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The law no. 79/2022, “On foreigners” introduced for the first time in Albania the unique permits, which allow foreigners to legally stay in the Albanian territory for employment purposes.

The unique permits are classified into unique residence permits for employment purposes:• as employee

– it is granted in accordance with the duration of the contract/job offer for a term of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year (with the right to renew up to 5 times in a row); 2 years (with the right to renew only once); 5 years; permanent (when the foreigner stays legally for 5 consecutive years in Albania and has stable activities in the country).

• as seasonal worker

– it is granted for a term of up to six months, for each calendar year, for regions, employers, professions and employment contracts, with a defined time limit;

– renewal of the employment contract with the same foreigner, provided that there has been an interruption of work of 6 months;

– the above mentioned rules do not apply to citizens of European Union countries and the Schengen area, as well as when otherwise is provided by international agreements.

• as transferred within the enterprise (TBN)

– issued for the purpose of temporary transfer within the enterprise of a foreigner (in the position of manager or specialist);

– It is granted for as long as the transfer lasts, but not more than three years for managers and specialists, and not more than 1 year for apprentices.

• as a cross-border worker– is issued to the foreigner who is employed, employer or self-employed and originating from a country neighboring the Republic of Albania;

– the foreigner must return to his permanent residence every day or at least one day a week, maintaining his residence in the country of origin.

• as athletes

– it is given to foreign athletes, on the basis of a contract with an employer / sports organization, if the relevant sports federation has carried out his employment;

– the unique permit can be renewed if the foreigner has an employment contract as an athlete, even with an employer/organization different from the initial one.

• for voluntary services

– it is granted for a term of no more than 1 year, for the first time, provided that the intended activity is closely related to the voluntary service scheme, legally recognized in Albania;

– the validity of the residence permit cannot exceed the terms of the relevant voluntary program for which the residence permit is requested. If the duration of the voluntary program is over 1 year, the residence permit shall be renewed.

• as a highly qualified employee Blue Card AL

– it is given to the foreigner who has previously received the approval of the National Employment and Skills Agency for qualified employees;

– it is issued for a period of 2 years, with the right of renewal.

• as self-employed

– it is granted if (a) there is an economic interest, (b) the activity to be carried out is expected to have a positive impact on the economy and (c) when the foreigner has a capital to carry out the business idea;

– the period of validity of the unique permit as self-employed shall be granted in accordance with the duration of the planned business, but not more than 3 years, with the right of renewal.

• as investor

– it is issued to a foreigner who (a) makes an investment worth not less than ALL 10,000,000 (ten million); (b) the ratio of employees is 1 foreigner – 5 Albanians and this ratio is also maintained in the management board and other management or controlling bodies; (c) the salary is at least as much as the average salary paid in the Republic of Albania for these positions in the preceding year; (d) meets other criteria as postulated by law;

– it is granted for a period of 2 years, with the right of renewal.

• for digital mobile workers

– it is granted to the foreigner who has a employment/service contract with the employer/contractor abroad;

– it is granted for a period of up to 1 year, for the first time, when the foreign citizen is staying legally in Albania.

• for professional training

– it is granted to the foreigner for completing a professional training course in the Republic of Albania;

– its validity complies with the duration of the professional training activity.

• for contracting services

– it is issued to a foreigner who is not registered for carrying out an activity and has a permanent residence outside the Albanian territory, for the temporary provision of contracting services only in justified cases, when the service provider possesses special knowledge, which cannot be found in the local labor supply;

– the unique permit may be issued several times within a calendar year, but with a total duration of no more than 90 days, with the right of renewal.

• Unique permit for special categories.

• Required time of receiving the service– 4 to 12 weeks from the date of application

• Costs

– depends on the type of application.

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