The Albanian legislation related to foreign citizens is in compliance with the EU directives as related to immigration policy. The Law on Foreigners provides that the citizens of the USA, the EU and the Schengen area countries enjoy equal rights with Albanian citizens as regards employment and self-employment. Foreigners are divided into two categories - those who must secure a visa when crossing the borders of the Republic of Albania and those who are exempt from that requirement. Foreigners who wish to reside in Albania on a long-term basis (in any case more than three months within each six-month period) shall be issued a residence permit. Foreigners may work in Albania only after obtaining a work permit, unless otherwise stipulated by the law.
Foreigners who wish to reside in Albania on a long-term basis, more than three months within each sixmonth period are issued a residence permit. Residence and work permits are regulated in accordance with the Law on Foreigners No. 108/2013 dated 28 March 2013 and the respective sublegal acts.
This law regulates:
-The regime of entry into and exit from the Republic of Albania;
-The foreigners residence;
-The foreigners work permits; and
-Their treatment in the country.
The law determines the functions and competencies of the state authorities and other subjects, public and private, Albanian and foreigners, related to them.
-A residence permit can be issued for a period of:
-A three-month, six-month, one-year term and can be renewed not more than five consecutive times;
-A two-year term which can be renewed not more than once;
-A five-year term;
-Permanently, if the foreign citizen has legally resided in Albania for five consecutive years and has stable activities or relationships in the country.
The Law on Foreigners provides different types of residence permits for ordinary and special occasional. Some of these types are as below:
-Residence permit type “A” not renewable;
-Residence permit type “B” renewable;
-Residence permit type “C” issued for an indefinite;
-Residence permit “Blue Card AL-C” issued for an indefinite period only for highly qualified employees;
-Residence permit for employment purposes which is granted in compliance with the conditions of the work permit;
-Residence permit “Blue Card AL” renewable and issued for a defined period for highly qualified employees;
-Residence permit type “S” renewable after a six month interruption period;
-Residence permit for the self-employed which is granted to self-employed persons in compliance with the conditions of the work permit;
-Residence permit for vessels crews which is granted to the vessels crews employed on vessels registered in the Republic of Albania and performing activity as employees for more than 90 days in a period of 180 days as well as to the crews who perform activity as employees on foreign vessels but according to the specifics of the activity stays in the harbours of the Republic of Albania for more than 90 days in a period of 180 days.
-For seasonal work
-For vocational training
-For youth exchange
-For voluntary services
-For scientific research
-For humanitarian occasions
-For victims of human trafficking
-For family reunion.
Visa system for foreigners traveling to Albania is relatively easy to access. To enter the country, a valid passport or any other valid traveling document recognized by Albania is required. Before traveling to Albania, foreigners should contact the diplomatic and consular representations of the Republic of Albania abroad to check if rules have changed. Foreign citizens can enter Albania after presenting valid passports or any other valid traveling document and, if required, entry visas issued by diplomatic or consular representations of the Republic of Albania abroad. Passports should be valid for at least three months. Some countries whose citizens are holders of ordinary passports can enter Albania without a visa. The list of countries whose citizens can enter Albania without a visa is periodically approved by the Council of Ministers of Albania. They have to present their valid passports or other valid traveling documents at a border checkpoint and are granted a stay permit of 90 days. Foreign citizens must have the necessary currency to sustain themselves during their stay in Albania. All foreigners who are not exempt from obtaining a visa must be issued a visa before they enter Albania at the missions of the Republic of Albania which cover the respective country of residence. These missions can also provide them with valuable information about Albania.
Visa Regime for Foreign Citizens in Albania
List of Albanian Embassies across over the world
List of Foreign Citizens Visit Albania without Visa for 90 Day-
How to get there
Albania can be accessed by air through Mother Theresa International airport (TIA), situated 25 km northwest of the capital Tirana. There are different airline companies that operate in Albania and connect it through regular flights with the main European cities such as: Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Alitalia, British Airways, Adria Airways, Olympic Airways, Turkish Airlines.
For more information:http://www.tirana-airport.com
The fastest way to get to TIA is by taxi. Such a service is available in all Albanian cities and urban areas, with the main cities operating a call-service. The journey from Tirana to the airport takes 20–25 minutes, depending on traffic, and costs about 2,500 Leke (19 EUR) one way.
Tirana Airport taxi service is provided by ATEx shpk. www.atex.al is the website that offers to all passengers the ability to reserve taxis in advance, online. We specialize in transfers between Tirana Airport and all Albanian cities for both individuals and groups. The service is professional, courteous and personal, and at affordable prices, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information:https://www.atex.alNote:The passengers are recommended to use only licensed taxis, which are yellow with a red ATEx logo and the airport logo on both sides of the vehicle. At the airport, these taxis park in front of the terminal and also at the pick-up area of the terminal.
By sea- Albania can be accessed through its main ports:
-Durres port, connecting with Italian ports of Bari, Ancona and Trieste
By land- Albania can be accessible through:
- Montenegro (Murriqan and Han iHotit border crossing points);
- Macedonia (Qafasan, Blata, Tushemisht, Gorice border crossing points);
- Kosovo (Morina, border crossing point)
- Greece (Kapshtica, Kakavija, Tri Urat, QafeBoti border crossing points)
There are many different types of accommodation available in Albania.
The main ones are:
- Buying a house or a flat.
- Renting a house or a flat.
How do you find Accomodation?
You can find a suitable house or flat in sale or for rent and you can also sell your property in Albania contacting the Real Estate Agencies based in Albania.
Please find out more about some of the Albanian Real Estate Agencies in the following links.
Albania Real Estate: Albania Real Estate, our main goal is to make it easier for everyone to rent, buy or sell their property
Albanian Yellow Pages: Real Estates List in Albania
Çelësi i Tiranës: List of Hotels in Tirana
Century 21 The Point: At CENTURY 21, we share a simple and common purpose with our franchisees: SUCCESS
Hotels in Albania
Hotels offer a variety of services, and minimally include a bed, dresser, nightstand, at least a washbasin, if not a full bathroom with toilet, and shower or bathtub, as well as a TV, phone, and alarm clock.
Some hotels provide a coffee maker, small refrigerator, coffee and tea supplies, and perhaps a snack bar, as well as Internet access and/or wi-fi capabilities. Albania Hotels are classified by a star-rating system, ranging from one to five stars, depending on the quality, cost, and services offered.
Choosing and Booking a hotel in Albania
Picking the right Albania hotel can make the difference between a successful trip or a disastrous one. With the availability of many travel sites on the Internet, travelers can browse for just the right hotel in terms of location, size, amenities, and price – it is like being one's own travel agent.
Albania Hotels are rated, using the well-known star rating system, include photographs of the hotels and rooms, as well as customer reviews providing first hand recommendations from those who know – people who have actually experienced what it's like to stay at a particular facility.
Booking hotels off- season and on weekdays often provides substantial rate reductions; booking in advance can assure travelers that they will be able to get what they want for the best price.
Below you can find general information on accommodation in hotels in Tirana.
Cost of Living in Albania
The first question someone who moves in to Albania asks is "What's the cost of living in Albania?" or "How are the prices.." or anything related to the living, wages, prices, etc.
Albania, more precisely Tirana, is a really good place to live in if you have a good job. Prices are not too expensive but you can't say that, if you're living with the average wage, even by yourself. The average wage in Albania is more or less 350$ or 310 euros.
But really there are a few factors that affect the amount of money that you have left by the end of the month, like whether you have to pay a rent or you own a house, how much you have to pay for the bills, how much do you eat, etc.
Food products are usually pretty cheap and you can shop for the whole month for less than 90 euros. Also other products like drinks or cigarettes in general, are pretty cheap.
Renting a house in Albania it's not that expensive as well. And like every other place in the world, the price depends on the location of the house. But usually normal houses for two or three are something between 100-300 euros. There are also bigger ones with bigger rooms that range from 300 to 600 euros or more.
Buying a property in Tirana
Apartment’s prices in Tirana start from 15,000 euros (the smallest and the furthest from the center of the city). But mostly, in the center of the city or near it, a normal 2+1 apartment for two can go from 35,000 to 100,000 euros or more. Of course there are limits on what a normal citizen can afford, and even with the help of a bank loan, it's still difficult to buy proper house.
Public transportation its really cheap, like 0.30 euros for a one-way ticket, 11 euros for the monthly pass, which is not for all the lines, and taxi fees start from 3 euros.
So this is it for the cost of living in Tirana and in Albania in general. Of course in other cities prices are even cheaper, except for coastal cities during the summer which are a lot more expensive.
Shopping in Albania
The Albanian monetary unit is called Lekë. It is issued in denominations of 5000, 2000,1000, 500, 200 (paper) and 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 (coins). In 1990, the Albanian Economic Expert institutionalized new coinage, including a new manner to val-ue the money. Now, money is quoted in two values: new and old. When you buy something, do not be surprised if you hear “new money.” One hundred new lekë is equal to one thousand old lekë. In official documents in the field of econ-omy, also in the media, people are obligated to use new lekë values. Meanwhile, in the markets and shops, it is discussed and performed the exchange of goods in both new and old lekë.
Pay attention if you do not want to be confused with the values that are being used, old or new. Albanian citizens are used to this system, but, you should check the figures you see in the banknote and make sure to ask to buy with new lekë in or-der not to get confused with the real values of the products that you are interested in buying. You can also buy with euro or dollars. There are cases where different traders can also accept other currencies. This can happen especially in cases when someone is interested in buying domestic products.
Currency exchange can be done at banks or exchange agencies where it is written «Exchange». In some hotels, restaurants and shops you can also make payments through credit cards like Visa, Master Card, etc
Shopping centers and outdoor markets
City park shopping centre
Cityparkin Albania is the largest Shopping mall in the Balkans. In about 180 shops you will find the best brands in clothing, accessories, perfumes and everything related to cook-ing and home. While walking through the friendly atmosphere in Citypark, you will feel the certainty that is this huge city you will find everything you are looking for. You just have to discover the area you belong to.
QTU (Qendra Tregetare Univers)
A modern shopping mall, about 6 km from Tirana on the highway Tirana-Durrës.
The mall has 75 shops and 3 restaurants and bars. It offers a free shuttle bus from the center of Tirana.See more: http://www.qtu.al/
TEG (Tirana east Gate)
The new shopping center in Albania, opened in 2011, offers over 150 stores and services space, as well as a wide range of opportunities for fun. Located 4 km from the city center, TEG has become an important destination of the citizens of Tirana purchases. See more : https://www.facebook.com/teg.albania/
Megatek S.A is the biggest Do-IT-Yourself wholesale and retail store in Albania. Megatek S.A is part of Teqja Group International, a group of privately owned and anonymous Companies with long experience in the Albanian and regional market offering a vast range of products and services, ranging from mail & logistics to production of industrial materials.
See more: https://www.megateksa.com/
A shopping mall on the outskirts of the city offering several shops including the Italian electronics super mall Trony, the Ikea style Danish superstore Jysk and the Italian super-market Conad.See more: https://www.facebook.com/casaitaliashoppingcenter/
ETC (European Trade Center)
A shopping mall in the center of the city with several boutiques and coffees worth a visit.See more: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ETC/158950557495207
A smaller shopping complex in the main boulevard offering mainly café and service outlets.
Famous road for shopping in Tirana lined up with shops and boutiques on both sides.
Tregu i madh i Camëve
It is found almost in the center of Tirana. Close to central Post Office of Tirana. Place to bargain hunt clothes, personal items or home decorations and utensils