Spain Recognises Kosovo Passports, Allowing Visa-Free Travel for Citizens

Spain Recognises Kosovo Passports, Allowing Visa-Free Travel for Citizens

In a significant development for citizens of Kosovo, Spain has officially recognised passports issued by the Republic of Kosovo, enabling Kosovars to travel visa-free to the country. 

This decision comes shortly after Kosovo citizens were granted visa-free access within the European Union's Schengen zone.

Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi expressed his satisfaction on social media, welcoming Spain's recognition of Kosovo passports as “more good news” for Kosovo. He highlighted the importance of this move, stating, “So we can travel without [a] visa to this country.”

Kosovar Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz also acknowledged and thanked Madrid for its decision, emphasising that while this recognition of passports doesn't constitute formal acknowledgment of Kosovo as an independent state by Spain, it signifies a crucial step forward for Kosovar citizens.

The implementation of visa liberalisation for Kosovo citizens took effect on January 1, allowing them to travel visa-free within the Schengen zone for up to 90 days within 180 days. This landmark regulation is aimed at facilitating tourism and personal travel and doesn't include authorisation for employment.

Spain's recognition of Kosovo passports aligns with similar moves by other European Union states that do not officially recognize Kosovo's independence but acknowledge travel documents issued by Kosovo authorities. Among the EU countries that haven't formally recognized Kosovo are Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Romania, all of which, however, accept travel documents issued by Kosovo.

The decision by Spain to accept Kosovo passports marks a significant milestone for Kosovo, which was the last of the six countries in the Western Balkans to receive visa waiver privileges within the Schengen zone. This achievement is considered a crucial advancement for Kosovo's aspirations to join the European Union, signalling growing acceptance and integration within the EU framework.

Despite not receiving recognition from all EU member states, more than 100 countries globally, including the United States, have acknowledged Kosovo's statehood. However, some nations, notably Serbia's allies Russia and China, have yet to extend recognition.

The recognition of Kosovo passports by Spain is a pivotal step forward in fostering closer ties between the two nations and enhancing the mobility and opportunities for Kosovo citizens within the Schengen zone.

This recognition by Spain stands as a testament to the evolving relationships and the ongoing progress toward greater inclusion and cooperation between Kosovo and EU member states, marking a positive milestone in Kosovo's journey toward international integration and recognition.

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