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and according to the Constitution “attends for the cultural, economic and social rights of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia abroad.”39

A Visa Center operates within the Directorate for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose main task is to carry out visa policy at operational level and in accordance with the visa regime of the Republic of Macedonia. Its main aim is to connect diplomatic-consular offices of the Republic of Macedonia abroad with the Ministry of the Interior, that is with certain organizational units in the area of border police issues such as carrying out migration policy, as well as the very border crossings. Furthermore, it provides fast and comprehensive information via exchange of information through the central Visa Information System which enables electronic consultation and data exchange among Diplomatic office – Consular service, Central Body (Visa Center) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and also among border crossings and the Central Body, which as well aids for strengthening cooperation among services. In order to maintain a continuous process in executing migration policy and policy towards diaspora, creation of secure and effective structures through strengthening human capacities in the area of working with visas, work in a diplomatic office or consular service and border crossings is needed. As of February 2008, entrance visas for the Republic of Macedonia are issued through the National Visa System, where the whole procedure is being done via the system including printing a sticker with integrated photography.40
By connection of diplomatic-consular offices of the Republic of Macedonia abroad with the Visa Center, a full operability of the National Visa Information System has been achieved with 45 diplomatic-consular offices, 8 border crossings, the Ministry of the Interior – Aliens Department and the Employment Agency of the Republic of Macedonia. In all 45 diplomatic-consular offices the visa applications are distributed via the National Visa Information System and are directly processed in the Visa Center. Moreover, modern visa stickers are being introduced which are in accordance with the ICAO and EU standards and for whose secure elements appropriate specimen and brochures with information were distributed to all foreign

39 11/12/2012

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