The right for foreigners to acquire ownership rights in the Republic of Macedonia is primarily determined by the Constitution, where it is specified that a foreign person can acquire the right to ownership under conditions determined by law. Furthermore, this right is regulated by the Law on Ownership and Other Real Rights.
The right to acquire ownership of movable property is a general right, which means that it is not subject to the fulfillment of additional conditions. Foreigners may acquire ownership of a movable item without any legal restrictions.
Regarding to the acquisition of real estate ownership, there are many situations that may arise. Depending on the circumstances under which property acquisition would take place, the Law provides various solutions.
The right of foreigners to acquire ownership of real estate through inheritance
The law makes a distinction between two categories of foreigners, foreign natural persons who are nationals of EU Member States and OECD and foreigners who are not nationals of these countries. Thus, a foreign citizen of the EU and the OECD may acquire the right of ownership of a real estate through inheritance under identical conditions as a citizen of the Republic of Macedonia. Nationals of non-EU and OECD countries may acquire the right to ownership of immovable property through inheritance under conditions of reciprocity as well as nationals of the Republic of Macedonia unless this issue is otherwise regulated by an international agreement.
Foreign legal entities can inherit a property exclusively on the basis of a will, if the requirement for reciprocity is met.
The right of foreigners to acquire ownership of an apartment, housing building or office space
The Law on Ownership and Other Real Rights also makes a distinction between two categories of foreigners when it comes to legal acts inter vivos. When it comes to acquiring ownership of an apartment, housing building or office space, the Law states that foreigners who are residents of EU Member States and the OECD can acquire the right to ownership under the same conditions as domestic nationals. For residents of other countries, the acquisition of property is conditioned by the existence of reciprocity.
The right of foreigners to acquire ownership of construction land
The categorization of foreign nationals of EU and OECD residents and residents of other countries is also relevant in the acquisition of ownership of construction land. Again, EU residents and OECD countries can acquire ownership of construction land under the same conditions as domestic persons, while those who are residents in other states are conditioned by the existence of reciprocity.
The right of foreigners to acquire ownership of agricultural land
The situation is different when it comes to agricultural land. Namely, according to the Law, foreigners cannot acquire the right to ownership of agricultural land. The only option they have is to acquire the right to a long term lease. Thus, according to the Law, foreign natural and legal persons can, under conditions of reciprocity, acquire the right to long term lease of agricultural land on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, on the basis of the consent of the Minister of Justice, upon previously obtained opinion of the Minister of Agriculture, water management and the Minister of Finance.
It can be concluded that in the Republic of Macedonia the acquisition of property is very simple for the residents of the EU and the OECD, while for the residents of other states, the right to ownership may not be available at all. Due to the protection of its interests, the Republic of Macedonia makes it impossible to acquire the right to ownership of agricultural land for all foreigners regardless of the country which residents / nationals they are.