Front cover of an ordinary biometric Kosovan passport issued since 2011
|First issued||30 July 2008 (non-biometric)|
31 October 2011 (biometric)
|Expiration||10 years after acquisition for adults|
5 years after acquisition for children
The Kosovan passport (Albanian: Pasaporta e Kosovës; Serbian: Косовски пасош / Kosovski pasoš) is a travel document that is issued to the citizens of Kosovo.[a] The document facilitates international travel as well as serving as proof of citizenship. The issuance of passports is the prerogative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with the exception of diplomatic passports which are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kosovan passports comply with all the recommended standards set for machine-readable passports by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (such as size, technology, security, layout, etc.), but the country/citizenship code RKS is not within ISO 3166 and thus not ICAO-endorsed. The passport design was disclosed on 14 March 2008. The first passports were issued on 30 July 2008 and as of 20 May 2009, 300,000 passports have been issued to the citizens of Kosovo.
The new design of the passport is a burgundy colour, with the coat of arms of the Republic of Kosovo in the middle of the cover page. The word "Passport" is written on the cover of the passport in Albanian, Serbian and English. All relevant identity information about the bearer is printed in these languages as well. For citizens that are 18 years old or older, the passport is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. Before the introduction of the new national passports, travel documents were issued by the United Nations administration with a maximum validity of 2 years. Those travel documents ceased being issued in 2008, with the remaining documents valid until 2010.
The Kosovo biometric passport has been issued since 31 October 2011. In May 2011, the Ministry of Interior announced that biometric passports would be issued in the summer of 2011 after the winning firm is chosen and awarded the production of the passports.
There are four types of passports: Ordinary, Official, Diplomatic and Travel Document. An application fee of €25 is required.
The bearer page contains the following information:
In addition to a picture of the bearer's face, a fingerprint and the signature of the holder are also present on page 3.
As of 30 May 2019, Kosovan citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 43 countries and territories, ranking the Kosovan passport 95th in the world in terms of travel freedom (tied with the DR Congo and Sri Lankan passports) according to the Henley Passport Index.
In addition, other countries have recognised the Kosovan passport as a travel document whilst not recognising Kosovo as a country. The situation here is similar to that of the Taiwan passport, which many countries routinely process, even though they only maintain unofficial diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The following countries have officially stated that they accept the Kosovan passport as a valid travel document, whilst not recognising Kosovo as an independent country:
In addition there are several countries to which people have apparently been able to travel on Kosovan passports, however where this is not officially stated policy or well established de facto practice this is not an indication that such a travel can be repeated in the future. Countries that have reportedly been visited in this manner include:
Russia does not recognise Kosovo as an independent state, nor does it recognise the Kosovan Passport as a valid travel document for everyday entry to Russia under normal circumstances. However, the Kosovan Passport can be used to enter Russia in special cases such as to attend or participate in events under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee and other international sporting organisations, which Kosovo is a member of. Russia issues visas in the form of special forms inserted into the Kosovan Passports. The Russian Embassy in Belgrade published a statement about use of the Kosovan Passport in Russia:
"It is only possible to enter the territory of the Russian Federation with passports of the so-called Republic of Kosovo in cases based on the fulfilment of international obligations of the Russian Federation as a side-recipient of an event, which is organised through multilateral structures, whose member or participant is the so-called Republic of Kosovo... For other purposes, the procedure of entry of persons with Kosovo passports to the territory of Russia has not changed. Namely, their entry is not possible."
Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as an independent state, nor does it recognise the Kosovan passport as a valid travel document. However, citizens of the Republic of Kosovo can freely enter Serbia and stay for 90 days with a valid identity card.
When the issuing of new Kosovan visas and passport stamps began in 2008, Serbia refused entry to people with entry and exit stamps of the Republic of Kosovo customs authority stamps or visas in their passports. In addition, border crossings from third countries (Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia through land, many more through air travel) to Kosovo were considered illegal points of entry by Serbia, and it had created problems if one entered through there and then attempted to leave Serbia through another border crossing in Central Serbia or Vojvodina without a corresponding entry stamp. That practice, however, was soon abandoned and these are now simply over-stamped (nullified), which potentially could create new problems with long term Kosovan visas being annulled.