This is a case study about one of the most challenging client cases we had in recent years.
A married couple from China got in touch with our company in December 2021 with a request to assist them in obtaining a temporary residence permit in Serbia. After analyzing the client’s case and presenting them with several solutions, we agreed that the best option for them is buying Real estate as they intend to move to Serbia to live.
Here is why this case was so complicated:
Chinese passport holders have a 30 day visa free stay in Serbia, after which, they have to apply and obtain a visa for longer stay or so called visa D. The application for visa D must be done outside of Serbia in a Serbian consulate, and only after obtaining this visa can one apply for temporary residence.
At the time, the global pandemic was still very much in force, and China especially had restrictions regarding exiting and entering the country and our clients explained to us that if they leave China to visit Serbia and pick out a real estate and start the process, it would be almost impossible for them to return afterwards and apply for visa D to finish the rest of their relocation.
Remote real estate purchase
They asked us if it was possible to start the process remotely so that everything would be finished before they arrive to Serbia and apply for temporary residence.
We offered the following solution – clients gave us the Power of Attorney to buy the real estate in Serbia on their behalf. An additional complication was that they had to give 2 separate PoAs to 2 different members of our team, and we could draft the PoAs only after the real estate has been chosen by the clients, as the PoA must contain all the relevant data. The PoA than had to be signed, notarized and apostilled by the clients in their home country which can be a very long and complicated process.
However, we decided to start the process remotely and help our clients with choosing the right real estate for them to spend the rest of their lives in although they have never been to Serbia before. This was not an easy task and we’ve spent more than 6 months coordinating with clients, contacting real estate agents and direct sellers, scheduling visits etc.
The main problems we faced were:
1) The sellers were not prepared to wait and save the real estate until the moment we receive the original Power of Attorney
2) The sellers did not trust the remote process and foreign clients
3) The real estate our clients chosen weren’t registered at the competent cadastre
Finally in August 2022 we found the right apartment in a small town in Central Serbia. We did due diligence, saw the apartment and finalized the conditions. The sellers understood the situation and were ready to cooperate, so we drafted the PoAs and in October 2022 we signed the purchase-sale contract on behalf of our clients. Our clients became owners of their dream home in Serbia before visiting it!
Visa D application
The next step in the process was preparation for the visa D application where we faced a new problem:
Serbian consulate in Beijing was hard to cooperate with and the whole procedure of visa D application was looking to last much longer than expected and our clients were eager to come as soon as possible.
So we found an alternative solution and suggested our clients to come to Serbia and then leave for Banja Luka, a city located in Bosnia, where the closest Serbian consulate is located at and apply for visa D there.
Finally, at the end of February 2023 we welcomed our wonderful clients at our office, gave them the keys to their new home and organized their trip to Banja Luka.
We submitted the documents for visa D online and they scheduled a meeting for our clients at the beginning of April.
After they get visa D our clients can finally move into their new home and start their life in Serbia while we prepare everything for them to obtain a residence permit through buying real estate in Serbia.
Everything is possible when you believe and when you have trustworthy professionals supporting you.