How to move to Kosovo for permanent residence: everything you need to know
Kosovo is a small country in the Balkans, located in south-eastern Europe. It is a relatively new country, having unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Overall, the country's sovereignty is recognised by 97 UN member states. Despite the controversy, many foreigners find the country attractive to migrate abroad due to its amazing nature, fascinating history and favourable conditions for obtaining citizenship, as well as permission for dual and multiple citizenships.
How to obtain citizenship
Citizenship law is based on a combination of the right to land and the blood right. Citizenship is acquired by origin, birth, adoption, inheritance, naturalisation or international treaties. Acquisition of citizenship based on origin is based on the fact that one of the parents must be a citizen of Kosovo. The Government has provided for the acquisition of citizenship when a child is born on the territory of Kosovo, but the parents are unknown/stateless. A foreigner would be interested in acquiring citizenship through naturalisation or marriage and being part of the diaspora.
Requirements for acquisition through naturalisation:
• Legal residence for five years within the permanent residence status (if no more than 10 months away during this period);
• Integration into Kosovo society;
• Proof of sufficient financial resources for life;
• Proficiency in one of the official languages;
• Certificate of clean criminal record;
• Medical insurance.
Requirements for the acquisition of citizenship through marriage:
Citizenship by marriage is granted according to the same requirements as naturalisation. However, the permanent residency requirement is one year without interruption during the three years of legal marriage. On the other hand, members of the Kosovar diaspora must prove that they were born in Kosovo, are descendants of first-generation citizens or have economic ties to Kosovo.
Permanent residence permit
To be eligible for the permanent residence permit, you must have legally resided in the country with a temporary residence permit for five years. To obtain a temporary residence permit, there must be a purpose, which is usually:
• Family reunification – the husband, wife or one of the parents of the minor child is a citizen or permanent resident of Kosovo. For the last option, the child must obtain the consent of the other parent.
• Work – A work visa is usually valid for six months to a year and can be extended. You must have a valid contract and your employer must apply on your behalf.
• Study – A student visa is a temporary residence permit that is valid for the duration of the student's academic programme. When applying, please include a letter from the university about your enrolment and previous university records. After graduation, you must apply for a work permit.
Important: Foreigners who need a visa to enter Kosovo must also apply for a visa (national visa D).
To save time and nerves when collecting the necessary documents, we advise you to contact a legal advisor for assistance.
The healthcare system is improving but faces serious problems. Kosovo inherited a weak healthcare system from the Yugoslav era and suffered from decades of underinvestment before the war. Poor healthcare and medical facilities force residents to seek medical care in neighbouring countries, even for regular check-ups.
In 2014, the government passed a health insurance law that mandated all citizens to have a 'basic package' of health insurance covering emergencies, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as other basic health services. However, the health insurance system has not yet been implemented. As a reminder, you can arrange a medical insurance application on our website.
4 minResidence permit
4 minResidence permit