On April 18, 2023, the European Parliament approved a visa liberalization regime for Kosovar nationals that enables visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Under the plan, citizens of Kosovo will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area without requesting a visa, for periods of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. EU citizens will likewise be allowed to travel to Kosovo without a visa. The law is set to enter into force once the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) becomes active, which is expected in 2024.

Background: Visa Waiver for Kosovo

Kosovo is considered a potential candidate for EU accession, having unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. Kosovo’s independence is currently not recognized by five EU member states (Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain). However, the EU has sought to liberalize travel rules between the Schengen Area and Kosovo since 2016, upon the recommendation of the European Commission. Kosovo is currently the only part of the Western Balkans region (which also includes North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) to not enjoy visa-free travel on short stays with the Schengen Area.

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