Kosovo Tourist Visa: Application, Eligibility and Duration
Getting a Kosovo Tourist Visa is a good idea for many reasons. One of the primary reasons is that Kosovo is a budget-friendly place in Europe to take a vacation and get away from everything. But do you even need a Kosovo visa? How can you get one, and what other benefits are there?
Kosovo is relatively young; it gained independence from Serbia only in 2008. Therefore, you may haven’t heard about this young, brewing gem of a European country. The country is located in South-Eastern Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula. Kosovo’s realistic outlook and picturesque setting help make it one of the most underrated tourist centers in Europe.
Kosovo doesn’t belong to the European Union or the Schengen Area. Hence, its travel and visa policies are slightly different from their much more standardized ones. In this article, we explore those differences and give you a detailed guideline on how to get your Kosovo tourist visa.
About Kosovo Tourist Visa
A Kosovo visa is an authorization by Kosovan authorities for foreign nationals to enter the country for a specified reason legally. The cause for entry is usually determined by the visa you applied for. This visa type determines how long you can stay in Kosovo and what you’re free to do in the country.
The Kosovo tourist visa is a short-stay visa; it only permits foreigners to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days out of every 180. It permits foreign nationals to come in for all kinds of tourism, from academic and mere sightseeing to group tourism. This is, unsurprisingly, the most issued of all Kosovo visas and is arguably the easiest visa to get.
Who Needs a Kosovo Tourist Visa?
Whoever wants to travel to Kosovo for sightseeing, vacation, or other tourist-themed reasons, will need a tourist visa. Unless such a trip is scheduled to last beyond 90 days, then such a person will need to get a long-stay visa.
However, there are a few exceptions to this visa, the most prominent of which are the EU and Schengen member countries. Even though Kosovo is not part of the EU, they hold a standing visa-free travel agreement.
Kosovo Tourist Visa Exemptions
Here is a list of exceptions to the Kosovo tourist visa and the conditions that come with them;
- EU and Schengen member states and those with a free-travel agreement with Schengen, in addition to Albania, Andorra, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Vatican, etc., can enter Kosovo for a full 90 days of every 180 without a visa.
- Foreigners with a Schengen residence permit, multiple-entry visa, and refugees with Schengen travel documents can enter Kosovo for 15 days. This also applies to refugees with Australia, Canada, Japan, or United States travel document.
- Diplomatic passport holders from China, Egypt, Russian Federation states, Indonesia, and Ukraine are also welcome to Kosovo visa-free for up to 15 days.
- Taiwan passport holders are also visa exempt, but only on the condition that they notify the Consulate of Kosovo in Taiwan two weeks before the planned trip.
- Finally, those who the Council of Europe has granted a Laissez Passer document, the EU, OSCE, NATO, or the United Nations Organization, are free to enter Kosovo without a visa, regardless of their nationality.
If your country falls into any of the categories above, you can enter Kosovo without a visa, provided you meet the condition. However, judging from the list above, only the first group can stay the full length of a Kosovo tourist visa validity. So, you must either plan your trip to suit your conditions or get a Kosovo tourist visa.
On the flip side, if your country doesn’t fall into any categories, you will need a Kosovo tourist visa to enjoy tourist benefits.
How to Apply for Kosovo Tourist Visa
While applying for a Kosovo tourist visa could be a bit of a hassle, we have broken it down into a few steps,
- Gather the Documents Required for Kosovo Tourist Visa
- Contact the Kosovan Embassy or Consulate
- Pay the Visa Fee
- Attend Your Interview
- Prepare Yourself
#1. Gather the Documents Required for Kosovo Tourist Visa
When you apply for a visa, certain documents are required of you. These documents help the right authorities determine how genuine your purpose is and deem you fit (or not) to enter the country. The same rings true for the Kosovo tourist visa. When visiting the country, the Kosovan authorities need to know that you will not constitute a nuisance or threaten national security.
Note that for the embassy to accept your documents; they must be in one of 3 languages; Albanian, Serbian, or English. Hence, if they aren’t in any of those languages, you should get a professional translator to make the change. Finally, submit each document with a photocopy.
That said, these are the documents you need to apply for a Kosovan tourist visa;
The first thing you do is to download and fill out your Kosovo tourist visa application form. Please provide all information the form requires and sign it at the end. If you’re a minor, get your parent or legal guardian to sign it; they will also accompany you to apply at the embassy.
Your national passport is an identity document a country issues to its citizens. This document identifies you in Kosova as a citizen of your country. More importantly, it will carry the sticker/stamp that shows visa approval. For the Kosovan embassy to accept your national passport, it must have at least two blank pages and remain valid for up to 3 months beyond your intended departure date.
It would help to have a passport photograph when applying for a Kosovo tourist visa. This passport must comply with the necessary Kosovan passport photo specifications in dimensions, background color, picture color, etc.
Proof of Accommodation
Next, you’ll need to prove that you will have a roof over your head in Kosovo. It could be a hotel booking, or a letter from a Kosovan citizen/resident, accepting the responsibility of hosting you during your stay.
Proof of Funds
To be allowed into Kosova, you must prove that you have sufficient means to cover your travel and tourist expenses. While tourism in Kosova isn’t precisely cut-throat, those on vacation are still known to spend considerably. Hence, you will provide a bank statement (yours or that of whoever will sponsor your trip) showing you have access to sufficient funds for your trip.
Your itinerary will specify what you want to do in the country and for how long. In addition, you will indicate whether you will be moving between cities or not. Finally, you will show substantial proof that you intend to return to your country before the Kosova tourist visa expires; the most common example is a round-trip flight ticket.
Travel Health Insurance
When you travel, accidents might happen, you may fall sick trying to adjust to your new environment, and the authorities need to know that you won’t be left stranded. Hence, you’ll need to purchase a Kosovan medical insurance plan that will remain valid for the entirety of your stay in the country.
#2. Contact the Kosovan Embassy or Consulate
Call the telephone line of the Kosovan Embassy in your country (or closest to it). Some countries have specific requirements, so consult with the consular officer to be sure you don’t need to bring anything else. Once this is confirmed, agree on an interview date and collect the embassy’s account details for the visa fee.
#3. Pay the Visa Fee
After getting the bank details from the embassy, make the payment and keep the invoice/receipt with you. Then, add it to the documents you’ll take to the embassy. The Kosovo tourist visa costs €40; however, the visa is free for children under the age of six (6).
#4. Attend Your Interview
Prepare for your interview; dress appropriately and ensure that you are punctual on the interview date. Answer all questions clearly and leave a good impression on the consular officer. Submit your application form and all accompanying documents as well.
#5. Prepare Yourself
After the interview, brace yourself for the outcome. If it comes out positive, you can travel on your proposed date. You can either accept the visa rejection and reapply or appeal the decision. If your visa is rejected, you have eight days to make your appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. How long before I become a Kosovo citizen?
To become a Kosovo citizen, you must have lived there for at least ten years. The first five would be on a temporary residence permit since you need that number of years to become a permanent resident. The other five would be on permanent residence.
#2. How long is the visa processing time for a Kosovo tourist visa?
Kosovo visa processing time is between 5 days to 30 days. Therefore, you are advised to make your applications on time to account for delays. However, note that you cannot apply more than three (3) months before your intended travel date.
#3. Do they speak English in Kosovo?
Yes, they do. English is one of the most popular foreign languages in the country, as even a lot of schools use it as their language of instruction. So if English is your first or second language, you should fit right in here.
#4. What are some of the biggest tourist attractions in Kosovo?
Some of the biggest tourist attractions in Kosovo include; Germia Park, Batlava Lake, the Kosovo Museum, the Marble Cave, and the Mother Teresa Cathedral.
#5. Can I work in Kosovo with a tourist visa?
No, you can’t. If you want to work in Kosovo, you have to obtain a Kosovo work visa and a temporary residence permit after gaining employment.
Kosovo is a beautiful country and an incredible tourist attraction too. It has all the essential elements for a budget-friendly vacation/tourist trip. If you’re looking for a temporary change of scenery without breaking the bank, the Kosovo tourist visa is only a phone call and a few documents away.