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What do the announced changes to the Law on Foreigners…

Jelena Plamenac • feb 27, 2023

What do the announced changes to the Law on Foreigners and the Law on Employment of Foreigners bring us?

Adoption of the proposed amendments to the regulations is expected during March 2023, however, their implementation has been announced for the beginning of February 2024. As the most important change, we underline the unified, electronic submission of requests for temporary residence and requests for work permit, with deadline for issuance of decision by the competent authority within 15 days, which will make the process much easier and faster.

In addition, it is expected that the sticker in the passport in regarding the approved residence will be replaced by a unique residence and work permit in the form of a biometric document, which would at the same time enable foreigners to use administrative services through the e-Government/e-Uprava portal (for example: use of an electronic signature). The extension of the temporary residence and work permit will no longer have to be initiated no later than 30 days before the expiration date – it will be possible to initiate the same up to the expiration date. The foreseen relief is that instead of the current one year, under certain conditions, a temporary residence and work permit can be issued for a period of three years. The announced changes to the regulations remove the previous doubt whether foreigners who have been granted temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia on grounds other than employment, as ownership of real estate and residence based on family reunification, can work in the Republic of Serbia, with the explicit provision regarding that possibility.

When it comes to permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, the period of residence of a foreigner, which is required as a precondition, has been shortened from the previous 5 years to 3 years, whereby foreigners with permanent residence are given the possibility of free employment, by abolishing the obligation to obtain a personal work permit.

For foreigners who need a D-visa to enter and work in the Republic of Serbia, it will be sufficient as a basis for residence and work during the duration of the visa (180 days), without conducting the double procedure that existed until now, and the possibility of electronic issuance has also been announced for D-visas.