Law on Foreigners changed by urgent procedure

On 25 April 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of the Serbia adopted Bill amending and modifying the Law on 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.

Adopted amendments allow foreigners to electronically submit application for issuance of temporary residence permit, as well as the option to submit application for temporary residence permit electronically from abroad. The Minister in charge of internal affairs shall determine the conditions for electronically submitting application for the temporary residence permit. A single administrative place for the submission of unique application for temporary residence and a work permit for foreigners shall be introduced. This unique application can also be submitted electronically. Documentation that foreigners would need to provide with this unique application shall be determined by cooperative decision of the minister in charge for internal affairs and minister in charge of employment. With the Law amendments foreigners with the Long – Term visas issued, a stay of 90 to 180 days, are also able to exercise their right to employment, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Employment of Foreigners. One of the changes to the law provides an exception to the grounds for obtaining temporary residence, and prescribes that temporary residence may be granted to certain categories of foreigners, regardless of the grounds for the temporary residence permit. The criteria for determining these categories and the categories themselves will subsequently be determined by the Government’s act. All bylaws envisaged by this Law shall be passed within six months from the date of entry into force of this Law.

The objective for the adoption of the Law is to expedite and facilitate the procedure for issuing work permits to foreigners in Serbia. These amendments simplify the administrative procedure for issuing a work permit to foreigners, the changes should also improve the business environment in the Republic of Serbia, thus raising the competitiveness on the market. By proposing these changes, the main objective of the Government was attracting foreign investments. Amendments to the Law were adopted by urgent procedure.