From 2021, all Albanian passport holders wishing to travel to any of the countries that belong to the Schengen Zone will need to apply for and obtain an ETIAS.
Although it is part of Europe, Albania is not a Schengen Zone member country nor part of the European Union at the moment. It is for this reason that Albanian nationals, although they are European citizens, will require an ETIAS visa waiver when they plan to visit countries that belong to the Schengen Area.
ETIAS will allow Albanian passport holders entry into the following 22 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area:
The visa waiver holders from Albania will also be allowed to enter and travel within the following non-EU Member States:
Additionally, Albanian ETIAS holders may also enter and travel within the following micro-states, that are also part of the Schengen Area:
- San Marino
The ETIAS visa waiver for Schengen countries is being implemented by immigration authorities in order to strengthen border and internal security as well as protect the region from terrorist attacks.
Albanian passport holders will be required to complete an online application with their personal information in order to acquire an electronic visa waiver for Schengen before traveling to member countries from Albania.
ETIAS Online application for Albanians
Travelers wishing to obtain an ETIAS Schengen visa waiver for Albanian citizens need to have a current Albanian passport with a minimum of 3 months validity remaining from the intended date of arrival.
Albanian nationals applying for an ETIAS will also need to have a valid credit or debit card to complete the ETIAS payment as well as a current email address where the electronic travel authorization will be delivered. These are the basic requirements to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver. The ETIAS application is likely to be denied should the applicant fail to submit the aforementioned documentation.
Until ETIAS is implemented in 2021, Albanian citizens will not need to apply for a visa waiver for Schengen countries since they are currently permitted to travel to and within the Schengen zone for durations of up to 90 days. However, this will change in 2021 and Albanians traveling to Schengen countries will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, which is valid for 3 years.
The ETIAS visa waiver for Albanians is being implemented with the objective of improving travel safety for both Schengen residents and foreign visitors. A valid ETIAS visa waiver for Albanians will grant holders entry into the Schengen member countries. ETIAS will also grant Albanian holders permission to travel freely within any and all of the Schengen member countries with a total of 90 consecutive days per stay within a 180-day period.
The ETIAS fee must be paid in advance using a valid credit or debit card through a secure payment system prior to submitting the visa waiver application online. Once the authorization is approved by Schengen officials, the ETIAS visa waiver is sent to the applicant’s email address. It is paramount to double-check that the email address you submit along with your visa waiver application form is correct prior to finalizing your ETIAS request.
ETIAS Visa Waiver Requirements for Citizens of Albania
The online application process for an ETIAS visa waiver for Albanian nationals will be simple, quick, and straightforward. The applicant will be required to answer some basic security questions and complete an easy-to-use online ETIAS form.
Schengen immigration officials will use the information provided to screen travelers before they travel to member countries. This verification process is aimed at increasing security in the Schengen zone and preventing individuals who may pose a risk for member countries to board a plane destined to land in one or more of these nations.
Once the application process is complete and payment of ETIAS visa waiver fees have been received, the pre-screening process will begin. Most applications are processed within 1 business day although some cases may require up to 3 business days in the event that additional documentation is required. Once the application is verified, the Albanian applicant will receive their ETIAS visa waiver for Schengen by email.
Traveling from Albania to Schengen Countries with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
Albanian citizens who travel to countries in the Schengen Zone for short-term stays do not currently need to apply for a visa prior to their departure. Nevertheless, this will change from 2021 onwards when it becomes obligatory for Albanian nationals to carry a valid ETIAS visa waiver when going to any Schengen member country in order to be granted access.
ETIAS will be obligatory for all Albanians traveling to the Schengen member countries for short-term stays, regardless of their age. Albanian minors will also need to apply for and obtain an ETIAS visa waiver. It is mandatory for all travelers, including minors, to carry a valid passport during their trip.
Is Albania in the Schengen Zone?
Although the Republic of Albania is located in Europe, it is not a member of the Schengen Zone nor of the European Union as of today. Nevertheless, Albania applied for European Union (EU) membership on 28 April 2009 and has been an official candidate for accession to the EU since June 2014.
How long are Albanian nationals permitted to stay in Schengen member countries?
Travelers from Albania are currently granted permission to enter, travel between, and stay within the Schengen borders for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period without being required to apply for a visa. Both periods of 90 days and 180 days are counting starting on the day the Albanian traveler first enters any Schengen Area member country.
Visitors from Albania are granted multiple entries into the Schengen member countries so long as the total sum of their stay in the Schengen Zone does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period.
By 2021, when ETIAS is fully implemented, Albanian travelers will retain the same rights to visit the Schengen Area countries with an approved ETIAS. Therefore, Albanian nationals traveling to Europe with an ETIAS visa waiver may spend a total of 90 days within a 180-day period in the Schengen Zone.
How can an Albanian passport holder spend more than 90 consecutive days in a Schengen country?
Albanians visiting Schengen countries for tourism purposes are permitted to stay for up to 90 days and required to exit the Schengen Area once the allotted stay runs out. Tourists from Albania must then remain outside the Schengen Zone until the 180-day period is over and they are, once more, granted a new 90-day stay in Schengen countries.
Citizens of Albania who wish to relocate to Albania, or stay there for more than 90 days within a 180-day period are advised to visit the embassy or consulate of the country they plan to stay in. Visiting an embassy will help Albanians get the information they need regarding the appropriate visa type for their particular situation. The visa type may vary depending on the country they wish to stay in, purpose of their travel and duration of their visit. Certain visas will grant Albanian holders permission to work or study within the selected Schengen country.
Can Albanian nationals work in Schengen countries with an approved ETIAS visa waiver?
No. The ETIAS authorization allows Albanian citizens short-term stays in the Schengen member countries for tourism, business and transit purposes. Albanian passport holders who plan to work in any of the Schengen countries are required to apply for a work visa at an embassy or consulate for the country they wish to work in.
Work visas are country-specific, unlike the ETIAS travel authorization which allows holders entry into all 26 Schengen nations. Work visas will allow Albanian nationals to take part in professional activities in one specific country and may not be valid to work in other Schengen countries. This is due to the fact that each Schengen country has specific requirements and policies when it comes to granting work visas.
Although the ETIAS visa waiver can be used for business purposes, it does not grant holders permission to work in Schengen nations.
Are Albanian citizens allowed to study in Europe with ETIAS?
Unfortunately citizens of Albania are not permitted to enroll in school or university in the Schengen Area with a valid ETIAS. The visa waiver grants holders authorization to visit the Schengen area for tourism, business and transit purposes. It is possible, however, to take part in short workshops or conventions so long as they do not exceed the 90-day limit.
Albanian passport holders who would like to study in a Schengen country will need to apply for a student visa. Students from Albania are advised to visit the local embassy or consulate of the country in which they plan to further their education to apply for a visa after they have been admitted into a school or university.