3 Dramatic Changes of Legal Requirements for Foreigners in 2024
The legal requirements for foreigners may alter dramatically in 2024, given the Republic of Serbia’s (“RoS”) specific focus to controlling the treatment of foreigners. It is hardly surprising given the enormous number of foreign visitors to RoS, particularly from Russia, Ukraine, China, and Nepal. Over 12,000 work licenses have been awarded to foreigners in RoS since the beginning of this year, according to preliminary figures.
The Law on Foreigners (“Sl. glasnik RS”, br. 24/2018 i 31/2019) and the Law on Employment of Foreigners (“Sl. glasnik RS”, br. 128/2014, 113/2017, 50/2018 i 31/2019), govern the position of foreigners in the RoS, according to current legislation. In this regard, the Government of Serbia passed a proposal for a law amending these two laws.
Changes to these two laws may result in more favorable rules for foreigners in terms of residence and work in the RoS.
The following text contains 3 most significant information concerning the upcoming legal rules:
1. Right to Work without a Work Permit!
Foreigners granted temporary residence for reasons other than employment will be able to work in RoS without acquiring a Work Permit.
Foreigners granted Temporary Residence in RoS for family reunion, real estate ownership, studies, scientific research, and other comparable reasons will be able to work in the RoS without acquiring a Work Permit under these revisions.
2. The Unified Permit, which Comprises both the Temporary Resident Permit and the Work Permit!
Foreigners will exercise both the right to Temporary Residence and the right to work in the RoS in a single application to the competent authority. As a result, the existing requirement for foreigners to first regulate their Temporary Residence in the RoS before submitting a request for Work Permit would be repealed.
This comprehensive permit will be provided to a foreigner for a period of up to 3 (three) years, based on the grounds for his Temporary Residence in RoS in each particular case.
These new modifications allow foreigners to have Temporary Residence in RoS for a duration of 3 (three) years, rather than the present maximum period of 1 (one) year.
3. Permanent Residency after 3 Years of Residence, Rather than 5 Years!
The current requirement for granting permanent residence to a foreigner is that he has been in RoS on a temporary basis for 5 (five) years without interruption.
This period will be reduced to 3 (three) years of continuous residence in RoS under these revisions.
P.S. If these Amendments to the Law on Foreigners and the Law on Employment of Foreigners are adopted, the new rules for foreigners will go into effect on February 1, 2024.
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