Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners

On 25 April 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of the Serbia adopted Bill amending and modifying the Law on Employment of Foreigners (“the Law”), published in the Official Gazette No. 31/2019 dated 29 April, 2019, effective eight days after publishing in the Official Gazette on 07. May 2019.

The amendment of the Law simplified the procedure for issuing a work permit, which has been achieved by envisaging a unified procedure of the National Employment Service when extending the work permit for assigned persons and persons on assignment within the same company. Both of these work permits may be extended for a maximum of two years, with the consent of the Ministry competent for employment, and according to the obtained opinion of the Ministry competent for the field in which the business activity is performed. The consent and opinion of competent Ministries is obtained by the National Employment Service ex officio. With this procedure the process of extending the work permit is expediting. The Law Introduces the possibility for approving a work permit to a foreigner who has been granted a long-term visa based on employment, or work permit for assigned person, work permit for person on assignment within the company, work permit for independent professionals and work permit for self-employment. The deadline for extending the work permit for the assigned persons and persons on assignment within the company is days before the expiration of validity period for previously issued permit. The Law has been amended in accordance with the changes of the Law on Foreigners. The amendments also allow foreigners to initiate the procedure for issuing a work permit before the National Employment Service at the same time while conducting the procedure for the approval of a long-term visa based on employment before the diplomatic-consular representative office, while still abroad. The National Employment Service will have information on the condition met for issuing a work permit, based on a direct exchange of information with the diplomatic-consular office. The Minister competent for employment shall harmonize the Rulebook on Work Permits with the Law, within the period of 90 days from the date of entry into force of this Law.

One of the main reasons for changing the Law is being specifying the provisions of the Law and simplifying the procedure for issuing a work permit. The reason for simplifying the procedure for issuing a work permit is to develop a more favorable business environment and thereby attract foreign investments. The legislator believes that the amendments to the Law will increase the scope of engagement of highly qualified experts who perform activities of interest for Republic of Serbia.