Serbia Residence Permit - 2023 Procedure

Obtain Residence Visa in Serbia

Updated on Saturday 18th March 2023

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Serbia is a welcoming country for both foreigners who want to set up investments here or for those who want to live and work. In this direction, they need to obtain a temporary or a permanent residence in Serbia, depending on the time they wish to spend and the purposes in this sense. The legal requirements of a residence visa in Serbia, whether permanent or temporary, can be explained by our team of immigration lawyers in Serbia at any time. Our team of advisors can help foreigners throughout the entire visa process in Serbia and help with immigration to Serbia.
 Quick Facts  
  Temporary residence permit types

- employment,

- study,

- medical purposes,

- training,

- family reunification 

Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.)

8 weeks

Temporary residence permit validity

1 year

Documents for obtaining temporary residence

- valid passport,

- proof of income,

- health insurance,

- accommodation

Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register) Yes


Dependents can join the temporary permit holder 


Temporary or permanent residency for investment purposes


Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence 5 years without interruption
Documents for obtaining permanent residence

- valid passport,

-medical certificate,

- details about income, accommodation,

- former residence permit

Naturalization requirements

- living at least 3 years in Serbia,

- renunciation of foreign citizenship,

- a declaration showing why Serbia is his/her new country

Citizenship after permanent residence Yes

How to obtain a temporary visa in Serbia in 2023

Temporary visas for Serbia are issued for foreign citizens who want to relocate to Serbia and stay more than 90 days in the country, but not exceeding one year. This type of visa is normally granted for persons who want to study, work, or join the family members in Serbia in 2023. The main condition in this sense is to apply from Serbia, as soon as you entered the country. It is good to know that a temporary visa for Serbia comes with a work permit too. As for the document requirements for such visa, we mention the following:
  •     the valid passport;
  •     proof of the reasons why you wish to stay in Serbia;
  •     details about financial funds to see if you can support yourself in Serbia;
  •     a health insurance;
  •     the white card registration;
  •     visa application forms offered by the authorities.
Besides the above-mentioned requirements, the immigration officers will invite foreigners for a short interview before granting the temporary visa. If you need to be prepared in this matter, it is recommended to ask for legal advice from our immigration lawyers in Serbia. We can help you properly move to Serbia.
Foreigners who want to extend their temporary residence must submit an application no earlier than 3 months and no later than  1 month before the expiry date of the existing document. As such, the validity of the document is at least 3 months longer compared to the period for which temporary residence was granted in the first place.
Also, the following infographic shows information about residence permits for Serbia:
residence visa for serbia

How to obtain a permanent visa in Serbia

Permanent visas in Serbia are granted to foreigners who intend to relocate to Serbia for a long time and who want to apply for Serbian citizenship. There are certain conditions imposed for foreigners who want to obtain a permanent visa in Serbia and these are related to the time spent in this country, at least 5 years without interruptions. Also, such visa is granted for foreigners who are married to Serbian citizens for at least three years. As for the documents necessary for permanent visa application in Serbia, these are:
  •     a valid passport with the temporary visas on the pages;
  •     a medical certificate issued by the Serbian Medical Society;
  •     the birth certificate;
  •     details about the financial status (work payment or any other revenues)
  •     information about property leasing or ownership in Serbia.
These are normally the needed documents for joining the family members in Serbia with the help of a permanent residence visa. As for those who are married in Serbia, they need to provide the marriage certificate. Talk to our advisors and see if there are any law changes in 2023. For more details you can watch the following video presentation we have prepared for you:


Is the residence visa the same with the residence permit?

Yes, the residence visa is the same as the residence permit. This is an important document that shows you have the legal right to live in Serbia. The temporary residence permit is normally necessary for foreign citizens who accepted temporary jobs in Serbia or who attend to different courses on short-term. On the other hand, persons with temporary residence for school purposes in Serbia cannot apply for a permanent residence, except the cases in which students only spend half of the time on education in the country. Additional information is offered by our specialized team of immigration lawyers in Serbia. They have experience in varied immigration issues.
Citizenship in Serbia can be obtained with the help of a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in a business. family members also come into the discussion here, but you have to consider the government contributions. But in order to benefit from a quick and simple process for obtaining citizenship, we recommend you contact our team of lawyers. We are at your disposal with all the legal information you need.
In the case of foreign volunteers in Serbia who want to apply for a residence permit, they must present the official documents of the volunteer organizers showing they are registered for such a purpose.

Residence permits for employees in Serbia

A residence permit for Serbia can be obtained by foreigners who want to start a company in this country and start the activities as a sole trader in 2023. The beneficial part of applying for a residence visa and permit is that there is no need for specific investments to be made, and a foreigner can form a company and be the only employee. A foreigner is considered a resident in Serbia if he or she has business in this country and spends at least 183 days/year (the fiscal year is considered). All the details regarding the residence permits in Serbia and about immigration to Serbia can be explained by one of our Serbian lawyers. Here is extra information you should know about the residence permits for Serbia:
  1. Foreigners become tax residents in Serbia after one year from the date the Serbian residency is approved.
  2. Foreigners can register offshore companies in Serbia and get the residence.
  3. Permanent residency in Serbia is granted after 5 years of living in the country.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to move to Serbia and find out all the formalities.

Permanent stay in Serbia – what you need to know

Foreigners who want to obtain permanent residence in Serbia must follow a few important regulations, like living in the country for at least 5 years and having the temporary residence permit. Also, if a person is married to a Serbian citizen for at least 3 years, this means that he or she can apply for permanent residence in Serbia.
A medical certificate issued by the Serbian Medical Society, a copy of the birth certificate, a valid passport, financial proof, and information about the residence in Serbia are among the needed documents solicited by the authorities to applicants interested in permanent stay status. All the formalities involved in this application can be overseen by one of our Serbian lawyers. We are here to help you relocate to Serbia.
Immigration to Serbia comes to the attention of our lawyers with experience in this field. You can be guided on obtaining a visa, residence permit, work permit, and citizenship where applicable. We recommend that you check, together with our specialists, what are the formalities that must be completed. We also collaborate with immigration institutions, and our clients can be guaranteed a simple and fast relocation process.
If you are subject to a family reunion and a foreign national who has been granted asylum in Serbia, a copy of such a decision is required when applying for a temporary residence permit and also proof of kinship.

Can foreign employees apply for a permanent residence permit in Serbia?

Yes, if the work contract prolongs, foreigners in Serbia can apply for a permanent residence permit with the Police Directorate in the city pe person lives. In terms of documents, the authorities will solicit specific forms with details about the employee, contract, and salary. You can hire the services of our attorneys in Serbia and find out more about the legal help we can provide. We have experience in all immigration aspects and can help foreign citizens obtain the required permits.

Can my residence permit application be rejected?

The cases in which the requirements for residence permit applications have not been respected, the authorities can reject such submissions. In most cases, persons who do not provide all the necessary documents or the ones who do not consider legal support from a specialist are the ones that might face rejection residence permit applications. It is important to have in mind the support of our Serbian lawyers who know the entire residence visa application in Serbia.

Serbia residence permit – How you can enjoy such status

Temporary and permanent residence can be granted in Serbia to foreign citizens, respecting the imposed conditions and regulations, particularly the Law on Foreigners. Here is information about the temporary residence permit in Serbia:
  • Foreigners interested in working in Serbia, education, business, scientific research, family reunification can apply for Serbia temporary residence permit.
  • The application for a temporary residence permit in Serbia can be made whether in the country or abroad before relocation. Our Serbian lawyers can help with the formalities imposed.
  • Besides the general forms offered by the immigration institutions in Serbia, one must present a valid passport, information about accommodation in the country, a health insurance, and other relevant documents.
  • The authorities in Serbia have the power to make some verifications and ask for the criminal record.
The validity of a temporary residence permit is up to one year, mentioning that the extension is made for the same period. One should note that the Serbia residence permit and especially the temporary residence permit can also be granted on the basis of opening a business or owning a property in Serbia. All the details and comprehensive legal advice can be provided by our Serbian lawyers. We would like to highlight that a temporary residence permit might be issued in approximately 3 weeks, once the verifications of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs are concluded.

Temporary residence permit for opening a company in Serbia

Opening a company in Serbia is relatively a straightforward process that can be entirely overseen by our specialists. The Serbian Business Registers Agency is the institution in charge of the procedures for business formation in Serbia, yet, one must also collaborate with the Police Department to register as a foreign citizen in this country.
The preparation of documents, opening a bank account, registering with the tax authorities, and obtaining the required licenses and permits enter the attention of our specialists in Serbia. They can also provide legal counseling and assistance for temporary or permanent residence permit applications in Serbia.

Work permits in Serbia

A temporary residence permit for Serbia can be issued prior the work permit. Therefore, there is no condition imposed for obtaining both documents at the same time. Once the Serbia residence permit is granted, one can apply for a work permit. In many cases, the employers manage the formalities of work permit applications, alongside a lawyer with experience in this field.
An important aspect refers to the requirements imposed for temporary residence and work permits which must be fully understood and respected, in order to avoid any possible rejection. We assist foreigners in obtaining the necessary documents for a legal stay in Serbia. You can simply send your requests to our lawyers in Serbia and let us handle all the formalities from a legal point of view.

Benefits of Serbia residence permit

The Serbian residence permit guarantees you can legally stay in this country, without any other restrictions. Such a document allows you to open a bank account for personal use, sign contracts with local suppliers, utility companies, rent a house, and even access a credit if necessary. Foreign families in Serbia can easily access the healthcare and education system if registered in this country. You can discuss more about the options you have in Serbia with our lawyers with experience in immigration matters and more.

Working with our attorneys in Serbia

Business registration, tax compliance, litigation, legal consulting for investments, legal representation in the court of law, support for drafting contracts are among the legal services offered by our experienced attorneys in Serbia. We also have a dedicated team of lawyers with experience in the immigration field and varied issues related to visas, temporary and permanent residence permits, investor visas, student visas, family reunification, and many more.
Instead of dealing with the formalities and bureaucracies linked to a business formation in Serbia, you may solicit the legal advice of our Serbian lawyers and benefit from complete services and also personalized offers.

Investing in Serbia

The appealing tax regime, the well-developed sectors like manufacturing, IT, textiles, chemicals, tourism, automotive, and the proper business environment are among the strongest points of Serbia when it comes to foreign investments in 2023. The free trade zones are also great options for entrepreneurs who want to benefit from extra tax advantages. We have also gathered some facts and figures about Serbia’s economy that you might find useful:
  1. In terms of total FDI stock for 2019, Serbia registered approximately USD 44 billion.
  2. Around 56% of the FDI greenfield projects were directed to the manufacturing sector in Serbia in the past 5 years.
  3. The 2020 Doing Business report issued by the World Bank ranks Serbia 44th out of 190 economies in the world.
  4. Alongside Turkey and Russia, Serbia is part of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).
We invite you to contact our law firm in  Serbia and ask any questions about the permanent or temporary visas for Serbia.