North Macedonia is a small country on the Balkan Peninsula, neighboring Greece to the south, Bulgaria to the east, Serbia to the north, and Albania and Kosovo to the west. As such, North Macedonia is strategically positioned for remote workers and digital nomads looking to explore these Balkan cultures and history and enjoy
Though not a tech hub like many countries in Europe including Portugal, Hungary, or Poland, over the years this Balkan country has become a popular digital nomad destination. Since North Macedonia is not yet part of the EU, a visa is required for visitors/remote workers looking to stay for 90 days or longer.
But what visa do you need to stay in North Macedonia for an extended period of time? In particular, is there a digital nomad visa available in North Macedonia?
In this article, I will give you the answers to all Macedonia digital nomad visa-related questions, so tune in!
Is there a digital nomad visa available in North Macedonia?
At the moment there is no digital nomad visa available in North Macedonia. The Macedonian Government works on implementing a digital nomad visa program aimed at attracting global digital nomads and making remote working possible and easier for everyone who wants to stay and work from the country for longer than 90 days.
The Macedonia digital nomad visas initiative is supported by The Fund of Innovation and Technology Development. The idea is to allow all foreign remote workers to stay in North Macedonia for 1 year, with the possibility of visa extensions.
What type of visa do I need to stay in North Macedonia for more than 90 days?
North Macedonia is not part of the European Union nor the Schengen Visa. Visitors/digital nomads can enter the country and stay for a limited period of time with several types of visas. Anyone visiting North Macedonia for a tourist or business trip that doesn’t extend past 90 days within a six-month period doesn’t require a visa.
Seventy countries are allowed to enter visa-free in North Macedonia and 35 can enter with an electronic visa. For the time being, remote employees/digital nomads/ can enter and stay in North Macedonia for longer than 3 months with the following visas:
Temporary resident visa
The temporary resident visa is the best option for digital nomads until the digital nomad visa is approved. It applies to all foreigners who want to stay in North Macedonia for the following reasons:
- Student exchange programs
- Volunteering and humanitarian reasons
- Marriage or family reunion
- Scientific-research activities
The temporary resident visa requirements, alongside the filled application form, are as follows:
- A valid passport
- A national identity card
- Information about the accommodation in North Macedonia
- Bank statements/proof of financial means to live in North Macedonia
- Clean criminal record
- Copy of medical card/health insurance
- One passport-sized photograph
The temporary residency permit application process is not long and the visa fee is around 50 EUR. It typically takes around 45 days for a residency permit to be issued.
Personal Work Permit
A personal work permit is issued for the purpose of self-employment as a single owner of a business. They are valid for one year, and can only be obtained by a foreigner who holds a trade license and is registered in the Central Trade Register of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The application process for a personal work permit is similar to the one for temporary residency. General guidelines to be followed at the time of submission of North Macedonia visa documents can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
North Macedonia business visa is a type of short-term visa issued for the purpose of attending meetings, training, or business-related fairs without labor or gainful employment. For business visa requirements check the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Tourist visas are issued for all tourists planning to visit North Macedonia for sightseeing purposes. This is also one of the most common issued types of visas for digital nomads. Tourist visas can be obtained through consulates, visa companies, and travel agencies.
What city in North Macedonia is best for digital nomads and remote workers?
Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and an important cultural, historic, administrative and financial hub. For freelancers making more than 3000EUR monthly income, Skopje and Macedonia, in general, has a low cost of living and is an excellent digital nomad destination.
Unlike most European countries where rents start at 800EUR, monthly rent in Skopje starts at 250EUR, even in the city center. On top of the low cost of living, it’s the vibrant city, buzzing nightlife, Macedonian great food, culture, and stunning landscapes that are attracting global digital nomads and making them extend their stay.
Monthly internet bills are 17EUR for fiber optic internet with 150/150Mb/s internet speed up to 60EUR for 1000/1000Mb/s internet speed. The rest of the monthly bills which include food, transport, cell phone, electricity, water, heating, and leisure add up to 500EUR which helps digital nomads with over 2000EUR monthly income put some money aside.
Public transportation in the capital is also easy to help navigate the city and costs no more than 20EUR per month to use the public buses. Getting around the city is also possible with bicycles, scooters, and on foot. Driving a car is not recommended, especially if you are a digital nomad just arriving in the city, as traffic can get really crazy.
North Macedonia has great potential to become the next big digital nomad destination. The Macedonian digital nomad visa program aimed at attracting remote workers will allow digital nomads a longer stay in the country. But until the Macedonia digital nomad visa is approved, you can obtain different types of visas.
The visa process is not a complicated one and the visa fee is reasonable. All you need to do is carefully go through the requirements and documents needed for each one to see which visa applies to you.
Whether you are a digital nomad who wants to stay and live in North Macedonia permanently, or you are simply enjoying the digital nomad lifestyle and staying temporarily, you can apply for a temporary residence permit or tourist visa via the central government web platform at any time.
Keep in mind that the best option for foreign freelancers looking to stay and work remotely from North Macedonia for longer than 90 days is a temporary residency permit. This visa gives remote workers the same benefits as the ones offered by the future digital nomad visa.
For further details on the North Macedonia digital nomad visas or remote work visas or other immigration-related updates, check with the gov. website and the immigration office on regular basis.