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EU Council agrees negotiating mandate on visa free travel to Kosovo

EU member states ambassadors today agreed the Council’s negotiating mandate on a regulation on visa free travel for holders of passports issued by Kosovo. On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament. kosovo  visa

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Today we have taken an important step towards visa free travel for Kosovo and we now hope to reach an agreement with the European Parliament swiftly to make this promise a reality. Visa liberalisation has been made possible by Kosovo’s efforts to strengthen its border controls, migration management and security, and we trust that this good cooperation will only grow stronger in the future, said Jan Lipavský, Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The draft rules would allow Kosovo passport holders to travel to the EU without a visa for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. Under the Council position, the exemption from the visa requirement would apply from the start date for the operation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and in any case no later than 1 January 2024. Get the most important Kosovo travel & tech news here.

Background

Kosovo has achieved substantial advancements across all sectors of the visa liberalization roadmap, encompassing areas such as document security, border and migration management, public order and security, and fundamental rights associated with freedom of movement. Given this evaluation, the Commission proposed to eliminate the visa requirement for individuals possessing passports issued by Kosovo. The removal of visa requirements will guarantee a unified visa regime across the entire Western Balkan region.

The Commission will continue to actively monitor the implementation of these requirements, including visa policy alignment, through the post-visa liberalisation mechanism.

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Visa-free regime with non-EU countries kosovo visa

Currently, the EU maintains a visa-free policy with 61 non-EU nations, two special administrative regions of China (Hong Kong and Macao), and one territorial entity (Taiwan) that is not acknowledged as a state by at least one EU member nation.

Under this policy, non-EU citizens equipped with a biometric passport can access the Schengen region for short-term visits without the necessity for a visa.

The concept of visa reciprocity is in effect, meaning that EU citizens are granted the same visa-free privileges when traveling to these non-EU countries.

Out of the 61 non-EU nations enjoying a visa-free policy, 27 have formalized visa waiver agreements with the EU.

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