Free entry was previously valid from May to September
Russian tourists have lost another visa-free beach destination in Europe: today there was a message about the abolition of free entry to Albania. On the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Albania in Moscow, it is noted that now Russians need to apply for a visa in accordance with the purpose of the trip. Previously, Russian citizens were allowed seasonal entry from May 1 to September 30 for up to 90 days for tourism purposes based on the decision of the country's government in 2021.
Together with tourists from Russia, citizens of Egypt and India were also deprived of visa-free status, follows from a message on the website of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania. But for tourists from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Thailand, on the contrary, the period of entry without a visa has been extended – from April 20 to December 31, 2023.
A sudden revision of the rules on the eve of summer the holiday season disrupts the plans of those tourists who have already booked hotels and purchased airline tickets. It is possible to issue an e-visa within 15–30 days by submitting documents only online. Judging by the comments in social networks, due to the influx of applicants, failures occur on the site, in addition, in public they report that the duration of stay on a visa is no more than a month and about problems with cancellation of reservations.
There is no direct air connection between Russia and Albania. Air flights are available to the capital Tirana with connections from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and other cities.
Now the Russians have left Montenegro, where free entry is provided for up to 30 days. A few kilometers on the Adriatic coast also has neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina with a visa-free period of up to 30 days.