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Albania: Military service draft; whether a passport can be issued to an individual studying at university who has not done military service

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 29 May 2002
Citation / Document Symbol ALB38982.E
Reference 4
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Albania: Military service draft; whether a passport can be issued to an individual studying at university who has not done military service, 29 May 2002, ALB38982.E, available at: [accessed 15 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Albania in Ottawa, individuals may delay their military service until they have completed their course of study and can receive an Albanian passport during that time (28 May 2002). This corroborates information provided by the United Kingdom, Immigration and Nationality Directorate's (IND) Albania Assessment where it stated, citing 1998 documents, that "students can postpone their military service until they have completed their course of study" (Apr. 2002).

According to Article 166 of the 1998 Albanian Constitution, "A lbanian citizens have the duty to participate in the defense of the Republic of Albania, as provided by law. The citizen who for reasons of conscience refuses to serve with weapons in the armed forces, is obliged to perform an alternative service, as provided by law" (21 Oct. 1998). Individuals partaking in alternative service "enjoy all [of] the constitutional rights and freedoms, apart from cases when the law provides otherwise" according to Article 167 of the constitution (ibid.). Several reports also refer to the opportunity to purchase an exemption from military service (United Kingdom Apr. 2002; UN 22 Jan. 1998; AI 15 Apr. 1997) where Amnesty International reported the required sum as equivalent to US$4,000 in a 1997 report (ibid.).

The IND also noted that those "who complete their military service receive a certificate, which enables them to obtain a passport" (United Kingdom April 2002). The representative of the Embassy of Albania stated however, that a passport can be obtained without this certificate (28 May 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Albania. 21 October 1998. Albanian Constitution. [Accessed 24 May 2002]

Amnesty International (AI). 15 April 1997. "Out of the Margins: A Right to Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Europe." [Accessed 28 May 2002]

Embassy of the Republic of Albania. 28 May 2002. Telephone interview with Representative.

United Kingdom. April 2002. Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), Home Office. Albania Assessment. [Accessed 24 May 2002]

United Nations. 22 January 2002. Economic and Social Council. Commission on Human Rights. (E/CN.4/ 1998/6) "Implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief." [Accessed 28 May 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

Albanian Helsinki Committee, Newsletter (1999-2001)

Albanian Helsinki Committee, Reports ( 1998-2001)

Europa World Fact Book (1997-2002)

IRB Databases

Kessing's Record of World Events (1997-2002)


Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Albania Report

Political Parties of the World

Internet sites including:

Albanian Government, Department of Information

Albania News Mailing List Archives

Amnesty International

Balkan Human Rights Web Pages

Country Reports

Human Rights International

Human Rights Watch

Norwegian Refugee Council, IDP Project

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

World News Connection

Search engines:

All the Web



Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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