This agreement 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).

The scope of the Schengen Agreement is to remove all controls on persons at internal borders between Member States and to harmonise controls at the EU’s external borders.

Full membership of Malta in the EU 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 would have freedom of movement within the EU countries that are part of Schengen.

Malta becomes a full member of the European Union from 1st May 2004 and has opted to form part of the Schengen Area Agreement.  The adoption of this treaty by Malta is likely to be implemented during the year 2005.

Malta Permanent Residence Permits


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