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EACEA National Policies Platform
Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of North Macedonia

2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

Last update: 29 February 2024
On this page
  1. EU programmes
  2. Other Programmes
  3. Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EU programmes

Erasmus + Programme 

The primary EU initiative facilitating youth engagement in voluntary activities abroad, particularly for individuals residing in North Macedonia, is the European Solidarity Corps programme. This program serves as the principal avenue for supporting young people's participation in volunteering endeavors overseas, distinct from the Erasmus+ Programme which primarily focuses on youth mobility projects and other opportunities.

The decentralized actions of the programme are implemented by the National Agency for European Education Programmes and Mobility.

In May 2014, the Republic of North Macedonia became a Programme Country of the Erasmus+ Programme, enabling access to various actions including: 

According to the Erasmus + Project Results webpage, by the moment, 1,090 Erasmus + project involved Macedonian entities, either as coordinator / beneficiary ether as partner. Of those 1,090 projects, 821 are Key Action 1 - Learning mobility of individuals, 224 are KA2 Projects - Partnership for cooperation and exchange of practices, 3 are Jean Monnet, 23 are KA3 Support for policy reform, and 19 are for sport. 

At the moment 28  organizations form North Macedonia are accredited to the European Union Volunteering Programme(last checked February 2024).

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 2007 - 2013

In December 2005, North Macedonia was granted candidate country status for EU membership. On 18 February 2008 the Council adopted the Accession Partnership for the country, thus updating the previous European Partnership of January 2006. The main objective of IPA is to assist the countries in their progressive alignment with the standards and policies of the European Union, including where appropriate the acquis communautaire, with a view to future membership.

North Macedonia has been given the prospect of becoming an EU member state. On its way towards membership, the European Union provides continuous support and financial assistance in order to help the country with the necessary reforms.

The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) came into effect at the start of 2007 and provided financial support for the country in the period 2007-2013. Afterward IPA II was created for the period 2014-2020 with financial allocation for North Macedonia of € 608.7 million. Young people are a target group of IPA 2014-2020 Action Program EU Support for Education, Employment and Social Policy with one of the aims to strengthen evidence-based policy making and support the employability of youth. IPA also funded the establishment of a Western Balkans Youth Window, within the Youth in Actions program. The main aim of this Program is to support young people's transnational non-formal learning mobility through cooperation projects and activities.

Currently there is a new IPA III for the period 2021-2027. The general objective of the new IPA III instrument is to support the beneficiaries in adopting and implementing the political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms required by those beneficiaries to comply with Union values and to progressively align to Union rules, standards, policies and practices with a view to Union membership, thereby contributing to their stability, security and prosperity.

Other Programmes

Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) is an international organization financed by the governments of the region and it is supported by the EU and other donors. They are supporting different youth mobility programmes which can be found on their web page.

Through the” Enhancing Youth Cooperation and Youth Exchange in the WB6 project”, the European Union is supporting RYCO to create a more enabling environment and new opportunities for young people to travel and explore the WB6, get to know their peers, and cooperate on shared projects in the field of community activism, culture, sports, environment, and many more.

The project builds upon the RYCO’s previous experience in grant-making and innovates it by making it more youth participatory. The project aims to include young people in informing the priorities of RYCO work, increase their awareness about opportunities for youth participation across the region, and work on strengthening the capacities of CSOs in the WB for the implementation of regional youth mobility projects.

Another previous RYCO project is “Supporting the Western Balkan's Collective Leadership on Reconciliation: Building Capacity and Momentum for RYCO”. The overall goal of the project was to foster social cohesion and reconciliation, enhance attitudes of tolerance and reduce prejudice and discrimination among youth in the Western Balkans, through supporting RYCO in building its institutional capacity and partnerships with civil society, education institutions (schools) grassroots youth organizations and youth in general. The project strengthens RYCO as a regionally owned mechanism with the mandate to promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning.

As for the ongoing projects carried out by RYCO, is the “RYCO Superschools Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme” which aims to support the peacebuilding and reconciliation process and intercultural learning and dialogue among schools, students and their communities. It aims at providing the ground for creating strong and sustainable bonds between secondary schools within the region and building long-term partnerships. By participating in this initiative, secondary schools will have the chance to apply and, if selected, implement school to school exchanges as well as to participate in the scheme’s activities dedicated to their capacity building, networking and cooperation.

Another one is the RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs) is a new name for our project WB6 Lab. The objective of the project is to address a specific and crucial need in the region in relation to its current context and history: opening new spaces of reconciliation for the youth of the Western Balkans through social entrepreneurship. The project, due to its very regional nature, will tend to increase the number of cross-border interactions around social entrepreneurship during the 3 years of the project and thereafter.

Furthermore, the EU-WB-SI project carried out by RYCO, aims to support the integration of WB6 students into the European Union student programs through the creation and development of branches of famous European students’ organizations in the Western Balkan Contracting Parties.

Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

Foreign volunteers are subject to the Law on Volunteering as well. Thus, the Law determines the possibilities and conditions for volunteering for foreigners. A foreign individual may volunteer in North Macedonia upon issued Consent for volunteering by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and regulated residence in the Republic of North Macedonia (article 8, par. 2). 

After the Consent for volunteering is being issued, the organizer of the voluntary service has an obligation to inform the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy about the start of the volunteering activity, within 60 days. The procedures related to the issuing of Consent for volunteering are explained in the Regulation of the manner, procedure and evidence for issuing of Consent for volunteering of foreign (non-residential) individual in the Republic of Macedonia.



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia updated their website recently, and here is a list of every country in the world with information about the visa requirements.

These are the visa requirements for entering the Republic of North Macedonia:

Visa Requirements for Volunteering in North Macedonia:

  • Nationals of EU Member States and Schengen Agreement Signatories: No visa is required to enter North Macedonia. A valid national identity card suffices.
  • Third-country Nationals with Temporary Residence: Those with temporary residence in an EU Member State or a Schengen Agreement signatory can stay for up to 15 days per entry, not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
  • Third-country Nationals with Permanent Residence: Similarly, those with permanent residence in an EU Member State or a Schengen Agreement signatory can stay for up to 15 days per entry, not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
  • Third-country Nationals with Multiple-entry Schengen Visa: Holding a multiple-entry Schengen visa (type C) valid for at least 5 days beyond the intended stay allows for a 15-day stay per entry, not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
  • Visa Exemption for Certain Nationals: Until December 31, 2020, holders of valid British, Canadian, or U.S. visas are exempt from visas for stays of up to 15 days. The validity of the visa should exceed the planned stay by 5 days.

Registration Requirements

Regardless of visa requirements, all foreign citizens must register at the nearest police station within 24 hours of entry. For foreign volunteers, the hosting organization can assist in this process.

Customs Guide

No specific customs rules apply to volunteers. General customs procedures apply as outlined by the Republic of North Macedonia.

Residency Permit

Long-stay visas are available for various purposes, including volunteering. Applicants should submit documents corresponding to the visa type, and temporary residence permits are granted for volunteering purposes among others, by the Ministry of Interior.