2 Fastest Ways to Temporary Residence Permit in Serbia

2 fastest ways to get a temporary residence permit in Serbia, especially if you are affected by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

Due to the conflict on European soil, that we have been witnessing in the past few months, there is a high number of incoming foreign citizens to the Republic of Serbia (“Serbia”). Whether due to its location, similar lifestyle, or liberal immigration policy – Serbia is becoming a frequent destination for citizens of conflict-affected areas.

In hopes that we can help those heavily impacted by this crisis, in the following article we’ll reveal what is, in principle, the fastest way to obtain a temporary residence permit in Serbia.

The good news for citizens of both the Russian Federation (“Russia”) and Ukraine is that they can enter Serbia without a visa. Nonetheless, all foreigners are obligated to register their residence in Serbia with the local police within 24 hours of arrival and to obtain a so-called “white card”.

However, if you intend to settle in Serbia for a period longer than 30 days – if you are coming from Russia, or longer than 90 days in the period of 180 days – if you are coming from Ukraine, it will be necessary to obtain a temporary residence permit.

“What is the fastest way to obtain a temporary residence permit?”

Serbian Law on Foreigners[1] stipulates several legal grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit and when, or whether, you will be granted one depends on the specific circumstances of your own case. However, our practice in this area has shown that, in principle, the most effective way of obtaining a temporary residence permit is by establishing a company or entrepreneurship.

“How to establish a company or entrepreneurship?”

Foreign citizens can establish a company or entrepreneurship in Serbia under the same conditions as domestic citizens, without any restrictions.

The procedure for establishing a company and establishing entrepreneurship is not the same because the documentation differs. When it comes to establishing entrepreneurship, the procedure is simpler as there is less documentation that you need to submit. However, in both cases, after collecting the supporting documentation, it is necessary to submit a registration application to the Serbian Business Registers Agency (“SBRA”).

By registering a company or entrepreneurship, you will have a legal ground for obtaining a temporary residence permit, and that is self-employment.

“How does the procedure for obtaining a temporary residence permit on the ground of self-employment looks like?”

The foreign citizen submits the request for obtaining a temporary residence permit to the Directorate for Foreigners of the Ministry of the Interior, according to the location where they intend to live.

As the request for temporary residence can be submitted on different legal grounds, the necessary documentation can be divided into two categories – mandatory, and special (related to the legal ground for which approval is requested). For the self-employment of a foreigner, in addition to mandatory documentation, it is necessary to submit the extract from the SBRA register.

On the other hand, when submitting the request for the extension of temporary stay, you will need to submit a work permit obtained on the basis of the temporary stay granted in this way.

“How to open a non-resident bank account?“

The procedure and the list of supporting documents required to open a non-resident account depend on the chosen bank. In principle, the procedure is quite straightforward when the foreigner is present. But, the outcome, especially in some cases, may be quite uncertain and unpredictable.

P.S. Immigration matters are very sensitive and require a detailed and dedicated approach, so it is invariably needed that you make sure, before submitting a request with supporting documents, to consider all facets of your case carefully to prevent any negative eventualities that may hinder the process and make it costly, and in certain cases even unsuccessful.

For more information on this or any other legal, tax, or business topic, feel free to write to us at [email protected] at any time or call us at phone number +381113281914 every working day from 08:30 to 16:30

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your AK STATT representative, or other competent legal counsel.

[1] Law on Foreigners („Official Gazette“, no. 24/2018 and 31/2019)

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