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Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel

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Learn About Your Destination

Republic of North Macedonia

North Macedonia
Republic of North Macedonia
Exercise normal precautions in North Macedonia.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in North Macedonia.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to North Macedonia.

If you decide to travel to North Macedonia: 

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Three months beyond your planned stay.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not for stays less than 90 days within a six month period

VACCINATIONS:

 None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

10,000 Euros or equivalent must be declared

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

10,000 Euros or equivalent must be declared

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Skopje
Samoilova 21
1000 Skopje
Republic of North Macedonia
Telephone:
+(389) (2) 310-2000
Emergency Phone: +389-7041-5550
Fax: +(389) (2) 310-2499

Email: SkopjeACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on North Macedonia for information on U.S.-North Macedonia relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You can contact the Embassy of North Macedonia in Washington, D.C. or the nearest consulate General for the most current visa information. North Macedonian’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website contains additional information.

  • Valid U.S. passports are required for travel to North Macedonia.
  • Visas are not required for tourist or business trips of less than 90 days within a six-month period. However, persons with illegal stays over 90 days may face delayed departure, a court hearing with a substantial fine, or a re-entry ban.
  • Travelers planning to work, study, or stay longer than 90 days in North Macedonia should obtain the proper visa before traveling to North Macedonia at the Embassy of North Macedonia in their country of residence.
  • All foreign citizens must register with local police within 48 hours of arrival.
    • Hotels register foreign guests.
    • If not staying in a hotel, travelers should register in person (the owner or landlord of the residence should accompany registrants) at the police station nearest to current lodgings; changes of address should be re-registered with the police station nearest the new address. Failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor, court procedures, a fine of up to 250 Euros, and a delayed departure. Dual citizens of the United States and North Macedonia should also register with the local police within 48 hours of their arrival if they enter North Macedonia with their U.S. passport.
  • The Government of North Macedonia requires all foreign citizens to provide proof of travel medical insurance when they enter the country.
  • Unaccompanied U.S. citizen minors traveling in North Macedonia should have a notarized statement of consent from a parent or guardian certified by a competent authority in the country from which the child arrives, or by an embassy or consulate of North Macedonia.
  • Travelers should carry a copy of passports, photo IDs, and/or residence permits at all times; local authorities can request your identification. 
  • U.S. citizens born in North Macedonia are advised to read the Greece Country Specific Information if they plan to travel to Greece.
  • Dual citizens of the U.S. and North Macedonia who have stayed outside of North Macedonia for more than three months should either report to the nearest embassy or consulate of North Macedonia before returning to North Macedonia, or report to the nearest police station after entering North Macedonia. Failure to notify may delay departure from North Macedonia.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of North Macedonia.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to target crowds more effectively.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

North Macedonia has not had any recent terrorist events, though there were some significant terrorism-related arrests in recent years.  There are continuing concerns in the region of returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and the potential for radicalization to violence.  North Macedonia authorities assess that ISIS members and sympathizers maintain a presence in North Macedonia. In the past year, during a six month period, North Macedonia was subject to false bomb threats to local schools, transportation hubs, commercial centers, and hotels. Though all threats were found to be false, local authorities responded to every threat and continue to investigate the threats’ origin.

For more information, see our Terrorism page. 

Crime: Violent crime against U.S. citizens is rare. Theft and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate.

  • Do not leave anything of value in plain view in unattended vehicles.
  • Securely lock the windows and doors of your residence when not at home.
  • Organized crime is present in North Macedonia, and violent confrontations between rival organizations occasionally occur.
  • ATM use is generally safe; however, take standard safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Pickpockets are a problem in crowded areas of Skopje. You should:
    • Be aware of your belongings and surroundings at all times.
    • Know that pickpockets use various diversionary tactics to distract victims, including groups of children swarming the victim.
    • If pickpocketed, report the crime to the police.
      • Cancel your credit cards as quickly as possible.

North Macedonia and the surrounding Balkan region continue to face challenges from corruption and from organized crime, particularly in connection with drug trafficking, money laundering, trafficking of migrants, extortion, and property crimes, as well as fraudulent documents.

For additional information, please refer to the Global Organized Crime Index which is a tool designed to measure levels of organized crime in a given country and assess its resilience to organized criminal activity.

Demonstrations occur sporadically and often result in traffic disruptions, particularly near the center of Skopje. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Follow the instructions of North Macedonia’s authorities.

Information about demonstrations in North Macedonia can be found on the Embassy’s Security and Emergency Messages for U.S. citizens webpage.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police at 112 (ambulance: 112) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(389) (2) 310-2000. Be aware that police and medical professionals may speak little or no English.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care.
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion.
  • Provide a list of local attorneys.
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution.
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur.  Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities.  First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • North Macedonia’s customs authorities enforce strict regulations that require special licenses or permits for the exportation of items deemed to be of historical value or significance. Taking such items out of North Macedonia without the appropriate government-issued permit can result in arrest, monetary fines, and prison sentences. North Macedonia's Customs Administration provides more information on customs regulations.
  • Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as having military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. Visitors should comply with “no photography” signs. If you are in doubt, ask for permission before taking photographs.
  • While larger stores and restaurants accept credit cards, small establishments may not accept credit cards and it is advised to carry cash in local currency (denar).
  • Failure to declare currency exceeding 10,000 euros, or the equivalent, may result in its confiscation and a court proceeding. Penalties typically include a fine and a percentage of the undeclared amount.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Note: North Macedonia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual state. While there is little religious/ethnic violence in North Macedonia, inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions do exist.

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Although same-sex relationships are not illegal in North Macedonia, LGBTQI+ individuals still face significant discrimination.  There are no openly gay-friendly establishments in the country. Civil society organizations have reported a recent increase in transphobic and homophobic speech, and there have been numerous reported instances of physical violence against LGBTQI+ individuals.  We advise exercising caution when attending LGBTQI+ events.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities/Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: 
Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. North Macedonia’s law requires that only new buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities. Most public buildings are inaccessible and inconsistent inspection results in construction of new facilities that are not accessible. Public transportation for persons with disabilities is very limited. Although all buses the government has purchased for Skopje since 2013 have been accessible to persons with disabilities, public transportation remains largely inaccessible in other regions.

Review the State Department’s webpage on security for travelers with disabilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical care in North Macedonia varies in quality by location and provider. Skopje has four private hospitals that offer services ranging from cardiovascular surgery to pediatric intensive care.  Quality of care is not equal to U.S. health care.  Outside Skopje, medical care is substandard, with the exception of trauma services in Ohrid.

For emergency services in North Macedonia, dial 112 (general emergency line) or 194 (direct for ambulance).

Ambulance services are:

  • Not widely available, except in Skopje and major tourist areas, such as Ohrid. Training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • A government formulary controls which prescription medications are available; the list does not include several medications available in most Western countries. Insulin is not available to non-citizens.
  • Government-operated emergency services are substandard. Ambulances generally transport to state hospitals unless specifically requested to a private hospital. Private emergency services in Skopje, operated by private institutions, meet higher quality standards.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in North Macedonia. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general

  • Adequate health facilities are available throughout North Macedonia but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors may require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available.
  • Hospitals may require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • U.S. citizens have lodged complaints about unethical business practices, prices, and collection measures against some of the private institutions.  Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.
  • Be aware that some hotels, resorts, etc. have exclusive agreements with medical providers, which may limit your choices in seeking emergency medical attention.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in public hospitals, only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations.  Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism and the risks of medical tourism.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in North Macedonia.
  • Although North Macedonia has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely.  If you plan to undergo surgery in North Macedonia, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available, and professionals are accredited and qualified.
  • Persons traveling to North Macedonia for medical purposes require the proper “medical” visa.  Check the Government of North Macedonia’s website for more information.

Pharmaceuticals

Always carry your prescription medicine in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Republic of North Macedonia Customs Administration to ensure the medication is legal in North Macedonia.

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States.  Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy

  • If you are considering traveling to North Macedonia to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in North Macedonia via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship. Surrogacy is legal in North Macedonia, but there are strict procedures that should be followed and individuals who attempt to circumvent local law may face criminal prosecution.  For additional information, consult the Ministry of Health’s website, available in the Macedonian language only.

Water Quality

In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in North Macedonia.

Air Quality

  • Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in North Macedonia. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.
  • The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons.  It is typically at its worst in the winter season. Air pollution levels in Skopje are between two and three times those of the most polluted areas in the United States. People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:
    • Infants, children, and teens.
    • People over 65 years of age.
    • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
    • People with heart disease or diabetes.
    • People who work or are active outdoors.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: In North Macedonia, road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. Driving safely in North Macedonia requires excellent defensive driving skills.

  • Most major highways are in good repair, but many secondary urban and rural roads are not maintained and are poorly lit. Secondary mountain roads may be narrow, poorly marked, and lack guardrails.
  • During the winter months, snow plowing is limited, and roads can be very treacherous.
  • Many vehicles are old and lack front or rear lights.
  • Horse-drawn carts, livestock, dead animals, rocks, or other objects are often in the roadway.
  • Roadside emergency services are limited.
  • In case of emergency, drivers may call the police at 192, the Ambulance Service at 194, and Roadside Assistance at 196.
  • Pedestrians should be very cautious when crossing streets, even when using crosswalks, as local drivers often do not slow down or stop for pedestrians.
  • Driving at night in rural mountainous areas is inadvisable due to poor or nonexistent lighting.

Traffic Laws: U.S. citizens need a valid U.S. driver’s license and an International Driving Permit (available in the United States only) to drive in North Macedonia.

  • In case of a traffic accident, you may contact the traffic police (122). Depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the event, the authorities may hold the passport of the U.S. citizen until the case is resolved.
  • Drivers should proceed with caution. Disregard for traffic laws is widespread. The number of traffic accidents and fatalities is high compared to other European countries.
  • High fines can be incurred for speeding.  The police will issue a ticket which contains information on how to pay the fine electronically.  The police are not authorized to collect fine payments.
  • The maximum legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05 ppm.  There is a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol use for professional and student drivers (0.0 ppm). Failure to comply with these limits may result in high fines.
  • Using a cell phone while driving is illegal. All passengers are required to wear seat belts. Drivers are required to use headlights at all times. All vehicles are required to have universal tires (with chains), or winter tires, from November 15th to March 15th.  Failure to comply with these requirements will result in fines.
  • AMSM Road Assistance 196 - Police: 192 or 112.

See traffic rules and legislation in North Macedonia for more details.

Public Transportation: Public transportation options are limited. Buses are available in Skopje and most are reliable. Taxis from established companies are considered to be safe. Use metered taxis to avoid conflicts about the fare. Most taxis accept cash payments only.

  • There are no commercial domestic flights.
  • There is no subway system or tramways in North Macedonia, neither Uber nor any other ridesharing company.
  • There are intercity buses which travel between most cities which are generally reliable and safe.
  • Rail conditions are poor, limited, and service is unreliable.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in North Macedonia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of North 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.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in North Macedonia. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: September 22, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Skopje
Samoilova 21
1000 Skopje
Republic of North Macedonia
Telephone
+(389) (2) 310-2000
Emergency
+389-7041-5550
Fax
+(389) (2) 310-2499

North Macedonia Map