Macedonia: Procedures to acquire a Macedonian passport; whether a person applying from outside the country can obtain a passport by submitting a notarized letter; whether an ethnic Albanian with Macedonian citizenship who has lost his/her passport would be able to obtain a passport at a Macedonian mission abroad, specifically in Canada; if so, the procedure to be followed (May 2002 - February 2006)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||16 February 2006|
|Citation / Document Symbol||MKD100787.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Macedonia: Procedures to acquire a Macedonian passport; whether a person applying from outside the country can obtain a passport by submitting a notarized letter; whether an ethnic Albanian with Macedonian citizenship who has lost his/her passport would be able to obtain a passport at a Macedonian mission abroad, specifically in Canada; if so, the procedure to be followed (May 2002 - February 2006), 16 February 2006, MKD100787.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f1477b38.html [accessed 31 January 2015]|
Acquisition of a Macedonian Passport
In a 13 December 2005 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the minister-counsellor of the Embassy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia provided the following information:
A Macedonian citizen who has lost his or her passport can apply at the Embassy for a two-month temporary passport, which will allow him or her to return to Macedonia to obtain a new passport. In order to receive the temporary passport a citizen must submit a police report on the loss of the original passport together with a personal statement.
In general, a person applying for a Macedonian passport inside or outside Macedonia must provide proof of citizenship documentation (for instance, an old Macedonian passport or national identity card) and three photos. It is not necessary to submit a notarized letter to obtain a Macedonian passport. However, the minister-counsellor noted that in certain cases where a person cannot provide proof of citizenship, it might still be possible for him or her to obtain a passport, as passport applications are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if a person left Macedonia over 20 years ago and has no proof of citizenship, the Embassy can attempt to find a solution through its contacts in Macedonia.
Macedonian consulates do not accept notarized letters as proof of citizenship from any person applying for a Macedonian passport. If applicants do not have valid documents to prove their Macedonian citizenship, they must obtain a certificate of citizenship from Macedonian authorities. In order to do so, the applicant must give notarized authorization to a representative of Macedonia who would then have the mandate to obtain the above-mentioned documents from the authorities on the applicant's behalf and the ability to forward them to the applicant for submission to the consulate. However, the minister-counsellor reiterated that there could be some exceptions in difficult circumstances, in which case the Embassy itself could obtain all the necessary documents on behalf of the applicant. Such exceptions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Acquisition of Macedonian Passports by Ethnic Albanians
According to the minister-counsellor of the Macedonian Embassy in Ottawa, all Macedonian citizens, whether they are ethnic Albanians, Turks, or Macedonians, have the same rights when obtaining a Macedonian passport through the Embassy (Macedonia 27 Jan. 2006). He added that "there should be no problem" for a Macedonian citizen of Albanian extraction to obtain a Macedonian passport with English transcription (according to international conventions) (ibid.).
Several sources noted that Macedonian passports are available in the Albanian language (Fakti 9 Apr. 2004; Sitel TV 12 Apr. 2004; AP 21 Mar. 2003). According to a 21 March 2003 article by the Associated Press (AP), ethnic Albanians can obtain trilingual passports (in Macedonian, English, and Albanian), while other Macedonians will receive passports printed in Macedonian and English only. However, according to the daily Fakti, as of January 2004, Albanian-language passports had yet to be issued due to administrative delays (26 Jan. 2004). By February 2004, Fakti claimed that "[ethnic] Albanians [...] have to wait six months to be issued a passport in Albanian" (13 Feb. 2004). Further or corroborating information on the language issue and the issuance of passports to ethnic Albanian Macedonians as well as the procedures to acquire a Macedonian passport could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Associated Press (AP). 21 March 2003. "Macedonian Parliament Passes Important Peace Deal Law on Minority Passports." (Factiva)
Fakti [Skopje, in Albanian]. 9 April 2004. "Macedonia: Ethnic Albanian Presidential Candidates Hold Rallies 7-8 April." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)
_____. 13 February 2004. "Commentary Denounces 'Propaganda' About Albanian Threat in Macedonia." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)
_____. 26 January 2004. "Macedonian Officials Cite 'Problems' in Implementing Bilingual Passport Law." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)
Republic of Macedonia. 27 January 2006. Embassy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Ottawa. Telephone interview with the Minister-Counsellor.
_____. 13 December 2005. Embassy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Ottawa. Telephone interview with the Minister-Counsellor.
Sitel TV [Skopje, in Macedonian]. 12 April 2004. "Macedonian Albanian Candidate Ostreni Stresses BDI Achievements at Final Rally." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Courrier des Balkans, Embassy of Macedonia in Ottawa, The Economist, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Freedom House, The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of Macedonia, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), International Crisis Group (ICG), International Helsinki Federation (IHF), Open Society Institute, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), United States Department of State, United States Institute for Peace, World News Connection (WNC).