How to work permit in Serbia if you are a foreigner?

Initial considerations

A precondition for the employment of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia is the possession of a work permit. The Law on Employment of Foreigners (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 128/2014, 113/2017, 50/2018 and 31/2019, hereinafter the “Law“) regulates the conditions and procedure for the employment of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia and other issues of importance for the employment and work of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia.

Pursuant to the Law, the Rulebook on Work Permits (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 63/2018 and 56/2019, the “Rulebook“) was adopted, which prescribes in more detail the manner of issuing or extending the work permit, the manner of proving the fulfilment of conditions. and the necessary evidence for the issuance, i.e. extension of the work permit and the form and content of the work permit.

The basic precondition for the employment of foreigners is the possession of a temporary residence permit, permanent residence or a long-stay visa (D visa) in the Republic of Serbia.

Types of work permits

A work permit can be issued as:

1) personal work permit;

2) work permit.

What is important is that only one type of work permit is issued for the same period of time.

Personal work permit

A personal work permit is a work permit that enables a foreigner in the Republic to freely employ, self-employ and exercise their rights in case of unemployment, in accordance with the Law.

A personal work permit is issued at the request of an alien if:

1) has a permanent residence permit;

2) has refugee status;

3) belongs to a special category of foreigner.

Work permit

A work permit is a type of work permit issued as:

1) work permit for employment;

2) work permit for special employment cases;

3) work permit for self-employment.

A foreigner with a work permit may only perform work in the Republic for which he has obtained a permit.

Work permit for employment

A work permit for employment is issued at the request of the employer in accordance with the conditions prescribed by law.

1) prior to the submission of the application for a work permit for employment, did not dismiss employees due to technological, economic or organizational changes in the jobs for which a work permit for employment is required, in accordance with labour regulations;

2) ten days before submitting the application for a work permit for employment, he did not find citizens of the Republic, persons who have free access to the labour market or a foreigner with a personal work permit, appropriate qualifications from the records of the organization responsible for employment;

2a) exceptionally from the provision of paragraph 1, item 2) of this Article, when it is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia or required by internationally accepted obligations, the Minister responsible for employment may set a deadline shorter than ten days;

3) submit a proposal for an employment contract or other contract which exercises rights based on work, in accordance with the law.

A work permit for employment is issued for the employment of a foreigner who has a visa for a longer stay on the basis of employment, a temporary residence permit and meets all conditions from the employer’s request relating to appropriate knowledge and skills, qualifications, previous experience, etc.

Exceptionally, when it is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia or required by internationally accepted obligations, a temporary work permit for employment may be issued to a foreigner who meets all the requirements of the employer relating to appropriate knowledge and skills, qualifications, previous experience, etc. previously obtained consent of the Minister in charge of internal affairs, provided that the foreigner has submitted a request for temporary residence.

Work permit for special employment cases

A work permit for special employment cases is issued at the request of the employer, for:

1) referred persons;

2) movement within the company;

3) independent professionals;

4) training and advanced training.

  1. The employer may apply for a work permit for seconded persons employed by a foreign employer. This work permit is issued for the purpose of performing business or performing services in the Republic of Serbia, on the basis of a concluded agreement on business and technical cooperation with a foreign company.
  2. A work permit for movement within a company is a permit issued for the purpose of transferring or temporarily sending an employee (foreigner) to work in a branch. A branch of a foreign company is a subsidiary registered in the Republic of Serbia. This work permit is issued at the request of the branch. It is issued for a person who has been employed in a foreign company for at least one year in managerial positions – manager, manager or specialist in certain areas. One of the conditions for obtaining a work permit is that he performs the same jobs in Serbia. A work permit for movement within a company may also be for the purpose of transferring or temporarily sending trainees to work in a branch.
  3. A work permit for an independent professional is a type of work permit issued to an independent professional to perform work on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. An independent professional is an entrepreneur registered abroad, who performs his / her duties on the basis of a directly concluded contract with an employer from Serbia. A work permit for an independent professional is issued at the request of the employer or the end user of the services.
  4. A work permit for training and advanced training is a type of work permit issued for the purpose of training, internship, professional practice, professional training, advanced training and the like. This work permit can be issued at the request of both the employer and the foreigner.

Work permit for self-employment

A work permit for self-employment is a type of work permit issued at the request of a foreigner who has a visa for a longer stay on the basis of employment or a permit for temporary residence in the Republic.

A work permit for self-employment is issued for the period of the temporary residence permit, and for a maximum of one year, with the possibility of extension, provided that the foreigner proves that he continues to perform the same work under the conditions under which he received the permit.

The request is submitted to the competent branch of the National Employment Service, which decides within 30 days.