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Because it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo has been the topic of a lot worldwide dispute. Serbia, together with a variety of different United Nations member states, doesn’t acknowledge Kosovo as an impartial nation, whereas over 100 different international locations do. So, whether or not Kosovo is the youngest nation in Europe or not even a rustic in any respect relies upon fully in your perspective.
Both approach, no matter the place you stand politically, the principles that decide find out how to enter Kosovo legally are the identical for everybody. On this publish, we’ll define clearly how one can enter and go away Kosovo legally. We’ll additionally level out a few journey circumstances that may trigger points.
In brief, nonetheless, getting into Kosovo legally shouldn’t be that sophisticated. When you get a deeper understanding of the geography and border scenario of Kosovo, Serbia, and the opposite surrounding Balkan international locations, you’ll clearly see what your choices are.
How To Enter And Depart Kosovo Legally From Serbia Or Different International locations
You basically have two easy choices to enter and go away Kosovo legally.
The primary one is getting into Kosovo and leaving Kosovo with out crossing every other borders within the meantime. Possibility quantity two is getting into Kosovo through Serbia and leaving Kosovo through the Kosovo-Serbian border.
An important factor to know right here is that Serbia doesn’t acknowledge their border with Kosovo as any border in any respect. They contemplate Kosovo to be a Serbian area.
Nonetheless, as a result of the border between Kosovo and its neighboring international locations shouldn’t be managed by the Serbian authorities, they gained’t have a report of anybody getting into Kosovo (and, of their eyes, Serbia) that approach. This may occasionally trigger issues if you wish to journey from Kosovo to Serbia afterward because you gained’t have a Serbian entry stamp in your passport.
To keep away from this immigration downside, you may select between the next two choices to enter and go away Kosovo legally.
Possibility 1: Enter Kosovo And Depart Kosovo Through Non-Serbian Borders
Most suitable choice for: individuals who solely need to go to Kosovo and never go to Serbia afterward.
That is positively your only option if you happen to simply need to go to Kosovo and never proceed to Serbia. You’ll be able to enter Kosovo with none issues through its border with Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia, or through the airport in Pristina, the nation’s capital.
If you try this, you’ll get a Kosovo entry stamp in your passport (so, not a Serbian one). Since, to Serbian authorities, there gained’t be report of your legally getting into Serbia this fashion, you may need bother crossing the Kosovo-Serbia border.
There’s a simple technique to circumvent this potential downside, although. If you enter Kosovo through certainly one of its neighboring international locations, you may merely go away through a kind of three borders, too. This fashion, you’ll have each an entry and exit stamp of Kosovo in your passport.
Steps To Enter And Depart Kosovo Legally Through A Non-Serbian Border
- Enter Kosovo legally through the Pristina Airport or a border with Montenegro, Albania or North Macedonia. You’ll get a Kosovo entry stamp in your passport.
- Journey round Kosovo with out visiting Serbia.
- Depart Kosovo legally through the Pristina Airport or a border with Montenegro, Albania or North Macedonia. You’ll get a Kosovo exit stamp in your passport.
NOTE: Crossing the border from Kosovo into Serbia does appear to be much less of an issue than it was once these days. We advocate not risking it, although.
There’s nonetheless an actual probability you’ll be turned away on the Kosovo-Serbia border with out a Serbia entry stamp in your passport. If you happen to’re touring with a passport and have entered Kosovo first, we advocate leaving Kosovo through certainly one of its three different borders and touring to Serbia through a 3rd nation.
Moreover, it’s essential to notice that EU residents with an EU ID card gained’t have any points with any of Kosovo’s borders—each Serbian and worldwide. That is just because these ID playing cards should not stamped upon entry or exit. With an EU ID card, you may cross all Kosovo borders freely and unrestrictedly.
Possibility 2: Enter Kosovo From Serbia And Depart Through Serbian Border
Most suitable choice for: vacationers who need to go to each Serbia and Kosovo.
Your second choice to enter and go away Kosovo legally is through Serbia, which considers Kosovo to be certainly one of its personal areas. If you enter Serbia legally and get a Serbia entry stamp, you may freely journey forwards and backwards to Kosovo throughout the (unofficial) Kosovo-Serbia border.
When you’re in Serbia—through the airport in Belgrade or certainly one of its many borders with Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina—you may go to Kosovo and again as typically as you’d like. (You gained’t get a Serbia exit stamp once you journey from Serbia to Kosovo.)
In case you’d like to go to Serbia once more afterward, we advocate leaving Serbia through certainly one of its official border checkpoints. This may both be the Belgrade Airport or a border crossing with a kind of quite a few neighboring international locations.
The rationale for that is that, once you go away from Kosovo (and never Serbia), you’ll have a Kosovo exit stamp (and never a Serbian one). This fashion, there’s no report of your leaving Serbia, which may make it look like you overstayed your go to in Serbia.
This second possibility is arguably your greatest one, since there won’t be any report of your ever having entered Kosovo in any respect in your passport. You gained’t have Kosovo passport stamps, which can keep away from potential issues if you happen to’d like to go to Serbia once more in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later.
Steps To Enter And Depart Kosovo Legally Through Serbia
- Enter Serbia legally through the Belgrade Airport or from certainly one of its neighboring international locations. You’ll get a Serbia entry stamp in your passport.
- Enter Kosovo through the (unofficial) Kosovo-Serbia border
- Exit Kosovo through the identical (unofficial) Kosovo-Serbia border
- Depart Serbia legally through the Belgrade Airport or a border crossing with one of many neighboring international locations. You’ll get a Serbia exit stamp in your passport.
NOTE: Once more, EU residents with an EU ID card can cross all Serbian and Kosovar borders freely and gained’t expertise any bother on the best way as a result of they gained’t have any immigration stamps.
Getting into And Leaving Kosovo: The Backside Line
Merely put, most worldwide vacationers will at all times have the ability to enter Kosovo legally. Whether or not it’s through a global border with Montenegro, Albania or North Macedonia, or through the Kosovo-Serbia border, moving into Kosovo shouldn’t be a difficulty.
It’s leaving Kosovo that might trigger an issue, however solely in a single case. If you happen to’d wish to journey from Kosovo to Serbia after having entered Kosovo first, you is perhaps turned away since you’ll have a Kosovo entry stamp and never a Serbian one.
You’ll be able to keep away from this problem by leaving Kosovo the identical approach you entered, both through a global border or through Serbia. So, to summarize, you have got two choices:
- Enter Kosovo and exit Kosovo legally through the Pristina Airport or a border with Montenegro, Albania or North Macedonia, with out visiting Serbia.
- Enter Kosovo and exit Kosovo through the Kosovo-Serbia border in Serbia (and arrive and go away Serbia through the Belgrade Airport or a border with certainly one of its neighboring international locations).