Misleading statements about post-Brexit passport validity, which made entering Malta seem far more complicated than it actually is, appeared on the Maltese Government’s website for weeks. UK passport holders hoping to visit the Schengen area must meet two independent conditions as per EU rules.
These are that the issue date is less than 10 years earlier than the day of entry and the passport has more than three months left on it from the exit date.
But the Maltese government bizarrely created two extra misleading rules of their own, according to The Independent.
One claimed “travel documents are considered as valid for a maximum of 10 years by all EU immigration authorities”, and another said “anyone travelling to Malta on a British passport requires a minimum of six months validity beyond the date of their departure from Malta”.
The rules do not have any bearing on EU regulations.
Taken together they would have implied that a passport that was more than nine years and six months old would be invalid.
The website previously issued a bizarre example: “If your document was issued on 01/01/2013, the expiry date recognised when crossing the Maltese/Schengen border will be 01/01/2023, irrespective of whether your document states a later expiry date.
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Around 500,000 British tourists visit Malta every year.
A new rule that came into effect post-Brexit means UK passports must be issued less than ten years before the date of travel to an EU country.The government website says passports “may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit”.
The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) also noted that under the new rules any time left remaining on a passport that is being renewed is no longer transferred to the new document.
Five million Britons delayed renewing their documents during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Passport Office.
But it is now seeing “unprecedented demand” – with a record one million applications processed in March.