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Kosovo

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, and the United States recognized Kosovo as an independent state on February 18, 2008. The UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, continues to provide support during the transition period, as the International Civilian Office, European Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), and NATO (KFOR) prepare to supervise Kosovo’s independence. At this time, some civilian institutions, including the criminal justice system, are not functioning at a level consistent with Western standards. Kosovo is a cash economy. The currency used throughout Kosovo is the euro.

Kosovo

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Kosovo
Continent: Europe
Capital City: Pristina
Boundary Countries: Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities: Pristina, Peje, Gjakove, Prizren, Gjilan, Podujeve, Vushtrri, Mitrovice, Ferizaj
Country Size: 10,887 sq km
Population: 2,126,708

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma

Currency: Euro (EUR)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic

National Holidays: Independence Day, 17 February (2008)
Economic Status:

Over the past few years Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany and Switzerland - account for about 30% of GDP. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income of only $1800 - about one-third the level of neighboring Albania. Unemployment - at more than 40% of the population - is a severe problem that encourages outward migration.

Security:
US Presence:

Americans living in or traveling in Kosovo are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration web site, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Kosovo. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Office.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy, Consulate, or Office to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with U.S. Embassy Pristina and obtain updated information on travel and security in Kosovo. At this time U.S. Embassy Pristina provides only emergency services to American citizens. U.S. Embassy Skopje, Macedonia, provides all routine consular services such as passport and visa processing. The Embassy is located at 30 Nazim Hikmet St. in the Dragodan area of Pristina. The telephone number is (381) 38-5959-3000, e-mail: consularpristina@state.gov. The web site is http://pristina.usmission.gov/.

Document Requirements:

US citizens need a passport to enter Kosovo. No visa is required, but visitors may be required to produce documentation to demonstrate the purpose of their visit. Generally, visitors allowed to enter Kosovo will be permitted to stay for up to 90 days. Persons who wish to prolong their stay beyond 90 days will need to register at the Office for Registration of Foreigners, located in the Main Police Headquarters in Pristina. Travelers to Kosovo may also wish to visit the Kosovo Government Portal prior to departing.

Entry to Serbia from Kosovo should not be attempted without an entry stamp from a Serbia border crossing post, other than those between Serbia and Kosovo.  Serbia does not recognize entry stamps by Kosovo border authorities at Kosovo ports of entry, including Pristina Airport, as valid.

The US Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Kosovo.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  10, Airports w/paved runways:  6

Pristina International Airport (PRN/BKPR)
Pristina, Kosovo, Vrelle, 10070 Lipjan, KOSOVO
Tel: +381 (0)38 595 8123, +381 (0)38 595 8330
Website: 
www.airportpristina.com

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) along with international and local police, are responsible for security and stability in Kosovo. Although the overall security situation has improved, inter-ethnic tensions and sporadic incidents of violence continue to occur. Following the February declaration of independence, violent incidents occurred at border crossings between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia. Per standing security instructions, U.S. Government officials may only travel to parts of northern Kosovo for official business and these restrictions remain in place.
Americans should avoid demonstrations and other sites, such as roadblocks, where large crowds are gathered, particularly those involving political/ethnic causes. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn into confrontational situations and possibly escalate into violence. While de-mining programs have proven effective, unexploded ordnance and mines remain in some areas. The reliability of telecommunications, electric and water systems remains unpredictable.

CRIME: High unemployment and other economic factors have encouraged criminal activity. Street crimes, in particular theft and purse snatchings, are serious problems in Kosovo, especially Pristina. It is not unusual for criminals to commit crimes while armed, especially with handguns.  Foreigners can be targets for crime, as they are assumed to carry cash. Likewise, foreigners’ homes, vehicles and international non-governmental organization (NGO) offices have been subject to burglaries. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the nearest police station and to U.S. Embassy Pristina. While U.S. Embassy Pristina does not have the ability to issue new passports at this time, it will assist with arrangements for applying for a new passport at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia. Emergency numbers in Pristina are Police: 92; Fire Department: 93; and Ambulance: 94. For information on other areas contact U.S. Embassy Pristina.
The civilian police force is a contingent of international officers who are working alongside local officers to carry out most normal police functions. The judicial system is still developing under the oversight of the civilian mission, UNMIK.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  156.48 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 40.93 years (male 38.64/female 43.28)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None

Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Tickborne encephalitis (TBE) is widespread, occurring in warmer months in the southern part of the nontropical forested regions of Europe and Asia. Most intense transmission has been reported in Russia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. The annual incidence rate of tuberculosis is high in some countries in the region.  High rates of drug-resistant TB are found in Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Russia, and Uzbekistan. Cases of diphtheria have declined (after a large outbreak in the 1990s) with improved rates of immunization.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Health facilities are limited, and medications are in short supply. KFOR cannot provide basic health care to non-military personnel, nor can they provide medical evacuation out of Kosovo.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 0
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Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been documented in wild birds or other avian species in several of the countries in Eastern Europe. Human cases and death were reported from Azerbaijan in 2006.  Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country, see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenze website.

Communications Info:

 



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