Living in Macedonia
Advice for British people living in Macedonia, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British national residing in Macedonia, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.
If you are a resident in employment you are entitled to the same health benefits as a Macedonian national. More detailed information can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund of Macedonia
There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement for British nationals, which entitles you to free treatment in Macedonia for genuine emergencies if you are in Macedonia on a short visit. You will need to present a British passport, evidence of residence and insurance in the UK, and evidence of registration with the local police.
The health system in all parts of Macedonia is suffering from widespread shortage of medicines and other essentials. Payment in cash is normally required for treatment.
As the country remains outside the EU, your EHIC Card is of little use, and all medical treatment will involve some cost. Therefore, make sure you have adequate medical insurance - this should cover medical treatment, hospitalisation and medical evacuation to the UK, unexpected losses or expenses (e.g. cancelled flights, lost luggage, lost passport, stolen cash or credit cards).
The Embassy cannot give financial assistance for medical purposes.
Information about education in Macedonia can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science.
Employment and recognised qualifications
British Nationals can work in Macedonia provided that they have a work permit. First point of contact about obtaining a work permit should be the Macedonian Embassy in London Additional information about how to obtain a right to work can be found on the website of the Macedonian Agency of Employment, the Services website and the Invest in Macedonia website.
Entry and residence requirements
Before you move to Macedonia,make sure you contact the Macedonian Embassy in London
Residence requirements, e-registy and forms can be found on the website of the Macedonian Ministry of Interior
In order to enter Macedonia you must hold a valid travel document (e.g. British passport). You should ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months after you enter Macedonia. British passport holders do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days. Please visit the travel advice for Macedonia for more information.
It is a legal requirement that you register with the local police in the town/city where you are staying within 24 hours of your arrival in Macedonia, unless you are staying in a hotel where you will be registered automatically on checking-in. If you don’t register you could be fined, detained or face a court appearance.
When you report your arrival to the Police,you will be issued with a registration card for foreigners. Please make sure you keep this registration card safe as it will be your proof of entry and you will need it upon exit of the country.
Foreign residents can easily establish employment in the Republic of Macedonia, after getting an appropriate visa or permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, i.e. Diplomatic-consular offices abroad.
Visas shall be issued only at the embassies or consulates of the Republic of Macedonia abroad;
The validity of the passport or other travel document of the applicant has to be minimum 3 (three) months.
For more information you can also visit the website Invest in Macedonia.
If you have retired and you live in Macedonia, you could claim your pension from the UK. For detailed information on how to claim your state pension, please check the website of the Macedonian Pension Fund. If you spend time in both the UK and another country, and are unsure about how this affects your UK pension, benefit and healthcare rights, always consult the relevant UK authority. If you have received a life certificate from the UK Pension Service it is important that you reply as quickly as possible otherwise your benefit may be stopped.
Please also visit the website for UK benefits.
Driving licences and vehicles
The British Embassy cannot issue or renew a UK driving licence. For information about renewing a licence or applying for a new licence please visit the driving licence section of this website.
How to get your UK driving licence replaced with a Macedonian one can be found on the Services website
Individuals residing in the Republic of Macedonia can open account at most banks in Macedonia.
The procedure is maximally simplified – an account is opened immediately and the presence of the individual is obligatory. A foreign individual client – non-resident is identified by submitting a valid identity document, passport, original or a copy certified by a notary or an authorized institution in the domicile state.
Detailed information and Laws can be obtained from the website of the National Bank of Macedonia
If you are interested in investments, Invest in Macedonia is the primary government institution which is in charge of attracting new foreign investments in the country and supporting the expansion of the foreign companies with already established operations. In addition to the investment function, Invest Macedonia is also engaged in promoting the Macedonian companies on foreign markets and supporting them in the process of increasing their exports abroad.
With the recent economic reforms, Macedonia has created the most attractive tax package in Europe. These reforms include introduction of flat tax rate of 10% for corporate and personal income, which simplify the tax system and stimulate successful companies to further improve operations and increase profitability. More information on taxation can be found on the following Invest in Macedonia link.
Guidance on bringing medication into country
The import of medicines is subject to special license issued by the Bureau for Drugs (Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia). This import prohibition is not applicable if you bring in medicines intended for your own use. Please read carefully about what documents you need to have in order to be able to bring medicines and other goods in Macedonia on the website of Republic of Macedonia Customs Administration.
Failure to observe the regulations on import of medicines, medical aids and psychotropic substances is punishable.
Sponsoring family members
If you want to sponsor a family member, the first point of contact should be the Macedonian Embassy in London.
Social ethics and traditions
Respect local customs and regulations. It is very important to ask permission before photographing individuals. Don’t take photos of or near military or government installations.
Don’t remove, burn or in any other way touch the national flag of Macedonia. If you do, you risk getting a very high fine and a deportation order.
When visiting a church, please do not wear miniskirts or short pants. Same rules when visiting a mosque, but leave your shoes at entrance.
Don’t climb monuments, enter fountains or in any other way engage in activities with the cultural heritage that may be seen as offensive. These activities might get you arrested and detained and you might need to pay a high fine also.
Don’t get involved with drugs. Penalties for drug trafficking, smuggling and possession are severe.
Returning to the UK
Before leaving, make sure you contact the nearest police station and show them your registration card.Follow their advice about what you need to do next in order to avoid any fines or other consequences.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
Published: 30 October 2013