Visa and Residence Permits for Foreigners in Albania

Home Doing business in Albania Visa and Residence Permits for Foreigners in Albania

Entry to Albania

Entering and residing of foreign citizens in Albania is regulated by the Law on Aliens. Hence, the entry and residency procedures for foreign citizens are under the authority of Albanian state institutions. The main state authority responsible for foreign citizens that want to enter Albania is the institution responsible for border and migration, part of the Albanian State Police.
If you plan to travel to Albania but need to know more about specific procedures, please address your questions to the Albanian Diplomatic Mission in your country. Find the contact of the Embassy of Albania to your country here.

Visa requirements

You may or may not need a visa to enter the Republic of Albania. Find more about the visa regime for foreign citizens and the diplomatic mission that deals with your visa application and its type here. This document clearly explains when you need a visa to travel to Albania. All citizens from a country that is not included in this list need a visa in order to enter Albania, and they can apply to the Albanian embassy in the country that is geographically closest to their country.

All the foreign citizens that can enter Albania without a visa, are permitted to stay for a period of 90 days within 180 days from the first entry. The Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs specifies the categories of foreign citizens that can enter Albania without a visa:
The citizens who have a valid, multiple-entry Schengen visa that has been previously used in one of the Schengen states, or all citizens that have a permit for a stay in one of the Schengen states.
All the citizens that have a valid multiple-entry visa issued by countries like the US and UK and have used the visa, or have a permit of stay in these two countries

Citizens from the following countries:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Georgia
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Russia
    can enter Albania without a short-term stay visa (Type C) for tourism reasons during the official summer season.

Update on free visa regime during the summer season

All the citizens that need to stay in Albania for more than 90 days during a six months period and require a residence permit should apply for a long-term visa, type D.
For more information about visa applications and required documents depending on the purpose of your visit to Albania click here:

Visa Applications Depending on Visa Type

Source: MEFA

Short-term  Visa type C
Long-Term visa D type
Aeroportual transit Aeroportual visa
visa application form

If you plan to stay more than 90 days

All foreign citizens that travel to Albania will get their passports stamped and recorded in electronic systems by border and migration officers.
Residence permits are required for all the international citizens that need to stay in Albania for more than 90 days. The Law on Foreigners defines all the specifications about residence permits

Residence permits

Foreign citizens can be granted a temporary or permanent stay only by the provision of residence permit.
Article 33 of the Law on Foreigners defines:
“The authority responsible for border and migration shall issue one of the 21 following types of residence permits to the foreign citizens intending to reside in the Republic of Albania for a period longer than 90 days within 180 days, following fulfillment of the requirements foresaw in this law:

  • Type “A” residence permit, which is not renewable, gives to the holder the right to reside in the Republic of Albania during the period for which the residence permit is issued
  • Type “B” residence permit, renewable, issued for a defined time period, gives to the holder the right to enter, stay and exit the Republic of Albania within the period defined in the residence permit
  • Type “C” residence is permanent permit and gives to the holder the right to enter, stay and exit the Republic of Albania
  • Type “S” residence permit, renewable, after an interruption period of six months, which is issued to seasonal workers, gives to the holder the right to enter, stay and exit the Republic of Albania within the period of time defined in the residence permit
  • “AL Blue Card” residence permit, renewable, issued for a defined period only to the highly qualified workers, gives to the holder the right to enter, stay and exit the Republic of Albania within the period defined in the residence permit
  • “AL-C Blue Card” residence permit, is permanent and it is issued only to highly qualified workers and it gives to the holder the right to enter, stay and exit the Republic of Albania.

Moreover, the law specifies that the application for a residence permit must be conforming to the purpose of the visa used for entering Albania.

Terms and duration of residence permits

Residence permits are issued for:

  • Three months/ six months/ one year, and they can’t be renewed more than five times
  • Two years, and it can be renewed only once
  • Five years, conforming to the provisions of this law
  • A permanent residence is issued for applicants that have resided in Albania for more than five consecutive years and have strong ties and   activity in Albania.

Residence permits for specific categories

Further on, there are specific residence permits for the following categories:

  • Seasonal employees
  • Unpaid Trainees
  • Youth Exchange
  • Voluntary services
  • Scientific research
  • Students and School Pupils
  • Humanitarian grounds
  • Victims of trafficking of human beings

Family reunification

According to the above-mentioned law on foreigners, foreign citizens equipped with a residence permit may submit an application for family reunion purposes only if the following conditions are met:

  • Family members of the applicant reside outside the territory of Albania.
  • The foreign citizen has been issued with a residence permit in the Republic of Albania for a validity period of at least one year and has the possibility to renew the permit in compliance with the provisions of this law
  • The applicant guarantees normal housing according to the general standards of health and security
  • The applicant has sickness insurance covered for him or her and his / her family members for whom he/ she has applied for family reunification;
  • The applicant has for him/herself and family members sufficient funds to prevent them from applying for welfare and getting aid
  • The applicant submits the documentation based on the provisions of the decision of the Council of Ministers.

All the details for visa, residence and work permits can be found at the law on foreigners. Source: The Albanian State Police

Photo Credit: Pixabay