U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
Consular Information Sheet
This information is current as of today,
April 27, 2006
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy that is 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, while the standard of facilities throughout the country varies considerably. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Macedonia for additional information.
ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Macedonia. A visa for Macedonia is not required for tourist/business purposes for stays up to 90 days. For stays longer than 90 days, American citizens need to obtain the appropriate visa at a Macedonian Embassy or Consulate prior to their trip. Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Macedonian Embassy at 2129 Wyoming Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20008, telephone (202) 337-3063, fax (202) 337-3093, or the Macedonian Consulate General in Detroit, 2000 Town Center, Suite 1130, Southfield, MI 48075, telephone (248) 354-5537, fax (248) 354-5538. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Macedonia and other countries. Visit the Embassy of Macedonia web site at http://www.macedonianembassy.org or http://www.mfa.gov.mk/default_en.asp for the most current visa information.
Foreigners, including American citizens, who enter Macedonia and plan to stay in private accommodations, are required to register with the nearest police station within three days. Foreigners staying in hotels are not required to register, as the hotel is responsible for registration with the police. Persons who overstay their visas should contact the branch office of the Ministry of Interior near their place of residence to obtain an exit visa; failure to do so may result in difficulties in departing the country.
Travelers should be aware that all immediate border areas apart from designated border crossings are restricted zones. Presence in these zones is forbidden without prior official permission.
See Entry and Exit Requirements for more information pertaining to dual nationality and the international child abduction. Please refer to our Customs Information to learn more about customs regulations
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The security situation in Macedonia is stable, although occasional criminal violence does occur. Americans should avoid areas with demonstrations, strikes, or roadblocks where large crowds are gathered, particularly those involving political causes or striking workers.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the State Department’s Internet web site at where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.
CRIME: Crime in Macedonia is low by U.S. standards and violent crime against Americans is rare. Pick pocketing, theft, and other petty street crimes do occur, however, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate. American travelers are advised to take the same precautions against becoming crime victims as they would in any American city. Valuables, including cell phones and electronic items, should not be left in plain view in unattended vehicles. Windows and doors should be securely locked when residences are uninhabited. Organized crime is present in Macedonia, which occasionally results in violent confrontations between rival organizations. ATM use is safe as long as standard safety precautions are taken.
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you are a victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to the local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and find an attorney if needed.
See our information on Victims of Crime
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Although many Macedonian physicians are trained to a high standard, most hospitals and clinics are generally not equipped and maintained at U.S. or Western European standards. Basic medical supplies are usually available, but specialized treatment may not be obtainable. Travelers with previously diagnosed medical conditions may wish to consult their physician before travel.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Macedonia is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Driving safely in Macedonia requires excellent defensive driving skills. Many 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, and drive into oncoming lanes of traffic. The combination of speeding, unsafe driving practices, poor vehicle maintenance, and the mixture of new and old vehicles on the roads contributes to unsafe driving conditions. Macedonia is one of the highest-ranked countries in the world for per capita traffic-related fatalities. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and take extreme care when crossing the street.
A valid U.S. driver’s license in conjunction with an International Driving Permit is required for Americans driving in Macedonia. Driving is 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 lit. Horse-drawn carts, livestock, dead animals, rocks, or other objects are often found in the roadway. Some vehicles are old and lack standard front or rear lights. Secondary mountain roads can be narrow and poorly marked, lack guardrails, and quickly become dangerous in inclement weather. Overall, 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.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Macedonia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight.ias/.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: In addition to being subject to all Macedonian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual American-Macedonian nationals may be subject to Macedonian laws that impose special obligations. Male Macedonian citizens are subject to compulsory military draft regulations. If such persons are found guilty of draft evasion in Macedonia – or draft evasion from the former Yugoslavia prior to 1991 – they are subject to prosecution by Macedonian authorities. Those who might be affected should inquire at a Macedonian Embassy or Consulate outside Macedonia regarding their status before travel.
Macedonian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or export from Macedonia of certain items, including items deemed to be of historical value or significance. 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 photographing,” signs. If in doubt, please ask permission before taking photographs.
The local currency is the denar. While credit cards are accepted in larger stores and restaurants, cash in local currency is advised for purchases in small establishments.
Please see our information on Customs Information .
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Macedonia laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Macedonia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website.
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living or traveling in Macedonia are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Macedonia . Americans withoutInternet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is located at Ilindenska bb, 1000 Skopje, tel. (389) (2) 311-6180, fax (389) (2) 321-3767, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms are available on the Embassy's website, located at: http://skopje.usembassy.gov.
* * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated November 14, 2005 to update sections on Safety and Security, Crime, and Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.