The aim of ETIAS, Europe’s visa waiver, is to boost safety and border security across the European Schengen Area. By pre-screening all international visitors, individuals who could pose a risk to the public in Spain can be prevented from entering the country legally.
ETIAS Spain for Albanians will complement Europe’s visa liberalisation programme. Albanian passport holders will continue to enjoy visa-free privileges provided they register with ETIAS before departure.
Travelling to Spain from Albania with an ETIAS
Albania is one of around 60 countries which will be eligible for ETIAS from 2022. An ETIAS visa waiver can be used for tourism and business purposes, it will also be required to transit through a Spanish airport.
On arrival at the exterior Spanish border, the passport is scanned and the ETIAS validated, conveniently there’s no need to print out and carry around a paper permit.
The same ETIAS can be used for multiple entries and for the entire Schengen zone. It is valid for 3 years from the date of issue or until the associated passport expires, whichever happens first. Albanians with an approved ETIAS can stay in Spain, or elsewhere in the Schengen Zone, for up to 90 days in a 180 period.
ETIAS application for Albanian citizens
Albanian passport holders can apply for ETIAS to visit Spain online. The process is fully electronic and, with no need to present paperwork in person at an embassy or consulate, can be completed from home 24 hours a day.
Before applying, travellers should ensure they meet each of the ETIAS Spain requirements for Albanians which include having a valid passport, a credit or debit card to pay the ETIAS fees, and a current email address.
Albanian citizens are required to fill in the ETIAS application form with the following information:
- Full name as it appears on the passport
- Date of birth and birthplace
- Contact information including email address
- Passport details: number and issue/expiry date
Some questions regarding health and safety complete the form to improve safety for visitors in Spain. Applicants must ensure all the information provided is accurate and complete. Any omissions or mistakes, including spelling errors, may lead to delays and even ETIAS Spain rejection.
After submitting the request, the information provided is automatically cross-checked against security databases including the Schengen Information System (SIS) and Europol, as well as the ETIAS watchlist.
Provided nothing is flagged up, ETIAS is approved almost immediately, the visa waiver is linked to the passport electronically and the applicant is notified by email.
If there is a hit in the system, the request undergoes manual processing by the ETIAS Central Unit and National Units. Only those individuals considered a current risk to Europe will be denied entry.
Passports and documents needed for ETIAS
Albanians travelling to Spain with ETIAS must have a biometric passport valid for at least 3 months from the date of arrival in the Schengen Area.
Given that the approved ETIAS is linked to the biometric chip in the passport, the same travel document must be used to apply for the visa waiver and enter Spain. ETIAS cannot be transferred from one passport to another, a new request must be made if the passport expires before the visa waiver.
For the same reason, Albanian’s applying for ETIAS Spain with dual citizenship must use the passport they used to request ETIAS and to enter the country.
Albanian embassy and consulates in Spain
The Albanian Embassy in Spain is located in the capital, Madrid. In addition, there is an Albanian consulate situated in Barcelona, another of Spain’s most visited cities.
Albanians in Spain can access a range of consular services such as assistance travel documents.
Spanish Embassy and consulates in Albania
Spain’s embassy in Albania is in Tirana. This is the only Spanish representation in the country, there are no consulates.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to attend the embassy to apply for ETIAS to visit Spain. The entire process is online and can be completed from a device with an internet connection anywhere in the world.
To stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, a visa for Spain is required.