What applicants for stay and work permits must know

What to expect as a foreigner in the Republic of Serbia at a police interview during the immigration procedure


The stay of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia is regulated by the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 24/2018 and 31/2019, the “Law“).


According to the provisions of the Law, a foreigner who does not need a visa or travel document to enter the Republic of Serbia may stay there for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days, counting from the day of first entry, unless otherwise specified by an international agreement.


Foreigners who want to stay longer in the Republic of Serbia, either for business or personal reasons, must have a regulated temporary stay. Temporary residence is usually granted to a foreigner who submits an application for the first time in practice for 6 months, after which it is renewed in the procedure prescribed by Law.


The Law stipulates that a foreigner is obliged to stay in the Republic of Serbia for at least half of the time for which his temporary residence was granted.


When submitting a request for extension of temporary residence, the competent authority shall check whether the applicant has stayed in RS for at least half of the time from the period for which he was granted residence. If the competent authority, by inspecting the submitted documentation, determines that this condition is not met, it may, before making a decision, conduct an informative interview with the applicant on the reasons for his absence from the Republic of Serbia.


During the informative conversation in the competent Police Station, the applicant is asked questions that by their nature can be classified into two groups:


  1. Business related questions;
  2. Personal questions;


Among the business-related questions, there will be those related to the jobs that the applicant performs in the Republic of Serbia, jobs that he did before he first applied for temporary residence, all the way to information about the persons through whom he came to work and their professions. , further why he decided to open his own company in the Republic of Serbia and similar issues.


The competent authority may also ask the applicant questions of a personal nature, such as issues related to the marital / extramarital partner, starting from where they met, what the partner is by profession and similar personal issues.


If the competent authority during this informative conversation finds that the applicant’s absence from the Republic of Serbia is not justified or estimates that he does not need a temporary residence in Serbia, it may reject the request for extension of temporary residence by applying a legal discretionary assessment.

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