The abolition of the visa requirement is a great relief for Kosovar citizens. As of 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 been a common sight so far. Kosovars who have to stand in line to apply for a visa. But this will end soon. As of January 1, Kosovar citizens can travel to Switzerland for short stays of up to 90 days without a visa.
Visiting family members in Switzerland
The opportunity to travel to European countries without a visa is of great importance to the people of Kosovo, both practically and symbolically. This was confirmed by the politician from the Free Democratic Party in Zurich, Berbarim Avdeli, who is himself of Albanian origins and has many contacts 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,” Avdeli says. This step would now correct the injustice. “People can now travel freely in accordance with European values,” he adds. For example, Kosovar citizens can visit family and friends in Switzerland more easily.
Fears from the right
The fact that people from Kosovo no longer need a visa has raised concerns, especially on the right, that this opportunity could be abused as a gateway to illegal immigration and illegal work.
The State Secretariat for Migration is monitoring this matter, but does not see any reason to panic, as communications director Samuel Vis explains.
The cooperation also works excellently in terms of returns.
Samuel Weiss explains that developments are being followed closely. Switzerland maintains very good bilateral relations with Kosovo. “The co-op also works great on returns, and any issues can be addressed quickly,” says Vis.
14 employees in Pristina lose their jobs
However, the new regulation has consequences for the Swiss Embassy in Pristina. Because she had to cut jobs. So far, 58 employees work at the embassy. In the new year, 14 jobs will be abolished, the Foreign Ministry in Bern announced at the request of SRF radio. Jobs in the Consular Affairs Section are affected.
The four Swiss Embassy employees affected by the job cuts will be transferred to new locations by the State Department. On the other hand, the 10 local employees who lost their jobs have to look for jobs. The Swiss Embassy tries to support the dismissed Kosovar employees in finding jobs, for example by issuing letters of recommendation or financing language courses for them.
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