New law on foreign nationals makes it easier to obtain a residence permit in Albania

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There are currently around 13 500 foreigners living and working in the Republic of Albania, who are equipped with a residence permit.

The Brazilian Pastor, Eduardo Monteiro and Dutch jurist Irina Kotenko, have been living in Tirana for respectively 8 and 7 years. Eduardo’s has a permanent residence whereas Irina’s, who initially applied for family reunification and then for work, is a 2-year permit.

“My husband’s family is here, which is why I live and work here but there are even more people coming only for work-related reasons,” – stated Kotenko, a jurist working for an NGO, in Tirana.

According to the changes being applied to the current law on foreign nationals announced recently by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and being discussed in Parliament, the procedures will become easier not only for applications for family reunification but also for work permits.

To date, the existing law on expatriates coming to work in the Republic of Albania demands them to obtain a residence and work permit. Today, there is no need to waste time submitting documents in two different public offices, one instrument covers everything.

At a time when employers are complaining that they can’t find staff in the local market, according to this new law, every October the government determines certain annual quotas for the employment of foreign nationals, which includes seasonal workers.

The current residence permits for foreign nationals in Albania, last from 3 months to 5 years, and can even be permanent.

The special work permit is only given to foreign nationals after it has been approved by the National Agency of Employment and Qualifications, where the employee or the employer can submit their application. In addition, for citizens coming from the EU or the United States of America, the permit is issued automatically for a 5-year period.

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