The Afghan refugees that have arrived in Albania so far, will remain in the country for at least one year until their US resettlement papers are processed in full.
Speaking to Voice of America on Wednesday, Minister of Interior Olta Xhaçka said the Albanian government is also committed to welcoming Afghan citizens who want to permanently stay in Albania.
“If some Afghan asylum seekers want to stay in Albania, they can apply. […] We would be happy to welcome them,” she told VOA.
Xhaçka also mentioned that Albania has agreed to host 4,000 Afghan refugees, but due to evacuation problems, their final number has yet to be confirmed.
Some 662 Afghan refugees have reached Albania to date, and they are being hosted in Tirana, Durrës, and Lezhë. More are expected to arrive in the upcoming days.
The Albanian government will grant temporary protected status to Afghan citizens who have sought shelter in Albania following the recent Taliban occupation.
As per the law, individuals with temporary protected status cannot be deported, returned, or extradited outside the territory of Albania.