Once again, Kosovo has been listed as the only European country at the end of the Henley Passport Index, with its citizens having visa-free access to least countries in the world compared to its neighbors and other countries of the old continent.
The citizens of the ten-year-old country remain the only nationals in the Balkans that need to obtain visas in order to be able to enter the Schengen member states and the other countries that have a visa-free regime with the Schengen zone.
The Henley Passport Index, which is a list published by Henley & Partners, lists world passports according to the number of countries their holders can enter visa-free or visa-on-arrival. On the list updated on May 22, Kosovo is positioned in the 91st, among countries as Iran, North Korea, and South Sudan.
Kosovo passport holders have visa-free access to 44 countries, as per May 22, compared to February, when the citizens of this country could visit only 38 countries without a visa.
However, the Republic of Kosovo, which celebrated its first decade of independence in February this year, has done some progress climbing up for five positions, since in December the country had been listed in the 96th place in the 2018 Henley Passport Index.
Kosovo and the European Commission had started a dialogue on visa liberalization in January 2012. And even though the European Union Commission had proposed visa liberalization in May 2016, the Kosovars still have to apply for visas in order to visit most of the countries of the planet. Kosovo has one last benchmark to fulfill after the long-sought-after ratification of the agreement of demarcation with Montenegro, in order for this country to receive visa liberalization.
Citizens of other Balkan countries like Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia – have been able to travel without a visa in the Schengen zone since 2010 while Ukraine and Georgia have been granted with visa liberalization past year.
Kosovo has had an interesting effect on the positions of the Henley Passport Index published lately after the country was the main factor for Singapore to drop to second place from the first where it had previously been listed before alongside Japan. This happened after Kosovo brought back visa-regime for Singaporeans, who had been able to enter Kosovo visa-free so far.