The Law on the Movement


...and Stay of Foreign Nationals

The first problem that foreign nationals are faced with when coming to the Republic of Serbia with intention to stay longer or come repeatedly is definition of their own status. The stay and movement of the foreign citizens have been defined by the Law on the Movement and Stay of Foreign Nationals. The latest changes of and amendments to that law were publicized in the ‘Official Gazette’ no. 101/2005.

Majority of foreigners coming on business or for other reasons, enters Serbia first time on the basis of tourist visas that are easiest to get. That visa is being issued to them at entering Serbia at the very border crossing.

However, tourist visa is limited to a 30-day stay and does not include a working permit.

After the year of 2000 visas for entering the territory of the Republic of Serbia have been suspended for EU citizens.

After entering the Republic of Serbia, foreigners not staying at a hotel have to notify their stay at the authorized police station within 24 hours after the entry. The notification of stay can be made from 00.00 to 24.00 with the service on duty of the competent police station.

In the name of foreigners staying at a hotel such notification shall be made by the hotel’s official service. As a proof of notification, a foreigner shall get the ’white card’ that has to be kept during the stay in Serbia. On a day of leaving Serbia, a foreigner has to notify his/her leave. At exiting the country a foreigner may be requested to show the proof of notified leave. (It is to be mentioned that the Police are increasingly rarely requesting proof of notification of leave, however, the legal obligation does exist as said in the previous sentence).

A foreign national wishing to settle his/her stay in Serbia by obtaining business visa or temporary stay, has by no means to submit the ’white card’ as well as a proof of stay notification while submitting the request for issuance of business visa or temporary stay. Business visa is issued for the unlimited number of entries with validity of 3 to 6 months if it is the first business visa, and later on, after a longer stay it can be issued for a period of 12 months.

Family members of a foreigner applying for business visa may submit request for temporary stay based on their family member who was given business visa.

Business visa can be issued to a foreigner sent by a mother company to work at a ’daughter’ company in Serbia, a foreigner who is founding or is owner of an economic society in Serbia, a foreigner engaged in projects as a consultant or investor, or for other reasons on the basis of which it can be concluded that a foreigner is dealing with legal business activities in Serbia.

Documentation to be attached to the request for the issuance of business visa or temporary stay depends on the reason for which the request is being made.

The procedure for obtaining business visa lasts up to 30 days. By the day of submission of the request it is considered that a foreigner has entered the procedure and that he/she can stay in Serbia until final issuance of visa or a temporary stay permit. In case that the competent body decides negatively and in case of expiration in the meantime of visa as per which a foreigner was staying in the country, that foreigner shall get exit visa from the competent police administration.

All requests are to be submitted to a police station-administration for the movement and stay of foreign nationals.

The amount of tax to be paid depends on the request submitted for issuance of business visa or temporary stay, as well as on the duration of the same.

There are also other grounds as per which a stay in Serbia can be obtained such as education, various specialist trainings, family member, marriage, etc.

The procedure for obtaining visa for above purposes is to some extent different as well as the nature of proofs to be documented in such cases. The procedure and deadlines specified by the law are strict and their violation results in legal sanctioning.

Dragan Tomi? Co-owner of Dankovi?-Jagodnik-Tomi?