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Travel Kosova - Travel Kosovo - Open Project FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> Movement of Persons Into and Out of Kosova

Question
·  Does the Regulation create a visa regime?
·  Who will require authorisation for entry into Kosovo? Will a written application be required for requesting authorisation for entry?
·  For those requiring authorisation, what will be the procedure and what documents and information will they be required to provide at the time of entry?
·  For what period of time will a person be authorised to remain in Kosovo after entry?
·  What will be the procedure for seeking extension of stay in Kosovo beyond the period of initial authorisation? Where should one go for obtaining extension?
·  What about persons requiring authorisation, who are already in Kosovo before the entry into force of this Regulation, i.e. those who entered Kosovo before 1 July 2005 and are still here?
·  Will travel documents be stamped during entry/exit?
·  What will be the procedure for allowing entry to Macedonian and Albanian nationals?
·  What if they want to stay in Kosovo for more than 90 days?
·  How will police know which of these persons are staying in Kosovo for what period of time?
·  What about persons who frequently enter and exit Kosovo?
·  What will be the procedure for Kosovans currently residing abroad, but who now want to visit/return to Kosovo?
·  The Regulation allows free entry of persons holding Serbia and Montenegro travel documents. Should they not be screened and why are they exempted from acquiring authorisation?
·  What is the safeguard for persons wrongfully denied entry into Kosovo?
·  What will happen to persons violating the provisions of this regulation?
·  What about persons forcibly returned to Kosovo?
·  Who answered all these FAQs

Answer
·  Does the Regulation create a visa regime?

The Regulation does not create a visa regime. There is no fee required for any person seeking entry into Kosovo. The Regulation is a measure aimed at improving the border controls primarily directed at organised crime operations and human trafficking.

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·  Who will require authorisation for entry into Kosovo? Will a written application be required for requesting authorisation for entry?

No person will require written authorisation to enter Kosovo. All persons seeking to enter Kosovo who are not: Persons holding an UNMIK travel document, their spouse or dependent family member under the age of 18 years; Persons holding an identity card indicating that the bearer is a habitual resident of Kosovo, their spouse or dependent family member under the age of 18 years; Persons authorised to reside indefinitely in Kosovo by the relevant governmental authority based on guidelines and rules established by the Government in coordination with UNMIK; Persons holding a travel document or identity card of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; A member of UNMIK or KFOR; An official of the United Nations or an expert on mission for the United Nations; An official of an international intergovernmental organisation with an established office in Kosovo or a liaison office of a foreign government in Kosovo; Persons holding a travel document of Macedonia or Albania; will be required to make an ORAL application to enter Kosovo at the point of entry. The border police will determine based on the criteria outlined in the Regulation whether or not a person will be granted entry. Once entry is granted, the personís travel document will be stamped accordingly.

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·  For those requiring authorisation, what will be the procedure and what documents and information will they be required to provide at the time of entry?

In addition to holding a travel document, a person requesting authorisation for entry into Kosovo will have to satisfy the border police of: The reasons for the entry and stay in Kosovo; And may have to produce any supporting documentation for the reason for entry. Such documentation could include: For a person seeking entry for a study program: an identification card from the relevant institution, a letter confirming his or her enrolment or other similar document; For a person seeking entry for employment purposes: a letter of offer, employment contract or other document confirming employment; For a person who has a legitimate business interest in Kosovo: documentation establishing the business interest. In exceptional circumstances, the relevant UNMIK authorities may request Macedonian or Albanian nationals to produce such documentation, in addition to the travel document establishing his or her citizenship, as may be required to verify the bona fide travel purpose.

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·  For what period of time will a person be authorised to remain in Kosovo after entry?

An authorization to enter and remain temporarily in Kosovo will be granted for up to 90 days each time.

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·  What will be the procedure for seeking extension of stay in Kosovo beyond the period of initial authorisation? Where should one go for obtaining extension?

Applications for extension of stay beyond the authorized period of 90 days from the date of entry can be made to the Police Main Headquarters in Pristina. The application should be submitted at least 15 days before expiry of the authorization period. The Police will fill in the form. The applicant will have to provide the same information as required at the time of the first application for entry. The application will be reviewed by an officer at the time of submission, who will take the applicantís fingerprints and photographs. In reviewing an application, the officer may request such additional information as may be required to determine, to the officerís satisfaction, whether the applicant should be authorized to remain in Kosovo pursuant to the Regulation. Upon completing the review of an application, the officer may immediately extend the personís authorization to remain in Kosovo for a period of 90 days, by placing an entry stamp in the personís travel document or on the personís documentary proof of authorization to remain in Kosovo, or deny the personís application. If an application is denied, the officer shall provide a written decision to the person, which shall include: (a) the reasons why the extension was denied; (b) a statement that the person will be required to leave Kosovo prior to or on the date of expiry of the personís current authorization to remain in Kosovo; and (c) a statement of the personís right to apply for a review of the decision within seven days.

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·  What about persons requiring authorisation, who are already in Kosovo before the entry into force of this Regulation, i.e. those who entered Kosovo before 1 July 2005 and are still here?

From 1 July, when the Regulation enters into force, there will be a 90 day transitional period during which all persons who are already in Kosovo, but who fall under categories requiring authorisation for entry or stay in Kosovo under this Regulation, will be required to apply and obtain authorisation for remaining in Kosovo. Failure to do so will constitute a minor offence.

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·  Will travel documents be stamped during entry/exit?

For a Macedonian or Albanian national who is authorised to enter and remain in Kosovo, there will be no stamp placed inside the travel document. For all other persons, the travel documents or alternatively, the documentary proof of authorisation will be stamped both during entry and exit.

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·  What will be the procedure for allowing entry to Macedonian and Albanian nationals?

For persons holding Macedonian or Albanian travel documents, there will be no change in the procedure for entry from that being followed in the past. On presentation of their travel documents, they will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements for authorisation to enter. Their travel documents will not be stamped. And of course no fee will be charged. The Border Police officer may in some cases enquire about the purpose of their entry. This is the procedure being followed until now and the same will continue.

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·  What if they want to stay in Kosovo for more than 90 days?

Persons holding Macedonian or Albanian travel documents who want to stay in Kosovo for more than 90 days continuously will be required to seek oral authorisation for extension of stay from the designated officer of Police Main Headquarters in Pristina. For this purpose, they will be required to explain to the authorising official the reason for their continued stay in Kosovo. This is essential to regulate prolonged stay of foreigners in Kosovo.

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·  How will police know which of these persons are staying in Kosovo for what period of time?

Although persons holding Macedonian or Albanian travel documents are not required to obtain written authorisation and will not have their passports stamped on entry/exit, all entries/exits are recorded in the PISCES computerised database of UNMIK Border Police. The police will therefore, know which persons entered and stayed in Kosovo for what period of time.

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·  What about persons who frequently enter and exit Kosovo?

A multi-entry system has been established whereby persons who are frequently entering and exiting Kosovo can be issued an identification card which is valid for up to a year and allows for the identification document/card to be stamped instead of the travel document. The multi-entry system can apply to international persons who are treated as visitors under the Regulation, students, truck drivers or other persons who have to travel frequently across the border.

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·  What will be the procedure for Kosovans currently residing abroad, but who now want to visit/return to Kosovo?

Any person returning to Kosovo who has been residing abroad and who does not carry a travel document from a foreign jurisdiction will be granted entry to Kosovo on the basis of his/her supporting documentation establishing that that person is eligible to register as a habitual resident of Kosovo (e.g. birth certificate). This entry permit will be for a temporary period sufficient to enable such a person to register with the Central Processing Centre (CPC) and obtain an identity card. However, if such persons are already holding a foreign travel document (e.g. a German passport), then they will be treated as foreigners as is the practice in any country for citizens who acquire foreign citizenship/passports.

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·  The Regulation allows free entry of persons holding Serbia and Montenegro travel documents. Should they not be screened and why are they exempted from acquiring authorisation?

The requirement of authorisation would be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. However, it is not correct to say that there will be no screening of such persons at the time of entry. The Regulation provides that a national of Serbia and Montenegro who is not a habitual resident of Kosovo (nor the spouse or dependent child of a habitual resident) may be denied entry to Kosovo if UNMIK Border Police has reasonable grounds to believe that such person falls into any of the various categories set forth in section 5.2 of the Regulation, including that the person will engage or has engaged in terrorist acts or is or has been a member of an organized criminal or terrorist organisation, a person suspected of an intention to commit violent acts and any person suspected of entering Kosovo to undermine the aims and purposes of UNMIKís mandate.

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·  What is the safeguard for persons wrongfully denied entry into Kosovo?

Safeguards are laid down requiring officials to provide reasons in writing to a person denied entry or refugee status, with the concerned individual then having the right to seek judicial review of the decision. In the order denying entry, the individual will be informed of his/her right to apply in writing to the relevant District Court for a review of the decision within 7 days from the date of receipt of the denial. The review will be on any ground that involves a question of law or fact, or on compassionate or humanitarian grounds which support a modification of the decision.

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·  What will happen to persons violating the provisions of this regulation?

Violation of specific provisions of this Regulation could constitute a minor offence punishable by fine of up to Ä1000, imprisonment not exceeding 30 days and/or an order requiring the person to leave Kosovo for a period of 6 months to 3 years.

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·  What about persons forcibly returned to Kosovo?

Procedures in respect of persons who are forcibly returned to Kosovo lie outside the scope of this Regulation. Procedures in this respect are followed in accordance with the existing policy of UNMIK/ORC and UNHCR as reviewed from time to time. For any further enquiries on this matter please email your queries to: movementofpersons@hotmail.com

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·  Who answered all these FAQs

The FAQ above are not answered by Travel Kosova but they are answered by UNMIK Administration - UNMIK Regulation No. 2005/16 (http://www.unmikonline.org/misc/FAQ_Movement_ofPersons.htm)

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