Second Citizenship
August 30, 2023
Reading Time: 5 min

North Macedonia citizenship: an investment guide to discover the wonders of the Balkans

Foreigners are invited to obtain citizenship by investment in North Macedonia for a minimal contribution of €200,000.

While, in theory, it could be an excellent option for investors to secure a passport in an EU candidate member state, there is a big question if that option is actually valid. Since 2021, when it was introduced, no single investor obtained a passport with a contribution.

Another way to invest is to contribute €400,000 to developing a new business in North Macedonia and create at least 10 jobs. Learn more about the CBI program terms and secure alternatives.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Explained a Balkan citizenship-by-investment program

North Macedonia citizenship by investment

North Macedonia citizenship: an investment guide to discover the wonders of the Balkans

How does the North Macedonia citizenship-by-investment program work?

The program implies that foreign investors can obtain citizenship in North Macedonia after investing in the country’s economy.

The program was reintroduced in 2021, offering two distinct pathways:

  • a €200,000 donation to a private government-approved development fund;

  • a €400,000 direct investment in a new business with creating at least ten new jobs; hospitality and food and beverage businesses are not eligible.

Aside from the investment itself, the participant also pays a $50,000 application fee.

There is an important nuance to consider: even though the first option, a €200,000 contribution to a fund, was introduced two years ago, so far, no case of successful application and granted citizenship has been reported.

Only a few applications were pre-approved, meaning the participants passed Due Diligence but have yet to make the actual investments. However, there were no official messages that the €200,000 option is not valid.

Investors looking for more reliable citizenship-by-investment programs might consider the ones the Caribbean countries offer. The investment amount starts from $100,000 in St Lucia, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Turkey citizenship by investment is another great option for foreigners seeking a second passport. Investors can purchase $ 400,000 worth of real estate or choose one of the other four options to contribute to the country’s economy.

It takes 6 to 8 months to become a citizen of Turkey by investment.

Who can get citizenship by investment in North Macedonia?

To participate in the program, applicants must meet certain fundamental requirements. To qualify, as per known rules of the program, the investor should:

  • be over 18;

  • have a clean criminal record;

  • be able to prove the legality of the investment money;

  • have no record of illegal stay in North Macedonia.

Aside from the main investor, their close family members can obtain citizenship. This includes the investor’s spouse and children under 18.

For each person added to the application, the investor pays an application fee:

  • €20,000 for the souse;

  • €10,000 for each child.

How to apply for citizenship by investment in North Macedonia

According to the claims made on the program’s official website, obtaining a North Macedonian passport by investment should take at least 8—10 months. 

1

Sign a contract with a registered agent

Investors can submit their application only with a registered Authorised Agent.

2

Collect documents

The applicant provides all the documents required for the background check and fills out the application form.

3

1—2 months

Expect pre-approval

The registered agent submits the documents to the government on the applicant’s behalf.

4

Fulfil the investment conditions

After pre-approval, the applicant can transfer the investment to the chosen authorised fund in North Macedonia.

5

6—8 months

Awaiting approval

The program’s website claims that the final application processing takes 6—8 months. However, it is known that some of the applicants have been waiting for this step to be completed for over a year.

6

Trip to North Macedonia

The investor travels to North Macedonia to submit their fingerprints and pay application fees.

7

1 month

Receiving the passport

The Migration Service notifies the applicant when the passport is ready for collection, which requires presenting the receipt and an ID in person.

Documents required for North Macedonia citizenship by investment

To apply for citizenship by investment in North Macedonia, an applicant needs to gather the following papers:

  • an application form;

  • a passport valid for travel;

  • an ID card;

  • criminal records from each country of residence of more than 6 months in the past 10 years;

  • a CV;

  • a medical certificate for HIV and other non-treatable and communicable diseases;

  • a birth certificate;

  • a marriage or divorce certificate, if applicable;

  • military records;

  • an asset report;

  • proof of source of funds.

Note that this list might be partial, and the authorities might ask for additional documents depending on each case.

9 pros and cons of North Macedonia citizenship

Although obtaining citizenship by investment in North Macedonia is more affordable than getting residency in other European countries with the minimal price of €250,000, before applying for the program, it is essential to weigh all the pros and cons of a North Macedonia passport.

The benefits of being a citizen of North Macedonia include the following points:

  1. Visa-free travel to 120+ destinations, including the Schengen states, Japan, and Singapore.

  2. A favourable tax regime: individuals pay a 10% on all their income, including income from work, royalties, and leases. Non-tax residents don’t pay taxes on income from outside of North Macedonia.

  3. No minimum residency requirement. Foreigners obtaining citizenship by investment are not required to live or visit the country regularly. They have the right, however, to enter the state at any time and stay for as long as they want.

  4. The country is a candidate for the EU. North Macedonia has an EU candidate member status. The potential benefits of membership in the European Union are the ability for the country’s citizens to reside and work in any EU country freely, access education and healthcare in any country of the Union, do business in one of the world’s largest markets with over 500 million consumers, and more.

  5. Multiple citizenship is allowed. New citizens of North Macedonia don’t have to renounce their first citizenship unless their country of origin requests it.

  6. The status is hereditary. Future generations will obtain citizenship of North Macedonia automatically.

North Macedonia citizenship by investment | Marka Canyon

Located west of central Skopje, the Matka Canyon is one of the most famous natural sights in North Macedonia. Tourists and locals come here to enjoy the picturesque views, enjoy boat rides, kayaking and fishing

There are some drawbacks to North Macedonia citizenship as well. It is important to consider them before applying to citizenship by investment:

  1. Unclear if the citizenship-by-investment program actually works. The most affordable investment option, a €200,000 donation, was introduced over 2 years ago, but not a single case of a successful application has been reported.

  2. The country is only a candidate member of the EU, meaning there is no certainty or guarantee on when or whether the country will join the Union. As for now, North Macedonia has been a candidate for 17 years.

  3. Lack of infrastructure. Residents of North Macedonia complain about the underdeveloped transport system, weak labour market institutions, and poor digitalisation of governmental services.

How to escape uncertainty: alternatives to the North Macedonia citizenship by investment program that actually work

North Macedonia hasn’t announced any changes in the program. However, no proof exists that the €200,000 option is valid.

Investors wishing to participate in a program that provides more certainty can look into alternative programs offering citizenship worldwide or residency by investment in Europe.

In the Caribbean countries, investors can obtain citizenship in 6+ months. Countries that grant passports to foreign investors include:

A Caribbean passport arguably provides the same benefits as the North Macedonian one: visa-free access to 140+ countries, opportunities to relieve the tax burden, and the possibility to scale a business internationally.

In Malta, foreigners can obtain citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services. First, participants apply for residency, and then, in 1 or 3 years, they can get citizenship.

There are three mandatory investment conditions a participant needs to fulfil:

  • contribute to the National Development and Social Fund;

  • make a charitable donation to a non-governmental organisation;

  • rent or purchase real estate.

Firstly, participants initiate the process by applying for residency and investing in property. If opting for property rental, the monthly rate must exceed €12,000. Alternatively, if purchasing property, the value should be €700,000 or higher.

Contributions to the National Development and Social Fund are to be paid when applying for citizenship. The exact amount of the fund’s contribution varies according to the chosen timeline.

For a passport application made within 1 year, the fund contribution is €750,000. For applications within 3 years, the fund contribution is reduced to €600,000. The charitable donation remains constant at €10,000 in both instances.

Investors selecting property rental over purchase must establish a new rental agreement for 5 years, with a monthly cost of at least €16,000. This arrangement results in a total rental duration of 6 or 8 years, depending on the chosen timeframe for citizenship application.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

In other EU countries, investors can obtain residency by investment and get a passport in 5+ years. The minimal investment amount is €250,000. For such a contribution, obtaining residency in Greece, Italy, and Portugal is possible.

Investors can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after living in the country for the required time. It will take 5 years in Portugal, 7 years in Greece, and 10 years in Italy.

In Cyprus, a foreigner can obtain residency for a minimum investment of €300,000. After seven years of residency, an investor will be able to obtain citizenship in the country.

Spain offers wealthy foreigners a residency-by-investment program with a minimum contribution of €500,000. 10 years after obtaining residency, investors can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

A passport in any EU country provides its owner with several benefits, including the right to reside and work in any member state, access to high-quality medicine and education across the Union, and the opportunity to expand a business in one of the world’s largest markets.

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Practical Guide

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Turkey citizenship-by-investment program enables foreigners to obtain a Turkish passport in 6 to 8 months. There are 5 investment options, with purchasing $400,000-worth real estate being the most popular.

Holders of Turkish passports enjoy the privilege of visa-free travel to 100+ countries, along with the possibility of obtaining 5-year visas for the USA and Schengen countries. Furthermore, beneficiaries can visit Turkey at their convenience with no duration limitations.

Will you obtain Turkish citizenship?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Turkish citizenship?

Key takeaways on North Macedonia citizenship by investment and its alternatives

  1. There are two options to invest in North Macedonia citizenship: make a €200,000 donation to a government-approved fund or invest €400,000 in a new business to create at least 10 jobs.

  2. There is no certainty on whether the €200,000 investment option actually works: during the 2 years after its introduction, there hasn’t been a single case of a fully approved application.

  3. Other citizenship-by-investment programs work in the Caribbean countries and Turkey. Besides, investors can obtain residency by investment with the prospect of citizenship in 5—10 years in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, and Spain. In Malta, foreigners can obtain citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment in 1 or 3 years.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently asked questions

  • Does North Macedonia have a citizenship-by-investment program?

    Yes, North Macedonia offers a citizenship-by-investment program where foreign nationals can acquire citizenship after making a €200,000 donation or investing €400,000 in a new business. It is, however, uncertain if the €200,000 option is valid since none of the applications has been approved.

  • How much does it cost to invest in North Macedonia citizenship?

    The minimum investment required for North Macedonian citizenship by investment is €200,000 for a donation to a private government-approved fund.

    This option was introduced in 2021; however, there was not a single case of investors who got citizenship under it.

  • How to acquire citizenship of the Republic of North Macedonia?

    Citizenship in the Republic of North Macedonia can be acquired via naturalisation, descent, or through their citizenship-by-investment program.

  • Does the North Macedonia citizenship by investment program actually work?

    Technically, it does. However, it is uncertain if foreigners can obtain citizenship under the most affordable investment option, donating €200,000 to a private fund. All the pre-approved applications are still pending.

  • Who can obtain North Macedonia citizenship by investment?

    The main investor should be over 18 years old, have a clean criminal record, and be able to prove the legality of the investment money.

    The main applicant’s close family members can get passports under the same investment. This applies to their spouse and underaged children.

  • Does North Macedonia allow dual citizenship?

    Yes, dual and second citizenship is allowed in North Macedonia.