The working relationship of foreign citizens in the Republic of North Macedonia is an important topic for companies, and for which additional questions often arise.
The need for a residence permit for foreigners arises both for international companies that want to invest in the country and bring their own staff, and for local companies that want to invest in international reinforcements.
The method and procedure for obtaining a permit for residence and employment of foreigners is regulated by the Law on Foreigners, as well as by the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Law of Foreigners regulates the conditions for entry, exit, departure, stay, return of foreigners with illegal stay, as well as the rights and duties of foreigners in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Law of Employment and Work of Foreigners regulates the conditions and the procedure under which foreigners can be employed or work in the Republic of North Macedonia, unless otherwise determined by a ratified international agreement.
Temporary residence for the purpose of work in the Republic of North Macedonia can be approved for:
1) employment of a foreigner;
2) seasonal employment of a foreigner and
3) skilled workers.
As an exception, a foreigner may reside and work in the Republic of North Macedonia on the basis of a work registration certificate, which is issued in accordance with a special law, if the work performed by the foreigner is shorter than 90 days.
A work permit is a document based on which the domestic or foreign employer concludes an employment contract with a foreigner. A work permit is issued for a certain period of time up to one year or for an indefinite period. A foreigner can be issued only one work permit for the same period of time. The procedure for obtaining a work permit and regulating the stay of a foreigner on the basis of work or employment in the Republic of North Macedonia is conducted before the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Employment Agency.
A work permit that is issued for a certain period of time up to one year is a renewable or permanent form of work permit, which during its validity allows the foreigner free access to the labor market.
A request for obtaining a Work Permit can be submitted by a foreigner who meets the conditions established by the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners and by an asylum seeker.
A work permit is issued to:
1) a member of the immediate family of citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia who holds a valid permit for temporary residence for the purpose of work;
2) a member of the immediate family of a foreigner who holds a work permit for an indefinite period of time;
3) a foreigner originally from the Republic of North Macedonia or his heir up to the third generation, who does not have Macedonian citizenship;
4) a foreigner residing in the Republic of North Macedonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work, for family reunification;
5) a foreigner seeking the right to asylum whose request for recognition of the right to asylum has not been resolved within a period of one year, after the expiration of the one-year period (the work permit is issued for three months with the possibility of extension);
6) a foreigner with recognized refugee status;
7) a foreigner under subsidiary protection and
8) a foreigner under temporary protection.
9) A work permit is issued to victims of human trafficking who have obtained a temporary residence permit for the purpose of work for humanitarian reasons for the period of validity of the temporary residence permit.
The work permit will cease to be valid:
1) upon the expiration of the term of validity of the work permit;
2) by terminating the validity of the residence permit;
3) if the foreigner renounces his work permit;
4) if the foreigner acquires the citizenship of the Republic of North Macedonia;
5) in case of death of the foreigner.
Temporary residence permit based on employment or work
The Ministry of Internal Affairs issues a temporary residence permit to the foreigner on the basis of employment or work for the duration of the work permit under conditions and in a procedure regulated by the Law on Foreigners. The temporary residence permit is issued personally by the Ministry of the Interior to the foreigner to whom it applies. The Ministry of Internal Affairs extends the foreigner’s residence permit, if the foreigner has been issued a decision to extend temporary residence in accordance with Article 79 of the Law on Foreigners.
Temporary residence for the purpose of work or employment will be approved based on the request of the foreigner, the legal entity with which the foreigner needs to enter into an employment contract, or a representative authorized by him, which can also be submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Temporary residence for the purpose of work or employment will be approved if the Agency issues a positive opinion that the foreigner fulfills the conditions in accordance with the law, unless otherwise determined by a ratified international agreement.
Registration of the beginning and end of work performed by foreigners
The registration of the work performed by foreigners is a mandatory condition that applies to all foreigners who, based on the provisions of the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners or another law, are employed or work in the Republic of North Macedonia.
The persons responsible for registering the work performed by foreigners must register the beginning and end of the work performed by foreigners.
The person who is responsible for the registration at the beginning of the foreigner’s work, can perform the registration in addition to the Employment Agency and the competent regional service of the Employment Agency, which has previously issued the work permit or the opinion and in whose area the work will be performed.
Registration of the start of work for foreigners, in cases of establishing an employment relationship, to whom a work permit was issued or a positive opinion was given, is carried out with an electronic form M1/M2 printed from the system of the Employment Agency and a form for registering for work by foreigner.