We understand that border crossing permits are an inconvenience for travelers and want to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Please find the application below and take a look at the FAQ. Note that we cannot reply to questions answered there due to time constraints.
- Please apply between 14* and 90 days prior.
- Click here to open the application form.
- Enter the details of all border crossings and travel documents.
- Upload your travel document(s), if your cross out of Kosovo.
- Complete payment via PayPal or credit card.
- Receive confirmation by email, usually within seven business days.
* If fewer days remain, we will try our best but cannot guarantee delivery prior to departure. We recommend to apply nonetheless as your crossings will be automatically logged in the electronic border police system.
- Each crossing requires one permit at a fee of €5/person
- Montenegro levies tax: €2/application + €3/person + €5 transaction fee. This tax applies for each crossing from Montenegro to Albania or Kosovo.
- Our fee is capped at 50 EUR for a group up to 12 persons and/or 5 permits. This does not include the taxes levied in Montenegro.
- Payment can be completed with PayPal and credit card.
Peaks of the Balkans Trail: A full circuit requires three border crossings: 2 persons x 3 permits x 5€ + 13€ police fee = 43€.
We believe that 5 EUR per person and permit is a fair amount in return for sorting out the red tape that guarantees you a hassle free vacation time. Note that
Why/when do I need a permit?
Regular border points at airports and road crossings don’t require a permit, but the green border in the mountains lacks a permanent border control to record your entree/exit. Permits are used to add digital entrees in the border crossing system. Failing to obtain one can create problems in the field with regular patrols or upon departure as you lack a legal entree record.
How many permits do I need?
Each “permanent” crossing requires a permit. To complete the entire Peaks of the Balkans Trail only three permits are required. If you only straddle the border without crossing it “permanently” (extended stay or overnight) no permit is required. This applies for example to the following routes:
- Valbona – Cerem: via the Persllopit and Bor Pass
- Cerem – Doberdol
Are dates flexible?
The police requires a set date, no exceptions. Plan ahead and try to adhere to your dates. Walkers who were delayed or early by one or two days, say due to adverse weather conditions, losing the trail, exhaustion and similar events, have never had problems and the police showed understanding.
Please note: This is not legal council, if you have further questions please contact the police directly. Neither Zbulo nor any of its associates can be held responsible for legal charges that might occur.
I’m under 18 years old and am traveling alone?
If you’re under 18 years old and don’t travel with a core family member, the police requires written consent of your parents in English.
Why does the Montenegrin police charge a fee?
In a mutual agreement all three countries signed a memorandum of understanding promising to process applications for free. Montenegro doesn’t adhere to this agreement and now asks for a fee and. That’s not cool and we encourage you to write to the the Montenegrin Tourism Organisation to let them know firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I collect the permits at your office?
Permits are delivered via email as PDF files. We don’t have a front office to receive visitors.
Does the police really check the permits?
While the Albanian police happily welcome visitors, their neighbors in Kosovo are are stricter and control mainly the Rugova Valley. Montenegrin border guards and national park wardens frequently patrol in their Land Rover Defender, especially in the area around Vusanje and Babino Polje. There is also a sizable police station in Plav. Keep in mind that fully equipped hikers aren’t low profile in the streets of this small town. Hikers without the required permits reported being asked to pay “bakshish” to avoid legal proceedings. We recommend obtaining permits for a worry-free holiday.
Is it possible to just get them on the go / on short notice?
No, unfortunately this isn’t possible. The police processes permits from Monday to Friday and takes usually several working days. We also take some time to check and process your application.
What if I really need them on short notice? (this is an emergency!)
Apply ASAP and write us afterwards if there’s anything specific we should know. We advise to apply in any case, even if that means starting out without permits, as your crossings will eventually be entered in the digital border police system while you’re on the go.
The form is designed for up to 12 persons. With more participants in the group please fill it multiple times.
Required for each participant are:
- first and last name
- birth date and location
- passport/ID copy (for permits out of Kosovo passports are recommended)
- date and location the document was issued as well as expiry date (be aware that it should be valid for another three to six months)