The decision by the Council of the European Union to allow visa-free entry for Kosovo passport holders from January 1, 2024 would quadruple the strength of that country’s passport, according to Besart Bajrami, founder of VisaGuide.World.
NOW, Kosovo passport is placed in 195th position in the ranking VisaGuide.World Passport Index which classifies passports from a total of 199 countries, whose citizens can travel visa-free to other countries.
“In the VisaGuide.Passport index, the Kosovo passport is ranked at 195th position with a passport score of 10.39. Below Kosovo are the passports of Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan. In the event of visa liberalization by the EU, Kosovo would move up 93 positions, to 102nd place, and passport strength would almost quadruple, to reach 38.93.” Bajrami highlighted this in this regard, reports VisaGuide.World.
Yet, according to Bajrami, the Balkan country would remain at the bottom of the list compared to the passports of other Western Balkan states, despite the fact that it would climb 93 positions in VisaGuide.World’s passport index.
According to the founder of VisaGuide.World, this is due to the fact that a large number of countries have still not recognized the Republic of Kosovo as an independent country.
“Among the countries of the Western Balkans, we would still be last, because in 15 countries of the world (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela) , due to lack of recognition, we are prohibited from entering with a Kosovo passport”, Bajrami noted.
The Council of the EU has adopted its position at first reading on the visa waiver for Kosovo passport holders.
According to the new changes applied by the EU Council, Kosovar passport holders would be allowed to travel to EU countries without a visa, for a period of stay of a total of 90 days over a period of 180 days.
The Council confirmed that the visa exemption would apply from the date when the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) comes into force, or from January 1 of next year, “whichever comes first,” reports VisaGuide.World.
While noting that Kosovo has made considerable efforts to improve its security and migration management and also align its visa policy with that of the EU, the Council said that the new changes, before being signed, must be adopted by the European Parliament.
Kosovo authorities have been trying to allow visa-free travel for their citizens since February 19, 2012, but the process is not yet complete, although in 2018 the European Commission assessed that the country met all the necessary conditions for a such a journey. process to complete.