Comprehensive immigration profile on Albania for those considering a relocation.
As relocation experts, at Move One we understand how important it is to make the transition to your new home as seamless as possible. To that end, Move One profiles a country every month, providing an in-depth look at relocation, immigration, moving and pet transportation issues.
This month’s spotlight focuses on immigration to Albania.
Driven by World Trade Organization membership and the goal of EU accession, Albania has been prioritizing economic reforms in the past decade. According to WTO reports from 2010, Albania has transformed into a market-oriented economy in the recent years. The Albanian government eased procedures of registering foreign companies in the country, therefore improving the business climate, attracting foreign investment and expatriate employees.
How to begin
In order to determine a foreigner’s particular immigration needs, the following information should be shared with a Move One immigration professional:
- Purpose of visit – business or work
- Destination city in Albania
- Foreigner’s nationality and country of residence
- Nationality of accompanying family members
- Payroll location (home payroll or host payroll)
- In case of home payroll – information regarding employment with host company will be required (period, provided social benefits, registration with company) as well as relationship between home and host entity
- Length of assignment/employment (start date, arrival date)
- Job position (main responsibilities, level of education and skills requested for the job)
- Is company registered with Albanian authorities
- Information about the host company
- Will foreigners be working based on contracts between company in Albania and home country (if yes, further information will be required such as cost, time for accomplishing, number of foreigners, subject of agreement, location of realization)
With this information in hand, Move One can assess the case and determine the applicable procedure which needs to be followed.
BUSINESS TRAVEL TO ALBANIA
Foreigners must obtain a visa or a border immigration stamp in order to enter Albania.
Business visas are issued for short term visits of non-productive nature. In general, business activities are limited to activities such as attending business meetings, conferences and seminars.
Nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) member countries, along with those of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, New Zealand, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and The Vatican may enter Albania without a visa for business purposes.
Albanian law allows a traveler without a visa to remain in Albania for 90 days within a 180 day period. For longer visits, a residence permit must be obtained.
Foreigners may also enter Albania without an Albanian visa if they have a permanent residence in an EU or Schengen member state, or if they possess a valid multiple entry Schengen C type visa.
Other foreign nationals must obtain a business visa prior to arrival. The visa application procedure requires a set of documents from home and the host company to clarify the purpose of the trip.
Business visa applications have to be submitted at the Albanian diplomatic missions in the traveler’s home country. Business visas are usually valid for up to 30 days, and are issued at the discretion of a consul.
WORK IN ALBANIA
Depending on various factors, such as for example nationality or job position, different procedures apply for obtaining the legal right to work. Exemptions from work permit requirement exist, and should be verified individually.
There are various categories of work permits available for foreigners wishing to take up work in Albania. Type A work permits are granted for economic activity as an employee, sub-categorized further into work permit for seasonal work, intra-corporate transfer, student work or cross-border employment and training.
For conducting independent activities, such as self-employment or investment, a Type B work permit is required. Additional categories include work permit Type C, issued for special cases and Type D, for work permit extensions.
The standard permit A/P, for employment with Albanian companies, requires the foreigner to posses relevant professional qualifications in accordance with the job’s requirements, which will be performed in Albania. The standard immigration procedure for a visa-obliged foreigner can be divided into the following stages:
- Visa: Application at diplomatic mission abroad for Type D long term visa in order to enter Albania. Request for the visa must be for work purpose, in order to match the residence permit application after arrival.
- Work Force Demand: Work permit for a foreigner is issued taking into account the needs of the labor market. Before hiring a foreign national, a request to fill a vacancy is made public by the employer or the responsible state authorities for at least a four-week-period.
- Work Permit: The permit is granted for one year initially. Work permits for foreigners are issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues.
- Residence Permit: A foreigner entering with a long-term visa must submit a request to the local Border and Migration Police to receive a residence permit for the validity of their work permit.
- Passports should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in Albania.
Work permit is canceled in case the foreigner is not present in Albania for a continuous period of six months, unless absence is due to a business trip, education and vocational training, illness, care for children or mandatory military service.
- Work permit may be extended twice for two year terms, in case initial work permit conditions have not changed.
- Marriage and birth certificates are required in case of applications for family members.
Documents in foreign languages must be translated into Albanian.
- Documents submitted for various applications have limited validity. Documents must be issued earliest three months from submission to the foreign police.
- Permanent residence permit may be obtained after 5 years of stay in Albania, with a valid residence permits.
- Medical certificate declaring that the foreigner does not suffer from a disease presenting public health threat, and authenticated criminal record certificate are required for residence permit applications.
Our articles are for informational purposes only. If you are considering a move to Albania for either business or longer-term work, specialists at Move One can help set you and your company on the right track. Please feel free to contact our offices with questions at any stage of the immigration process.
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