Who got Maltese citizenship in 2013? Aussies, Brits and Yanks…

Naturalisation data shows largest recipients of Maltese citizenship are from countries of former Maltese emigration

Australians, English and Americans were the top three recipients of Maltese citizenship in 2013, data released by Eurostat shows, confirming that the main candidates for naturalisation are from developed countries.

In 2013, Malta granted citizenship to 1,019 candidates – a year before the introduction of the Individual Investor Programme that sells passports to the global rich – of which 27% were EU nationals, and 71% were non-EU citizens.

Australians were the main recipients of naturalisations at 33.5%, in part aided by legal changes for Australians who can trace Maltese ancestry; then came citizens from the UK at 15.1% and Americans at 7.7%.

In 2013, around 985,000 persons acquired citizenship  of an EU state, up by 20% of 163,000 comapred with 2012. 89% were citizens of non-EU countries.

The largest groups acquiring citizenship were citizens of Morocco (86,500 persons, of which 84% acquired citizenship of Spain, Italy or France), India (48,300, three-quarters acquired British citizenship), Turkey (46,500, 60% acquired German citizenship), Colombia (42,000, 93% acquired Spanish citizenship), Albania (41,700, 95% acquired citizenship of Greece or Italy) and Ecuador (40,400, 95% acquired Spanish citizenship).

Moroccans, Indians, Turks, Colombians, Albanians and Ecuadorians represented together almost a third (31%) of the total number of persons who acquired EU citizenship in 2013. Romanians (23,000 persons) and Poles (18,000) were the two largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU member state.

Non-EU citizens

In twelve EU states, at least 9 persons out of every 10 who obtained citizenship in 2013 were citizens of a non-EU country: Estonia (100%), Latvia and Romania (both 99%), Greece and Lithuania (both 97%), Spain and Portugal (both 96%), Bulgaria (94%), Ireland and Italy (both 93%), the United Kingdom (91%) and Croatia (90%).

In contrast, Luxembourg (81%) and Hungary (80%) were the only countries where the majority of persons acquiring citizenship in 2013 were citizens of another EU state. At EU level, 89% (or 871,300 new citizens) of those granted citizenship were citizens of a non-EU country, and 10% (98,500) of another EU member state.

Highest naturalisation rates

The highest naturalisation rates were registered in Sweden (7.6 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Hungary (6.5) and Portugal (5.9), and the lowest in Slovakia (0.3), the Czech Republic and Denmark (both 0.5).

On average, 2.9 citizenships were granted per 100 resident foreigners in the EU. Malta’s stood at 4.5%.

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