The Albanian Citizenship Law No. 113/2020 passed in parliament, regulates special cases of Albanian citizenship in the field of education, science, arts, sports and also in national interest. Under the act, a new agency was formed for Drafting Special Citizenship Programs (AHPVSH) under the Ministry of Interior, for review and checks of applications for the acquisition of Albanian citizenship by foreign nationals.
Article 9 of the law states that:
1. Albanian citizenship may be granted to a foreign citizen over 18 (eighteen) years of age, provided that he or she does not pose a threat to the public order and national security of the Republic of Albania as well as in cases where this is in the national interest, or in the interest of education, science, art, culture, economy, and sport in the Republic of Albania.
2. A dedicated state agency answerable to the Minister shall be established for the purposes of developing special programmes, defining specific rules on special security and good character checks of the highest standards, and monitoring their implementation. The organization and functioning of the agency shall be approved by a decision of the Council of Ministers.
3. The requirements for acquiring citizenship pursuant to the special programmes provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, the application procedures and rules for conducting the necessary verifications and checks shall be approved by a decision of the Council of Ministers, upon a joint proposal by the Minister and the relevant Ministers according to their respective areas of responsibility.
4. The provisions of Articles 17 and 18 of this Law shall not apply in cases where citizenship is acquired pursuant to this Article.
In order to apply for Albanian citizenship by naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Have lawfully resided in the territory of the Republic of Albania for at least 5 years;
- Have accommodation and sufficient financial means;
- Not be penally prosecuted in one’s own country or in the Republic of Albania for penal crimes charged with more than 3 years of imprisonment;
- Have basic knowledge of the Albanian language;
- Granting of Albanian citizenship would not hinder the security and defense of the Republic of Albania;
- Foreigners who are at least 18 years of age may acquire Albanian citizenship even without compliance of the above requirements (except for line 6) if the Republic of Albania has a scientific, economic, cultural or national interest in such a person. If the person is statement, the requirements set forth in lines 1, 3, 4 and 5 may be disregarded.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Department of Citizenship, handles citizenship issues. Albanian citizens and foreigners can submit their requirements for obtaining and renouncing citizenship to our missions abroad, but also to the regional police, in the district where they reside in Albania. When requirements for obtaining and renouncing citizenship are presented to the mission, they are forwarded through the MFA to the MIA, Department of Citizenship. After being checked, the MIA, Department of Citizenship, sends them to the Presidency, the Office of Citizenship, for a final decision.
Albania allows the dual citizenship. The Albanian citizens freely can apply the acquiring of another citizenship without losing the Albanian one. Foreigners also are not hindered to apply for the Albanian citizenship, without renouncing that of the country they originate.
Albania government is pushing towards launching economic citizenship program despite EU warnings. Since few years, the Government under Prime Minister Edi Rama has been thinking about issuing passport for investments to rich foreigners despite EU warning. Recent government decision, passed on July 29, 2022 amending law on public private partnerships, which could allow granting citizenships to foreigners.
In 2012, Albania proposed offering citizenship to investors who invested atleast €100,00 in the country bringing economic benefits.
Albania applied for European Union membership on 28 April 2009. Following the steps of countries joining the EU in 2004, Albania has been extensively engaged with EU institutions, and joined NATO as a full member in 2009.