Maltese Citizenship by Descent - How long have you been waiting?

Hi All,

I was hoping top use this thread to give people who have applied for Maltese Citizenship by descent a place to post their experiences, and in particular how long you have been waiting since you first applied, or how long it took you to receive your citizenship if you already have it.

I'd also be interested to hear if there's anyone out there who's application for citizenship by descent has been rejected.

I myself am coming up to 2 years total wait time (having applied in August of 2015).

Hi Jazzopaul

Like you, I applied for Dual Citizenship 2 years ago 4th August this year. My case worker tells me it's in chronological order and I just have to wait. He will not give me any idea of the timescale when I ask him.  I have a Maltese parent and Maltese grandparents, great grandparents etc. It is so frustrating not getting a straight answer from them.

I've heard it takes at least two years. Not sure why...
My dad has been waiting two years and he recently had an interview during which they asked him a lot of odd, random questions. Then they interviewed my mum (who is Maltese). Then they told him they need to keep his original birth certificate! He's since gone back to Canada but will be here again in the fall. He did get a letter about 2 weeks ago saying it was ready but noticed the name on the letter was not actually his! The envelope was correctly addressed to him. Lol
I honestly can't be bothered to apply...!

Hi I went through the process.  It look about 5 months because I had all the paper work.  Had no problem whatsoever.  Got the birth certificates of grand parent and great grand parent from genealogist in Malta, Baptism Certificate of my father from church in Canada, because he had  no registered birth certificate.  My parents marriage certificate from Scotland as that is where they were married and needed my birth certificate.  All had to be long form documents and certified.  Also had to pay a fee.  All in all was a speedy process for me.  Good luck to all applying.

Hi maryeg,

Out of curiosity, was your's a recent application or was this a few years ago? I heard that there was a period a few years ago now where application were being processed much faster than they are today.

Today my dad received his voter registration card- I was able to pick it up for him at the post office even though I missed it coming to the apt and technically he is the only one who should sign for it at the post office. The guy working there was great.
My dad will be pleasantly surprised since he hasn't actually received the certificate of Maltese Citizenship yet :).

Hmmm my dad is maltese (born in malta) and i was born in 1988 and was able to get my maltese passport (in 2010) by dropping the application in at the consulate in melbourne, then when i was here in 2010 i had to make numerous visits and show a lot of details regarding my father but once they had docs in hand i was able to surrender my birth cert and get my id number and card right away, the process took like one month of back and forth til getting id in hand, which meant i could finally get my NI number and work :)

i wonder if the wait time has to do with deterring people claiming citizenship to get free healthcare... not implying thats what you guys are doing but i have heard that this happens

Hi Paul it was in 2014.   It is imperative that you have original documentation.  Copies are a no go.  That is why I went to a genealogist for my grand and great grandfather's birth certificates, and contacted the church and Scotland for the original documents required.  To be quite honest I took all my paper work to the immigration office and the same day I took the oath.  However, I did not receive my birth certificate, yes they issue a Maltese birth certificate, for a few months and shortly after I got my passport.  There is a cost for the documents from genealogist and Scotland but it was not horrendous.

I applied 2 years ago this
August. I gave them every certificate and document they asked for, payed a fee, and I'm still waiting.  Maybe because I'm from the UK. I moved here 6 months ago, told them I've moved here, and still nothing. It's very frustrating!!

Yeah I don't think the paperwork is the reason for the waiting time, all of my paperwork were originals also. I swore the oath while holding the cross on the same day that it was all submitted (in the Sydney Consulate at the time though) and was told when applying that the wait time was 18 months.

My feeling was that there were just a lot more applications then the government department that handles them (Identity Malta) can handle, and they don't have the budget to put on any additional staff to fix the problem.

I ended up contacting a law firm called Chetcuti Cauchi over in Valletta who pretty much confirmed those thoughts:

"Kindly note that before Brexit occurred it was common practice that applications are reviewed within a two year period. Since Brexit happened, the government department has been flooded with applications and hence I believe that applications will now take much longer to be processed. "

I'm just hoping that for people like Ruby and myself that applied almost 2 years ago now, that the waiting time isn't too much longer than 2 years. This September I'll be heading over to Malta (Gozo in particular) for the Xaghra festa and to see my cousins again. I was really hoping to have travelled there on a Maltese passport this time round, but sadly I don't think that's going to happen :(

I applied in Malta.  Did you not apply there.  Probably the reason for the delay.

Ruby70 :

Hi Jazzopaul

Like you, I applied for Dual Citizenship 2 years ago 4th August this year. My case worker tells me it's in chronological order and I just have to wait. He will not give me any idea of the timescale when I ask him.  I have a Maltese parent and Maltese grandparents, great grandparents etc. It is so frustrating not getting a straight answer from them.

if you have a maltese father (your dob prior to 1989 or either mother or father DOB after 1989) and maltese grandparents you shouldnt need to jump through all these hoops you should just be able to apply directly for a maltese passport because you were born a citizen of malta, i.e no need for naturalisation, you would still need to submit docs for ID number but the passport is most important really.
my dad is maltese and i didnt have to take any oaths i just had to surrender my australian birth cert.

also identity malta is a mess in general and fairly corrupt organisation (just this week investigations into imbezzlement began, while there is investigations into duplicate fake ID's coming from there also) so it wouldnt surprise me if the wait is due to corruption in general & people constantly skipping ahead cos they know someone.

Hi there

I applied in Malta Evans Building 2 years it will be on 4th August. It looks like it doesn't matter where you apply, it just takes time 🙃

IT2015 :

if you have a maltese father (your dob prior to 1989 or either mother or father DOB after 1989) and maltese grandparents you shouldnt need to jump through all these hoops you should just be able to apply directly for a maltese passport because you were born a citizen of malta, i.e no need for naturalisation, you would still need to submit docs for ID number but the passport is most important really.
my dad is maltese and i didnt have to take any oaths i just had to surrender my australian birth cert.

The problem is having a Maltese parent who wasn't born in Malta. Like my mum for instance, who never needed to apply for Maltese citizenship (because she was automatically a citizen) but was born in Australia. So for the second generation born outside of Malta you need to go through the process of applying for citizenship by registration (descent). If my mum was born in Malta then I wouldn't have to go through this whole process.

IT2015 :

also identity malta is a mess in general and fairly corrupt organisation (just this week investigations into imbezzlement began, while there is investigations into duplicate fake ID's coming from there also) so it wouldnt surprise me if the wait is due to corruption in general & people constantly skipping ahead cos they know someone.

I heard about some of this... Hopefully some of these investigations lead to these waiting times getting cut down a bit.

Hi,

I applied on Feb 2016, so its been a year and 7 months and I' m still waiting.  If you applied in person in Valetta, as I did, the process was supossed to be faster than through an Embassy abroad. 

I tried calling, but got no feedback.  I did hear that they are overwhelmed with applications after Brexit.  It is a small office.  I'm ok to wait, but just worried that the paperwork got lost in the process or forgotten on a dusty shelve. Oh well.

Andrew- It's possible. That's what happened with my resident card application. *poof* they lost it. I still have the ereceipt from Feb 2015, lol. Proving I handed the paperwork in! So I've just been using my British passport as ID.

I'm also in the same boat. Applied at the Australian High Commission (Canberra) in July 2015 and I'm still waiting to hear anything. The HC here is trying to be as helpful as they can, they keep sending emails to the Maltese Gov offices on my behalf, but their responses are always that I need to keep waiting and that the process is taking longer than expected. I was told 18 months to 2 years wait when I applied.

Obviously I received my citizenship quickly was because I was in Malta when I applied.  Good luck all.

maryeg :

Obviously I received my citizenship quickly was because I was in Malta when I applied.  Good luck all.

Great, so how long was your waiting time?

I had it in a matter of months.  Probably around 6

Hi Maryeg could you please tell me the name of the geneologist you used that sped up the process? I am missing a document and need help to find it.

I was born in Malta in November 1991, can I have residency and citizenship?

Hi to all, just as a reference to anybody who has applied previously or is planning to apply for Maltese citizenship by descent in future I just had word from the Maltese High Commission in Canberra that my Citizenship has been processed in Malta.

All up for me it was just under 2 1/2 years of waiting since the date of my application (probably will be 2 1/2 years until I actually receive the certificate) so if you've been waiting for close to that amount of time you should have your's soon!

Jazzopaul :

Hi to all, just as a reference to anybody who has applied previously or is planning to apply for Maltese citizenship by descent in future I just had word from the Maltese High Commission in Canberra that my Citizenship has been processed in Malta.

All up for me it was just under 2 1/2 years of waiting since the date of my application (probably will be 2 1/2 years until I actually receive the certificate) so if you've been waiting for close to that amount of time you should have your's soon!

I've had the same experience. Applied in July 2015, received my certificate in Feb 2018 (Dated December 2017). Passport was really quick after that, less than the expected 8 weeks.

If you've submitted your case via the lawyers office, do you need to present yourself in person (in Malta or otherwise at an embassy or consulate) to pledge the oath once your case has been approved? I heard that it was enough to sign the pledge and included among the many required documents.

Hi Jazzopaul

I applied 04/08/2015 and was awarded Dual Citizenship September 2017, so just over 2 years.

If you live in Malta and want to apply for the Malta ID, you will then need to registered your birth at Evans Building.

In my.case I had to also register my marriage here as I kept my married name when I got divorced.  For people like me, you can also register the divorce here with your original decree absolute and DC180 cert article 39 from the solicitor who arranged the divorce.

I hope this helps.

I applied in September last year and have just heard that the certificate of citizenship is available.  That's in just under eleven months. I'm absolutely delighted!

After reading various newspaper articles and a few people's comments here, I was expecting to have to wait a lot longer.  I suspected it would be 2.5 to 3 years. It seems that Identity Malta has improved significantly.

They have a lot on their plate, I think.  A change in the law in 2000 allowed dual nationality. That must have increased the number of applicants. In 2007, I think, a further reform increased the number of people of Maltese descent who are eligible. Last but not least, the 'Brexit' referendum a little over two years ago obviously led to a big increase in the number of Britons of Maltese descent who applied, because they want to retain their EU citizenship.

Of course, this is just one case, so who knows? Still, for anyone waiting this may be a good sign. It may be a sign that processing has accelerated.

My citizenship application dates Feb 2016 and I am still waiting.. so its been 2 years 7 months.

Glad to hear they are processing them faster... i think you were lucky to have yours processed in less than a year... great! It is a good sign.

My father is Maltese I was born in England , I got my fathers marriage certificate , fathers birth certificate my Maltese grandads marriage and birth certificate my own birth certificate all genuine copies , I went into the identity Malta based in valetta and within 10 minutes I had my citizenship , it is a lot easier to get it done in Malta than abroad

It took me 2 weeks only .went to evans building.with all documents.i was born in the uk in 1961.but mother and father are both maltese.

I think the differences in processing times here are between those who have Maltese parents and grandparents  (birth right) vs those applications that are registering as descendants subsequent generations or through marriage.  The latter group is the one that has to wait for over 2.5 years.

Wondering if anyone can help me...

My grandmother was born in Malta but has since moved to Australia and is now an Australian citizen. My parents were both born in Australia and are Australian citizens. I am an Australian citizen living in the USA. Am I able to apply for Maltese citizenship via my grandmother (dual Aussie/Maltese)?

Also - do you have to have a lawyer help you apply for citizenship, or is it something you can do yourself if you have all the paperwork needed? I know I was able to do the entire USA green card process myself without a lawyer as I had all the paperwork needed.

Thank you!

Hi lyndagalea1986,

I applied for my Citizenship last year in person at Identity Malta, my father is Maltese and was born there - he also moved to Australia and became a permanent resident, but never became a citizen, so he retained his Maltese Passport - the gentleman that handled my application said that this made the process a lot easier as I believe a lot of Maltese people when they immigrated to Australia gave up their Maltese citizenship to become Australian citizens as dual nationality wasn't allowed at the time.

I did enquire with a law firm in Malta prior to starting my application to get them to explain the process and timing to me to see if it was worth going down that path. Whilst I'm sure a law firm would be beneficial to the process being that they are based in Malta and know the process in and out, but the cost is quite high and my case was very simple.

They quoted me in total for myself, my two daughters and my husband 13,200 Euro (this is made up of 800 each to see if we were eligible and then 2500 for each application) They also quoted me approx 2 years for the whole process. Given that I received my citizenship instantly and my children received theirs within 4 months and my husband (currently at 10 months but citizenship certificate is currently being signed and stamped) I was clearly able to do it faster and much much cheaper. I don't know the exact figure but believe i have spent less that 400 Euros to date. I must admit though, I have been quite vigilant in chasing them up with emails and calls. I'm sure they are sick of hearing from me.

I know your situation is different to mine but I hope this information helps you. Has your 'maltese' parent applied for their citizenship?

Hi
malti89

I intend to apply for Maltese citizenship by descent for my family and I.  My father and grandparents are Maltese and are alive, I have all their certificates . I however wanted to ask if you had to get all birth-certificates( no-Maltese) notarized by a law firm in the country you reside in before presenting them to Identity Malta. Your information would be very useful in my preparations for the application.

Thank you in advance,

Hi Fralat,

I didn’t have my or my families birth certificates notorized for the initial application for citizenship (We applied for both my citizenship and their citizenship in person at Identity Malta at seperate times). They did keep the original copy of our certificates though (marriage certificate also).

I did have to get my husbands and children’s birth certificates aposilited from Australia after their citizenship had been approved in order to have their births registered in the public registry in Malta (via a consulate outside of Malta) in order for them to receive a Maltese birth certificate to be able to apply for a Maltese Passport. But when I registered my birth and marriage in person at Identity Malta it wasn’t notorized.

I’m not sure if your father was born in Malta or just has his citizenship like me, but if he was born in Malta (depending on when you were born) your application should be instant as mine was (being your birth right). Your families applications will take longer though.

I hope my reply answers your question and is clear.

Hi malti89,

Did your husband finally get his citizenship certificate issued?

Best,
Andrew

Not yet, but I’ve been assured it’s been done and being sent to our local Maltese consulate. So all in all it will have been 12 months almost to the date for him.

Thank you very much for information. Indeed it has been useful and has clarified some things for me. Yes my father is still alive and born in Malta. Did you get back your Australian birth certificate or do they also keep it with them?

Many thanks.

Yes they did keep it, I’m glad my response helped. Best of luck. I found the whole process to be very easy and straight forward and I wish you the same.

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