant.


Depending on your investment, you can apply for Malta citizenship to the CMA after 12 or 36 months of stay. The CMA updates its due diligence on the applicants and presents the Minister with its final conclusions. Citizenship is awarded once the Minister has approved the application.

From the date of approval, the processing period for obtaining citizenship is around two to three months. If the citizenship application is granted, the main applicant must fulfill the required investment, donation, and property criteria to begin the naturalization process.

Payment: A €500 (about $540) admin fee per applicant, paid directly to the Agency.


After completing all the investment criteria, the applicant will be invited to take the Oath of Allegiance. The Oath must be taken within six months after the Letter of Approval in Principle date. 

Applicants are granted Maltese citizenship and a Certificate of Naturalization. Every year, the names of all naturalized citizens are published in the Government Gazette.

The CMA performs continual surveillance for five years. Non-compliance with the program’s terms and conditions could lead to the withdrawal of your Maltese citizenship.

Payment: Government Direct Investment–€600,000 or €750,000 for the main applicant (plus €50,000 ($54,000) for each dependent), and a €10,000 charitable donation. There is also a residential property lease for a minimum of €16,000 per year for five years or a real estate purchase for a minimum of €700,000 to be held for at least five years.

For more information about Malta’s second citizenship requirements, take a look at our ultimate guide about Malta citizenship by investment.

Processing Time for Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment

Once you have completed the level one due diligence and submitted your application for a residency permit to the Community Malta Agency, they will review your eligibility based on the requirements. If you meet all the necessary criteria, they will submit your eligibility application.

They will carry out further verification stages (two to four) and submit it to the relevant Maltese ministers, who will check before deciding regarding your qualifications.

After you’ve fulfilled the investment requirements, you must also have resided in Malta for at least 36 months – or 12 months, depending on the invested sum – before you can apply for Maltese citizenship. Obtaining a Letter of Approval in Principle takes two to three months. You must then take the Oath of Allegiance to receive an official naturalization certificate. Agents from the Community Malta Agency will monitor all successful applicants for five years after citizenship has been granted.

Dual Citizenship in Malta

Malta accepts dual citizenship; This means that you can acquire Maltese nationality and maintain your original citizenship. However, it’s essential to check the laws of your place of origin to confirm whether dual citizenship rights apply in your case. If you can’t hold dual citizenship status in your native country, you might have to renounce your primary citizenship to obtain citizenship in Malta.

Maltese Passport Renewal

After obtaining your Maltese passport, you are entitled to retain it throughout your lifetime, with the condition that it is renewed every ten years. It’s worth noting that Maltese passports incorporate biometric features.

Maltese Passport Prices

If you apply for citizenship in Malta by investment, you will have to set aside at least €600,000 for the application sum, not including other costs such as the required real estate investment, philanthropic donation, and fees for background checks and legal services. The cost of a passport for an adult is €70 (about $75) if applying between September and March and €80 if applying between August and April. The passport cost for a minor is €40 (about $43), while the price for a child under ten is €16 (about $17). 

Under certain circumstances, you can request an emergency passport that can be issued within four hours. It is worth noting that this expedited service comes at a higher cost and is available only in specific cases.

Do I need to stay in Malta?

Applicants of Malta’s citizenship by investment program must provide evidence of a bona fide connection to the country. This means that investors must establish residence for at least 12 months before applying for the program, which entails purchasing or leasing an apartment. If investors intend to rent a property long-term, they must be able to provide a copy of the lease agreement and proof of being resident in Malta for at least 183 days of the year.

Take a look at our Malta Citizenship Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Is it worth having a Maltese passport?

If you are looking for global mobility for yourself and your family, tax exemptions, or a beautiful place to live or retire, the Maltese passport is a fantastic asset to have.

If you would like to discuss your options, we have knowledgeable consultants in investment migration available to assist you today. Whether you are considering Malta’s investment program or other citizenship by investment programs, like Turkey citizenship by investment, our customized approach ensures that we guide you through each phase of the process.

Malta’s citizenship by investment program offers many privileges, including:

Rich business opportunities in a fast-growing economy Rich business opportunities in a fast-growing economy
Citizenship in a politically and economically stable country Citizenship in a politically and economically stable country
The right to own property in Malta The right to own property in Malta
Lifelong citizenship that can be transferred to future generations Lifelong citizenship that can be transferred to future generations
The options to live, work, study, and start a business in all EU member states The options to live, work, study, and start a business in all EU member states

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Malta passport

How much is a Maltese passport?

If you are interested in investing in Malta to acquire a second passport within a relatively short period, the minimum investment amount to obtain citizenship is €600,000 plus costs. After you’ve purchased a property for €700,000 or leased a property for €16,000 per year for five years, and made a charitable donation of €10,000, you can be granted citizenship and acquire a passport for €70.

Can you visa-free travel with a Malta second passport to more than 130 countries?

You can enjoy visa-free travel to 172 destinations worldwide, including the EU Schengen Area, the UK, Canada, and the US.

Is the Malta passport biometric?

Malta has a biometric passport requiring applicants to submit biometric data to receive one.

What is the Malta passport price?

If you apply for citizenship in Malta by investment, you will have to set aside at least €600,000 for the application sum, not including other costs such as the required real estate investment and fees for background checks and legal services. The Malta passport price for an adult is €70 if applying between September and March and €80 between August and April. The passport cost for a minor is €40 (€16 for children under ten).

Under certain circumstances, you can request an emergency passport that can be issued within four hours. It is worth noting that this expedited service comes at a higher cost and is available only in specific cases.

How to get Malta citizenship by investment?

Malta’s investment citizenship program, which granted a passport to investors willing to pay €1.2 million (about $1.29 million), has been surrounded by controversy since its introduction. The Maltese government has enacted a new Maltese citizenship program with an enhanced due diligence process and more stringent prerequisites to obtain Malta dual citizenship by naturalization.

To qualify for this Malta immigration investment program, foreign nationals must significantly contribute to the country’s national development. The investment amount must add up to a minimum of €600,000. The investment options include: 

  • An exceptional direct investment of at least €600,000 or €750,000, depending on the residence period selected
  • An investment of €700,000 in residential real estate or a five-year rental agreement with a minimum value of €16,000 per annum
  • A compulsory donation of €10,000 to a registered cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental approved organization or society

What is Malta citizenship by the investment cost?

The Malta citizenship by investment program is no longer in operation; however, the new Malta citizenship program – officially called the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program (CES) – allows foreigners to be eligible for a Malta passport by investment, provided they fulfill the program’s strict eligibility criteria.

The minimum amount to invest is €600,000 plus a real estate purchase of €700,000 or a five-year lease agreement of €16,000 per annum, as well as a donationation of €10,000. This excludes the processing fees, due diligence background check, legal, and passport application fees.

Is Malta a strong passport?

Malta’s passport ranks 34th out of 197 countries on the Global Passport Index. With its membership in the EU and participation in the Schengen Area, Malta’s passport offers significant advantages in terms of travel and business mobility.

How many countries can you visit with a Maltese passport?

The Maltese passport currently ranks 34th place according to the Global Citizen Solutions Global Passport Index. It provides visa-free access to 172 destinations, which makes it one of the most attractive passports in the world, with a high mobility score.

Which countries are visa-free with a Malta passport?

The Malta passport affords visa-free travel to 172 countries, including but not limited to the EU’s Schengen Zone, plus many countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. That said, perhaps the greatest selling point of a Maltese passport is that Maltese citizens are free to travel to the EU, Schengen Area, and the United Kingdom.

Is it easy to get a Maltese passport?

The process is quite straightforward: A four-tier due diligence procedure is used to verify and assess the application for Malta Citizenship by Investment, and if you match the qualifications for this program, you will be given citizenship and a passport after just 12 or 36 months of residency in Malta.