Council presidency and European Parliament representatives agree on visa-free travel with Kosovo

Published on: 15 December 2022

On 14 December 2022, the Council presidency and representatives of the European Parliament reached an agreement on the draft regulation on allowing visa free travel between countries in the European Union and the Republic of Kosovo. 

If the agreed text is formally adopted, Kosovo passport holders will no longer need to apply for a visa if they want to travel to any country in the European Union. In fact, they will be able to stay in any EU country without a visa for a period of 90 days in any 180-day period.

According to a press release by the Council of the European Union, the exemption from the visa requirement would come into effect from the start date for the operation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and/or no later than 1 January 2024.

For now, the agreed text on visa free travel between EU countries and Kosovo is awaiting approval from the EU Council and the European Parliament. Only then, it can go through the formal adoption procedure.

The European Commission proposed the removal of the visa requirement of holders of passports issued by Kosovo after it evaluated Kosovo’s progress on all blocks of the visa liberalization roadmap, which includes migration management and combating organized crime. After the evaluation, the European Commission determined that Kosovo’s progress was significant. 

If Kosovo is exempted from the visa requirement, the whole Western Balkan region will be under the same visa regime. In the meantime, the European Commission continues to monitor the implementation of those requirements, including visa policy alignment, through the post-visa liberalization mechanism.

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