KosovoOfficial Name: Republic of Kosovo
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for visits less than 90 days in a six-month period
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
10,000 euros or more in cash must be declared
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
10,000 euros or more in cash must be declared
Embassies and Consulates
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Kosovo for information on United States - Kosovo relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter Kosovo and may be asked to provide documentation stating the purpose of their visit.
- No visa is required for tourist trips of up to 90 days within six months.
- For work, study, or visits longer than 90 days within six months, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at Pristina’s Directorate for Migration and Foreigners (+381 38-200-190-26/27/17) or email for information prior to arrival in Kosovo).
- To apply for a temporary residence permit, you will need to provide proof of local health insurance and an official police background check report. See our Criminal Records checks page on our website. The U.S. Embassy cannot assist you in obtaining background checks, certificates of conduct, or fingerprints.
The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene on your behalf, obtain one for you at the airport when applying for a visa, or assist if you are denied entry into Kosovo.
Kosovo law requires U.S. citizens to present photo identification (driver’s license or passport copy) to prove identity when asked by an authorized official.
Additional Entry/Exit Requirements for Minors: Kosovo law requires unaccompanied children under 14, regardless of nationality, to have written, notarized permission from both parents or both legal guardians to depart Kosovo without both parents. Please review the U.S. Embassy’s website for more information on children’s issues.
Special note on travel to Serbia: If you wish to travel to Serbia after visiting Kosovo, you must have initially entered Kosovo through Serbia and have a valid, recent Serbian entry stamp. U.S. citizens entering Kosovo from a country other than Serbia, including from any other country via Pristina’s airport, will be barred from entering Serbia by Serbian border officials.
Visit the website of the Embassy of Kosovo for more information on how to apply for a residency permit and visa information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Kosovo.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
For most visitors, Kosovo remains a safe country. Petty street crime is the most common safety concern for U.S. citizens. The Kosovo Police, assisted by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) police and the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), are responsible for safety, security, and stability in Kosovo. The U.S. Embassy has no law enforcement authority.
- Travel by U.S. Embassy personnel to North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan is restricted due to incidents of violence and high tensions in these areas.
- The U.S. government strongly advises private U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to these regions as well. The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens who encounter difficulties in these areas.
- Be especially aware of security conditions at northern Kosovo-Serbian borders, specifically Gates 1 and 31 at Jarinje and Brnjak, where political violence has occurred on many occasions.
- Approximately a dozen incidents with grenades, including threats with grenades, have occurred in major Kosovo towns in the past year. However, most incidents were politically motivated and none resulted in injuries.
U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations, events involving political/ethnic/religious/social causes, or any other large groups. Demonstrations occur frequently, particularly in Pristina, often with little or no notice. Demonstrations can cause serious traffic disruptions or violent incidents. For a list of demonstrations, visit Embassy Kosovo’s demonstration information page.
Crime: Although violent crime against U.S. citizens is rare, the expatriate community can be a target of crime, as criminals assume affluence. Theft and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate.
- Do not leave anything of value in plain view in unattended vehicles.
- Securely lock the windows and doors of your residence when not home.
- Organized crime is present in Kosovo, occasionally resulting in violent confrontations between rival organizations.
- Sporting events can also trigger violence or protests.
- ATM use is generally safe. However, fraud is increasing; ATM skimmers have been found on keypads and are utilized by criminals in country.
- Be aware when using public Internet cafes and open WiFi connections, as your sensitive personal information, account passwords, etc. is subject to theft.
- Taxis are generally an inexpensive, safe, and reliable means of transportation. It is recommended to use established taxi companies instead of a personally-owned vehicle converted to a taxi. Make sure the taxi has a meter and that the driver activates it upon departure.
- To avoid the risk of sexual assault, anyone traveling alone in taxis or mini-buses should exercise caution, especially after dark. Avoid being alone in isolated areas with unfamiliar people. Don’t leave drinks unattended in bars and nightclubs.
Victims of Crime: Victims of crime and sexual assault should go to a safe location, call the local police to report the incident, and then contact the U.S. Embassy. Report crimes to the local police by dialing 192. Contact the U.S. Embassy at +381 (38) 5959-3000 (available 24/7 for emergencies). Police responsiveness to criminal reports varies widely.
The Victims’ Advocacy and Assistance Office (VAO) in Kosovo has a 24/7, toll-free, operational help line, 0800 11 112. The VAO provides information and guidance, can help refer cases to appropriate institutions, and allows the general public/victims to report crimes. The VAO may also assist with medical exams, obtaining protection orders, or case status updates.
Kosovo has seen a rise in Islamic extremism in recent years. Be aware of local security developments, and be vigilant. If you are concerned for your security or witness suspicious behavior, remove yourself from the situation, relocate to a secure area, and file a police report.
Additional in-depth information regarding safety and security in Kosovo can be found at: Kosovo 2017 Crime and Safety Report - OSAC
The U.S. Embassy can:
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties. You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
The Embassy’s ability to assist dual U.S.-Kosovo citizens may be limited. Dual nationals may be subject to laws that impose special obligations on Kosovo citizens. Contact the Embassy of Kosovo for further information
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
The Kosovo criminal justice system does not function at a level consistent with Western standards. Lengthy detentions are common before and during judicial proceedings. The U.S. Embassy cannot expedite legal/court proceedings, secure releases, or facilitate preferential conditions for detained U.S. citizens.
- Tourist facilities outside of Pristina are limited.
- Power outages occur frequently throughout Kosovo.
- Regular outages may also disrupt other public utilities, including water service, and interfere with traffic lights, normal business activity, and public services.
Kosovo is a cash economy based on the euro. ATMs are readily available throughout Pristina, but users should exercise caution. Although improving, banking services in Pristina and other major towns remain underdeveloped.
- Western Union and MoneyGram exist throughout Kosovo.
- Credit cards are typically accepted in larger stores and in some restaurants.
- Travelers must complete a customs declaration at their port of entry and present it upon departure. Failure to comply may result in the confiscation of all funds.
Climbing and Hiking: Hikers and skiers should always seek a local guide’s informed advice, maintain communication with your family and friends, and provide route and contact details to someone not travelling with you.
- The weather in Kosovo can change quickly, even in the summer months.
- Temperatures can drop overnight, and snow can fall unexpectedly.
- If in trouble, call the emergency number 112. Local authorities will help to the best of their ability.
Athletes: Some Kosovo sports clubs have, allegedly, not honored contracts for foreigners. Before signing a contract or relocating:
- We strongly suggest you consult the Embassy’s information page.
- Ensure you are able to financially support your trip and return home to the United States, should problems arise.
Property and Other Private or Commercial Disputes: The United States Government does not have jurisdiction over property or private disputes in Kosovo.
- The U.S. Embassy cannot protect personal property and cannot take sides in legal disputes.
- Information about the legal system in Kosovo is available on the Government of Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) website.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Kosovo. Kosovo law provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexed (LGBTI) individuals with full legal rights. LGBTI individuals are protected by anti-discrimination laws. There are no legal impediments to the organization of LGBTI events. In practice, however, LGBTI persons face discrimination.
- U.S. citizens should be aware that there have been attacks on LGBTI individuals and on the premises of LGBTI organizations in Kosovo in the past.
- Exercise caution when attending LGBTI events.
- Demonstrations, or political events, could turn violent.
- LGBTI travelers should exercise caution when visiting Kosovo, especially with regard to expressing affection in public.
- Many LGBTI Kosovars do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity and avoid reporting incidents to police.
- Individual police officers may have limited experience or knowledge with regard to the specific concerns of LGBTI individuals or the LGBTI community.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. The Kosovo Constitution and legislation prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and in the provision of other state services.
- In practice, the situation for persons with disabilities remains difficult.
- Law mandates access for disabled persons to official buildings; however, it is not enforced, and such access is rarely available.
- Only limited measures exist to support disabled persons.
- Most public buildings and many residential or commercial facilities remain inaccessible.
- Public transportation for persons with disabilities is very limited.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
Medical facilities in Kosovo consist of private medical clinics and the government-sponsored University Clinical Center. Medical facilities outside Pristina have very limited capabilities. Quality controls are lacking, services are very basic, hygiene may be insufficient, and medical care is below Western European or U.S. standards. U.S. or Western European-licensed physicians and specialists are not available in Kosovo. If you encounter corruption while obtaining medical care, please report it to the U.S. Embassy and to local authorities.
Kosovo has few ambulances. Ambulances automatically take you to the public hospital. Injured or seriously ill U.S. citizens may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive.
Consult your personal health-care provider before traveling to Kosovo, if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
- Carry a letter from your attending physician describing the medical condition and names (including generic names) of all prescription medications.
- Medications should be left in their original containers and clearly labeled. Prescription medication should be original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
- Some prescription medication may not be available locally.
- Tap water is not potable or safe to drink. Take care that food is cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
- Air pollution in Pristina is a problem, particularly during the winter. Travelers with upper respiratory ailments or asthma-like symptoms should consult their doctor prior to travel.
- We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare or Medicaid does not provide coverage overseas.
- Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following CDC-recommended vaccines for children are not available in Kosovo: Hib, Rotavirus, Inactivated Polio, Pneumococcal, and Varicella.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Kosovo are hazardous. Most roads are narrow, crowded, and used by a variety of vehicles, from KFOR-armored personnel carriers to horse-drawn carts. Mountain roads can be narrow and poorly marked, lack guardrails, and quickly become dangerous in inclement weather. Dense fog can obscure visibility while driving.
- Drivers routinely ignore speed limits and traffic regulations (illegal left turns from the far right lane, passing on blind curves, driving into oncoming lanes of traffic without yielding).
- Many vehicles lack standard front or rear lights.
- Roads frequently flood and are impassible during rainy months. Mud and road slides occasionally shut down main throughways.
- Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing the street, even when using crosswalks. Drivers generally do not slow down or stop for pedestrians.
- Crowded or isolated locations can increase travelers’ exposure to robbery.
- The U.S. Embassy recommends that you travel during daylight hours. Leave a travel itinerary and contact telephone numbers with someone before you go.
- Drivers with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05 percent are considered intoxicated and will be arrested and prosecuted.
- The use of seat belts and headlights is mandatory at all times.
- It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free.
- When police impose a fine or penalty, they may legally confiscate your driver’s license and vehicle documents until the penalty is paid. The U.S. Embassy is not able to retrieve these documents.
- Review the Kosovo traffic safety law for complete information on driver’s licenses and imported or foreign-tagged vehicle registration requirements.
- Drivers of motor vehicles registered outside of Kosovo may need to purchase liability insurance at the border.
- Drivers may be limited to three months of driving on a U.S. license before needing to obtain a Kosovo license.
- Kosovo is not a member of the European motor vehicle third party liability (“green card”) system.
Public Transportation: Taxis are generally an inexpensive, safe, and reliable means of transportation. It is recommended to use established taxi companies instead of a personally-owned vehicle converted to a taxi. Make sure the taxi has a meter and that the driver activates it upon departure.
- Rail transportation is very limited and unreliable, and safety equipment is often lacking or outdated.
- Buses are often overcrowded.
- Pristina has a modern airport terminal and control tower. Well-known international airlines fly to Pristina on a regular basis. Flights can experience significant delays and/or cancellations due to weather conditions.
Other Travel Conditions:
- Many local residents frequently walk in the roadway and wear dark clothing, making it difficult to see them at night.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Kosovo, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Kosovo’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Flights are frequently delayed or cancelled due to poor visibility as a result of heavy fog. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.