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foreigners to first regulate their Temporary Residence in the RoS before submitting a request for Work Permit would be repealed.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.

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.

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