With the finalization of the production and software testing of the new ePassport, the new travel document is expected to come into circulation this month.
Amongst the new features introduced, the inner visa pages will depict intricate imagery of renowned Maltese landmarks, customs and traditions, which pay tribute to Malta’s rich history and cultural heritage. The images depicted include those of the Ċittadella in Gozo and the Manoel Theatre, amongst others.
The encrypted imagery, combined with a highly sophisticated layer of security features, is printed in secure ink and was primarily designed for security and not simply aesthetic reasons.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Procedures Julia Farrugia Portelli, held that the Maltese citizens will soon be the bearers of a technologically advanced new ePassport which will combine travel with culture.
Further elaborating on the matter of security, Julia Farrugia Portelli explained how one’s personal details will be safely captured on a polycarbonate bio-data page, which will make it extremely difficult to forge or tamper with, without leaving signs of attack.
Anton Sevasta, Identity Malta’s Chief Executive Officer, held that the first batch of Diplomatic and Alien Passports are expected to come into circulation on the second week of November and unless any technical difficulties are encountered, the issuance of the Ordinary Passports will follow in the weeks to come.
The gradual roll-out of the new Maltese ePassport will commence this month and over a number of years. The new travel document will be issued on new applications or the renewal of the said document, at no additional cost. Passports in circulation will remain fit for travel and valid until their expiry date. Existing passports already conform to international security standards, but the new ones will make use of latest technology to further prevent document forgery.