Quick Visa Facts
Albania Digital Nomad Visa Overview
Under Albania’s new Unique Permit scheme, digital nomads can apply for a Type D visa to stay in Albania for a year, renewable for up to five years. Albania has always had a welcoming approach to visas, but the new scheme cuts through a lot of the red tape to streamline the application process.
The Unique Permit was only introduced in a review of the law “On Foreigners” at the start of 2022. Applications are open via Albania’s online visa portal, but questions still remain about the full requirements for a successful application.
The requirements specifically state that digital mobile workers must provide a contract with a foreign company, a service contract with a foreign contractor, or a contract with a client for a specific remote project. While no minimum income is specified, it is anticipated to be at least $9,800 per year for an individual, matching the minimum income associated with a retirement visa.
The Unique Permit is using the new online application portal developed by Albania during the pandemic. The law associated with the new scheme specifically states that applications should be processed within a maximum of 12 weeks.
The only concerns we have about this visa are the tax implications, as digital nomads will be required to pay taxes on both foreign and domestic income, and Albania does not have double taxation treaties with many countries, including the United States.
In July 2023, the Albanian government announced streamlined procedures for foreign individuals entering Albania to work in the information technology (IT) sector. According to the decision, foreigners entering the country’s territory with a declaration from an IT company stating their employment plans are granted visa-free entry and a permit to stay for up to one year. This period allows the foreign worker to later apply for an official work permit within Albania.
Types Of Albania Visas for Digital Nomad
Albania has long had a generous visa scheme for tourists, and special visas for citizens of the United States and Kosovo.
Citizens from most countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, can enter Albania as a tourist for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa. Citizens from other countries can apply for a tourist visa online with immediate approval in most cases.
Citizens of the United States and Kosovo are free to enter and stay in Albania for up to a year without a visa while gaining access to public services such as health care and schools.
The Unique Permit provides a more formal structure for other types of visas and a pathway to permanent residency. The visa can be renewed for up to five years if an individual still meets the criteria, at which point they are eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Within the Unique Visa scheme, the visa for digital mobile workers is a Type D Long Stay visa. There are several categories of Type D visa including for self-employed people, investors, research, highly qualified employees, and pensioners.
Albania Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Digital nomads wishing to apply for a Type D Visa should apply through the new Unique Permit system available via the Albania e-visa portal. This replaces a complex application system that required separate applications to the Border and Immigration Police and to the Labour Office.
You must meet the following requirements and be able to provide the following documentation to be eligible for the visa.
Proof of Status as a Digital Mobile Worker
The Albanian visa scheme does not provide a specific definition of a digital mobile worker, but to be eligible you must have a job in a foreign country that you can perform remotely. You can find some of the digital nomad jobs here.
The requirements specifically ask for:
- Valid employment contract with an overseas employer
- Service contract with an overseas contractor
- Service contact with a client that will work without a specific headquarters for specific jobs
You are also required to provide documents demonstrating your professional capacity such as a diploma, certificate, or other qualification.
Self-employed digital nomads may be able to use a contract from a specific client if it meets the minimum income requirements, or they can apply for a D Visa as a self-employed person, for which the rules and process are very similar.
Proof of Financial Self-Sufficiency
As with all the digital nomad visas emerging around the world, there is a minimum income requirement to qualify for the visa to ensure that your foreign employment provides you with sufficient resources to finance your life in Albania. However, no specific income requirement has been provided.
The minimum income requirement to qualify for the pension visa for Albania is currently $9,800, and this is probably a reasonable guide for the digital nomad application. The minimum wage in Albania is currently around 34,000 Albanian Lek (ALL) per month, which is the equivalent of about USD315 per month.
You may include family members in your application if they will accompany you to Albania. It is unclear how dependents will affect the minimum income requirement.
You should provide payslips, employment contracts, and bank statements from the last six months to provide your financial self-sufficiency.
Proof Of Accommodation
The visa application documentation states that you must provide a document certifying accommodation in Albania, but it is not stated that this must be for the entire duration of your trip. You must have a current address in Albania for the visa to be issued.
Proof of an Albanian Bank Account
You must provide evidence that you have a bank account from a second tier Albanian bank for the transfer of the salary specified in your contract.
Second tier banks active in Albania include:
- American Bank of Investment (ABI) – USA
- Banka Kombetare Tregtare (BKT)
- Credins Bank (CB)
- Fibank – Bulgaria
- Intesa Sanpaolo Bank – Italy
- ProCredit Bank – Germany
- Raiffeisen – Austria
- OTP Bank – Hungary
- Tirana Bank
- Union Bank
- United Bank of Albania
Some banks will allow you to open a bank account with a passport and proof of address, while others require a residence permit before you can open an account.
Proof of Health Insurance
You must provide evidence that you have health insurance valid in Albania to cover you for the duration of your proposed stay with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
Clean Criminal Record
You should provide proof of a clean criminal record for any country that you have lived in for the last five years. They should be authenticated for international use with an Apostille.
How to Apply for the Albania Digital Nomad Visa – Step-By-Step Instructions
The recent introduction of the Unique Permit visa system has significantly simplified the visa application process. You can now complete your application online and do not need to make duplicate applications to a number of different agencies. Applications can be made in Albanian or English.
Step 1 – Acquire All The Necessary Documents
Gather all of your necessary documents before starting your application. Your attachments should be formatted as PDFs to be uploaded via the online portal and should be submitted in Albanian or English. Documents in another language should include an official translation.
The required documents include:
- An image of a valid travel document
- A passport dimension photo of the applicant
- A valid employment contract or service contract with a foreign employer or client
- Proof of professional capacity (diploma, qualification, etc.)
- Proof of financial self-sufficiency (contracts, payslips, bank statements)
- Document certifying accommodation in Albania
- Evidence of a valid bank account in Albania
- Evidence of health insurance valid for Albania
- Proof of a clean criminal record
Step 2 – Register and Complete the Application
You will make your application via the Albanian e-visa portal, which requires you to register with your name and email address before you get started. The registration button is available at the top right of the screen and can be done in English or Albanian.
When you are ready to apply navigate to “Apply Now” and you will automatically be sent to the options for an e-visa. Choose a Type D visa, and then the digital mobile worker option from the list of visas available. This will take you through to an online application form.
You will be asked to provide:
- Personal information
- Passport information
- Visa information (for the visa you are requisitions)
- Family member information
- Host information (you can skip this section)
- Address and contact
- Upload Documents
Once you have completed these sections, you will be directed towards the payment portal. You can make your payment online via credit card.
The visa fee is based on reciprocity, which means that the cost of the visa is determined by how much an Albanian would have to pay to apply for a visa in your country of residence.
You must pay the fee within 15 days of submitting your documents or your application will be automatically rejected.
Step 3 – Wait for your Visa
Once you have completed the application, you will receive a tracking number which will allow you to monitor the progress of your application online. The new law requires that you receive the results of your application within 12 weeks, and you may receive information in as little as 15 working days.
If your application is approved, you will receive an e-via email. This will allow immigration officers to give you an appropriate stamp in your visa when you arrive in Albania. You can also use this e-document as proof of a valid visa and temporary residence while in Albania.
Step 4 – Renew Your Visa
If you choose to renew your visa after the first year, you can make a renewal application visa through the same portal. However, that feature is not yet live on the Albanian e-visa site.
The visa can be renewed for up to five years, at which time you are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Timeline for Applying for the Albanian Digital Nomad Visa
The new Law 79/2021 “For Foreigners” specifically states that:
Review of the request and issuance of the unique residence permit, when the criteria required by the legislation in force are met, are done within a maximum period of 12 weeks from the day of application. The review of the request by each responsible institution must be done within a maximum period of two weeks. The approval or rejection of the request is notified online.
While 12 weeks represents the maximum deadline for receiving your visa notification, it is currently estimated to take only four to six weeks for visas to be approved.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa In Albania?
Albania uses a reciprocal system for determining the cost of visas. This means that the visa fee is determined by the equivalent fee that an Albanian citizen would be expected to pay to apply for a visa for your home country.
As a general guide, digital nomad visas for Caribbean countries currently cost between $1,000 and $3,000, while most European countries are charging around $100 as an application fee.
However, the biggest cost to consider with the Albanian digital nomad visa is tax implications. The visa will require nomads to pay taxes on both their local and international income. This is why it is necessary to open a bank account. The personal tax rate is 15% on the first $1400 per month, and 23% on all income above that.
Taxes for the Albanian Digital Nomad Visa
Digital nomads living in Albania under the Unique Permit system will in principle become a tax resident. Accordingly, you will need to pay taxes on your worldwide income.
However, Albania has double taxation treaties in place with a number of countries. These DTTs can alter your tax liability. Yet, notably Albania does not have DTTs with the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Citizens of these countries might have to pay income taxes in both countries.
Albania is interesting for entrepreneurs because if you don’t make more than 14 million LEK ($135k) you don’t pay any income taxes. If you exceed this threshold, the tax rate is 15% and this tax rate is applied to your full income. If you’re active within software production/development, your tax rate can be lowered to 5% (after exceeding the threshold). You can find more information on .
You can find more information on Albanian tax rates and requirements here.
Albania Digital Nomad Visa Denial
If your application for an Albanian digital nomad visa is denied, you will be notified by email with the legal argument for the rejection. You have the right to appeal this decision within five days by emailing [email protected]. In the case of a denial, the visa fee is not reimbursed.
If you wish to reapply for the visa after the appeal procedures, you must wait three months from the date of the initial rejection.
Living in Albania as a Digital Nomad
Albania feels a little like one of the last unexplored corners of Europe. Its rich past was largely shut off from the rest of the world in the 1960s until the death of the dictator Enver Halil Hoxha in 1985. As a result, it still feels a little like “old school” Europe with its ancient churches, charming coastal towns, and Sound of Music worthy mountain landscapes, and without the carbon copy high street stores in every town.
- Internet (speed) – Average 82 Mbps download
- Time Zone – GMT +1
- Socket Type – Types C and F 230V
- Mobile Service – +355, Vodafone, Telekom, Eagle and Plus
Despite being a little bit underdeveloped in some way, Albania is a great destination for digital nomads with excellent internet infrastructure and plenty of internet cafes and coworking spaces in the larger towns and hamlets. It is the ideal place to split your time between working and exploring. While English isn’t widely spoken, Albanians are incredibly friendly and will go out of their way to help you however they can.
Attractions and best places to visit
Albania has some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean regardless of whether you want soft sandy beaches or rock beaches with crystal clear water. The Albanian Riviera starts at the Llogara mountain pass near the city of Vlora and ends near the Greek border at the small town of Ksamil.
Located in the less visited north of the country, the Albanian Alps is a 8,000 hectare national park full of rugged peaks, vibrant wildflowers, and crystal clear waterfalls, all off clearly marked but not overly trodden trails. Set out to the city of Bajram Curri as your base.
The small town of Korce might be one of the best places to discover Albanian history. Start at the 13th century bazaar in the center of the town and then explore one of the adjoining cobbled streets with Ottoman architecture. You will also find old communist cafes along the way, like The Kooperativa, taking you through the full and complex story of Albania’s history.
Digital nomad hotspots
Check out coworking spaces Dutch Hub, Coolab, and Komiteti as a fun alternative.
For internet cafes check out Oborri Lounge Bar and The Wall during the day.
Benefits Of Working In Albania as a Digital Nomad
If you want your dollar to go a long way, then Albania offers an excellent cost of living. You can eat well, on delicious Mediterranean food, for less than $20 a day, and rent prices are estimated to be about 80% less than in the United States. If you find a flat to rent, rather than an Airbnb, you can get a city center apartment for $300-$400 per month.
Albania is a small country, but it has a bit of everything from mountains and forests to gorgeous cities looking out over the Mediterranean towards Italy. If you prefer to spend your days in the city, there are plenty of restaurants serving fresh local fare and cutting edge art galleries and museums.
Albania makes a great base for exploring the eastern Mediterranean. It is a relatively quick road trip over the border to visit Greece or Croatia (or a short flight), or you can grab a boat over to Italy. The boat from Durres to Bari in Italy is a popular route. A lot of the discount airlines have cheap flights between Tirana and the rest of Europe. But remember that Albania is not in Schengen so you do need a separate visa.
Internet speeds in Albania are excellent, with average download speeds of a little over 80 Mbps, and the 5G network currently in roll out. Plans are also surprisingly affordable, with a high speed connection at your home available for less than $20 per month.
While many people might consider it a negative that Albania is a little underdeveloped compared to some of its European neighbors, if you are looking for adventure and to get away from the increasing uniformity of big cities, Albania might have what you are looking for. Challenge yourself to learn to live without everything just a click away.
Cost of Living
Albania is a highly affordable country when it comes to cost of living. The cost of living excluding rent is estimated to be around 50% cheaper than the United States, while the cost of rent in Albania is estimated to be about 80% less than in the United States.
It is estimated that a digital nomad could live comfortably in Albania for around USD500 a month excluding rent.
|Good/Service||Cost in Albania||Cost in Tirana (capital)|
|Small City Apartment||$350 per month||$460 per month|
|Larger outer City Home||$365 per month||$480 per month|
|Basic Utilities||$80 per month||$90 per month|
|Internet connection||$17 per month||$16 per month|
|Gym Membership||$35 per month||$37 per month|
|Cinema||$6.50 per seat||$7 per seat|
|Local Transport (one way)||$0.37||$0.37|
|Lunch at a restaurant||$5.50||$6.50|
|Dinner for Two||$28||$37|
|Milk (1 liter)||$1.37||$1.49|
|Loaf of bread||$0.72||$0.81|
It is worth noting that credit cards aren’t widely accepted in Albania. You need to pay for most things in cash or with your bank card issued by a local institution.
Is Albania the Next Digital Nomad Hub?
There are a lot of good reasons why Albania might become the next big digital nomad hub. It is a laid back European country in the heart of the Mediterranean with an affordable cost of living and which still feels uncharted.
But will the new Albanian visa system help the country attract more digital nomads? Probably not. While the new visa system is generous, the tax implications make Albania a complicated proposition for digital nomads.
However, expect to see more digital nomads calling Albania home for shorter periods of time thanks to the country’s generous visa system for tourists.
FAQs About the Albania Digital Nomad Visa
Does Albania Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Albania offers a Type D visa for digital mobile workers, which encompasses most digital nomads. It allows you to live in Albania for a year in the first instance and is renewable for up to five years, at which point you become eligible for permanent residence.
What Is the Difference Between an Albanian Digital Nomad Visa and a Tourist Visa?
Citizens of most countries can only enter Albania for a period of 90 days on a tourist visa, while the type D digital mobile worker visa allows them to stay for up to a year, renewable for up to five years. However, it is worth noting that citizens of the United States and Kosovo can enter Albania and stay for up to a year without a visa.
What is the length of the Albania digital nomad visa?
The Albania digital nomad visa is issued for one year in the first instance. It is renewable for up to another five years if you continue to meet the criteria. Following five years of continuous residence in Albania you are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Is it possible to extend the Albania digital nomad visa?
Yes, the Albania digital nomad visa is granted for one year in the first instance, but it can be renewed up to five times. Once you have been resident in Albania continuously for five years you are eligible for permanent residence.
How Long Does It Take to Complete the Entire Process?
Once you have submitted your visa application via the Albania e-visa portal, the visa agency has a maximum of 12 weeks to finalize your visa request. Most long-term visa requests for Albania are approved within four to six weeks.
Can You Apply For Albania Digital Nomad Visa While Abroad?
Applications of the Albania digital nomad visa are made online via their e-visa portal and so can be submitted from anywhere in the world. However, you should not be in Albania itself when making the application.
What Currency Should You Pay for the Albanian Visa?
You will pay for your Albanian digital nomad visa online via credit card and you can choose from a number of different payment currencies.
How Can You Pay the Visa Fee?
The Albanian e-visa portal offers an online payment portal for visa applications and accepts most major credit cards.
Will You Get a Refund for Visa Application If You Are Denied?
Visa fees are non-refundable if your application for an Albanian digital nomad visa is denied. If you do not pay your visa fee within 15 days of submitting your initial application your application will be automatically rejected.
Is It Safe in Albania?
TravelSafe considers Albania to be a low risk destination, awarding it 75 on its safety index. While Albania has a bad reputation when it comes to drug smuggling and organized crime, petty crime is very low. Of course, tourists should watch out for scams and pickpockets. You should also exercise caution on the roads, which aren’t all well kept.
Is It Expensive to Live and Work in Albania?
Albania is considered a very affordable place to live. It is about 50% cheaper than the United States when it comes to regular expenses, and 80% cheaper for housing. The trade off is less choice when it comes to imported goods and varied services. Local incomes are generally low, with the minimum wage around $315 per month.
How Much Money Do You Need per Month in Albania?
You could live comfortably in Albania for around $1,000 a month, spending $500-$600 per month on expenses and $400-$500 on rented accommodation.
Can U.S. Citizens Travel to Albania Without a Visa?
U.S. citizens are free to travel to Albania without a visa and can stay for up to a year. They will receive a stamp in their passport on arrival.
Is there a Digital Nomad Community In Albania?
There is a fairly large digital nomad community in Albania, largely thanks to their lenient visa rules for tourists. They are mostly based in the capital, Tirana, and the larger coastal cities such as Durrel and Vlore.
Are People in Albania Friendly?
Based on anecdotal evidence, the people in Albania are very friendly and will go out of their way to help you. The small population creates a community feel. English is not as widely spoken as in neighboring countries.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Albania?
Albania is a very popular destination in the summer as a more affordable alternative to neighboring Croatia and Greece. Albania has a moderate climate pretty much year round, so there isn’t a bad time to visit!
What Albanian Neighboring Countries Issue Visas for Digital Nomads?
Several countries close to Albania currently offer digital nomad visas, including Croatia, Greece, Italy, Hungary, and Romania.
Do You Need COVID-19 Test/Medical Certificate to Entry Albania?
There are currently no COVID related travel restrictions in force for traveling to Albania.
What Are Albania’s COVID-19 Local Guidelines & Protocols?
There are currently no COVID-related guidelines or protocols active in Albania.
What’s the Situation with COVID-19 In Albania
COVID peaked in Albania in July 2022, but dropped quickly following a successful vaccination program. Fewer than 4,000 COVID-related deaths have been recorded for Albania.
Can I Get Help Applying for the Albanian Digital Nomad Visa?
Citizen Remote can help you make your digital nomad visa application for Albania. We provide advice on where and how to apply and can manage your application on your behalf.
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