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Spain Acknowledges Kosovo Passports, Facilitating Visa-Free Travel

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially recognized Kosovo passports, easing legal complications for citizens of Kosovo traveling to Spain and other Schengen Zone countries that do not formally acknowledge Kosovo's independence. Despite the recognition of these passports, Spain clarified that it does not imply acknowledgment of Kosovo as an independent state.

Spain Acknowledges Kosovo Passports, Facilitating Visa-Free Travel

Elena Aljarilla Cortezon, spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated, "All Schengen countries that do not recognize Kosovo have accepted the use of regular Kosovo passports. This, in no way, implies recognition of Kosovo."

Effective January 1, 2024, citizens of Kosovo became eligible for visa-free short-term stays in the European Union's Schengen Area, concluding an eleven-year process. Spain, despite previous indications to the contrary, announced its decision to allow visa-free entry for Kosovars. Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi revealed the change, emphasizing its positive impact on Kosovars and the nation as a whole.

Bislimi shared news from the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the EU, confirming that Spain now recognizes passports issued by the Republic of Kosovo. He stated, "As of January 1st, visa-free travel has begun, and Spain is a destination added to the Schengen Zone countries where we can travel through liberalization and where the obstacle was previously the non-recognition of our passport."


Notably, Spain's decision to accept visa-free travel for Kosovars contrasts with its previous stance of not recognizing Kosovo's independence. Despite the EU and Kosovo visa liberalization agreement signed in April 2023, Spain initially declared its intention not to implement visa liberalization for Kosovo. Spain's Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, emphasized the country's longstanding policy of non-recognition of Kosovo and its passports.

The recent acknowledgment of Kosovo passports by Spain eliminates additional requirements, such as visas, for Kosovars planning to travel to the country, signaling a significant development in facilitating cross-border movement.



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