What can you expect if you are irregularly in the country?

Illegal entry, transit, as well as assistance in illegal entry and transit through the territory of the Republic of Albania are punishable by the law. In certain cases, restriction of freedom of movement may be imposed on persons who are residing in the country illegally, as well as on the asylum seekers.

Assisting in illegal entry, residence, or movement through the territory of the country contrary to the provisions of the law is punishable by imprisonment or a fine. The provisions of the national legislation are applicable to foreigners. Thus, if foreigners are involved in migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and other crimes, they will be fined.

In addition to the fact that illegal entry, transit, and residence and their assistance are illegal and punishable, there are many other risks of illegal movement. These are the most common risks you can face if you travel illegally through Albania. These risks may not go away when you leave the country:

– Misuse of the asylum procedure – in case you apply for asylum and then leave your place to stay for more than 3 (three) days without notifying the authority responsible for asylum and refugees, the authorities may decide to terminate your asylum procedure. Leaving the present address without notification is interpreted as withdrawal from asylum procedures (it is perceived as you have left the country);

– Misuse of the registration process – Register your address of stay. If you have decided to leave the centre or you are going to change your present address of stay, be aware that you are at the risk of expulsion if you do not correctly do that.

– Be aware of situations in which you can become a victim of trafficking – If you are in debt and there is no possibility to give the money back, there is a huge risk to becoming a victim of human trafficking;

– Be aware not to become a smuggler of other migrants – Don’t risk becoming a smuggler or trafficker of human beings. Penalties for this category of a criminal offense could result in imprisonment sanctions;

– Irregular migrants are at a very high risk of experiencing some form of verbal violence (insults, threats, yelling…), physical violence, and sexual and gender-based violence;

– If you are travelling irregularly, you may be robbed, kidnapped/held against your will during the journey; in case if any of this happens, please refer to the nearest police station to ask for help;

– If you are travelling irregularly, you may find yourself in a life-threatening situation, caused by your travel mate, persons you meet on the road, harsh weather conditions (extreme cold or heat), or wild animals. You may these on yourself and on other group member;

– Criminal Behaviour – You are criminally liable no matter if you have identification documents or not. Don’t risk being arrested or punished for a criminal offense;

– Working without a permit is a serious offense – Begging or illicit employment presents an offense and you are under the risk to be penalized for that kind of irregular work;

– Respect police – Respect authorities’ decisions and use legal ways to exercise your rights.