Dubai: If you want to travel to Europe for the Eid Al Adha break or during the summer vacation, but do not want to face the long delays and application process for a Schengen visa, you can apply for an eVisa to Albania.
The eVisa is for all nationalities, and it allows holders to stay for up to 90 days in the country. The application process is entirely online, which means you do not have to visit the consulate in person or apply through a third-party agent.
According to a recent Gulf News report, Albania is the only trending European destination in the top 10 travel choices for UAE residents.
UAE residents must apply for the visa online through Albania’s official eVisa platform - e-visa.al, and fill out the application form for a ‘Short Stay Visa’ or ‘Type C’.
Visa-free entry to Albania for UAE Golden Visa holders
As per e-visa.al, visa free entry is available to “foreign citizens who have a 10 year residence permit issued by the competent authority of the United Arab Emirates, valid not less than one year from the moment of entry.”
Other visa exemptions for Albania
Also, if you have a Schengen visa, or an entry permit from US or UK, you are exempt from applying for a visa. If you do not meet the criteria for visa exemption, you can apply for an ‘eVisa for short stay’ or type ‘C’.
The visa can be issued with one, two or more entries.
As per Albania’s official eVisa platform, these are the required documents:
• The completed visa application form
• A valid UAE residence permit of more than 12 months, issued from the country of residence, with a validity period of at least three months than the duration period of the required visa.
• Proof of employment. In case of this criteria not being met, the foreign citizen has to provide sufficient evidence that they will return to their country of birth or country of residence.
• Round-trip ticket.
• Photograph of the applicant, with dimensions 47 mm x 36 mm. The passport photo must have a white background, and be taken within six months. The photo must must be uploaded in the following format – JPEG, JPG, and PNG.
• Documents showing a booking in an accommodation facility or invitation from the person or place where they will be accommodated.
• Documents that prove the applicant has sufficient financial means for living, both for the duration of the stay and for returning to a third country.
• The full bank statement for the last 12 months. As per the eVisa platform, the funds should be listed on your bank statement before applying for the visa.
According to Albania’s eVisa platform – the funds in the account must meet the financial guarantee criteria for the duration of your stay in Albania:
o 5,000 ALL (Albanian Lek) (Dh178.26) equivalent to 44 Euros and 44 cents per day for adults 18 years old and above.
o 2,500 ALL (Albanian Lek) (Dh89.50) equivalent to 22 Euros and 22 cents per day for children up to 17 years old.
The documents must show that the applicant has sufficient financial means for living, both for the duration of the stay and for returning to a third country.
How to apply for Albania eVisa for UAE residents
Important note: The eVisa platform advises applicants to apply for the visa within 90 days of the intended date of travel. The application will be refused if your intended date of travel is longer than 90 days from the date of your visa application.
Visit this link - e-visa.al/apply, and click on ‘Electronic Visa’ under the ‘Select the desired visa type’ category, and choose ‘Visa Type C - Short stay visa’.
During the application, it is mandatory to fill in the required information, which is marked with an asterisk (*).
Step 1: Fill in personal information:
• Select your country or place of residence. Once you select ‘United Arab Emirates’, the consular office in Abu Dhabi will approve and issue the visa
• Enter your full name and date of birth.
• Enter your personal ID number, which is your Emirates ID.
• Enter your place of birth.
• Select you current and original nationality. If you have not changed your citizenship or do not have dual nationality, enter the same country for both the options.
• Select your gender.
• Enter your father’s name.
• Select, if you have a valid residence permit – ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
• Click the ‘Next’ button.
Step 2: Fill in passport details
• Select passport type
• Enter passport number
• Enter the issuing authority
• Date of issue and expiry
• Next, answer this question with a yes or no: ‘If you reside in a country other than your country of origin, do you have permission to return to that country?’
• Select if the passport is valid.
Click the ‘Next’ button.
Step 3: Enter information for Albania eVisa
• For this section, the visa type and purpose of visit will be automatically filled in by the eVisa system.
• Select whether it is an individual visa
• Select of date of arrival and departure.
• Select the number of entries – single of multiple.
• Enter the means of transport.
• Select the entry point from the drop-down menu.
• Enter your occupation.
• Select whether you have an entry permit for your final destination, and enter the authority of issue.
• If you have had other visas issued in the past three years, select yes or no. Additionally, if you have travelled to Albania previously, enter ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Step 4: Family members’ application.
This is not a mandatory step if you are applying for an individual visa. If you are travelling, with family or children, then you must fill this section with their names and dates of birth.
Step 5: Host information
For the eVisa for Albania, applicants must have booked accommodation, or an invitation from an Albanian citizen or foreign resident in the country.
If you are staying in a hotel, you must provide the address, email and phone number. If you have been invited by someone, enter the host’s contact details and address.
You must also state who will finance your trip in Albania - if it is you, select, ‘myself’. If it is being sponsored by someone else, you can select ‘host’. Additionally, you must enter how you will support yourself, for example, cash, credit card, etc.
Once that’s done, you must state if you have insurance, and it’s validity date.
Step 6: Additional information
Enter your home address, email address and telephone number.
Step 7: Upload documents.
Next, upload the required documents and passport photograph, as per the requirements.
Step 8: Pre-approval and eVisa fee payment
According to Albania’s eVisa platform the application is pre-verified by the consul. If the details, and documents are correct, then the form will be accepted and a visa fee payment is requested.
Cost: Depending on the type of visa, and duration, the cost can come to Dh300 to Dh700. The cost can differentiate as per the application details.
eVisa evaluation phase
According to e-visa.al, after the applicant pays the visa fee, the following steps are undertaken:
The applicant is notified via email that the application is being evaluated. This process can take up to 15 working days and in some cases it can take up to 30 working days.
Step 9: Receive the eVisa via email
Once the eVisa has passed the evaluation phase and the visa is approved, the applicant will receive the eVisa via email.
According to e-visa.al, “if the visa is rejected, the applicant is informed via email with the legal arguments for the visa rejection.”
How long does the process take?
The visa application can take up to takes 15 working days from the day when the payment for the visa is made. For exceptional cases, the verification process can take up to 30 working days, according to e-visa.al.