The Republic of Albania is located in Southeastern Europe bordering Greece in the south and it is close to Italy which is only 72km away across the Strait of Otranto. Both countries are also the principal trading partners. Albania is a NATO and OECD member as well as an applicant to the European Union, a status asofficial candidate can be achieved as early as December 2013. Since 2010 there are also no Visa requirements to Schengen states for Albanian citizens. Albania is a rather small country with only about 2.8 million inhabitants and a size of 28.748sqkm. The capital and largest city is Tirana and the currency is the Lek . Since the fall of the iron curtain Albania has become a parliamentary democracy and free market reforms opened the country to foreign investment which has been a strong driver of steady economic growth. The energy sector is particulary strong and driven by oil and gas exploration. The comparably low cost, warm climate and abundance of natural beauty has lead to a constant gain in foreign visitors. Please find more information here.
Cost of living is relatively low in Albania. However real estate prices in some regions have considerably risen because of a strong increase in tourism and EU membership prospect. A spacious seaview villa in popular tourist destinations can be found for less than 200.000€; smaller appartments in good locations can be found for less than 35.000€. A 1 BR appartment in Tirana can be rented for less than 3600€/year.
The formation of a company is necessary in order to gain a work and residency permit. The whole process should take about two months. Also a proof of residence e.g. a rental agreement or purchase contract are necessary. 6 months after the reception of the Albanian residence permit a 6 month Schengen Visum can be requested.