Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeastern Europe known for its beautiful nature, stunning beaches, and religious tolerance. Albania is the perfect option for pensioners planning to retire to an affordable country in the Mediterranean.
You need to get an Albania Retirement Visa if you want to retire and live permanently in the country.
Who Can Apply For an Albania Retirement Visa?
Foreign individuals who are retired in their home country and can prove that they are beneficiaries of a monthly pension of 120.000 ALL are eligible to apply for an Albania Retirement Visa.
Documents Required for an Albania Retirement Visa
You are required to submit the following documents to complete your application for an Albania Retirement Visa:
- Albania Retirement Visa Application Form completed and signed at the end.
- Photocopy of your valid travel document.
- Photographs. Two photographs taken within the last six months in a format of 47mm x 36mm.
- Proof of accommodation. Provide evidence that you have suitable accommodation in Albania, such as a certificate or lease contract in accordance with the standards of housing in Albania.
- Means of subsistence. Proof that you receive an annual income of 1200000 ALL (approx. $10500) from your country of origin.
- Evidence from a second-tier bank in Albania for the transfer of the pension.
- Health insurance certificate valid in Albania.
- Evidence of Judicial Records Certificate legalized by your country of origin.
- A statement on the motive of your stay in Albania.
Once you complete the document checklist, you will be informed of the time and date of the submission to the local Migration Office to submit the original documents.
NOTE: The Migration employee will notify you of the inaccuracies and will instruct you on how to proceed if there are any missing documents.
How to Apply for a Retirement Visa in Albania?
Starting from May 2022, the application process for an Albania Retirement Visa is carried out online on the electronic service.
Once you meet the legal requirements and have all the necessary documents translated and legalized, you must begin your application within 30 days of entering the territory of the Republic of Albania. Thus, you must check if you need an Albania Visa to enter the country beforehand.
You can begin your online application by following three simple steps:
- Visit the electronic service E-Visa
- Choose the “Visa for Pensioners” type under the Long Stay D visa section.
- Create an account and log in.
- Complete the electronic application form with the required information.
- Upload the necessary documents in PDF format.
Once you press send, the state Police is notified electronically of the arrival of the new file and will begin to verify the accuracy of the submitted documents.
If your application meets the requirements, you will receive a message to inform you that your application has been accepted, what fee you need to pay, and other procedures you must follow.
How Much Does an Albania Retirement Visa Cost?
The prices for an Albanian visa depend on the type of visa you apply for and your nationality. The general fee for an Albanian Retirement Visa is around 11400 ALL ( approx. $100), but it may vary depending on your country of origin.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Albanian Retirement Visa?
Usually, the processing time for an Albanian Retirement Visa takes around 25 days from the day your application is accepted. In exceptional cases, processing time may take longer (up to 30 days).
Duration of an Albania Retirement Visa
An Albania Retirement visa is issued for a period of 12 months (1 year) the first time. After the first renewal, the visa will have a validity of two years, and five years after the third renewal.
After the five-year validity period, you will get ten years and will be eligible to apply for Albanian citizenship.
Can I Become a Permanent Resident in Albania with a Retirement Visa?
To become a permanent resident of Albania, you are required to live for five consecutive years in the territory of the country. After five years of uninterrupted residence, you can apply for permanent residency in the Republic of Albania.
Healthcare For Retirees in Albania
Albania makes sure that all citizens are entitled to healthcare. The healthcare system in Albania is primarily public, consisting of three tiers: primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care.
The primary healthcare system covers basic health needs, whereas secondary healthcare for services performed by specialists.
Albania has over 400 public clinics that offer both primary and secondary healthcare services and over 40 public hospitals that offer tertiary healthcare services. The medical equipment and devices and around 90% of drugs are imported.
Private healthcare has become popular amongst Albanians. The medical facilities in Albanian private hospitals are modern and equipped with the newest technology. The prices for private healthcare can be affordable depending on the medical treatment you need to receive.
How Much Money Do I Need To Retire In Albania?
Albania does not have a fixed amount of funds needed to retire or move there. Therefore, you will have to make some calculations on your own, to get a better overview of how much would you need to get by.
Living Costs in Albania
Living costs in Albania go from modest budgets to modern luxury, but everything depends on your lifestyle. Generally, an amount of $440 will be enough for a single person to cover the monthly expenses (groceries, electricity, heating, water, etc.) without including rent.
Rent prices can go from $160 to $1050 for apartments in the city center and $95 to $630 for apartments outside the city center.
In total, the estimated monthly costs for one person to live comfortably in Albania are around $1000 to $1200.
Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Albania:
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||$330|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||$200|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||$560|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||$340|
|UTILITIES||MONTHLY COSTS (85m2)|
|Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage||$125|
Why Retire In Albania?
Here is why you should make Albania your new retirement home:
- Healthcare. Albania has a system consisting of the public and private sectors. You will benefit from modern public and private healthcare and qualified caregivers who will take care of your medical needs.
- Housing. Albania has some of the lowest property prices in Europe. The prices are affordable whether you want to purchase or rent a property. The reasonable property prices make the process of choosing accommodation easier for you.
- Tax-exempt pensions. The legislative amendment states that foreign EU retirees are exempt from paying taxes.
- Safety.The country’s public safety is generally good, and the crime rate against foreigners is relatively low.
- Food. One thing Albania is famous for is the delicious traditional food. Tourists from around the world visit Albania to try flija, byrek, baklava, and many other traditional dishes. You will never be left with an empty stomach while staying in Albania because Albanians like to offer food to everyone and will not let you leave their house hungry.
- People. Albanians are known for their strong character, hospitality, generosity, and loyalty. They like to joke a lot and are passionate about their country. One thing to avoid while living in Albania is negotiating who will pay the bill when going out. Albanians like to pay all the time as a sign of respect toward you.
Best Places to Retire in Albania
Albania has many beautiful cities and regions where you can locate depending on your preferences and your budget. The accommodation prices are affordable around the country whether you want to live in a port city or rural area.
Here are some of the best places to retire in Albania:
The capital and largest city of Albania, is one of the most populated places in the country. Tirana is a relatively safe city to live and travel to, with a mild climate and a pleasant atmosphere where traditional and contemporary cultures merge. The city is vibrant and colorful and will charm you immediately.
The first thing that catches your eye in Shkodër is the beautiful nature surrounding the city and the Rozafa castle. The city is located in the northwestern part of the country and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Albania. Known also as the city of bicycles, in Shkodër, you will find a combination of nature and urbanization.
Besides Shkodër, there are many mesmerizing villages around the city where you can enjoy the beaches.
Durrës is a port city on the Adriatic Sea known for its huge Roman amphitheater. It is perfect for relaxing on the soft sand of the beautiful beach. Durrësi is very popular among tourists, especially during the summer months when temperatures are high. The water is nice and warm, and the beach is packed with people from all over the world.
The city has a buzzing atmosphere, and the locals are very polite and welcoming.
Spend your retirement in the blue and clear waters of Vlora. The beautiful beaches are one of the reasons why Vlora is the third most populous city in the Republic of Albania. Some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Vlora are Plepat, Karaburun, Rdhima, Orikum, Dhermi, Jala, etc.
You will also find several luxurious hotels and restaurants that serve delicious food and offer great accommodation.
Saranda is a resort on the Albanian Riviera, located in southern Albania. Saranda is famous for its crystal clear waters, rocky sand beaches, and affordable prices. The city welcomes many tourists every year, especially during the summer season. Although packed with tourists all summer long, the city has a quiet and pleasant atmosphere at night.