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Norsk

Bilateral agreements

2008-09-12
Document-ID : 2008-09-12
Entry info force : 01.05.2009
Documentdate : 12.09.2008

Agreement between Norway and Albania on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

AGREEMENT

between

the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania

on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY

and

THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA

hereinafter referred to as the Parties;

Desiring, as a first concrete step towards the visa free travel regime, to facilitate people-to-people contacts as an important condition for the steady development of economic, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and other ties, by facilitating the issuing of visas to citizens of the Republic of Albania;

Bearing in mind that Norwegian citizens are exempted from the visa requirement when travelling to the Republic of Albania for a period of time not exceeding 90 days per period of 180 days or transiting through the territory of the Republic of Albania;

Recognising that if the Republic of Albania was to reintroduce the visa requirement for Norwegian citizens, the same facilitations granted under this Agreement to the citizens of the Republic of Albania would automatically, on the basis of reciprocity, apply to Norwegian citizens;

Recognising that visa facilitation should not lead to illegal migration and paying special attention to security and readmission;

Having regard to the entry into force of the agreement between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Norway on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1 - Purpose and scope of application

1. The purpose of this Agreement is to facilitate the issuance of visas for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days to the citizens of the Republic of Albania.

2. If the Republic of Albania was to reintroduce the visa requirement for Norwegian citizens or certain categories of Norwegian citizens, the same facilitations granted under this agreement to the citizens of the Republic of Albania would automatically, on the basis of reciprocity, apply to Norwegian citizens concerned.

Article 2 - General clause

1. The visa facilitations provided in this Agreement shall apply to citizens of the Republic of Albania only insofar as they are not exempted from the visa requirement by the laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Norway, the present agreement or other international agreements.

2. The national law of the Kingdom of Norway or of the Republic of Albania shall apply to issues not covered by the provisions of this Agreement, such as the refusal to issue a visa, recognition of travel documents, proof of sufficient means of subsistence and the refusal of entry and expulsion measures. 

Article 3 - Definitions

For the purpose of this Agreement:

a) “Citizen of the Kingdom of Norway”: shall mean a person who possesses Norwegian citizenship;

b) “Citizen of the Republic of Albania”: shall mean a person who possesses Albanian citizenship;

c) “Visa” shall mean an authorisation issued or a decision taken by the Kingdom of Norway which is required with a view to:

– entry for an intended stay in the Kingdom of Norway or in several Schengen Member States of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days,

– entry for transit through the territory of the Kingdom of Norway or several Schengen Member States.

d) “legally residing person” shall mean a citizen of the Republic of Albania authorised or entitled to stay for more than 90 days in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway, on the basis of national legislation.

e) “Schengen Member State” shall mean any state applying the Schengen acquis in full.

Article 4 - Documentary evidence regarding the purpose of the journey

1. For the following categories of citizens of the Republic of Albania the following documents are sufficient for justifying the purpose of the journey to the Kingdom of Norway:

a) for members of official delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to the Republic of Albania, shall participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway by intergovernmental organisations:

– a letter issued by an Albanian authority confirming that the applicant is a member of the Albanian delegation travelling to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway to participate in the aforementioned events, accompanied by a copy of the official invitation;

b) for business people and representatives of business organisations:

– a written request from a host legal person or company, organisation, or an office or branch of such legal person or company, state or local authorities of the Kingdom of Norway or organising committees of trade and industrial exhibitions, conferences and symposia held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway, endorsed by a Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Albania;

c) for journalists:

– a certificate or other document issued by a professional organisation proving that the person concerned is a qualified journalist and a document issued by his/her employer stating that the purpose of the journey is to carry out journalistic work;

d) for persons participating in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, including university and other exchange programmes:

– a written request from the host organisation to participate in those activities;

e) for representatives of civil society organisations when undertaking trips for the purposes of educational training, seminars, conferences, including in the framework of exchange programmes:

– a written request issued by the host organisation, a confirmation that the person is representing the civil society organisation and the certificate on establishment of such organisation from the relevant Register issued by a state authority in accordance with the national legislation;

f) for pupils, students, post-graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purposes of study or educational training, including in the framework of exchange programmes as well as other school-related activities:

– a written request or a certificate of enrolment from the host university, academy, institute, college or school or student cards or certificates of the courses to be attended;

g) for participants in international sports events and persons accompanying them in a professional capacity:

– a written request from the host organisation: competent authorities, national sport federations or the National Olympic Committee of the Kingdom of Norway;

h) for participants in official exchange programmes organised by twin cities:

– a written request of the Head of Administration/Mayor of these cities;

i) for close relatives – spouse, children (including adopted), parents (including custodians), grandparents and grandchildren, – visiting Albanian citizens legally residing in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway:

– a written request from the host person;

j) for visiting military and civil burial grounds:

– an official document confirming the existence and preservation of the grave as well as family or other relationship between the applicant and the buried;

k) for persons politically persecuted during the communist regime in the Republic of Albania:

– the certificate issued by the Institute for the Integration of the Persecuted Persons in accordance with Article 3 of Law no 7748 of 29.07.1993, indicating the status of being a person politically persecuted during the communist regime in the Republic of Albania and a letter of invitation from a competent authority, national or international organisation including NGO of the Kingdom of Norway for participating in activities as appropriate including activities related to their status;

l) for drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway in vehicles registered in the Republic of Albania:

– a written request from the national association (union) of carriers of the Republic of Albania providing for international road transportation, stating the purpose, duration and frequency of the trips;

m) for persons travelling for tourism:

– a certificate or voucher from a travel agency or a tour operator accredited by the Kingdom of Norway in the framework of the local consular cooperation confirming the booking of an organised trip;

n) for persons visiting for medical reasons and necessary accompanying persons:

– an official document of the medical institution confirming necessity of medical care in this institution, the necessity of being accompanied, and proof of sufficient financial means to pay for the medical treatment;

o) for members of the professions participating in international exhibitions, conferences, symposia, seminars or other similar events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway:

– a written request from the host organisation confirming that the person concerned is participating in the event;

p) for members of train, refrigerator and locomotive crews in international trains, travelling to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway:

– a written request from the competent railway company of the Republic of Albania stating the purpose, duration and frequency of the trips;

q) for persons visiting for burial ceremonies:

– an official document confirming the fact of death as well as confirmation of the family or other relationship between the applicant and the buried;

r) for representatives of the religious communities:

– a written request from a religious community registered in the Republic of Albania, stating the purpose, duration and frequency of the trips.

2. The written request mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article shall contain the following items:

a) for the invited person – name and surname, date of birth, sex, citizenship, number of the identity document, time and purpose of the journey, number of entries and where relevant the name of the spouse and children accompanying the invited person;

b) for the inviting person – name, surname and address; or

c) for the inviting legal person, company or organisation – full name and address and

– if the request is issued by an organisation, the name and position of the person who signs the request,

– if the inviting person is a legal person or company or an office or a branch of such legal person or company established in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway, the registration number as required by the national law of the Kingdom of Norway concerned.

3. For the categories of persons mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article, all categories of visa are issued according to the simplified procedure without requiring any other justification, invitation or validation concerning the purpose of the journey, provided for by the legislation of the Kingdom of Norway. 

Article 5 - Issuance of multiple-entry visas

1. Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Kingdom of Norway shall issue multiple-entry visas with a term of validity of up to five years to the following categories of persons:

a) members of the Council of Ministers, Parliament, Constitutional Court and Supreme Court, if they are not exempted from the visa requirement by the present Agreement, in the exercise of their duties, with a term of validity limited to their term of office if this is less than 5 years;

b) permanent members of official delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to the Republic of Albania, shall regularly participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway by intergovernmental organisations;

c) spouses and children (including adopted) who are under the age of 21 or are dependent, visiting Albanian citizens legally residing in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway with the term of validity limited to the duration of the validity of their authorisation for legal residence.

2. Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Kingdom of Norway shall issue multiple-entry visas with the term of validity of up to one year to the following categories of persons, provided that during the previous year they have obtained at least one visa, have made use of it in accordance with the laws on entry and stay of the Kingdom of Norway and that there are reasons for requesting a multiple-entry visa:

a) members of official delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to the Republic of Albania, shall regularly participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway by intergovernmental organisations;

b) business people and representatives of business organisations who regularly travel to the Kingdom of Norway;

c) persons participating in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, including university and other exchange programmes, who regularly travel to the Kingdom of Norway;

d) participants in international sports events and persons accompanying them in a professional capacity;

e) journalists;

f) participants in official exchange programmes organised by twin cities;

g) drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway in vehicles registered in the Republic of Albania;

h) persons needing to visit regularly for medical reasons and necessary accompanying persons.

i) members of train, refrigerator and locomotive crews in international trains, travelling to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway;

j) students and post-graduate students who regularly travel for the purposes of study or educational training, including in the framework of exchange programmes;

k) representatives of the religious communities in the Republic of Albania, who regularly travel to the Kingdom of Norway;

l) representatives of civil society organisations travelling regularly to the Kingdom of Norway for the purposes of educational training, seminars, conferences, including in the framework of exchange programmes;

m) members of the professions participating in international exhibitions, conferences, symposia, seminars or other similar events who regularly travel to the Kingdom of Norway.

3. Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Kingdom of Norway shall issue multiple-entry visas with a term of validity of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 5 years to the categories of persons referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, provided that during the previous two years they have made use of the one year multiple-entry visas in accordance with the laws on entry and stay of the Kingdom of Norway and that the reasons for requesting a multiple-entry visa are still valid.

4. The total period of stay of persons referred to in paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article shall not exceed 90 days per period of 180 days in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway and any other Schengen Member State.

Article 6 - Fees for processing visa applications

1. The fee for processing visa applications of citizens of the Republic of Albania shall amount to €35.

The aforementioned amount may be reviewed in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 13(3).

If the Republic of Albania was to reintroduce the visa requirement for Norwegian citizens, the visa fee to be charged by the Republic of Albania shall not be higher than €35 or the amount agreed if the fee is reviewed in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 13(3).

2. Fees for processing the visa application are waived for the following categories of persons:

a) close relatives – spouses, children (including adopted), parents (including custodians), grandparents and grandchildren of Albanian citizens legally residing in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway;

b) members of official delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to the Republic of Albania, shall participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway by intergovernmental organisations;

c) members of the Council of Ministers, Parliament, Constitutional Court and Supreme Court, if they are not exempted from the visa requirement by the present Agreement;

d) pupils, students, post-graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purpose of study or educational training;

e) children under 6 years of age;

f) disabled persons and the person accompanying them, if necessary;

g) persons who have presented documents proving the necessity of their travel on humanitarian grounds, including to receive urgent medical treatment and the person accompanying such person, or to attend a funeral of a close relative, or to visit a seriously ill close relative;

h) participants in international sports events and persons accompanying them in a professional capacity;

i) persons participating in scientific, cultural and artistic activities including university and other exchange programmes;

j) participants in official exchange programmes organised by twin cities;

k) politically persecuted persons during the communist regime;

l) pensioners;

m) representatives of civil society organisations travelling to attend meetings, seminars, exchange programs or training courses;

n) journalists;

o) representatives of religious communities registered in the Republic of Albania;

p) drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway in vehicles registered in the Republic of Albania;

q) members of train, refrigerator and locomotive crews in international trains, travelling to the territory of the Kingdom of Norway;

r) members of the professions participating in international exhibitions, conferences, symposia, seminars or other similar events held in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway.

Article 7 - Length of procedures for processing visa applications

1. Diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Kingdom of Norway shall take a decision on the request to issue a visa within 10 calendar days of the date of the receipt of the application and documents required for issuing the visa.

2. The period of time for taking a decision on a visa application may be extended to up to 30 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed.

3. The period of time for taking a decision on a visa application may be reduced to 3 working days or less in urgent cases.

Article 8 - Departure in case of lost or stolen documents

Citizens of the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Albania who have lost their identity documents, or from whom these documents have been stolen while staying in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway or the Republic of Albania, may leave that territory on the grounds of valid identity documents entitling to cross the border issued by diplomatic missions or consular posts of the Kingdom of Norway or the Republic of Albania without any visa or other authorisation.

Article 9 - Extension of visa in exceptional circumstances

The citizens of the Republic of Albania who do not have the possibility to leave the territory of the Kingdom of Norway by the time stated in their visas for reasons of force majeure shall have the term of their visas extended free of charge in accordance with Norwegian legislation for the period required for their return to the State of their residence.

Article 10 - Diplomatic passports

1. Citizens of the Republic of Albania, holders of valid diplomatic passports can enter, leave and transit through the territory of the Kingdom of Norway and other Schengen Member States without visas.

2. The total period of stay of persons referred to in paragraphs 1 of this Article shall not exceed 90 days per period of 180 days in the territory of the Kingdom of Norway and any other Schengen Member State. 

Article 11 - Territorial validity of visas

Subject to the national rules and regulations concerning national security of the Kingdom of Norway, citizens of the Republic of Albania shall be entitled to travel within the territory of the Kingdom of Norway on an equal basis with Norwegian citizens.

Article 12 – Monitoring of the Agreement

Representatives of the Parties shall meet whenever necessary at the request of one of the Parties to discuss the implementation of this Agreement, and if deemed necessary, propose amendments to this Agreement, in particular in the light of changes to the Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the European Community on the facilitation of issuance of visas.

Article 13 - Final clauses

1. This Agreement shall be ratified or approved by the Parties in accordance with their respective procedures and shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the date on which the Parties notify each other that the procedures referred to above have been completed.

2. This Agreement is concluded for an indefinite period of time, unless terminated in accordance with paragraph 5 of this Article.

3. This Agreement may be amended by written agreement of the Parties. Amendments shall enter into force after the Parties have notified each other of the completion of their internal procedures necessary for this purpose.

4. Each Party may suspend in whole or in part this Agreement for reasons of public order, protection of national security or protection of public health. The decision on suspension shall be notified to the other Party not later than 48 hours before its entry into force. The Party that has suspended the application of this Agreement shall immediately inform the other Party once the reasons for the suspension no longer apply.

5. Each Party may terminate this Agreement by giving written notice to the other Party. This Agreement shall cease to be in force 90 days after the date of such notification.


Done in on 2008, in duplicate each in the Norwegian, Albanian and English languages, each of these texts being equally authentic. In case of divergences, the English text shall prevail.

For the Government of the Kingdom of Norway

…………………………………………..

 

For the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania

…………………………………….

 


ANNEX

DECLARATION BY THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY ON THE SCHENGEN ACQUIS

The Government of the Kingdom of Norway, being a Party to the Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union and Iceland and Norway concerning the latter’s association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis of 18 May 1999, declares that visa issued by the Norwegian Party in accordance with the present bilateral Agreement, will be issued in accordance with Norwegian obligations derived from the said Agreement of 18 May 1999.

***

Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. box 2098 Vika
NO-0125 Oslo
Norway

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo