The Albania digital nomad visa is a residency permit that allows remote workers to live in the country for up to a year, with an option to request an extension for the second year. After the second year, they can extend it for five more years. After that, they can apply for permanent residency. It is ideal for those who have plans to settle in Albania permanently.
Dubbed the “Land of the Eagles,” Albania is a beautiful Balkan country home to pristine beaches and picturesque villages. Compared to many other European countries, Albania has a relatively low cost of living, which explains why it's fast becoming a popular hotspot for digital nomads. Although it's not as popular as its neighbouring countries of Greece in terms of tourism, it has plenty to offer for digital nomads.
Albania boasts some of Europe's most incredible natural wonders, giving you plenty to explore when you're not working. Tirana, Albania's capital city, has all the modern amenities one would need to live comfortably in the country. There's also a sizable group of ex-pats and a growing community of digital nomads.
To attract more digital nomads, the Albanian government has introduced a legislative framework that will allow foreign remote workers to live in the country for a long time and introduced the Albania digital nomad visa, also known as the Unique Permit. As of September 2022, the visa's implementation was delayed. It is still a draft law, and it's not yet clear when it will finally be launched. But if you're interested to know about it, here's what we know about the Albania digital nomad visa so far.
About the Albania Digital Nomad Visa
Currently, foreigners who intend to live in Albania must apply for two separate permits. One from the Border and Immigration Police and another from the Labour Office. But with the introduction of the new law on remote workers, applicants will only make a single application, which is a faster and cheaper way of acquiring a residency permit.
Also called the “Unique Permit,” the Albania digital nomad visa will be available to a much broader group of applicants eligible to acquire immigration status in the country, including digital nomads. It's also open to pensioners, remote workers, and those willing to invest property in the country.
Foreign nationals employed in a foreign country can apply for a one-year residency permit, allowing them to reside in Albania while continuing their work remotely using information technology tools. Once the visa expires in a year, the holder can apply to extend it for another two years. If they wish to continue living in Albania after three years of being there, they can extend the permit again for five more years. After that, they will be eligible for permanent residency.
Students and researchers are also eligible to apply for the Albania digital nomad visa, allowing them to stay in the country for nine months after their studies or research to look for a job. Pensioners are also qualified for the visa but can only apply for the one-year permit and must provide proof of an annual pension of at least $9,800. Applicants can include their dependents on the Albania digital nomad visa application. But they must have sufficient income to support them.
Albania Digital Nomad Visa Eligibility
The Albania digital nomad visa is open to a broader group of applicants, which include the following:
- Foreign digital nomads employed abroad
- Self-employed individuals who can work remotely
- Students and researchers
- Contractors and investors
- Seasonal and cross-border workers
- Retirees and real estate owners
Requirements for Applying the Albania Digital Nomad Visa
As mentioned, the Albania digital nomad visa, which they call the “Unique Permit”, is still a draft law. The Albanian government has not yet released an official list of requirements for the application for the visa. However, based on our research, these are the requirements that interested applicants must submit:
- Valid employment contract with a foreign company
- Service contract with a foreign contractor
- Proof of sufficient income to support their stay and their dependents
- Health insurance
- Clean criminal record
- Albanian bank account where they will receive their funds from income sourced abroad.
- Contract of accommodation in Albania
- For pensioners, proof of annual pension of at least $9,800.
Applying for the Albania Digital Nomad Visa
It's not yet clear what steps are involved in the application for the Albania digital nomad visa since the visa has not yet been launched officially. Ministerial decrees are required to establish the exact process of application.
But, according to some sources, the application for the permit will only be filed through a single authority. Currently, foreigners intending to live in Albania have to send two separate applications. One from the Labour Office and another from the Border and Migration Police. But the application for the Unique Permit will only be submitted to a single authority, which is a more convenient option for digital nomads.
Other Visa Options for Digital Nomads in Albania
Since the Albania digital nomad visa is not yet available for application, digital nomads who wish to enter the country can choose other visa options. The good news is that Albania has a generous visa policy, which is great for digital nomads who want to stay in the country longer. Depending on your nationality, you can stay in Albania for a long period without a visa.
For those holding a US passport, you can stay in Albania for up to a year without a visa, which is incredible. Likewise, digital nomads from Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, the UK, and European countries can stay in Albania for up to 90 days without a visa.
Digital nomads who came from countries not mentioned above can apply for the Albanian e-visa. However, some nationalities may need to acquire their visa from an Albanian embassy or consulate.
Living as a Digital Nomad in Albania
Albania has a lot to offer for digital nomads. It has beautiful pristine beaches, picturesque cobblestone villages, and some of Europe's most unique natural wonders. Digital nomads looking to move to Europe but would prefer somewhere cheaper but with a quality standard of living will find Albania a perfect choice.
Tirana, the country's capital city, is a popular base for digital nomads in Albania. It's right in the heart of the country, surrounded by majestic mountains, and has modern infrastructure, including good internet speed. Tirana boasts a mild Mediterranean climate with lots of sunshine throughout the year. Digital nomads who want to escape the cold weather in their home country will find Tirana an ideal place to live.
One of the advantages of living as a digital nomad in Albania is the affordable cost of living. In fact, it's one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. According to Nomadlist.com, living in Tirana will cost you an average of $1,727 per month, which is lower than in many other European cities.
Albania's convenient location in Europe is another good reason to live here. It's bordered by four countries, Greece, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro, and you can take a ferry ride to Italy. Albania would be an ideal base for digital nomads wanting to explore the Balkan region.
Despite having some of Europe's most beautiful attractions, Albania is not very touristy. You will not find many tourist crowds in various places around the country, offering a truly authentic experience. If you want to go sightseeing at the end of your work shift, you'll find many incredible places to explore. For instance, you can visit Skanderbeg Square, the Pyramid of Tirana, or the National History Museum in Tirana. The Blue Eye, a gorgeous water spring in the village of Muzinë, is another interesting place to explore in the country.
If you're a beach lover, you will love Albania even more. The country is home to beautiful beaches, such as Kasamil beach, a gorgeous place to lounge on a sun bed and drink refreshing cocktails when taking a break from work. You will also love the delectable local foods in Albania. The local cuisine is influenced by Greek and Italian dishes, which are both known to be delicious.
Now that the Albanian government is introducing the Albania digital nomad visa, it won't be long before digital nomads will come flocking to the country and make it their home base. So, if you decide to live in Albania, you'll find various opportunities to connect and network with fellow digital nomads. Soon enough, coworking spaces will be opening up.
FAQs on the Albania Digital Nomad Visa
How Much Will It Cost to Apply for the Albania Digital Nomad Visa?
Since the Albanian government has not yet launched the Unique Permit or Albania digital nomad visa, there's still no information on the exact cost of applying for this visa.
How Long Can I Stay in Albania while Holding the Digital Nomad Visa?
The Unique Permit will allow the holder to live in the country for up to a year. If you wish to extend your stay, you can request an extension of one more year. After living in Albania for two years using the Unique Permit, you can apply for a visa extension of five years. After that, you will be eligible for permanent residency, allowing you to live in the country permanently.
How Long is the Processing Time for the Albania Digital Nomad Visa?
The processing of the Albania digital nomad visa should take approximately four to twelve weeks from the application date, which is faster than the current six to twelve weeks for the standard visa application.
More European Countries with Digital Nomad Visas
Hungary is not the only European country with a digital nomad visa, there is Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and many others. Check out the article below for the full list.