Passports valid for ten years starting 2017 (4)
The Riigikogu approved a law change on Tuesday that extends the validity of Estonian passports to ten years. All six parliamentary parties supported the change.
According to the chairpersons of the parliamentary parties, the legislation chance that got approved in its third reading today was a good example of cooperation across political party lines.
The change will reduce costs as well as the number of applications that need to be processed. Passports issued to citizens aged 15 or younger are an exception and will be valid for five years.
MP Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Center), who introduced the proposed change, said that the initial request to extend the validity of passports came from the Estonian consulate in St. Petersburg, which had difficulties keeping up with requests to renew citizens’ passports.
“To travel to a Schengen country, passports need to be valid for at least another three months, to travel to the USA, the United Kingdom and to Russia at least six months,” Stalnuhhin, who is also a member of the Riigikogu’s Constitutional Committee, said.
“If we take into account that 30 days pass from the time of application to the issuing of the passport, then its real validity actually between four years and five months and four years and eight months,” Stalnuhhin added.
The new law will enter into force on 1 January 2017.