This small country in the south of Europe is still greatly undervalued by the mass streams of international tourism. Maybe because of the bad image the Kosovo war left as baggage from the late 1990s. Maybe because they still haven’t reached an agreement with the EU to become one of the states of the union. Nevertheless, the beautiful land with especially welcoming inhabitants and lip-smacking cuisine is gaining the attention of more and more travelers, and with a good reason! Besides the ones I already mentioned, it is really easy to reach Albania from any European capital, but especially from the ones right next to it - Croatia, Greece, and Italy. Or why not do a Balkan road trip? Whichever is your way - I am sure you have already thought this over. Or at least gotten hooked by the idea of visiting this beautiful land because you are here! And looking to find some more information about Albania visa policy, which you will find in a few minutes. What are Albania visa requirements, how to apply for Albania visa, and many more key factors you should know before trying to obtain one! Shall we?
What should I know about the Albania visa policy?
Well, you will hear all about it in the remaining article, but let me give you a short overview, so you know what we are talking about in general. From my experience, the Albania visa policy is quite easy to wrap your head around. There are just two types of visa - the short-term stay or C type, and the long-term stay or D type visa. The former one will grant you a possibility to stay there for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days, but the latter one - for up to 180 days out of the same period. The difference is in the fact that this D-type visa should be obtained if you aim to apply for a residency permit (during or after the visa runs out). Additionally, even nationals from countries that are exempt from Albania short-term visas might need to apply for a long-term one. Just check with the official website what conditions apply to your particular case!
Here are a few examples for travel purposes for each of the visa types:
C type: travel for the purposes of tourism, medical, scientific, cultural, sports, and humanitarian reasons. Travel for professional, commercial, and business purposes, as well as in the case of an official visit.
D type: travel for purposes of economic, professional, commercial, employment activities. Travel for studies, family reunions, humanitarian or seasonal employment purposes.
Continuing on the topic of the visa policy in Albania, I guess the most important factor you have to know is the fact that basically anyone applying for a visa can do it online. This is why further in the post, you can consider that all visa types we are talking about come in the format of an eVisa (even though there exists a possibility to apply for a stamped visa, too). Let’s find out more!
Which are Albania visa free countries?
I am happy to inform you that for a big part of travelers, a visa is not required. Currently, there are about 91 Albania visa free countries. I will not copy the whole big pile of names here (instead just hop on here to see which list is your country on), but if you live in Africa, South America, or the Middle East, there are big chances you will need to go through Albania visa application process. Good news for the nationals of all the EU countries - you can travel to Albania just like you would do in any other Schengen zone country.
Another great aspect to keep in mind is that you can travel to Albania for up to 15 days visa-free if your homeland is somewhere else, but you hold a previously used multiple-entry visa or residency permit to the Schengen zone countries, the United States of America, Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Yay!
How to apply for Albania visa?
The process should technically be rather easy. Either way - if you want to apply for a short or long-term visa, you can do it online in the Albania e Visa system. Hop on that page, press the button “Apply now,” and choose the required type of visa. The system will state all the requirements that you just have to write down or upload. Then pay your fee and sit tight until the answer comes! They will send the visa to your email. Or if for any reason you chose to obtain a “stamped visa”, you will have to present yourself in the consulate or embassy where you applied to receive the very desired travel document.
The alternative route you might choose is to let a professional intermediary like Pickvisa deal with all the formalities to save you time and worries.
How long can I use my visa to Albania?
As I mentioned before already - the time you can spend in Albania depends on a particular type of visa. Short-stay visas might be granted for a maximum of 90 days, but the long-term ones - up to 180 days. If you wish to stay longer, you might need to apply for another visa or a residency permit.
You must remember that Albania e Visa is valid for up to two years from the date it was issued OR until your passport expires (whichever comes first). It means that you might apply and have it ready for a yet uncertain future trip. Usually, no restrictions are inflicted on the ones who wish to apply again - after your current visa expires, just apply to get another one.
What are Albania visa requirements?
Let me tell you honestly - the requirements differ quite much depending on what you plan on doing in this country. The system might ask for various specific documents and information regarding the purpose of your travel, but let’s assume you are going to apply for a short-term tourist visa. Here is the list of basic requirements:
● Proof for a round-trip ticket booking
● Proof of accommodation (booking or other documents)
● Either proof of employment of sufficient evidence that you will return to your country of residence
● One passport-sized photo 5x4cm
● A copy of your passport or other valid travel documents
● Health insurance that covers the whole duration of your visa
● An invitation from the host, as well as a photocopy of their passport
You might be asked for additional information, but if you travel for reasons you are saying you are, there should be no problem with that.
To see the particular requirements for other travel purposes, I dearly suggest checking the website of Albania e Visa and check the details described under your preferred option. Just click on C or D type visa and see what’s there. The website is really user-friendly!
How high is Albania visa fee?
To obtain the desired visa for Albania, you might have to say goodbye to as much (or little) as 35 - 80 EUR, depending on the country you reside in and the type of visa you chose. The upper limit for short-term visas is 60 EUR, but for long-term visas - 80 EUR. You will pay the fee after you have filled all the necessary details in the application form and the system says you have met all the requirements to hand in the request. If there will be some information missing, you will be asked to add it and only then pay Albania visa fee.
What is the processing time of Albania e Visa?
If you want to travel to Albania, you will have to consider the formalities well ahead. You see, the standard processing time is around 15 days, but the official website says it might take up to 30 days at times. Unfortunately, it just means that if you do need a visa for this country, then you can’t just act on a quick idea to visit it very soon. But at least you know now - plan your trip at least a month onwards, and you should be fine!
Let’s have a short recap, so you are left with concise information about all of it. Albania offers several types of visas - the short-term (type C) and the long-term (type D) stay. Anyone willing to acquire either one can do it online in their eVisa system - easy peasy. Then wait for the answer, grab a flight (or other means of transportation), and off you go!
What a wonderful prospect of traveling to an unknown destination, isn’t it? Let me assure you, Albania might be the next best thing that has happened to you. I hope this has helped you to understand the process of Albania visa application in more detail because traveling with ease most often means planning thoroughly, too. Especially when it comes to such make-or-break factors as visas. Whatever your journey with Albania is - I wish you all the best in discovering new corners of this beautiful world! Bon voyage!