|Date first issued||30 July 2008 (non-biometric)
31 October 2011 (biometric)
|Type of document||Passport|
|Expiration||10 years after acquisition for adults|
The Kosovan passport (Albanian: Pasaporta e Kosovës; Serbian: Косовски пасош / Kosovski pasoš) is a travel document that is issued to the citizens of the Republic 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.
Since October 31, 2011, Kosovo authorities have started issuing the new Kosovo biometric passport.
There are four types of passports: Ordinary, Official, Diplomatic and Travel Document. An application fee of €25 is required.
- Dark Blue cover
- Issued to all citizens of Kosovo with a maximum validity of 10 years to facilitate private international travel.
- Maroon cover
- Issued to political staff within the Government as well as their family members with a maximum validity of 5 years.
- Black cover
- Issued to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, members of the Government, the President of the Constitutional Court, the President of the Supreme Court, Ambassadors as well as other diplomatic staff in embassies or consulates around the world, to the Ombudsperson, members of state delegations if so required, Government officials which have been appointed as representatives of the Government in various international organisations, diplomatic couriers as prescribed by law, and persons of interest as prescribed by the law with a maximum validity of 5 years.
- Light Blue cover
- Issued to the citizens of Kosovo if the original passport has been lost or stolen, and/or it has expired. It can also be issued for group travel of no fewer than 5 persons and no more than 50. A Travel Document has a maximum validity of 30 days.
Identity Information Page
The bearer page contains the following information:
- Type [P]
- Code [Country Code: RKS]
- Passport Number
- Given name(s)
- Place of Birth
- Date of Birth
- Citizenship [Kosovar]
- Eye Colour
- Issuing Authority
- Personal Number
- Date of Issue/Expiry
In addition to a picture of the bearer's face, a fingerprint and the signature of the holder are also present on page 3.
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 Republic of China(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 in neighbouring Serbia 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 no longer refuses entry to people with entry and exit stamps of the Republic of Kosovo customs authority or visas in their passports. These stamps and visas are simply over-stamped, which can create problems with long term visas being annulled. However, border crossings from third nations to the Republic of Kosovo are considered illegal points of entry by Serbia, and it can create problems if one enters and attempts to leave Serbia without a corresponding entry stamp.
- International recognition of Kosovo
- Foreign relations of Kosovo
- List of diplomatic missions in Kosovo
- UNMIK Travel Document
- Visa requirements for Kosovo citizens
- Kosovo identity card
Notes and references
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.
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