Kosovo’s government is preparing to issue biometric passports in 2010. Kosovo has issued non-biometric passports since declaring independence in February 2008.The use of biometric passports is a key criterion for visa liberalisation, which would allow Kosovo citizens to travel freely in the EU Schengen zone.
Kosovo’s government is working on a law for the protection of personal data, which is one of the first steps in issuing biometric passports. According to Pristina daily Express, a Kosovo official claimed that a feasibility study must first be finished, which will issue recommendations for further steps.
Kosovo’s government is still working on who will carry out the feasibility study and it hopes to finish this before the European Commission, EC, issues a report on Kosovo this autumn.
In this report, the EC may begin to address the steps Kosovo will need to take to join the visa liberalisation process. The EC recently agreed to let Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro join the so-called White Schengen list in 2010, but told Bosnia and Albania that more work needed to be done before their citizens could benefit from visa free travel.
Current Kosovo passports are issued for ten years and will be valid until their expiry date.