January 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Albania. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.

Overview

BUSINESS VISITOR

Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to professional, commercial and business activities, including, but not limited to:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Attending conferences;
• Carrying out negotiations;
• Concluding agreements;
• Trainings

Type of Business Visas – The visa type “C” – for professional, commercial and business purposes – is the typical visa issued to business travelers and does not entitle the foreign citizen to apply for residency permit in Albania. Note that many nationalities benefit from a visa waiver arrangement, including, but not limited to EU citizens, US citizens and Canadian citizens.

Basic Requirements

1. Intention of a genuine visit for the purpose of e.g. business activities, civil service, commitments with civil society organizations, trainings or for providing a contribution to international organizations situated in Albania;
2. No intention to apply for residence permit in Albania;
3. Health insurance covering the period of stay;
4. Documents proving professional activities or knowledge in the country of the applicant, related to the purpose of travel;
5. Invitation letter of the hosting person/entity;

In case of commercial entities, documents proving the legal status of the entity.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country, but the visa is usually issued within 15 days from date of application at the consulate. In exceptional cases processing time can be extended up to 30 days.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Albania for up to 90 days out of 180 days during the visa validity term (i.e. from between 6 months and 5 years). Visas can generally not be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

1. A valid passport or other acceptable travel document; and in some cases
2. A valid visa or authority to enter Albania.

EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION 

Basic Requirements – The principle permit category for temporary employment in Albania is the work permit (e.g. work permit type A/P, A/TN). This is a category for employers to sponsor approved skilled workers to work in Albania on a temporary basis. Note that there are nationalities (including, but not limited to, EU citizens, US citizens, etc.) exempted from the obligation to obtain a work permit.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining work and residence permits is as follows:

1. Work permit application filed at the General Directorate of National Labor Service or the Labor Office of the relevant territory;
2. Residence permit application after arrival.

Estimated Processing Time – 30 days for the work permit.

Validity periods – The work permits are, generally, valid for 1 year and renewable. Nevertheless, depending on the type of the work permit, the validity period might be shorter or longer than the said term.

Family Members – Dependents of work permit holders are not entitled to work in Albania without separate work permit.

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