Visa Liberalisation Strengthens Kosovo Passport by 90 Positions in Passport Power Index

Visa Liberalisation Strengthens Kosovo Passport by 90 Positions in Passport Power Index

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Visa-free access to the Schengen Area member states has empowered the Kosovo passport overnight on January 1, 2024, enabling it to rise from the 188th position in the Visa Guide Passport Indexto the 98th.

As of January 1, 2024, Kosovo passport holders can visit a total of 48 world countries completely visa-free, including here the 27 Schengen Area member states, Romania and Bulgaria, which will join Schengen on March 31, as well as Cyprus, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The only country in the European Union for which Kosovans still need a visa to visit for tourist and business purposes is Ireland, since the same is not part of the Schengen Zone, and therefore, its policy is not completely aligned with that of the other Member States.

As of today, Kosovo citizens can also travel to UAE visa-free, which means the number of visa-free countries has increased to 49, and Kosovo is now placed in the 97th position.

Before visa liberalization, Kosovo citizens could travel visa-free only to 11 countries, including here its neighbours โ€“ Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia โ€“ to which they can also travel passport-free, with only a valid ID.

Commenting on the climb up of Kosovo in the Visa Guide Passport Index, Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo.com has noted that the EU is the sole governing institution in the world that has the authority to grant such power to a single passport overnight.

This is a historical achievement for Kosovo, and a historical climb up in the passport strength index, which showcases that only the EU has the exclusive authority to increase the power of a passport overnight, to such an extent.

Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo

Currently, Kosovo passport holders can travel completely visa-free to 49 world countries. Yet, they need a traditional visa to travel to 97 world countries, a visa on arrival to visit 32, and an eVisa to another 32 countries.

The Kosovo passport is banned in 14 countries โ€“ Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Seychelles, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela โ€“ as their governments do not recognise Kosovo as an independent state.

Spain was part of this list before January 6. However, the Spanish authorities have decided to recognize Kosovo passports in order for their holders to be able to visit its territory without any problems.

According to Besart Bajrami, the main reason behind Spainโ€™s move, is its incapability to fully impose a ban on Kosovo passports.

As a Schengen member, Spain does not have internal border controls, which makes it possible for Kosovo citizens to enter its territory from Portugal. Therefore, even if it kept the passport ban in place, it would simply not be possible for the Spanish authorities to have under control if Kosovo citizens enter its territory or not.

Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo

The most powerful passport for January 2024 according to Visa Guide Passport Index is that of Spain, followed by Germany listed second, and Singapore third.

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