The Serbian government adopted the decree on the criteria for determining the category of foreign citizens who may be granted a temporary residence permit by the Republic of Serbia, regardless of the criteria prescribed by the Law on Foreigners.
This decree defines the criteria for granting residence in Serbia for foreign founders of innovative start-ups, job seekers with university degrees and for private investors.
The decree itself does not specify the criteria. However, they are defined in the categories of the foreign citizens.
There are three categories:
1. Founder of a legal entity in Serbia, which performs innovative business activities that are recognized by a registered science technology park established by the Republic, an autonomous province, the City of Belgrade or a local municipality (i.e.start- up);
2. Individuals who invest in an already registered legal entity in Serbia, or in a business activity by investing into tangible and intangible assets (i.e. investor);
3. Individuals who have professional qualifications issued by the competent authorities of the Republic of Serbia (i.e. talent);
In practice, the first category (founders of a legal entity) is currently applicable and temporary residence is obtained on the basis of founding a legal entity or an entrepreneurial establishment.
However, this decree changes the type of documentation that serves as evidence of request justification.
When applying for a temporary residence permit for the first time, a foreign citizen shall submit the following documents to the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs – Foreigners` Department, in addition to the documents stipulated by the Law on Foreigners and accompanying bylaws (a valid personal or business passport, evidence of pecuniary ability during the planned period of stay, registration of residential address in the Republic of Serbia, evidence of health insurance during the planned period of stay, etc.):
1. In case of start-ups, a document issued by a registered science and technology park, certifying that the activity of a company founded by a foreign citizen in the Republic of Serbia, is recognized as an innovation activity;
2. In case of investment, a confirmation or statement of ownership of funds on a non-resident bank account registered in the Republic of Serbia in the minimum amount of at least EUR
50,000, or in equivalent RSD value in RSD or other foreign currency;
3. In case of talent, a decision on professional recognition of a higher education diploma issued by the competent authority of the Republic of Serbia.
The documentation required for the submission of the original request and the request for extension, which is used as evidence of the request justification, is different.
The original documentation proves the intention to fulfil these conditions, while the extension documentation proves that the conditions are fulfilled i.e. that a foreign citizen was staying in accordance with an approved temporary residence permit base.
In terms of the categories in the items 1 and 3, a temporary residence permit would be issued for the period of 1 year i.e. for the period of 6 months for the categories in the item 2. If the conditions are met, a temporary residence permit can be extended for 1 year.
In terms of the above mentioned categories, a work permit is acquired in accordance with the Law on Employment of Foreigners.
For assistance in immigrating to Serbia as a foreigner, please feel free to contact the Welcome to Serbia. You can rely on our lawyers and consultants for customized advice on relocating here based on a visa available for entrepreneurs. We can also offer provide information about the conditions to be met when applying for any type of visa for Serbia.
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