From: Exit Staff
Albanian Security Council Strikes Down Presidential Veto on Foreigners Law

The National Security Council of Albania has overruled President Ilir Meta’s decision to veto an amendment that made it easier for foreigners to apply for Albanian residency.

Approved by Parliament in June, the law expanded the categories that will be granted residence permits, in particular pensioners, digital nomads, stateless persons, and those wishing to buy property in the country.

It also envisaged making the process easier through the issuance of online visas and a single application for residence permits.

Under the old law, those wishing to live in Albania had to apply for two separate permits, one through the Border and Immigration Police and another at the local Municipality. Under the new rules, they will make one, single application, thus ensuring a quicker and lower-cost process.

In August, President Meta returned the law to Parliament for revisions. Meta argued that the government had failed to do a proper analysis of the country’s needs and the law’s potential consequences.

Meta argued that the law does nothing to address the high number of Albanians leaving the country, and instead seeks to fill the gap created by mass immigration through cheap foreign labor.

Members of the opposition Democratic Party (PD) made similar arguments against the amendment during a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday.

Their arguments were fueled by Prime Minister Rama’s comments during his campaign that business owners in Albania bring staff from Bangladesh because they don’t speak Albanian and won’t gossip.

Minister of Interior Bledi Çuçi, however, said these arguments were beyond the scope of the law and the amendment was drafted to bring Albanian law in line with the European Union acquis.