Effective January 1, 2024, Kosovo passport holders may travel to European Union member states in the Schengen Area without a passport, and may remain in Schengen territory for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. EU passport holders are likewise now eligible to travel visa-free to Kosovo. The visa-free program includes travel to all EU member states that are part of the Schengen Area, as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania, plus non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Kosovo passport holders will still require visas for travel to Ireland, which is an EU member but outside the Schengen Area.

Background: Visa Waiver for Kosovo

In July 2018, the European Commission – the executive arm of the EU – presented a final report confirming that Kosovo had met all requirements for visa liberalization. In April 2023, the European Parliament approved a visa liberalization regime for Kosovar nationals to enable visa-free travel to the Schengen Area.

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. Until the new measure took effect on January 1, 2024, Kosovo was 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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