New EU/ EEA/Swiss Residence Document Enters Circulation
Press Release by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Citizenship and Communities
EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members exercising the right to freedom of movement, will be issued with a new, highly secure residence document. With the card production phase complete, Identity Malta Agency will commence with the gradual roll out of this new uniform card.
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities Alex Muscat applauded Identity Malta’s efforts in taking citizens’ identity management seriously, further adding that the Agency is at the forefront of protecting citizens from identity theft and fraud.
The introduction of this new document follows the launch of the new residence permit, ePassport and eID card in the past year and half.
Apart from the aesthetic changes made to the document, the new card incorporates layers of highly sophisticated security features which make it extremely difficult to forge or tamper with. In fact, the bearer’s personal details are laser-engraved on a polycarbonate substrate card and the biometric data is safely captured on an embedded contactless chip. Furthermore, the two-letter country code of the issuing member state is printed on the front of the document.
Identity Malta CEO Anton Sevasta explained that the new uniform format card will be issued on new or renewal applications, and that existing cards in circulation will remain valid until the document’s expiry date.
The new residence document complies with the provisions of EU Regulation 2019/1157, whereby member states are required to issue such documents as from 2nd August 2021. As required by law, applicants for a residence document must apply after three months of residence, the fact that they do not have this document does not detract from their free movement rights.