The unprecedented enlargement of the Schengen area
that took place on 21 December 2007 saw nine additional countries
joining the Schengen area, which now encompasses 400 million citizens
and 24 countries (22 EU Member States Ė Austria, Belgium, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
and Sweden Ė plus the two associated countries Norway and Iceland).
See map of Schengen area
The Schengen Area Treaty was first signed in 1985 between just Germany, France and the
Benelux countries in the small Luxembourg border town of Schengen. Since
1999, it has been integrated into EU law and therefore applies to all EU
countries (although the UK and Ireland opted to stay out). On 21
December 2007, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia
joined the Schengen area. It is now possible to travel from
Malta to the Continent, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Baltic States
and from Greece to Finland without border checks.
Becoming a member of the European Union does not
accession to the Schengen area without internal border checks. Malta became a full member
of the European Union from 1st May 2004 but also opted to form part of the
Schengen Area Agreement.
The Schengen Agreement removes all controls on
persons at internal borders between Member States and harmonises
controls at the EUís external borders.
This means that visas
for entry into Malta will also be a valid permit for entry into the EU
(normally, for up to three months). Once a person enters Malta, he or
she enjoys freedom of movement within the EU countries that are part of
Time-line for the abolition of
internal borders and creation of a single EU external frontier
14 June 1985: Belgium, Germany, France,
Luxembourg and the Netherlands sign the Schengen Agreement.
19 June 1990: the original founders of the Schengen cooperation
sign the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement (Schengen
26 March 1995: abolition of border control between Belgium,
Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
26 October 1997: start of gradual abolition of border control
with Italy (completed on 31 March 1998).
1 December 1997: start of gradual abolition of border control
with Austria (completed on 31 March 1998).
1 March 2000: abolition of border control with Greece (completed
on 26 March 2000).
25 March 2001: abolition of border control with Norway, Iceland,
Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
21 December 2007: abolition of control of land and sea borders
with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (border checks on intra-Schengen flights
at airports abolished on 30 March 2008).
For more information about the Malta Residence
Scheme, click on the links on the left hand menu of this page.
Maltese Citizenship Regulations
Published | 06/01/2014
Identity Malta: New Expats Agency
Launched | 01/10/2013
Partner JP Chetcuti speaks at
Malta Residence & Citizenship Seminar
in London 26/11/2013
Partner JP Chetcuti speaks at 6th
IBA Immigration & Nationality Law
Residence Programme | 04/06/2013
Record growth in Malta's accounts
attributed to increase in foreign
business presence |
Foreigners relocating Personal and
Business Interests to Malta |
Malta Chalks-up Points on the Economic
Freedom Index | 12/03/2012
Malta tops International Livingís 2011
Quality of Life Best Climate Index |
Financial Times highlights Malta's efforts
to attract High Net Worth Individuals |