Prior to obtaining your Maltese passport, you need to spend 21 to 25 days in Malta in total. There is no need to stay in Malta all the time; therefore you can complete your studies at your convenience.
What rules are there on travel outside the country during the one year required residency period in Malta for my citizenship application?
I am currently finishing up a work assignment in another country and I may have to return to tie up loose ends for long periods of time. I may not be able to be resident of Malta for a full year, since I anticipate being absent for weeks at a time and several times that year. I will probably spend more than five months outside Malta. Are there restrictions on how much time I have to spend in Malta during the one-year residency period? What are my options?
The requirement to be resident in Malta for a period of 12 months doesn’t mean that you would need to be physically present in Malta during all the 12 months. The informal advice given by the authorities is that you spend a minimum of 14 days during those 12 months in Malta while at the same time ensuring that you establish as many links as possible in Malta, including things such as setting up your businesses here, opening a bank account, participating in local events and other similar actions you may take to enhance your links. Naturally, the longer you stay in Malta, the better for purposes of your application.
A residence application and ancillary residence card are issued before the filing of the citizenship application to enable the applicant to reside in Malta. The said residence card enables visa-free travel within the European Schengen Area. The more time you spend in Malta, the better; however, I do not envisage any difficulties with your proposed five months or more of absence for work commitments and ancillary relocation requirements. It is important, however, that your time spent in Malta is documented or backed with expense receipts and other aspects that can be included in your file as proof of your commitment to reside in Malta.