Visa and Residence Permits for Foreigners in Albania

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Entry to Albania

Albania Visa Policy
Albania visa policy 2019, credit: Twofortnights

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
  • China
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Thailand
  • Bahrain
    can enter Albania without a short-term stay visa (Type C) for tourism or private reasons during the official summer season, 1 April 2019 – 31 October 2019.

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 type D
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

Where to Apply for an Albanian Visa?

Given that Albania visa policy document is available only in the Albanian language, below you can find a list for the citizens that need at least one type for traveling to Albania.  Please check the doc to find out to what type of visa are you entitled.

Citizens from these countries can apply to this embassy or diplomatic mission:

  • Afganistan, Iraq, Iran: Ankara/Istanbul
  • Angola, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama: Roma
  • Algeria, Benin, Botswana: Paris
  • Antigua and Barbados, Ivory Coast, El Salvador, Sao Tome and Principe, Trinidad and Tobago: London
  • Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan: Ankara/Moscow
  • South Africa: Roma/London
  • Saudi Arabia: Riyadh
  • China, Bangladesh, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macao, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam: Beijing
  • Bahrein: Riyadh
  • Barbados, Belize, Maldives, Mauritius: London
  • Belorussia: Moscow/Warsaw
  • Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Suriname: Brasilia
  • Brunei: Roma/Riyadh
  • Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Cameroon, Kenya, Seychelles, Sudan: Cairo
  • United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi
  • Fiji, Saint Kitts and Nevis: London/Tokyo
  • Gabon, Ghana: Cairo/Roma
  • Guyana, Uruguay, Venezuela: Brasilia/Roma
  • Guinea, Congo, Lesotho, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe: Cairo/Istanbul
  • Gibraltar: Madrid
  • Haiti, Honduras, Dominican Republic: Brasilia/New York
  • India: Beijing/Abu Dhabi/ Istanbul
  • Yemen, Oman: Riyadh/ Abu Dhabi
  • Qatar: Doha
  • North Korea: Beijing/Sofia
  • Cuba: Brasilia/Sofia
  • Kuwait: Kuwait
  • Liberia: Bucharest
  • Morocco: Bucharest/Paris
  • Moldavia: Bucharest/Sofia/Ankara/Istanbul
  • Mongolia: Moscow/Beijing
  • Palestine: Ankara/Istanbul/Cairo
  • Peru: Brasilia/Madrid
  • Russia: Moscow
  • Senegal: Cairo/Istanbul/Paris
  • Somalia: Cairo/Riyadh
  • Turkmenistan: Ankara/Istanbul/Moscow
  • Ukraine: Warsaw/Skopje
  • Uzbekistan: Istanbul/Moscow
  • Jamaica: London/New York

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.

Working permits

Those who are not Albanian citizens and wish to work in Albania for more than three months need a work permit. The request for the work permit should be completed before starting a  job. All the required documents for the application can be obtained from the Migration Office,  Albanian Embassy in one’s country of origin, or at regional labor office.  Generally, the granting or refusal of a work permit takes no longer than 30 days after submitting the appropriate documentation. A work permit can be granted with or without time restrictions. The validity period of the work permit is based on the type of work permit.

The work permit will expire if:

the deadline is exceeded

the foreigner leaves Albania for a period longer than six months

or he/she does not start the activity for a period of three months from the date the work permit is issued.

Foreigners who will start an economic activity on the territory of the Republic of Albania are  provided with the following types of work permits

Work permit type “A” for economic activities, as an employee:

  • Type “A/P”, for employees
  • Type “A/PS”, for seasonal work
  • Type “A/TN”, for transfers within the company
  • Type “A/PS”, for students
  • Type “A/NK”, for border employment
  • Type “A/SHV”, for people who offer volunteer services
  • Type “A/AF”, for family members who enter marriage

Work permit type “B”, for independent economic activity:

  • Type “B/I”, for investors
  • Type “C” for specific cases
  • Type “D” for foreigners granted a continual work permit

All the details for visa, residence and work permits can be found at the law on foreigners.

Immigration to Albania

If you´re the from a VISA-free country, you can get a permanent residence permit if you buy a real estate. Alternatives are, registering a business or getting a work-contract.

Source: The Albanian State Police

Photo Credit: Pixabay