Citizenship acquisition

The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, with the purpose of setting out the legal rules for the Citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo, adopts the law on citizenship of Kosovo. This law prescribes the ways of acquisition and loss of citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo and regulates other issues related to citizenship in the Republic of Kosovo. “Citizenship” means a close legal bond between the state of the Republic of Kosovo and a person which results in mutual rights and obligations;
The citizen of the Republic of Kosovo may be a citizen of one or more other states. The acquisition and retention of another citizenship does not result in the loss of citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo.

Ways of acquiring citizenship:

The citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo can be acquired:

  • By birth;
  • By adoption;
  • By naturalization (“Naturalization” means the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo based on the request of any person, who is not citizen of the Republic of Kosovo)
  • Based on the international treaties;

Acquisition of citizenship of Kosovo by foreign persons

A foreign citizen shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo upon his/her application if at the time of application he/she fulfills the following requirements:

  • Is an adult;
  • Has been regularly residing in the Republic of Kosovo for the past five (5) years and possesses valid residence permission;
  • Declares and with his/her conduct during his/her stay in the Republic of Kosovo proves that he/she accepts the constitutional and legal order of the Republic of Kosovo and that he/she is integrated into kosovar society through social, cultural, scientific, economic and professional bonds.
  • Possesses sufficient financial means to secure his/her living and that of persons for whose support he/she is responsible without resorting to the social assistance schemes;
  • Has fulfilled all financial obligations to the state; and
  • He/she provides evidence of elementary knowledge in one of the official languages of the Republic of Kosovo.

The requirements will be set out in the sub-legal acts passed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A foreign person, who is married to a citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, shall acquire the citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo upon his/her application, if at the time of application he/she fulfills the following requirements:

  • He/she has at least three (3) years of valid marriage with the citizen of the Republic of Kosovo;
  • He/she has been regularly living in the Republic of Kosovo for the past one (1) year and possesses valid residence permission.

Acquisition of citizenship by the members of Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo

A member of Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo is considered every person who has lawful and regular residence outside of the Republic of Kosovo and who can prove that he/she was born in the Republic of Kosovo and has close family and economic relations in the Republic of Kosovo.
A member of Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo is also considered every person who is a descendant within one generation of the above-mentioned person and who can prove that he/she has close family relations in the Republic of Kosovo.

Ways of losing citizenship

The citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo is lost:

  • By release form citizenship;
  • By deprivation of citizenship;
  • Based on international treaties.

Release from citizenship

A citizen of the Republic of Kosovo shall be released from the citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo upon his/her request if he/she fulfills the following requirements:

  • Possesses citizenship of another state or possesses a guarantee issued by the competent body of another state that he/she will acquire the citizenship of that state;
  • Has fulfilled all financial obligations to the state and to the persons for whose support he/she is responsible by law;
  • He/she is not subject to criminal investigation or court proceedings for criminal offence and is not serving sentence;

The application for release from citizenship shall be rejected if the citizen applying for release from citizenship is a civil servant, judge, public prosecutor, member of police service or a member of Security Force of the Republic of Kosovo.
The application may be rejected if the release from citizenship is contrary to the interests of the Republic of Kosovo, in particular interests related to internal and external security or international relations of the Republic of Kosovo.
The release from citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo is effective on the day when the competent body delivers to the applicant requesting the release from citizenship the final decision on the loss of citizenship.

Loss of citizenship by deprivation

A member of Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo is also considered every person who is a descendant within one generation of the person referred to in paragraph 2 of this article and who can prove that he/she has close family relations in the Republic of Kosovo.
Only the following activities are considered activities which are a threat to national security of the Republic of Kosovo:

  • When the citizen is intentionally a member of an organization the purpose of which is to destroy or damage the constitutional order of the Republic of Kosovo; or
  • The citizen engages in activities which aim at destroying and damaging the constitutional order of the Republic of Kosovo; or
  • The citizen is a member of intelligence service or police forces of another state and has not obtained permission for this by the competent body or is not permitted by international treaty.

The decision for deprivation of citizenship of the Republic of Kosovo may be issued without the participation of the person in question in the procedure.
The decision of deprivation of citizenship becomes effective when the decision is delivered to the person in question. In the event the decision cannot be delivered because the competent organ could not identify where the person is located, the decision non deprivation of citizenship becomes effective on the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo.