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Macedonia - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Macedonia. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on December 11, 2016. Expect political rallies and demonstrations in the period leading up to and following the elections. Avoid all demonstrations, political rallies and large gatherings, as they have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs, especially in Skopje’s main downtown pedestrian zone, shopping malls and the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. Foreigners have been the target of muggings. Remain vigilant at all times. Be particularly careful around groups of street children, who sometimes gather around their victim to ask for money as one of them pickpockets them.
Occasional acts of inter-ethnic violence can occur.
You should exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to the western border zone due to heightened criminal activity in the area.
Credit-card fraud is common. Pay careful attention when your card is being handled by others during payment processing.
See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Europe, alerting U.S. citizens to the “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season” and advising them to “exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.”
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations and political protests occur frequently in Skopje and other cities. There is currently an increased potential for such protests due to ongoing political instability. Avoid all demonstrations, protests and large gatherings, as they have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They may, occasionally, lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Remain vigilant, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Areas bordering Kosovo and Serbia
You should exercise a high degree of caution in the areas bordering Kosovo and Serbia due to political tensions and possible unrest.
Road conditions vary throughout the country. Secondary roads are poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. In mountainous areas, most roads lack guard rails and are little more than dirt tracks above deep gorges. Ice and snow make driving hazardous in winter. Drivers generally have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe-driving practices. Farm equipment and stray animals pose additional risks. Exercise caution when travelling by road, especially after dark.
Dial 196 for roadside assistance.
Public transportation is not reliable and may not meet Canadian safety standards.
Taxis are widely available and are a reliable mode of transportation. To avoid being overcharged, obtain a price estimate in advance and ensure that the taxi driver is using the meter.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
On August 20, 2015, Macedonia’s Ministry of Interior declared a state of emergency along its northern and southern borders due to an increase in migrants and refugees entering the country.
On certain holidays or following major elections or soccer matches, there is a tradition of discharging firearms into the air (celebratory fire), often after dark, and to coincide with fireworks displays. Avoid any event where people are engaging in celebratory fire as there have been incidents of injuries and even death caused by stray bullets.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Macedonian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
You must register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival in Macedonia. Registration will normally be arranged by your hotel. If you are not staying in a hotel, registration must be organized by your host. Failure to register can result in fines and difficulties when departing.
Canadians who also hold Macedonian citizenship and have been outside of Macedonia for longer than three months should contact the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia prior to travelling to enquire about specific regulations, which may affect re-entry to Macedonia. See Laws and culture for additional information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Macedonia, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
If you want to stay longer than 90 days but did not apply for a visa prior to arriving in Macedonia, you must leave the country and apply for the appropriate visa at a Macedonian embassy or consulate. The Macedonian Border Police strictly enforce entry and exit requirements. If you stay beyond the permitted number of days, you could be severely fined or barred from returning to Macedonia.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Most medical facilities are poorly equipped, and specialized treatment may not be available. Immediate cash payment is usually required for medical services. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
You must carry adequate identification at all times and present it to local authorities upon request. A photocopy of your passport identification page is acceptable. If not carrying your passport with you, ensure to leave it in a secure location.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Macedonia. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Macedonian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Macedonian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Do not photograph border crossings, government buildings and military installations without prior approval; ask permission from local authorities before taking photographs of these locations.
While not illegal, homosexuality is not socially tolerated in Macedonia. See Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travel for more information.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts at all times. All vehicles must use side lights/dipped headlights during the day.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent; however, it is 0.00 for new and professional drivers. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited.
Police routinely stop vehicles for inspection.
In the event of an accident, you must call the police and not move the vehicle until the police have allowed you to do so.
To avoid difficulties upon departure, travellers carrying foreign currency, expensive jewellery or electronic equipment should make a customs declaration upon arrival in Macedonia.
Strict regulations are in place on items of a specific value or deemed to be of cultural or historical significance. If you purchased any works of art or antiques, confirm with the Cultural Heritage Protection Office if you may leave Macedonia with these items before attempting to leave as a permit may be required.
Consult the Macedonian Customs Administration for additional information.
You must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets.
The currency of Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).
The economy is mostly cash-based. Automated banking machines are available in Skopje and are widespread throughout the country.
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and shops, except in some small grocery stores. Traveller’s cheques are sometimes accepted in hotels, but are readily convertible at banks. Foreign currency can be exchanged at all major banks and at numerous exchange facilities.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Macedonia is located in an active seismic zone, although serious earthquakes are rare.
Air pollution is severe in several cities in Macedonia. Monitor air pollution levels as they can vary throughout Macedonia and at times, even within the same city.
Between November and February, Skopje and surrounding areas can be affected by thick fog, which can affect air travel. Consult the Skopje airport website for information on potential delays caused by inclement weather.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 192
- medical assistance: 194
- firefighters: 193
Belgrade - Embassy of Canada
Skopje - Consulate of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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