Every frequent traveler knows what he or she can expect on airports. Most are very well prepared and have read the law according to documents, visa and passports. But even for the most frequent traveler there can be surprises once they arrive on the airport.
Macedonia is a country with many laws (not every law is followed correctly, but it does exist and they will refer to the law when they want to) and they are strict with every law that has something to do with foreigners entering the country. So before you want to visit Macedonia be well aware of the laws and your documents.
You will be required to have a valid passport in your possession to fly into Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. If you are a EU resident you can travel with your ID card, so it won’t be necessary to have your passport with you. If you are an US resident, you need to travel with a valid passport. There will be no need for a visa if you are on vacation or if you are on a business trip and will be in the country for 90 days or less. For longer stays, a work visa will be required.
Foreign citizens are required to register with the local police department and if you will be staying in more than one place, or when you find a new apartment or home and decide to move, the police will need updated information on all addresses that you will be at during your stay in Macedonia. If you plan to stay long-term, you need to conduct a procedure for temporary residence before the Macedonian institutions upon your arrival.
Once you have the passport, it needs to be valid for at least three months longer than the time you plan to stay in Macedonia. You can purchase your flight ticket ahead of time, which can save you a little money in the flight.
The 90-day law is something not many foreigners are aware of. As a foreigner you can stay 90 days in Macedonia without any problems. But you can stay for 90 days within the total time of 6 months. Their system looks back for 6 months, so if you think you can stay here 90 days, go across any border and come back in Macedonia the next day, you are wrong. They will not allow you to enter the country. And when you passed the 90 days in Macedonia and you want to leave, they will give you a fine, which you need to pay in court in Skopje and after you will get deported. The punishment besides the fine, is that you can not enter the country the next 3 or more months.
Liquids on the Flight
Passengers are not permitted to carry liquids on the plane to the Skopje Alexander the Great Airport. This is a regulation that began more than ten years ago to help prevent terroristic activities. Perfumes, lotions and gels and other small amounts of liquids are allowed (maximum 100ml per bottle), but large containers or large quantities of liquid will be refused entry to the plane. If you have liquids you can carry up to 1 liter with a maximum of 100ml per bottle/container, all should be fine on the flight.
Catching a flight out
For passengers planning to fly out of Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, arriving at least an hour and a half ahead of the scheduled flight is advised. It takes time to check-in bags and on busier days, lines can be exceedingly long which results in longer wait times. Once passengers arrive at the airport, outer coats need to be taken off before arrival at the security check points. This just makes it easier for personnel to check clothing to make sure there are no weapons on the person. Check-in counters close nearly an hour before all scheduled flights out, whether international or inter-continental and if you miss check-in, you will most likely miss your flight.
When flying in, passengers will need to make sure they do not have any type of weapon, inflammable liquid, poisons, acids, magnets or aerosol sprays. It is unlawful to bring any hazardous materials onto the plane or into the airport. You may bring knives and weapons used for hunting or sports only, but not a personal weapon. Hunting or sporting weapons needs to be packed inside luggage and will be checked by security personnel before the luggage enters the plane.
The unwritten rules at any airport
Whether you will be flying in, or flying out, you should never leave your luggage unattended while at the airport. Another very important thing is to never accept a package or gift from a stranger or from someone you may know to deliver to someone at your next stop. This is very dangerous and has gotten many people in trouble over the years as they have been found delivering drugs or other prohibited items unknowingly. If a stranger should hand you anything to hold at the airport, it is best to turn it into the authorities immediately so it may be checked.
To prevent someone from slipping anything into your luggage or carry-on bag, you may want to consider purchasing a security lock that will only open with a key or a pass code. This will be of great help with keeping your luggage safe. It is also a good idea to purchase brightly colored luggage or to place brightly colored tape on darker luggage so it can be spotted easily. This is a great deterrent to thieves who may want to make sure that no one notices them as they walk away with someone else’s luggage.
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport has exceptional airport security and they strive to make sure safety for all passengers arriving to and leaving from the airport. If you find yourself in a long line waiting to be checked, take note that it is for the safety of you and other passengers.