With a landscape of rugged mountains and a lengthy stretch of Adriatic coastline, Albania is home to a rich blend of religions and cultures.
The country’s rugged and inaccessible terrain has traditionally isolated Albania from its neighbours, thus helping to preserve its ethnic homogeneity; about 90% of the population is ethnic Albanian. The Albanians are reputedly descendants of Illyrian and Thracian tribes that settled in the region in ancient times. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Albania fell under Byzantine rule until the fourteenth century AD when the Ottoman Turks began to make incursions into the Empire The country remained under Turkish rule for more than four centuries, until it proclaimed its independence in 1912.
After World War II, Albania became a Stalinist state under Enver Hoxha, and remained staunchly isolationist until its transition to democracy after 1990. In 1990 a student strike and demonstrations around the country led eventually to multi-party elections, the first since the 1920’s. The 1992 elections ended almost 50 years of communist rule, but the latter half of the decade saw a quick turnover of presidents and prime ministers. The 1990’s proved to be a difficult decade for Albania. Manic investment in and returns from a number of pyramid or “Ponzi” schemes in the mid 90’s caused severe financial losses to those Individuals and families that had invested their life savings in these schemes. During the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, nearly 500,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo spilled over the border, imposing a huge burden on Albania’s already fragile economy.
In June 2006, in recognition of Albania’s progress with political and economic reform, a Stabilisation and Association agreement with the EU was signed.
Emerging in the 1990s from 46 years of a government considered the most repressive in the communist bloc, Albania has struggled toward democracy, economic stability and recognition as a partner in the European community.
Albania was the last of the central and eastern European countries to embark on democratic and free market reforms. Further, it started from a much more disadvantaged position due to Hoxha’s catastrophic doctrine of isolation, self-sufficiency and a Stalinist approach to centralised economic planning. Transition to democracy has almost been as difficult for Albania as the country’s communist period. Just as the country began to gather economic steam, the economy hit bottom when the now-infamous pyramid schemes collapsed in 1997. Even though Albania’s economy is still the poorest among European states, today the country has recovered from the crisis of 1997, and recently has been one of the fastest growing economies of the transition countries.
Although it is a small country, Albania offers dramatic environmental contrasts. Along the Adriatic Sea, the “Albanian Riviera,” there is a low-lying coastline of broad, sandy beaches and extensive lagoons. The coast along the Ionian Sea rises in steep cliffs from smaller, rockier beaches of fine white sand. Large lakes, including Lake Ohrid the deepest in the Balkan Peninsula, extend along Albania’s borders. In the interior and northern regions rise the Alpet or Albanian Alps.
Albania has always seemed somewhat of a mystery to many in the western world; hidden behind the iron curtain for many years, only opening up to the west in the last 10 years or so. It is however an up and coming Balkan country where traditional culture flows along with the newfound practicalities of the west.
Albania is a safe and incredibly hospitable country that welcomes the increasing numbers of foreigners that are going to work here. Tirana, the capital of Albania, has much to offer for the expat. The town has an abundance of Internet cafes, a French patisserie, Irish pubs and so on jostling along with traditional cafes and bars. Following a construction boom in recent years, a large number of private houses, modern apartment blocks, and office buildings have become available. However, the infrastructure (streets, water supply, sewerage system, and electricity supply) has not been improved to meet this expansion. There are two cinemas in Tirana that show current American films in English. Some organized social groups are active there such as the Tirana Women’s International Group. This group meets monthly and participates in a variety of cultural and charitable activities. Most Albanians speak several different languages, and there are two international schools that offer an English curriculum.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in Albania please contact our marketing department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tirana is the capital and the largest city of Albania. The first nucleus of the city center was born in Roman-Byzantine Empire (Theranda) and in the course of its history it was occupied by the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, and finally became an agglomeration in the Kingdom of Italy. Modern Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet.
The city is host to public institutions and private university, and is the centre of the political, economic, and cultural life of the country.
Tirana has four artificial lakes: the Tirana Artificial Lake around which was built the Big Park, Paskuqani Lake, Farka Lake, and Tufina Lake. Tirana is on the same parallel as Naples, Madrid, Istanbul, and New York, and on the same meridian as Budapest and Kraków.
An unfurnished property will be completely empty. Bathroom fixtures are sometimes present.
A semi-furnished property will include a kitchen stove and furnishings, bathroom fixtures and furnishings bed(s), wardrobes, curtains, lamps and/or any other equipment agreed upon.
Furnished properties are quite common, and can include anything from the basics such as kitchen furniture, table, chairs, beds, and bathroom furniture to everything you could possibly require in a property. Soft furnishings are frequently included. A fully furnished property frequently includes dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer, smaller/supplementary furniture, decorations, garden equipment, cable TV, DSL phone lines, alarm systems.
Your Relocation Coordinator will confirm whether or not the property has these facilities.
It is always worth trying to offer a slightly lower figure than the asking price or request to have other furniture installed or work done on the property. Generally, if the requests of a prospective tenant are high and costly, the landlord will agree to do the works requested with an increase in the rent. It is not likely that a landlord will agree to undertake work on the property, install extra furniture and lower the price.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have; Our Basic Package includes 8 properties, and our Extended Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
When you choose a property you can ensure that it will not be rented to someone else by making a ‘preliminary contract’. A holding deposit is frequently requested in these cases. This sum is usually decided in the preliminary arrangements, especially if the lessee requests certain adjustments, renovations, furnishings etc. to be carried out on the property. The holding deposit usually corresponds to the first month rent.
Real Estate agency fee: corresponds usually to 10-30 % of the rent value, and is usually paid by the landlord.
Security deposit: usually 1-2 month rental value
Rent is usually paid monthly
Registration of the lease: registration taxes and fee that vary according to the value of the property and amount of rent.
The expenses of usage or the utility fees (such as: heating, electricity, water, sewage, telephone) are almost always to be paid alongside the rental fee. Exceptions may occur in those residences in apartment buildings (apartment), where of the utility fees, such as garbage disposal, cleaning, security, swimming pool and garage usage, heating are part of the condominium fee.
Once the property is selected, will negotiate on your behalf. When an agreement has been reached, a legally valid contract is prepared. An appointment is arranged for the tenant (or company representative) and landlord to sign the contract. The contract is read through and the ’s Local Counsellor will translate as necessary.
All the copies of the contract should then be signed. As soon as you enter the apartment, we will arrange a thorough inventory/property inspection together with the landlord and your Local Counsellor.
Provided that the property and any furnishings are returned in the state in which they were initially rented ( will ensure a thorough inventory is taken of the property and furnishings upon entry) and the correct notice period is served to the landlord, will be able to negotiate a full deposit return when you vacate the property.
In Albania the tenant is responsible for general maintenance whereas the landlord is responsible for major repairs.
Basically this means that all plumbing and electrical fixtures that are outside of the walls or visible are the responsibility of the tenant (leaking taps, door bell that does not work etc.). The landlord is responsible for the plumbing and electrical system within the walls of the property; e.g. heating pipes. It is however, the tenant’s duty to inform the landlord immediately about any repairs that need to be carried out. In the case of misuse, or deliberate damage to the property, unless otherwise stated in the contract, the tenant will be held responsible for the expenses incurred.
Only with permission from the landlord.
Small changes (e.g. hanging of towel rails in the bathroom) may be made but the property is to be handed back in exactly the same state it was consigned. Therefore, any holes made in the walls must be filled and painted over before leaving the property, unless a different agreement is made with the landlord.
In case alterations have been made to improve the property without the written permission of the landlord, the landlord has the right not to reimburse any expenses the tenant has had in relation to the work. In cases where the landlord does not approve o the changes made, he/she has the right to require the tenant to put the property back into its original condition.
HTLC Network will ensure that a diplomatic break clause is inserted into the contract for the protection of the tenant. In the contract it is often possible to include a notice period even as short as 1 month.
The Deposit shall be returned to the Lessee upon return of the premises and cost settlement, usually within 15 days from the date the Agreement is terminated or it will be used as the payment for the last months of lease with the mutual agreement of both parties.
Utility payments are never included in the rent. Tenants are responsible to pay for electricity and water according to consumption. There is also a refuse tax and a yearly tax that consists of the subscription to the Albanian national media broadcasting service.
Gas: Piped gas does not exist; gas cylinders can be purchased at retail stores and filling stations.
Condominium includes cleaning of the stairs, lighting of the shared areas and elevator and water.
Please note that many technicians do not speak English.
Yes. Most city areas, especially in the bigger cities of Albania, are linked to cable or satellite TV.
Telephone lines are already available in most properties. In cases where there is no line, an installation fee must be paid.
Necessary documents in order to obtain a phone line are: application form, copy of passport and rental contract. Your Relocation Coordinator will arrange this for you.
A minimum of 1-3 months after the initial application is made.
Please note that, as with all bureaucratic procedures in Albania, things can go wrong and end up taking far longer than the average time indicated.
Bills will arrive monthly.
There are several possibilities: you can have the connection through the normal phone line or with the DSL line.
An EU driver’s licence is valid in Albania.
A Non-EU driving licence is valid in Albania for up to one year accompanied by an International driving permit. After 12 months of residency in Albania, all non-EU licences must be converted.
A foreign registered car can be driven in Albania, until residency has been obtained. It must be then registered immediately. In order to not register the car locally, the car must be taken out of the country at least once a year. A foreign insurance will also be necessary, as Albanian insurance companies do not cover foreign cars.
A tax of 1 Euro per day must be paid for driving a foreign registered car in Albania. EU countries (EU license plates) are exempt.
The registration process of a foreign car in Albania is very tedious and time consuming.
Foreigners wishing to work in Albania for more than 90 days require a Work Permit and a Residence Permit.
Yes you can. Processing time is generally one month.
Your family members can apply for a Residence Permit but if they wish to work in Albania, they will require a Work Permit also.
* Extensive rapidly growing client list.
* Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
* Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
* Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
* All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
* No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
* Corporate consultation with HTLC Network’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
* HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
* Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
* Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
* Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
* 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
* Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
HTLC Network will prepare all the necessary paperwork, email it to the Company and direct as to how the various documents are to be printed out and signed. We will send one of our Local Counsellors with Power of Attorney (Delega) to act on behalf of the individual and company.
When the Transferee has to be present to apply for a document, he will be accompanied by our Local Counsellor.
When all paper work has been prepared, approved and signed by the relevant companies, it can take 6-8 weeks during which time Italian law states that the expatriate must not be in Italy.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered in Italy.
HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s ‘Camera di Commercio’ demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possibile HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney (Delega) in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Photogallery – Albania
Area: 28,748 sq km
Time Zone: GMT + 1
Capital city: Tirana
Bordering countries: Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Legislative Branch: unicameral Assembly
National Holiday: 28 November
Currency: Lek (ALL)
Approximately 3.6 million
Ethnic Groups: Albanian majority with a large Greek community
Religion: Muslim, Albanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic