Britons applying for Maltese citizenship have doubled since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, with the government receiving 424 applications in the space of six months.
This rounds up to around 35 per month, a marked increase from the 204 (17 per month) and 152 (12 per month) applications received in 2015 and 2014 respectively.
The figures were first reported by the Malta Independent, quoting figures from the Ministry for Justice, Culture, and Local Government.
The link between the sudden increase in Maltese citizenship applications is direct –the number of applications went from 29 in June to 52 in July, right after a slim majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum.
By giving up their EU citizenship, British nationals will no longer be able to move freely within the EU, work and live in any member state, and enjoy the same social and tax advantages as member state residents, including equal medical treatment.
Foreigners can apply for Maltese citizenship based on a number of factors including descent (two consecutive generations of direct ancestors have to have been born in Malta); marriage to a Maltese citizen for at least five years; and residence, under article 10(1) of the Maltese Citizenship Act.