Kosovo on 1 July 2013 started a visa regime for citizens of 87 countries, for the first time since it declared independence from Serbia. The prominent countries include China and Russia.
The visa regime is directed towards protecting Kosovo from human trafficking and illegal migration. The selection of countries for providing visa to its citizens will be based on security threats for Kosovo and for international peace and stability.
The list of 87 countries includes the UN Security Council permanent members who do not recognise Kosovo as an independent state and have been blocking its bid to become a UN member. Apart from Russia; Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine are the only European countries whose citizens are required to obtain a visa, as well as a number of Asian and African states, including Egypt, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
There is also a provision that citizens of some countries would be able to obtain a visa on Kosovo’s borders, while others would have to apply in a consulate.
It is important here to note that Kosovo is region in southeastern Europe which was declared independence from Serbia in 2008. More than 100 countries, including the United States and all but five EU member states, have recognised its independence.
When: 1 July 2013