Visa run – are you risking deportation? | Welcome to Serbia

Visa run – are you risking deportation?

A visa run or border run is a brief trip out of the country and back in order to “restart the clock” on one’s allowed period of stay, where it would otherwise have expired. Many foreign citizens, who work or live in a country where it is difficult or not possible to extend a visa — will be familiar with such trips.

In some cases, a visa run is necessary to activate new visas or change the immigration status of a person. An example would be leaving a country and then returning immediately to activate a newly issued work visa before a person can legally work.



Visa runs are frowned upon by immigration authorities as such acts may signify that the foreigner wishes to reside permanently and might also work illegally in that country ; purposes that visitors are prohibited from engaging in and usually require an immigrant visa or a work visa. Immigration officers may deny re-entry to visitors suspected of engaging in prohibited activities, especially when they have done repeated visa runs and have no evidence of spending reasonable time in their home countries or countries where they have the right to reside and work.


To combat visa runs, some countries have limits on how long visitors can spend in the country without a visa, as well as how much time they have to stay out before “resetting the clock”. For example, Schengen countries impose a maximum limit for visitors of 90 days in any 180-day period. Some countries do not “reset the clock” when a visitor comes back after visiting a neighbouring country. For example, the United States does not give visitors a new period of stay when they come back from visiting Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean; instead they are readmitted to the United States for the remaining days granted on their initial entry. Some other countries, e.g. Thailand, allow visitors who arrive by land from neighbouring countries a shorter length of stay than those who arrive by air.



In 2014, the Serbian Government legislated that entry into Serbia would be visa-free for 90 days for holders of foreign passports having a valid Schengen, other member states, UK, United States and Australia. Russian citizens have a visa-free stay for 30 days, abut the 90 days stay in 180 days applies to them as well. Any visitor who stays longer than 90 days requires a visa.

For dual nationals, it is also important to use the same passport when you enter and exit Serbia.

Although visa-run may seem as a convinient and easy solution for staying in a foreign country for a longer period of time, this is a not something that can be recommended and bears risks of government penalties, getting banned from entering the country and deportation.



If you wish to live and work in Serbia legally without fear, please visit our website and contact us at +381 60 1849 443 or



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