On your arrival in Malta you may be subject to passport control depending on whether you are flying in from a Schengen country or not.
Arriving in Malta from a non-Schengen country? Click Here.
What is Schengen?
Schengen is an agreement among European states that ensures free movement for passengers from countries associated with this judicial area. In practice, this means that people flying between Schengen countries can travel without presenting their passports. Passport control still applies to arrivals in Malta from non-Schengen states or those travelling between non-Schengen areas.
Although personal checks are not carried out at Schengen internal border crossings, it is still necessary for European Union citizens (including Estonians) to carry a passport or identity card (ID-card). Authorities (police, immigration officials, etc.) in Schengen states, such as Malta, do have the right to check identifying documents if necessary.
Find out more about the Schengen Judicial Area here.
When did Malta Become a Schengen State?
Malta and other new European Union members (Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) joined the Schengen judicial area on 21 December 2007. Malta’s air borders subsequently opened a year later on 30th March 2008. As a result, arrivals to Malta are not checked at our land, sea, and air boundaries.
Third country nationals may enter Malta if they satisfy the airport criteria listed below. Not sure what this term means? Put simply, it describes people who are in transit and/or applying for a visa from a country that isn’t their country of origin.
Admission to Malta, through the external borders of the Schengen area, is only permitted to third-country nationals who:
- are in possession of a valid travel document (passport*) or recognised equivalent permitting them to cross the border;
- are in possession of documents substantiating the purpose and the conditions of the planned arrival to Malta and have sufficient means of support, both for the period of the planned visit and return to their country of origin (or to travel in transit to another third state);
- are in possession of valid entry or transit visa if required;
- have not been prohibited to enter through an alert on the Schengen Information System; and
- are not considered to be a threat to public policy, national security or the international relations of any other Schengen State, under Maltese law or the law of another Schengen State.
*If you are a non-EU passport holder travelling to a Malta, which is a Schengen member country, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months from your date of departure from Malta, unless you have a Schengen-issued residence permit or long-term visa.
If any one of the above conditions are not met, the third-country national may be denied entry by the border authorities even if in possession of a valid entry or transit visa.
The rights of non-EU nationals legally residing in the territory of a Member State to travel within the European Union are also outlined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The charter asserts the right of every European citizen to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. Such rights may be granted to third-country nationals.
Nationals of certain third countries may enter the Schengen area upon presenting their passports, provided they fulfil the entry conditions specified above. Nationals of certain third-countries are also required to have a visa.
More information available on the Malta Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.