How to immigrate to Serbia?

Kako imigrirati u Srbiju

Draft of amendments to the Immigration Act of the Republic of Serbia

Since the start of the war between Ukraine and Russia, the rate of immigration in Serbia has skyrocketed. National Employment Agency (NEA) and the Ministry of internal affairs of the Republic of Serbia (MIA) have issued a report that suggests that in 2022, over 35.000 work permits in Serbia have been issued and that a temporary residence permit in Serbia on some other basis has been issued for more than 65.000 people (family reunification, ownership of property, etc.)

Even though the existing immigration rules in Serbia, prescribed by the Immigration Act, have proven to be good, the rise of immigration in Serbia has shown that it is not perfect in any sense of the word. This has prompted the need for a change in the immigration rules in Serbia, which will make issuing work permit in Serbia (the most often basis for immigration in Serbia) and approving Serbian residence permit faster and easier.

The Public discussions regarding the Draft of amendments and additions to the Immigration Act concluded on March 01st, 2023, so the amendments are expected to come into force in early date of February 2024.

1.WORK PERMIT IN SERBIA AND TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT SERBIA UNIFIED LICENCE.

Amendments to the Immigration Act bring a big change to the immigration rules in Serbia and immigration policy in Serbia, which aims to make issuing work permits in Serbia and temporary residence permits in Serbia faster and easier. The change we are talking about is the mandatory issuance of the Unified license for issuing a work permit in Serbia and a temporary residence permit in Serbia (Unified license). Issuing a Unified license is mandatory only if the temporary residence permit in Serbia is being approved for employment, self-employment, and specific terms of employment for immigrants in Serbia (professional development and training, referred persons, or movement within a company).

The process for issuing the Unified license can be started by an immigrant, his agent, or his employer. The issuing of the Unified license can be started either in the lawful term of the immigrant's residence in Serbia or while the immigrant is abroad. The current process for issuing a work permit in Serbia requires all immigrants who apply for a work permit in Serbia, to first have an approved temporary residence in Serbia, meaning that only after acquiring a temporary residence in Serbia, immigrants could apply for a work permit in Serbia. If you are interested in the current procedure for obtaining a work permit in Serbia, please visit a link. The Unified license is a novelty that will be of great use for immigration in Serbia since immigrants don't need to come to Serbia to apply for a work permit in Serbia and a temporary residence permit in Serbia. According to the amendments to the Immigration Act, MIA and NEA will digitally provide each other with the information necessary to decide whether a work permit in Serbia and a temporary residence permit in Serbia should be granted to the immigrant. The Draft of the amendments and additions to the Immigration Act includes a mandatory term of 15 days from the day of applying to the MEA to decide on the immigrant's application for the Unified license.

The Immigrant that has acquired the Unified license will simultaneously have a work permit in Serbia and a temporary residence permit in Serbia. Unified license will be issued for a term of up to three years, which is a novelty to the existing rules of issuing a temporary residence permit in Serbia, which prescribe a term of up to a year.

When the MIA issues a Unified license, the immigrant will need to come to the offices of the MIA to be issued a Biometrical document. This method will change the existing method of issuing a stamp of the temporary residence permit in Serbia inside the passport of the immigrant. The new method is issuing a document that will give the immigrant all the benefits the personal ID card gives Serbian citizens. This document will give immigrants in Serbia access to all services in the eUprava portal and also services of using an electronic signature.

Also, the Draft of the amendments and additions defines big novelties to Serbia immigration rules referring to the extension of the Unified license. Draft of the amendments and additions of the Immigration Act states that an immigrant can apply for a Unified license 3 (three) months before the term of the Unified license expires at the earliest, or until the date of expiration, at the latest. If the immigrant applies on time, he can lawfully stay in Serbia, until the end of the application process.

We have drafted a diagram to show off the entire process of issuing the Unified license.

NOVELTIES REGARDING TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT IN SERBIA AND PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN SERBIA

Even though the aforementioned changes regarding immigration to Serbia are the most important, it is important to state some really important changes defined in the Draft of Amendments and additions of the Immigration Act. Temporary residence permit in Serbia will be able to be granted for a term of upto three years. This is a big change, considering that the current rule regarding the temporary residence permit in Serbia can be granted for up to one year. For further information regarding the current rules for immigration and residence permit in Serbia, please visit the link. This change, apart from the evident benefits to the immigrants in Serbia, the longevity of the term has a secret advantage for the immigrants in Serbia. This benefit becomes evident when we take a look at the amendments regarding terms for issuing a permanent residence in Serbia. Draft of amendments and additions to the Immigration Act prescribe that an immigrant will be issued a permanent residence if he has continuously resided in Serbia for three years, which is a huge change when we take into account that the current immigration rules state that this period is five years.

SERBIAN IMMIGRATION LAWYER

Law office Pekić has a wide range of experience in the process of immigration in Serbia and knowledge of immigration policy in Serbia. Our lawyers are always up to date with the latest Serbian immigration rule and Serban immigration policies, so that they can provide the best legal service to immigrants who want to make Serbia their new workplace and home. If you want to apply for residence, work permit or are interested in the amount of costs for applying for a temporary residence permit in Serbia, or a work permit in Serbia, write to us at [email protected] or via Facebook messenger.

Featured image: Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash