Malta received a total of 854 applications for citizenship from British nationals in 2018, according to Identity Malta, which administers the passport office.
Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, the number of applications from the UK for citizenship in Malta has been steadily rising.
While 2016 saw 382 applications, the following year there were 619 applications filed, while last year, there were 854 applications – an increase of 224 per cent.
As Brexit approaches, UK nationals stand to lose several rights related to EU membership, including the right to move and reside freely within the remaining 27 member states, the right to vote and to stand as candidates in European Parliament and municipal elections, and the right to enjoy the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of member states on an equal level to nationals of that country.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has stressed the strong relationship between Malta and the UK, and pledged Malta’s commitment to making the 13,000-strong British nationals residing on the islands continue to feel welcome, even after Brexit.
British citizens who are already in Malta will be able to apply for a preferential 10-year residency permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit, allowing them to continue working and studying locally.
A local helpline to address questions about the effects and consequences of Brexit on British nationals in Malta can be reached via freephone number 153.