The abolition of the visa requirement is a huge relief for Kosovars. From January 1 you can enter the Schengen area, including Switzerland, without a visa. This means, among other things, that fewer staff are needed at the embassy in Pristina.
Long queues in front of the Swiss embassy in Pristina have so far been a common sight. Kosovars who have to queue to apply for visas. But it will soon be over. As of January 1, Kosovar citizens can visit Switzerland without a visa for a maximum of 90 days.
Visit family members in Switzerland
The possibility of visa-free travel to European countries is of great practical and symbolic importance to the people of Kosovo. This is underlined by Zurich FDP politician Përparim Avdili, who has Albanian roots and many connections in Kosovo.
Many young people felt trapped in a cage in the middle of Europe.
“A lot of young people felt trapped in a cage in the middle of Europe,” says Avtili. This move will right an injustice now. “People can now travel freely in line with European values,” he adds. For example, Kosovars can easily visit family and friends in Switzerland.
Fear from the right
The fact that Kosovo nationals no longer require visas has raised fears, particularly on the right, that the opportunity could be misused as a gateway for illegal immigration and illegal work.
The Secretary of State for Migration is monitoring this, but as communications manager Samuel Wise explains, there is no reason to panic.
Cooperation also works well in the revenue sector.
Developments are closely followed, explains Samuel Wise. Switzerland maintains good bilateral relations with Kosovo. “Collaboration also works well in the return area, and any issues are resolved quickly,” says Weiss.
14 employees lose their jobs in Pristina
However, the new restriction had consequences for the Swiss embassy in Pristina. Because she has to cut down on chores. So far 58 employees have worked at the embassy. In the new year, 14 posts will be cut, the Foreign Office in Bern announced at the request of Radio SRF. Posts in the Department of Consular Affairs are affected.
The four Swiss consular staff affected by the job cuts will be transferred to new posts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ten local employees who lose their jobs have to find work on the other side. The Swiss Embassy is trying to support laid-off Kosovar employees in finding work.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”