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How to apply for asylum in North Macedonia

To apply for asylum in North Macedonia, you can do the following:

At the border crossing:

Verbally or in writing.

Declare your intention by expressing your fear of returning to your country of origin:

To the police officer of the Ministry of Interior.

In this address: 

Goce Delcev no.9, 1000 Skopje (MTV-Building)
Or at;
Any police station

Within 72 hours, the police officer will send you to an authorized official at the Sector for Asylum to apply for asylum.

Most websites or apps linked below are in English. Use Google TranslateTarjimly, or any other translation service if you need it.

Who can apply for asylum in North Macedonia

Can apply for asylum any person who:

Have a fear of persecution based on ethnicity, social group, gender, race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs; you can’t get protection from your home country because you’re outside.

You had to leave your country or current residence because your safety, freedom, or life was at risk due to widespread violence, foreign aggression or occupation, terrorism, internal conflicts, massive human rights violations, or any other severe disruption of public order.

Who the refugees are

People who are considered refugees are people who have been forced to leave their place of origin or permanent residence for:

Fear of retaliation due to one’s beliefs, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or other identifiers,

Or

Violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive human rights violations, and other events severely undermined public order.

How to seek asylum in North Macedonia

Asylum seekers entering the Republic of North Macedonia must apply for asylum recognition.

Asylum seekers must report their request to authorities upon entering the country.

This may be done:

At the border crossing or;

At the closest police station

Reception center or;

Asylum sector.

An officer must accompany an asylum applicant:

To the Asylum Section or;

at the Asylum Applicant Reception Center.

What comes with After filing the asylum application

After submitting an asylum application, a first interview will take place.

In order to apply for asylum, a person must be:

Physically present in the Republic of North Macedonia and;

submit their paperwork to the Section for Asylum.

The request for asylum must:

Be made in writing or person in the Macedonian language or;

If that’s not possible:

In the language of the country of origin or;

in one of the most common foreign languages or;

In a language that the asylum seeker is likely to understand.

You can look at the brochure about refuge in one of the languages below:

  1. English
  2. Albanian
  3. Arabic
  4. Farsi
  5. French
  6. Kurdish
  7. Macedonian
  8. Pashtu
  9. Russian
  10. Spanish
  11. Turkish
  12. Ukrainian
  13. Urdu

During asylum, where will I stay

You may stay:

At the Reception Centre or;

pay for private lodging.

Asylum seeker: What are your rights and duties

The following are your legal rights and duties after applying:

The rights:

  1. Essential medical and social support services
  2. Access to a lawyer and an interpreter at no cost
  3. Perform Duties at the Reception Desk
  4. Living quarters and lodging
  5. Education
  6. The right to wander freely

If you need legal help throughout the asylum application process:

You may also reach out:

To the UNHCR and;

NGOs.

The Duties:

  1. Stay in the assigned accommodation.
  2. Notify and seek permission before leaving.
  3. Assist authorities in asylum procedures by providing personal information, identification, and relevant documents.
  4. Undergo medical examinations, receive necessary healthcare, and complete required vaccinations.
  5. Adhere to the rules of the assigned accommodation and refrain from engaging in violent behavior.

How to get your asylum claim approved

After registration and asylum application, the Sector for Asylum will arrange an interview.

It is to your best advantage to cooperate:

With the Section for Asylum and;

Give all relevant facts and grounds for seeking international protection from the Republic of North Macedonia and;

why you cannot return to your place of origin.

All information provided throughout this process will be held in strict confidence by the Asylum Section and will not be shared with any other state agencies or organizations.

During the interview, you are allowed to do the following :

translator;

Participate in an in-person or videotaped interview with a qualified same-sex authorized authority.

If I miss the interview. What happens

If you don’t show up for an interview and don’t explain why, your request:

Will be regarded as withdrawn, and the process will end.

The decision

There will be a ruling on the following issues based on the facts and evidence presented throughout the procedure:

Acknowledgment of 

Someone having refugee status; or

Subsidiary protection status holder;

Or

Refusal to grant asylum status.

What happens if you get refugee status

If you are granted refugee status, you may have the following rights:

  1. Three-year residency;
  2. Right to two-year housing;
  3. Social security;
  4. Health protection;

Except:

You cannot vote;

If you don’t have North Macedonian citizenship:

You can’t work, create organizations, or vote.

What if you’re a vulnerable group

According to the Law on Family, you must be given a guardian as quickly as possible:

if you are an unaccompanied juvenile,

a person with mental disorders,

a person without procedural competencies, or

a vulnerable person with special needs.

If I am stateless, what should I do

UNHCR North Macedonia is helping the government end statelessness.

Statelessness in the country includes:

Those without birth or;

civil registration and

those without nationality.

UNHCR’s legal partner, Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA), offers free legal aid to stateless people seeking nationality.

See where to get Help for contact information.

Help for Those Who Are In Detention

If you are in immigration detention and need foreign security:

You can get legal help and information from:

The Macedonian Young Lawyers Association, MYLA, is a legal partner of UNHCR.

How do I get my whole family to North Macedonia

Family is defined as a spouse, domestic partner, minor children, and parents (for minor children) under:

The Law on International and Temporary Protection.

North Macedonia allows asylum seekers to apply with their families together.

Refugees have the right to reunite with their families straight away, whereas those with subsidiary protection have to wait two years.

If you need help, you may reach out to UNHCR or MYLA.


Sources: UNHCR Help North Macedonia

The cover image is in Canyon Matka, Village Matka, North Macedonia. Photo by Kristijan Arsov on Unsplash.