IMPORTANT NOVELTIES AND SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE OF REGULATING THE STATUS OF FOREIGNERS IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
At the end of July 2023, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners and the Law on Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners, all with the aim of facilitating and speeding up the procedure for regulating the right to temporary residence and the right to work for foreigners in the Republic of Serbia.
Changes that will significantly improve the process of regulating the status of foreigners are the following:
Introduction of the “single permit for residence and work” institute
The single permit for residence and work replaces the previous residence permit and work permit for cases of employment, special cases of employment (seconded persons, movement within a company, independent professionals, training and improvement), and self-employment;
A single permit for residence and work is issued in the form of a biometric document, which entails taking biometric data of foreigners (photograph, fingerprints, and signature);
The term of validity of the single permit for residence and work, i.e. temporary residence, is set for an initial period of up to three years, depending on the existence of the reason, in contrast to the one-year term prescribed so far;
Introduction of the possibility of issuing an act of “consent” by the National Employment Service of the Republic of Serbia for a foreigner to change the basis of work, to change employers, or to be employed by two or more employers during the period of validity of the single residence and work permit, without the change of the single residence and work permit;
Digitization of the single permit for residence and work issuance procedure
A request for the issuance of a single permit for residence and work can be submitted by a foreigner, but also by his employer, i.e. a person authorized by them, exclusively through a Unique web portal;
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia is responsible for deciding on the request for issuing a single permit for residence and work, which can approve the issuance of a single permit for residence and work only if, previously, the National Employment Service assesses that all conditions for employment, special cases of employment, i.e. self-employment have been met;
The request for the extension of a single permit for residence and work or temporary residence can be submitted until the expiration date of the previously valid single permit for residence and work or temporary residence, unlike the previously prescribed deadline of no later than 30 days before the expiration of temporary residence;
Given that one of the main reasons for the adoption of new laws is precisely to speed up the procedure for obtaining a temporary residence, i.e. a single permit for residence and work, the deadlines for certain actions have been shortened (e.g. the deadline for deciding on a request for issuing a single permit for residence and work has been shortened to 15 days from the day of submitting the proper request, the deadline for conducting the labor market test and preparing a report on the realization of the need for employment was shortened from 10 days to 4 days).
Assessment for employment
The National Employment Service of the Republic of Serbia, with the aim of issuing a single permit for residence and work, evaluates the fulfillment of the conditions for employment, for referred persons, for movement within a company, for an independent professional, for training and improvement and for self-employment, in accordance with Article 16 to Article 23 of the Law on Employment of Foreigners.
An important novelty is that the assessment for referred persons and for movement within the company is carried out for a period of up to 3 years, while it can be extended for a maximum of 3 years.
Also, a significant novelty is the expansion of the mandatory content of the act between the employer and the foreign employer on the referral to temporary work in the Republic of Serbia, which, by all accounts, resembles certain elements from the employment agreement.
The possibility of working in Serbia without obtaining a single permit for residence and work
Introduction of the possibility of working in Serbia, without obtaining a single permit for residence and work, for foreigners who have been granted temporary residence on the grounds specified in Article 3 of the Law on the Employment of Foreigners (family reunification with a member of the immediate family of a citizen of the Republic, i.e. a foreigner who has been granted permanent residence, ownership of real estate, approval of permanent residence, asylum or temporary protection, study and international exchange of students, etc.)
Submission of proof of fulfillment of the conditions for approval of temporary residence
In contrast to the provisions of the previously valid Law on Foreigners, the new law stipulates that proof of means of support during temporary stay, as well as proof of health insurance during temporary stay, must not be submitted by a foreigner who is a member of the immediate family of a citizen of the Republic of Serbia, a foreigner who is employed, as well as members of the immediate family of the foreigner who is employed.
Bearing in mind that the changes in question will greatly contribute to the improvement of the regulation of the status of foreigners, it is necessary to provide all the technical and material conditions for the application of the new provisions, hence, the most important changes concerning the single permit for residence and work will be applied from February 1, 2024.
For all additional consultations and assistance regarding the regulation of the status of a foreigner in the Republic of Serbia, please feel free to contact our office at the e-mail address: email@example.com