Aug. 8, 2016
In 2014, the New York Times newspaper has included Albania in the list of 52 recommended places to travel, comparing it to "Europe when it was fresh and available." Despite a lot of stereotypes, Albania aspires to European standards in all spheres — economic, political, and legal. On the other hand, the Albanian real estate market is relatively untouched. And as usual, the "harvest" from these fresh markets is collected by the first buyers. For example, the nearest neighbors of Albania Italians, not only invest in Albanian residential and commercial property, but also often move to cheaper and more environmentally friendly Albania (more than 20 thousand Italian citizens received a residence permit in Albania only in the last two years).
Real estate and tourism agency Albania Service became the first company, which several years ago began offering the service of issuing residence permits to citizens of Russia, Ukraine and former CIS countries. Aldor Balliu, lawyer and Director the company - about the other advantages of Albania and the Albanian residence permit.
Since 2014 Albania is candidate to join the European Union, therefore its migration legislation is also based on the European regulations and laws. The main ways of obtaining a residence permit:
- opening your own firm,
- studies at an accredited institution,
- existence of labor agreement
- a family reunion
- the presence of any other reasons that can serve as a base for obtaining a residence permit.
Thus, the law has not yet fixed the process of obtaining a residence permit through the purchase of real estate, but the opportunity exists.
You have to understand that Albania is not as long-lived candidate for the EU, such as Turkey. Since 2010 the EU has set visa-free regime for the citizens of Albania. The country is completely secular, the political and economic situation is stable, and the country has no geopolitical conflicts with neighboring countries.
According to projections, Albania will become a full EU member in 2019, or even earlier. Before joining the EU, the foreigners with Albanian residence permit have no right to go to Europe without visas. But having a residence permit in Albania, it's easy to obtain a Schengen multivisa for a long time, for example, in neighboring Greece or Italy.
For citizens of Ukraine and Kazakhstan there is a visa-free regime all year round, Russians and Belarusians can come to Albania without visas in the period from May to October.
There is no distinction between residence permit and permanent residence
The uniqueness of Albania is that there is no distinction between residence permit and permanent residence. Foreigners first get primary residence permit for 1 year. After this year it is renewed with a minimum package of documents for another 2 years, then for another 2 years. After that, i.e. after 5 years, you can apply for citizenship.
There is no such a quick pathway to citizenship in any European country, what to talk about other candidates. For comparison: Montenegro gives the residence permit for investments in real estate, but it is impossible to obtain citizenship in this way.
Tax haven for investors
At the moment in Albania property buyers do not pay any tax. When you make a transaction, a certain amount in favor of the government shall pay the seller — now it is 15% until 1 January 2015 rate corresponded to 10% of the purchase amount. There is no annual property tax, luxury tax, tourism tax yet.
Good news for those who receive a residence permit through the opening of the company - tax rate for small businesses from January 2016 is 0%.
However, the closer the prospect of joining the EU, the greater the likelihood that the situation may change. So if you really want to move to Albania, don’t waste the time.
A residence permit through the opening of the company
Let’s examine in detail this method of obtaining a residence permit. The opening of the company in Albania takes place in 1 day in one window (one stop shop). While in Montenegro for registration of a legal entity you must apply to the court, in Albania it is enough to visit a notary.
The firm may be issued to a foreigner, no need for local co-founders. You also do not need to hire and keep workers. But note that when renewing a residence permit, there is a likelihood that the immigration officers will check whether a firm is active or not.
When opening small businesses in Albania you will spend from €500 to €700 (this amount includes the state fee, notary services, and with Russian-speaking lawyer). The maintenance of the business will cost €1000 - €2000. Also when registering the company needs a commercial address.
A residence permit through the purchase of real estate
As this method of obtaining a residence permit is not yet enshrined in law, price threshold for property buyers does not exist. Your associated costs will amount to approximately €1000 - €1300, in addition, you should consider the trip for a visa D and the D visa (€100).
D visa is a prerequisite to apply for a residence permit for people from all countries of the CIS. She opens the corridor stay in the country for 90 days during six months. A visa D issuing takes about a month. A residence permit is issued within 1-2 months after applying.
Instead of an epilogue: Albania in the world rankings
1. Albania is among six countries, which have completely banned the use of GMOs and pesticides. Therefore, all visitors are admired by local farmers ' markets.
2. In the ranking of countries in terms of quality of life of older people Albania is on a 53 place located higher than Russia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Turkey, Greece, Croatia. The youth here are educated in the spirit of respect for elders. One of the favorite pastimes of Albanian pensioners – daily meetings over coffee, as well as outputs to a restaurant with the family at least a couple times a month.
3. In the global peace index Albania is located on the 52 line, far above neighboring Greece and Macedonia, Montenegro, Cyprus, Georgia, USA and China. The last military conflict, in which Albania participated was the Second World War.
4. In General World Security ranking Albania is on 8th place in the category of countries with a population up to 5 million people.
Text – Alena Eliseeva, ee24