Presently, one may acquire Maldivian citizenship at birth, if born in the Maldives to at least one parent who is a Maldivian citizen. One may also acquire citizenship by means of descent even if born outside of the Maldives, to a Maldivian citizen.
Foreign nationals who were born to at least one Maldivian citizen, and who may have not acquired Maldivian citizenship, can acquire Maldivian citizenship at any point in time without restriction. This is on the principle that any person born to at least one Maldivian citizen is by means of descent, a Maldivian citizen.
Acquiring citizenship by foreign nationals, who were not born to at least one Maldivian citizen, is allowed, but restricted. The President has the discretionary power to grant citizenship to foreign nationals (who are not born to at least one Maldivian citizen), upon application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To qualify, a foreign national must be a Muslim; has attained the age of 21 and is of sound mind; has resided in the Maldives for a continuous period of 12 years (if he/she has resided abroad, that period shall not exceed 6 months, and he/she must have resided in the Maldives for a period amounting to more than 10 years); has adequate knowledge of the Maldivian constitution; can orate in the Dhivehi language; has not committed a political offence, criminal offences under Islamic Shariah, or drug-related offences; is of distinguished service to the Maldives; and renounces any other citizenship he/she may have.
With respect to dual citizenship, this is allowed in the Maldives, and any Maldivian citizen acquiring citizenship will not lose their original citizenship in the Maldives. Maldivian citizens are not required to register or justify their dual citizenship status.