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Kosovo - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Kosovo.
Northern Kosovo - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to areas where the level of tension remains elevated, specifically the municipalities of Leposavić, Zubin Potok and Zvećan and to the northern part of the city of Mitrovica.
Safety and security
There is an ongoing risk of political and inter-ethnic violence in northern Kosovo, including the northern part of the city of Mitrovica, the municipalities of Leposavić, Zubin Potok and Zvećan, and areas near the Kosovo-Serbian borders.
Occasional security incidents, including shootings, threats involving grenades, and spontaneous protests, continue to occur. Tensions may escalate rapidly and the authority of Kosovo police and security services is not widely recognized in these areas.
If you need to travel to these areas despite the advisory, monitor local conditions closely and avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings as they have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Remain vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs occasionally. Foreigners could be targeted by thieves, especially in crowded public areas such as markets and public transportation facilities, particularly inPrishtinaPriština.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Be extremely cautious with your belongings at all times and in all places..
- Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Carjacking and car theft also occur.
Avoid leaving any luggage or valuables in the vehicle and use secure parking facilities.
Violent crime occurs, but is generally related to organized crime and rarely involves foreigners.
Demonstrations occur occasionally due to ongoing political tension, particularly in Prishtina.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. There is a potential for other violent incidents.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Landmines and unexploded ordnance
Sites known to contain landmines or other unexploded ordnance are clearly marked. However, unexploded landmines may remain, particularly in rural areas, along the border with Albania, the Dulje Pass area in central Kosovo and in the area between South Serbia’s Preševo Valley and Kosovo. Off-road travel and hiking in wooded areas can be dangerous. Exercise caution and consult local authorities to avoid taking unnecessary risks. If you see anything out of the ordinary, immediately report it to local authorities.
Road conditions and road safety vary throughout the country. Secondary roads are often narrow and poorly maintained, and mountain roads sometimes lack guardrails. Drivers do not respect traffic laws and often drive at excessive speeds and can be aggressive and reckless.
Safety standards vary on public transportation and buses and trains are often overcrowded. Periodic disruptions of bus service may occur.
Use only officially marked taxis and negotiate fares in advance if a meter is not in use.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Mountaineering or trekking
If you intend on mountaineering or trekking:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Regular power outages and other utility outages occur in Kosovo. As a safety precaution, be prepared to cope on your own during outages for at least 72 hours.
On certain holidays or following major elections or soccer matches, there is a tradition of discharging firearms into the air (celebratory fire), often after dark, and to coincide with fireworks displays. Avoid any event where people are engaging in celebratory fire as there have been incidents of injuries and even death caused by stray bullets.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Kosovo authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Kosovo.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Travel to and from Serbia
Entry to Kosovo from Serbia is subject to delays or may be prohibited entirely. Some border posts have been closed for short periods. Verify the border situation before you undertake travel. If travelling by road, you must provide proof of the purpose of your visit to Kosovo at the checkpoint between Serbia and Kosovo. Some travellers will be exempted, such as holders of a Serbian identity card.
Serbia does not recognize any border crossing points from Kosovo as official international entry points. Don’t attempt to enter Serbia directly from Kosovo, unless you initially travelled into Kosovo from Serbia and obtained a valid entry stamp from the Serbian immigration authorities. Otherwise, you should transit via a third country such as Albania, North Macedonia or Montenegro.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
Temporary residence permit
If you intend to stay for more than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at the Foreigner Registration Office inPrishtinaPriština.
Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Measles in Europe - April 25, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- This territory has not stated its yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Southern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is only available in major cities. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.
Physicians and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
The judicial process is particularly lengthy in Kosovo and unpredictable delays sometimes occur.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Kosovo.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Kosovo, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
You must carry photo identification, such as a passport. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.You are required to show photo identification if asked by local authorities. Keep a photocopy or digital copy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs arestrictsevere. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Photography of military or police installations, vehicles and personnel is prohibited.
Kosovo does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
You should carryan international driving permit
More about the International Driving Permit
Always carry identification and vehicle registration papers. Third-party automobile insurance is mandatory and can be purchased upon entry into Kosovo.
Drivers of vehicles bearing foreign licence plates must pay for compulsory third-party insurance, which can be purchased at land borders.
Posted speed limits are strictly enforced.
There have been incidents where police target vehicles with foreign plates, often demanding immediate cash payment for alleged traffic violations. If stopped, you should request a full explanation and, if an explanation is not forthcoming, request permission to speak to the Embassy of Canada to Croatia in Zagreb.
The currency in Kosovo is the euro (EUR).
The economy is largely cash-based; however, credit cards are accepted in some larger establishments. Automated banking machines are available in urban centres.
You must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets.
Natural disasters and climate
Kosovo is located in an active seismic zone.
Bush and forest fires are common between June and September, particularly in northern Kosovo. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a major fire, stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments. Always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel. Monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation.
Landslides pose a risk on the major road between Prishtina and Skopje, North Macedonia.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Kosovo. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb, Croatia.
Zagreb - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Zagreb, Croatia and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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