Russians top list of new Maltese citizens for third year running

Eurostat data shows that Russian, Saudi Arabian and British nationals topped the list of new Maltese citizens in 2017

Russian nationals topped the list of Malta's new citizens
Russian nationals topped the list of Malta's new citizens

There were 464 Russians who obtained Maltese citizenship in 2017, making them the largest group of foreign nationals to acquire citizenship for the third year running.

The information comes from Eurostat’s figures on mobility published in the report People on the Move.

There were 1,973 people granted citizenship in 2017 – the reference year for the survey. The top three nationalities that obtained a Maltese passport in 2017 were Russians (464), Saudi Arabian (342) and British (195).

Russians have topped the list of new citizens since 2015.

Eurostat does not specify the method by which citizenship was obtained but it is plausible that the number of Russians and Saudi Arabians is directly linked to Malta’s cash-for-passport scheme.

Across the EU, almost one million people were granted citizenship in any of the member states.

Moroccans topped the list of citizenship recipients with 169,143, followed by Albanians (126,336) and Indians (73,287).

Foreign nationals receiving Maltese citizenship

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

UK (125)

UK (101) UK (93) Russia (261) Russia (493) Russia (464)
2nd Russia (69) Russia (34) Italy (32) UK (50) UK (126) Saudi Arabia (342)
3rd Morocco (32) Libya (23) Russia (22) Ukraine (25) Saudi Arabia (78) UK (195)
Total new citizens 661 418 314 646 1,495 1,973