The Republic of Kosovo does not offer consular services. Very soon, Kosovo expects to open Consular Services in all countries where Embassies of the Republic of Kosovo have been opened. In countries with a greater number of Kosovar Diaspora, there will be more than one Consulate. In Germany, the Republic of Kosovo will open Consular Services in Berlin, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt. In Switzerland, Consular Services will be offered in Bern, Zurich and Geneva.
Based on Article 84, clause 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and Article 5, clause 1 of the Law for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diplomatic Services of the Republic of Kosovo, and after consultation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, President Sejdiu on 10 February 2009 the founding of Consular Missions was decreed in: The United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Republic of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Italy, the Swiss Federation, the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of Sweden.
The Decree for nine Consular Missions of the Republic of Kosovo entered into force immediately
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo sponsored a Draft Law for Consular Services in Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Republic of Kosovo. This draft law was approved by the Kosovo Assembly on 16.12. 2008 and entered into force on 30.12. 2008 by decree of the President of the Republic, Fatmir Sejdiu.
Currently, on the basis of this Law, the MFA is drafting legal acts deriving from it.
The Law for Consular Services in Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Republic of Kosovo, aims to regulate consular activities by diplomatic and consular representatives of the Republic of Kosovo, in cooperation with the host state, inside and outside the country. These activities aim to expand links in economy, modernization, transport, culture, science and law, and to protect the interests and rights of Kosovo citizens in host states. Cooperation with foreign diplomatic and consular missions in their consular activities aims to respect the implementation of conventions, treaties, and bilateral or multi-lateral agreements signed by the Republic of Kosovo and the host state.
Activities of consular services in missions outside of the country aim to strengthen links and cooperation between the Kosovar Diaspora and the Republic of Kosovo.
The following information is prepared on the basis of the Consular Regulation and material with Advice for the Offering of Consular Services prior to the Consular Services of the Republic of Kosovo becoming operational.
Presenting requests for consular services in diplomatic/consular missions of the Republic of Kosovo
Currently, diplomatic missions of the Republic of Kosovo do not offer consular services. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing the legal and logistical infrastructure for opening and making operational consular services. When these services start to be offered, all Kosovo citizens living in the relevant areas of jurisdiction of Consular/Diplomatic Missions of the Republic of Kosovo will be able to present their requests for respective services.
Based on the many requests of Kosovo citizens for travel documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo authorized its diplomatic representatives to issue return travel passes before starting to offer the full package of consular services. Travel passes for return are issued by Embassies of the Republic of Kosovo, according to criteria specified in Administrative Order of the MI, No. 14/2008.
Although consular services are still not operational, diplomatic missions are always ready to offer advice regarding the fulfilling of various consular services. Diplomatic missions can only offer other consular services after consulting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo.
PROTECTING THE INTERESTS OF KOSOVO CITIZENS ABROAD
During visits to foreign countries, Kosovo citizens may confront difficulties of different natures. Citizens can address diplomatic missions regarding these difficulties and seek advice and help for their resolution.
Help can be offered by diplomatic/consular missions regarding:
- Offering help to Kosovo citizens in host states;
- Offering help to Kosovo citizens in exceptional circumstances;
- Offering help to prisoners or those having legal problems with judicial bodies in host states;
- Offering help for the return of Kosovo citizens who have died in the host state and ensuring the protection of their property.
It is important to bear in mind, that until consulates are operational, and start to offer the full package of consular services, diplomatic missions can only offer advice for solving the problems facing Kosovo citizens living abroad.
Currently, diplomatic missions cannot offer such services, but on the other hand, the circumstances which demand the necessity of offering exceptional assistance; informing citizens of deaths, missing persons or imprisonment; or financial loans, will be taken as a basis for Consular regulations and its explanatory annexes.
After consular missions become operational consular regulations and other legal acts foresee that the directors of the consular mission may offer help to Kosovo citizens, only when it is verified that the citizen is in difficulties and does not possess at the same time citizenship of the host state. Offering help in exceptional circumstances, such as natural disasters or high risk events, extends to other members of the family who have citizenship of the host state.
In the event of arrest, and the closing or opening of investigations by the authorities of the host state, Kosovo citizens have the right to inform the Consular/Diplomatic mission and to request help, which consists of: informing family members of arrest; approaching defense lawyers or a request for intervention to local authorities, if violations of human rights are noted.
In cases of deaths of Kosovo citizens abroad, Consular/Diplomatic missions can offer lists of agencies that deal with funeral services and approximate prices; to register the death and issue necessary documentation for returning the body of the deceased. Missions cannot cover the cost of expenses for repatriation of the dead.