COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy that is slowly but steadily transforming its economy. Tourist facilities are available in the capital, Skopje, and other major towns. In tourist centers, such as Skopje and Ohrid, European-standard hotels and other travel amenities are available. The standard of tourist facilities throughout the rest of the country varies considerably. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Macedonia for additional information.
SMARTTRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Macedonia, please take the time to tell our Embassyabout your trip. If you enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP), we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.
The contact information for the U.S. Embassy in Skopje is:
U.S. Embassy Skopje
Samoilova 21, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
Telephone: (389) (2) 310-2000
Emergency after-hours telephone: (389) (2) 310-2000
Facsimile: (389) (2) 310-2299
The Consular Section is open for American Citizen Services Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., except on U.S. and Macedonian holidays. All non-emergency services are by appointment only.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: You need a valid U.S. passport for travel to Macedonia. You don’t need a visa for tourist or business trips totaling less than 90 days during a six-month period. Macedonia requires that all foreign citizens provide proof of health insurance when entering the country. Entry stamps are issued at airports or land border crossing points; these stamps let you stay for 90 days.
All foreign citizens must register with local police within 24 hours of arrival. If you are staying in private accommodations or renting an apartment, you should register in person at the police station nearest your place of residence, and you should be accompanied to the station by the owner or landlord of the apartment. Hotels are responsible for the registration of foreign guests, so you do not need to personally register with local police if you are staying in a hotel. If you change addresses in Macedonia, notify the police station where you initially registered and re-register with the police station closest to your new residence. Unaccompanied U.S. citizen minors who enter Macedonia should have a notarized statement of consent from a parent or guardian to enter and stay in the country. The statement of consent must be certified by a competent authority of the country from which s/he arrives or by an embassy or consulate of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Law on Foreigners stipulates that a foreigner is obliged to present identification to prove his/her identity when asked by an authorized official. However, the foreigner does not need to have the original passport with him/her at all times while in Macedonia. A copy of the passport or any other photo ID will satisfy the requirement for identification. U.S. citizens who hold residence permits in Macedonia should have their residence permit with them at all times.
NOTE: A U.S. citizen who possesses more than one passport is required to leave Macedonia with the same passport he or she used to enter the country. Also, U.S. citizens born in Macedonia are advised to read the Greece Country Specific Information if they plan to travel to Greece.
Dual citizens of the United States and Macedonia who have stayed outside Macedonia for more than three months should either report to the Macedonian Embassy or Consulate nearest to their location prior to returning to Macedonia or report to the nearest police station after entering Macedonia. Failure to report their stay abroad may delay their departure from Macedonia.
If you are a U.S. citizen born in the Republic of Macedonia, please note that Greek Immigration Officers at all ports of entry (land, air and sea) will not place entry stamps in passports listing the traveler’s place of birth as Macedonia or the Republic of Macedonia. These travelers are required to complete a short form on which the entry stamp will be placed and which the traveler must keep with their passport for the duration of their stay in Greece and present on departure.
If you plan to work, study, or remain longer than 90 days in Macedonia you must obtain an entry visa prior to coming to Macedonia. You cannot adjust from tourist status to long-term status from within Macedonia. Those who wish to adjust status must leave Macedonia and apply for a long-term visa at a Macedonian embassy or consulate.
Apply at the Macedonian Embassy in Washington D.C., located at 2129 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel.: (202) 667-0501; fax: (202) 667-2131; email: Washington@mfa.gov.mk. You can also visit the Embassy of Macedonia website for the most current visa information.
For additional information about the conditions and procedures for visa issuance, you may visit the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for a list of Macedonian Embassies and Consulates. In addition to the Embassy of Macedonia in Washington, U.S. citizens may also contact the Consulates General of Macedonia in New York, Detroit, or Chicago. Contact information is located on the Consular Affairs page within the Embassy of Macedonia website. You should know that all border areas apart from designated border crossings are restricted zones. Presence in these zones is forbidden without prior official permission.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. You can also learn more general information on Customs by visiting the Before You Go section of our site.
For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Macedonia.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Macedonia has not experienced any incidents of large-scale public violence in recent years, although there have been occasions where protest activity devolved into localized violent incidents. A small number of murders and armed robberies have occurred nationwide. None of these have targeted U.S. citizens or interests, but you should be aware of current events and your surroundings. Information regarding demonstrations in Macedonia can be found on U.S. Embassy Skopje's website.
Visit the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia site for up-to-date messages for U.S. citizens.
SPECIAL ISSUES FOR LGBT TRAVELERS: A lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) center was vandalized in the past year, and LGBT events can be prone to altercations and violence by anti-LGBT individuals. Exercise caution and please review our LGBT Travel Information.
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CRIME: You should take the same precautions against becoming crime victims as you would in any U.S. city. Violent crime against U.S. citizens is rare. Pick-pocketing, theft, and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate. Do not leave valuables, including cell phones and electronic items, in plain view in unattended vehicles. You should securely lock the windows and doors of your residence when it is not occupied. Organized crime is present in Macedonia; organized criminal activity occasionally results in violent confrontations between members of rival organizations. ATM use is generally safe; however, travelers should take standard safety precautions.
Pickpockets remain a problem in crowded areas of Skopje. Be aware of your belongings and surroundings at all times. Pickpockets use various diversionary tactics to distract victims; one method involves groups of children swarming around you and asking for money to find and take your wallet. Victims of pick pocketing should report the crime to the police and cancel their credit cards as soon as possible.
Taxis are a common and generally safe form of transportation. Use a legitimate, metered taxi to avoid conflicts about the fare.
Take some time before you travel to learn how to improve your personal security. Here are some useful tips for personal security.
Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
The local equivalent to the “911” telephone emergency line in Macedonia is 192 for police and 194 for ambulance.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES:While you are traveling in Macedonia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own, and criminal penalties vary from country to country. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Macedonia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
If Arrested: If you are arrested in Macedonia, Macedonian authorities are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Macedonian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations on the temporary importation to or exportation from Macedonia of certain items such as those deemed to be of historical value or significance. For more information on customs regulations for departing from and arriving in Macedonia please read the Customs Information Booklet.
Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. Visitors should always observe "no photography" signs. If you are in doubt, please ask for permission from local authorities before taking photographs.
The local currency is the denar. While credit cards are accepted in larger stores and restaurants, we recommend having cash in local currency for purchases in small establishments.
Tourist facilities are available in the capital, Skopje, and other major towns. In tourist centers, such as Skopje and Ohrid, European-standard hotels and other travel amenities are available. The standard of tourist facilities throughout the rest of the country varies considerably.
If you are entering or exiting Macedonia by air or land with more than 10,000 Euros in cash, you must declare all currency upon entry or exit at the Macedonian Customs Office and present bank or other financial documentation showing the origin of the money. Customs officials will issue you a completed declaration form at the port of entry or exit. If you do not report this money, the Macedonian customs service may confiscate it and send you to court. Penalties typically include a fine and a requirement that violators pay a percentage of the undeclared amount to the Macedonian National Bank.ACCESSIBILITY: Macedonian law only requires that new buildings be made accessible to persons with disabilities. Most public buildings remain inaccessible and inconsistent inspection has resulted in construction of new facilities that are not accessible for persons with disabilities. Public transportation for persons with disabilities is very limited.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: You can find information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
Macedonia requires that all foreign citizens provide proof of health insurance when entering the country. Medical services received in Macedonia by foreign citizens require payment at the time of service.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: Driving safely in Macedonia requires excellent defensive driving skills. Many local drivers routinely ignore speed limits and other traffic regulations, such as stopping for red lights and stop signs. Drivers may make illegal left turns from the far right lane, or drive into oncoming lanes of traffic. The combination of speeding, unsafe driving practices, poor vehicle maintenance, the mixture of new and old vehicles on the roads, and poor lighting contributes to unsafe driving conditions. Drivers and passengers should always wear seatbelts in Macedonia. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing the street, even when using crosswalks, as local drivers often do not slow down or stop for pedestrians.
A valid U.S. driver's license and an International Driving Permit are required for U.S. citizens driving in Macedonia. Macedonians drive on the right side of the road. Speed limits are generally posted. Most major highways are in good repair, but many secondary urban and rural roads are poorly maintained and poorly lighted. Horse-drawn carts, livestock, dead animals, rocks, or other objects are sometimes found in the roadway. Some vehicles are old and lack standard front or rear lights. Secondary mountain roads can be narrow, poorly marked, and lacking guardrails, and may quickly become dangerous in inclement weather. Public transportation in Macedonia is dilapidated. Roadside emergency services are limited.
In case of emergency, drivers may contact the police at telephone 192, the Ambulance Service at telephone 194, and Roadside Assistance at telephone 196.
For general information on road safety, please refer to our Road Safety travel section.
For more information on travel within Macedonia please visit the Macedonian Agency for the Promotion and Support of Tourism.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: There is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Macedonia. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
This replaces the Country Specific Information for Macedonia dated April 27, 2012.