Russia Travel Advisory
June 1, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

International Travel

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Country Information

Albania

Albania
Republic of Albania
Exercise increased caution in Albania due to crime.

Exercise increased caution in Albania due to crime.

Country Summary: Law enforcement’s ability to protect and assist travelers is limited in some areas, especially in remote regions. There has been targeted violence associated with illicit drug networks and organized crime countrywide. Travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and the extent of police and emergency services in their area.

Read the country information page for additional information to Albania.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Albania has a high level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel. 

If you decide to travel to Albania:

Last Update: Reissued with updates to crime and health information.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


At least three months from the date of arrival

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for U.S. citizens. If you are a U.S. citizen and intend to stay more than one year in Albania, you will need to apply for a residency permit.residency permit.

VACCINATIONS:


A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. A list of those countries can be found by visiting the World Health Organization. Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Albania. www.who.int.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


1,000,000 lekë (approximately $9,500 USD, though the rate can fluctuate) or equivalent.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


1,000,000 lekë (approximately $9,500 USD , though the rate can fluctuate) or equivalent. For more information you can visit Albanian Customs website.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tirana

Rruga Stavro Vinjau, 14
Tirana, Albania
Telephone:
 +(355) (0) 4-2247-285
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(355) (0) 4-2247-285
Fax: +(355) (0) 4-2374-957; +(355) (0) 4-2232-222
Email: ACSTirana@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Albania for information on U.S. – Albania relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Albania.

Visit the Embassy of Albania’s website for the most current visa information.

  • Your passport should be valid for at least three months from the date of your arrival.
  • You may enter the Republic of Albania as a tourist without a visa.
  • U.S. citizens may stay up to one year in Albania without applying for a residency permit. If you wish to stay in Albania longer than one year, you may apply for a residency permit once you enter the country. For more information on residency permits in Albania, please see the Embassy website. Prospective residents or those wishing to remain in Albania for longer than one year or who intend to work or study must apply for a residency permit at the office of the Regional Directorate of Border and Migration Police with jurisdiction over their place of residence.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Albania.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Some terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime: Credit card fraud is common in Albania, and you should exercise caution by not letting your card out of sight when making a transaction. Visitors need to be very careful when using ATMs. Be alert for strangers looking over your shoulders at the PIN number, and also for any interference with the machine itself that could indicate a camera or card scanner that steals your details when you scan your card.

Carjacking is rare in Albania, but vehicle theft may occur. Make sure your vehicle is locked and keep your possessions well hidden in the trunk.

Recent crime statistics indicate a decrease in numerous violent crime categories to include attempted murder, robberies by force and armed robberies. Street crime is common in urban areas, predominantly at night. The most notable are burglaries, theft, and domestic violence claims.

Attacks using small improvised explosive devices and targeting individuals in contentious disputes have occurred. Remain vigilant when parking in unattended parking areas, avoid parking overnight in non-secure areas, and inspect vehicles for suspicious items. If you find something strange, do not tamper with it and contact the Albanian Police immediately.

Law enforcement’s ability to protect and assist travelers is limited in some areas, especially in remote regions. There has been targeted violence associated with illicit drug networks and organized crime countrywide. Travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and the extent of police and emergency services in their area.

Demonstrations occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(355) 4 224 7285. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

The Embassy may be able to assist crime victims with the following:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is regulated, but rules may be unevenly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage. Professional and certified staff may not be available to support some organized activities. In the event of an injury, access to appropriate medical treatment may be sporadic due to limited hours or physical distances. Outside metropolitan areas, it may take more time to reach first responders or medical professionals who can stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be fined, arrested, imprisoned, or deported. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws.  You may have to pay fines or give up such goods if you bring them back to the United States. In Albania, the import and export of goods that infringe on intellectual property rights is prohibited by law. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Special Circumstances:

  • Albania's customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning import or export of particular items from Albania, including weapons, endangered wild fauna and flora, and narcotics, among others. Contact the Embassy of Albania in Washington, D.C. in the United States for customs requirements.
  • Albanian law allows for dual citizenship. Albanian citizenship may be acquired at birth in certain instances, including if the child has one Albanian citizen parent and other circumstances are met. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Citizenship, handles citizenship issues. Foreigners can submit the requirements for obtaining citizenship to Albanian embassies abroad or to the regional police in the district they reside in Albania. For full details, please visit the website for the Agency for the Delivery of Integrated Services Albania: https://www.adisa.gov.al/albanian-citizenship/.
  • Albania is a cash economy. Credit card acceptance is limited but ATMs are widely available in cities.
  • Sporadic blackouts throughout the country can affect food storage capabilities.
  • Tap water is not safe to drink. Air pollution is also a problem throughout Albania, particularly in Tirana.
  • Establishing a business in Albania has been made easier through the establishment of the National Business Center, as a single one-stop shop for providing business registration and licensing services. These administrative services are done through simple electronic procedures, in a short time and with symbolic tariffs.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Albania. Albanian law does not permit same-sex marriage and does not legally recognize other countries’ same-sex marriage certificates. The government does not prosecute or discriminate against same-sex relationships. Same-sex married couples cannot apply for family residency permits, but they may register individually. Despite the law and the government’s formal support for LGBTI rights, homophobic attitudes remain.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Albania prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities in newer buildings. Many public buildings remain inaccessible. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. Outside of Tirana, accessibility is limited. Aids, equipment, and devices, and rental, repair, or replacement services, have limited availability. Service providers, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants, have limited availability. Contact the Albanian Disability Rights Foundation for more information.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Albania.

For emergency services in Albania, dial 112 for an ambulance. Dial 127 or 128 for the Fire Department. Not all operators have English, or may have limited ability in English, but will attempt to connect you with an English-speaking responder when possible.

Ambulance services are not widely available and the training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend you obtain supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Albanian law prohibits the import and export of narcotic medications and psychotropic substances. For more information, visit the General Directorate of Customs website.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals here. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for visitors to Albania.

Further health information:

 

Air Quality:

Air quality varies throughout Albania. Pollution can be a problem particularly in Tirana, and during certain times of year – such as winter, when wood or coal may be burned for heat.

 

 

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Tirana and other cities but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack many basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always accepted.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Medical staff may not speak English.
  • Generally, public hospitals are minimally staff overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions

 

Pharmaceuticals:     

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas In Albania, while many medicines are available without a prescription, certain pharmaceuticals may require a prescription from a physician and are sold only at specialized pharmacies. Some medications may not be available locally. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments recommended by a physician.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy: If you are considering traveling to Albania to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.

Water Quality: Tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are safe, although many restaurants and hotels may serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.  

Adventure Travel: Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

General Health Language:

The following diseases are prevalent: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/albania

 

Travel and Transportation

Driving conditions in Albanian can differ significantly from those in the United States. Reckless driving is common. Many drivers do not pay attention to traffic regulations, signals, lane markings, pedestrians, or other drivers. The number of fatalities from traffic accidents is high compared to other European countries. Road conditions vary and are especially poor in rural areas in winter months and during inclement weather. Older sections of the roadway system are poorly lit. Minor traffic disputes can quickly escalate, especially as some motorists could be armed.

  • All international driving permits (IDP) issued under the 1949 Geneva Convention are accepted. An international driving permit can only be used for one year. If you wish to drive in Albania for more than one year, you must apply for an Albanian license.
  • In Albania, driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt. Mobile phones can be used while driving, but only with a hands-free set. Third-party insurance is required.
  • Be aware emergency response services are inadequate. First responders have limited medical training and equipment. Accident victims are often transported to the nearest hospital in the car of a passerby.
  • Do not travel at night. Travel outside of urban areas is particularly dangerous.
  • Fuel and repair services are common in populated areas, but there is no formal roadside assistance. Tires and replacement parts may not be available.

Traffic Laws: You may be asked to show your passport in addition to a U.S. or international driver’s license if stopped. Police should provide you with a written ticket citing any fine issued. While procedures may vary by district, you should not generally pay fines directly to police officers; these will be collected at a local police precinct or court.

  • If you have an accident, do not move your car, and wait for police to arrive.
  • Disregard for traffic laws is widespread.
  • You can use a U.S. or international driver’s license while in non-resident status in Albania. U.S. citizens remaining in Albania longer than one year must register and apply for resident status and must also apply for an Albanian driver’s license.
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol at any detectable level.  Albania practices a zero-tolerance policy.  The police will seize your driver’s license and vehicle if caught. You may also be fined or receive up to six months in prison.
  • It is against the law to use a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving. You will be fined if caught.

Public Transportation: Public transportation options are limited and not generally recommended for visitors. However, marked taxis are considered safe and recommended for use.

  • There are no commercial domestic flights.
  • Rail conditions are poor, limited, and service is unreliable.
  • Private buses travel between most cities almost exclusively during the day on variable schedules.
  • Intra-city transit is an unofficial system of privately-owned vans operating without schedules, set fares, or, occasionally, government permission. Many of these vans do not adhere to accepted safety and maintenance standards or driver training. Consider the condition of the van before traveling in one.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Albania, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Albania’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Albania should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

Last Updated: June 28, 2022

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Albania.  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”

 

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tirana
Rr. Elbasanit, No. 103
Tirana, Albania
Telephone
+(355) (0) 4-2247-285
Emergency
+(355) (0) 4-2247-285
Fax
+(355) (0) 4-2374-957; +(355) (0) 4-2232-222

Albania Map