Choosing to expand your company to Albania, a small country on the Balkan Peninsula, is a big decision that can earn you significant financial and interpersonal gains. However, you won’t experience those benefits until you assemble a team to work in the country. If you’re employing foreigners from other countries, you must know how to get an Albania work visa for each one of them to stay compliant.
Types of Work Visas in Albania
The first step in bringing employees to Albania is understanding who needs a work permit. Citizens of the European Union (EU) and Schengen countries have the same employment rights as Albanian citizens. However, some legislation may require Albanian citizenship for certain positions. US citizens can also stay in Albania for at least a year without a residence permit.
Everyone who is not an Albanian citizen and wants to work in the country for more than three months must apply for a work permit. Your employees have to complete their work permit requests before starting a job. It typically takes no more than 30 days after submitting the documentation to get an approval or denial. Some work permits have time restrictions, but the overall validity period of the permit depends on the type.
There are four main Albanian work permit categories:
- Type A: Permits for economic activities for both employers and employees
- Type B: Independent economic activity permits
- Type C: Permits for special occasions
- Type D: Permanent work permits for eligible foreigners
All foreigners also need a visa to enter Albania and a residence permit to live there.
Requirements to Obtain Albania Work Visas
The steps to get a work permit in Albania can vary depending on the type of permit. However, the most common documents required include:
- Standard application form signed by your employee
- A National Registration Center extract confirming your registration as an employer
- The applicant’s employment contract
- Copy of their passport
- Five photos
Employees will also need to pay ALL 6,000, or about 45 EUR, to get a work permit from the General Directorate of National Labor Service or the Labor Office of the relevant territory, which is a part of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
All of your employees applying for a work permit in Albania must submit the documents above to the respective labor office in Albania or the Albanian Consulates in their home countries. Albania’s Regional Employment Office looks at the development and needs of the country’s labor market before issuing any work permit. They take into account if the job can be obtained by:
- An unemployed Albanian citizen
- Foreigners and family members of Albanian nationals
- EU or Schengen citizens
- Family members of immigrants living and working in Albania
- Nationals from countries with bilateral and multilateral employment agreements with Albania
- Any jobseeker with priority in the domestic labor market
Keep in mind that foreign employees can work in the public sector, but cannot hold any leadership positions within the public administration.
Other Important Considerations
All employees must obtain a working visa in Albania as well as a work permit. Visa types include:
- Type C: Short-term visas
- Type D: Long-term visas
- Aeroportual visa: For aeroportual transit
All foreign citizens planning on staying in the country for more than 90 days will need a residence permit as well. Albania has 21 different types of residence permits, so it’s important to find the right one for your needs. All residence permits are valid for either three months, six months, or a year and cannot be renewed more than five times.