A collective visit to Kosovo by 41 displaced persons to obtain documents necessary to regulate their legal stay in Montenegro took place on 20 June 2012. It is one in a series of such visits facilitated by the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.
Some 11,700 displaced persons are now residing in Montenegro, of which 8,611 are from Kosovo, and these people have not yet settled their legal status. As a part of the integration process, Montenegrin authorities allow displaced persons to apply for the status of a foreigner with either permanent or temporary residence. The deadline for such applications was set for 31 December 2012.
The visit to Djakovica in Kosovo was organized by the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, together with the Montenegrin Bureau for the Care of Refugees, Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the local non-governmental organization “Legal Centre”.
Besim Neziraj, from Djakovica, now residing in the Montenegrin Municipality of Niksic, who took part in the visit, said: “This visit has helped me a lot in regulating my status in Montenegro and enabling me to live there in line with regulations”.
Since mid-March 2012, the OSCE Mission to Montenegro has taken part in this joint effort of national authorities and international organizations to provide assistance to those displaced persons from Kosovo who decided to stay in Montenegro. The OSCE and the Montenegrin Bureau for the Care of Refugees are responsible for the visits logistics, while UNHCR secures safe crossing of the border and monitors these visits. Kosovo municipalities are notified in advance about these visits, in order to make the process of obtaining the documents easier.