Residency Permit, Fingerprint and Record Checks

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

U.S. Embassy Pristina cannot provide assistance with residency permits, background checks or fingerprinting services (see below), nor can the Embassy authenticate background checks or health certificates.  For more information on Criminal Record Checks, please click here.

Fingerprints: Police stations in many major Kosovo cities provide fingerprint services without charge.  Please check your local police station to verify hours and procedures, and to determine whether your local station has the necessary equipment or staffing. By default, Kosovo Police take fingerprints on a locally developed form. However, the Kosovo police will also accept FBI form FD-258 for fingerprint services. If your fingerprints must be taken on form FD-258, you must bring the form to your appointment; Kosovo police will not provide a copy. For quality assurance purposes, consider bringing several copies of FD-258 printed on high-quality paper to your appointment. For more information, contact the Kosovo police directorate that handles international cooperation at or call this office at +383 38 (0) 50 80 1047.

Residency Permit in Kosovo and Police check: Any U.S. citizen visiting Kosovo for more than 90 days (within a six month period) must apply for a temporary residence permit. You must provide proof of local health insurance and either a local or Federal police background check; the U.S. Embassy cannot assist you in obtaining background checks. You can request a local background check from the police department where you last resided in the U.S., but some departments may require you to appear in-person. Alternatively, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) centralizes criminal justice information in the US, and can provide a nationwide background check; for information on this process please review the FBI website. Information about authenticating FBI certificate is available at this link.  Documents obtained from your local police in the United States will require additional authentication after you obtain the local police seal. Contact your state Secretary of State’s office or other official designated in your state to authenticate state-issued documents. See our general guidance on authentication of documents for use abroad. The U.S. Embassy CANNOT, by law, under any circumstances, authenticate a U.S. document.  To authenticate a document for use in a country where the Apostille Convention is in force, which it is in Kosovo, visit the U.S. Department of State Apostille Requirements website.

General information regarding residency permits: While you can find basic information regarding residency permits under “Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements” paragraph at this link, we have provided additional information regarding current practice in Kosovo, so you can make an informed decision regarding your travel plan. Residency requirements are posted on Kosovo’s Ministry of Internal Affair’s website at this link, for various types, depending on your travel purpose. U.S. citizens can obtain residency permits once they are physically in Kosovo and before the expiration of their tourist visas. In order to open a bank account in Kosovo, you need to obtain your residency permit first. You should present your work contract to the local authorities. In order to bring an immediate family member, you must reside in Kosovo for at least two years, unless your immediate family members can present evidence of volunteer work at an institution or organization in Kosovo. This rule is not applicable for corporate transfers from a third country to Kosovo. Residency permits are renewed on an annual basis regardless of your work contract duration. Non U.S. citizen immediate family members may be subject to additional visa requirement prior to arriving to Kosovo. For more information, please click here.

Residency permit specifics: Everyone resident in Kosovo for 90 days or more must get a residency card.  You will need to reregister for residency annually.  If you are planning to be a resident in Kosovo, before leaving the U.S. please obtain your police report before leaving the U.S.  This is the most time-consuming part of the process to get when you are in Kosovo. The documents you need to apply for a residency permit in Kosovo are:

  • A valid passport.
  • A work contract from anywhere. The company needs to be registered locally in Kosovo. If it is not, you may register as an individual business and obtain a fiscal number from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  • A minimum income of 5,000 euro per individual or 6,000 euro per family per year.
  • A bank account. The account can be anywhere worldwide. Kosovo bank accounts may not be opened without a residency permit, and it is at the discretion of the individual banks to open an account for you without a residency permit OR
  • In lieu of a bank account, a contract of employment. This contract will be continuously verified and checked by the tax administration. The contract must be in line with the local Kosovo labor law and does not need to be notarized.
  • A verifiable local address in Kosovo. An alternative for this is for a lawyer or notary to certify the address is real. If you change addresses, you must report it to the Ministry of Internal Affairs by presenting your new contract within 15 days window.
  • Valid local or international health insurance.
  • Qualifications for employment – these can include your degree or credentials, professional certificates, or licenses. They must be apostilled as a true copy or be the original. For those self-employed as business owners, this is waived.
  • A criminal report from the place you last resided. For the U.S., this would be from a local police where you resided or from the FBI. Documents obtained from your local police in the United States will require additional authentication after you obtain the local police seal. Contact your state Secretary of State’s office or other official designated in your state to authenticate state-issued documents.
  • An application for residency permit.

Once you have gathered everything together, make an appointment with the Foreigners division of the MIA (Ministry of Internal Affairs). Contact information is available at this link. Bring everything to your appointment. You will meet with someone, answer questions, go over the documentation, be fingerprinted, and be sent away. It will take couple of weeks before you will be called, if approved, for another appointment where you will receive your residency card.