Upcoming Changes to the Law on Foreigners and Law on Employment of Foreigners

Taking into consideration that the employment (employment in narrow sense, self-employment, relocations within a single company and secondment) has been the most common basis of temporary residence of the foreigners in the Republic of Serbia, the proposed amendments to the Law aim to unify the two procedures – procedure for obtaining the temporary residence permit and procedure for obtaining the work permit.

This idea shall be realized through issuance of the “united permit” based on which the foreigner will have the right to legally reside and work in the Republic of Serbia.

The procedure of the issuance of the “united permit” shall be conducted solely before the competent Administration for foreigners (hereinafter: AFF), which practically means that all documents required for obtaining temporary residence permit, as well as work permit shall be submitted to the AFF, after which the AFF will, in direct communication with the competent National employment service (hereinafter: NES) also collect the consent for approval of work permit. By applying for the unified permit, the procedure for obtaining the relevant permits will be significantly simplified.

The proposed amendments to both Laws explicitly stipulate that all requests (for “united permits”, temporary residence permits, and work permits) shall be submitted to the competent authorities solely online.

Besides the previously mentioned amendments, further significant amendments to the Law on foreigners include:

  • Amendments to the deadline for extension of the temporary residence permit – the requests for extension can be submitted until the day the temporary residence permit expires;
  • Extended duration of the temporary residence/“united permit” – extended from one year to three years
  • Temporary residence will be issued in the form of a card and not in the form of sticker in passport,
  • Inviter’s obligations /  Visa D (Visa for longer stay) based on employment – the Inviting companywill be obliged to take measures and actions related to ensuring the conditions for foreigner’s legal residence and work in the Republic of Serbia, such as: ensuring that 1) the foreigner has a registered address of residence in the Republic of Serbia; 2) the foreigner resides and works in the territory of the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the law; 3) has a proper social insurance; 4) has secured accommodation and adequate living and working conditions during his residence and work in the Republic of Serbia; 5) after completing the business activities, the foreigner legally leaves the territory of the Republic of Serbia, by providing a travel ticket for his/her return to the country of origin;
  • Increased the amount of penalties for the misdemeanor of illegal stay in the Republic of Serbia

As for the proposed amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners, below are some of the most significant changes:

  • The proposed amendments allow for the conclusion of the employment agreement between the employer and foreigner for an indefinite period of time,
  • Shortened deadlines for conducting the labor market test – the competent NES is obliged to issue the report on the conducted labor market test in four days
  • Extended list of exceptions to the application of the Law on employment of foreigners

Implementation of the proposed amendments has been announced for February 2024.

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