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Country Profile

Albania

Albania is a parliamentary democracy that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system. Albania's per capita income is among the lowest in Europe, but economic conditions in the country are steadily improving. Tourist facilities are not highly developed in much of the country, and though Albania's economic integration into European Union markets is slowly underway, many of the goods and services taken for granted in other European countries are not yet available. Hotel accommodations are limited outside of major cities. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Albania for additional information.

Albania

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Albania
Continent: Europe
Capital City: Tirana
Boundary Countries:

Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

ABC Family Health Center, Orthodox Diagnostic Center, UFO Dental Clinic

Main Cities:

Tirana, Shkoder, Durres, Elbasan, Korce, Vlore, Sarande, Shengjin

Country Size: 28,748 sq km
Population: 3,581,655

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects

Currency: lek (ALL) note: the plural of lek is leke
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%. Note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice

National Holidays: Independence Day, 28 November (1912)
Economic Status:

Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy.

Security:

General Staff Headquarters, Land Forces Command (Army), Naval Forces Command, Air Defense Command, Logistics Command, Training and Doctrine Command

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Tirana
Rruga Elbasanit 103
Tirana, Albania
Telephone: (355)(4) 2247285
Facsimile: (355)(4) 2232222
The U.S. Embassy web site is http://tirana.usembassy.gov/.

Document Requirements:

A passport is required. All travelers entering or exiting Albania must have six months or more validity on their passport. Customs officers strictly enforce this law. U.S. citizens do not require a visa prior to entering Albania, but those traveling without a visa may be charged a fee for an entry stamp at the point of entry, which is valid for a stay of up to 90 days. This fee has recently been waived, but Albanian law allows for collection of an entry tax up to 10 Euros, or the equivalent in any easily convertible currency, including U.S. dollars, and may be reinstated without notice. Travelers without a visa who intend to stay in Albania for more than 90 days should be aware that Albanian law allows a traveler without a visa to remain in Albania for 90 days only within a specific 180-day period. That 180-day period is defined from the first day of entry. For example, a traveler entering without a visa on January 1 may remain in Albania for 90 days total during the period of time between January 1 and June 28. Departing Albania during this time period does not "restart the clock." Travelers attempting to reenter Albania without a visa and within 180 days of a previous entry and after an aggregate stay of 90 days may be denied entry. For stays exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period, those interested must apply for a Residency Permit at the police station with jurisdiction over the city of residence. Information on how to apply for a residency permit is available on the Embassy of Albania website, as is the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Albania.

Major Airports:

Airports: 11, Airports w/paved runways: 3

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Although the overall security situation in Albania has improved in recent years, organized criminal gangs continue to operate in all regions and corruption is pervasive. In most cases, police assistance and protection is limited. A high level of security awareness should be maintained at all times. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. All gatherings of large crowds should be avoided, particularly those involving political causes or striking workers.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 20.75 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 77.43 years (male 74.78/female 80.34)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B 
Boosters: DPT, MMR

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system, occurs in the southern part of the nontropical forest belt in Europe and Asia (to Pacific Ocean). A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or in immigrants from the region) include tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C (especially in Romania).

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities and capabilities in Albania are limited beyond rudimentary first aid treatment. Emergency and major medical care, requiring surgery and hospital care is inadequate due to lack of specialists, diagnostic aids, medical supplies, and prescription drugs. As prescription drugs may be unavailable locally, travelers may also wish to bring extra supplies of required medications.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 4
Referrals: 9
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Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been documented in wild birds or other avian species in several of the countries in Eastern Europe. Human cases and death were reported from Azerbaijan in 2006. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  355
Internet country code:  .al

 



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