Holders of Russian ordinary passports may freely enter Serbia without visa and stay for 30 days. For holders of Ukraine ordinary passports, no visas are required for visits which lasts up to 90 days within the period of 180 days. During this period, foreigners are not allowed to work, until obtaining residence/work permits.
Temporary residence permits (“TRP”)
All foreigners are obliged to register their residence in Serbia within 24 hours as of their arrival and to obtain so-called “white card”. The white card is issued by the local police (if a foreigner has leased the apartment) or by a hotel (if a foreigner stays in a hotel).
Further, foreigners may apply for TRP in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The procedure assumes a brief conversation with the officers and submitting all necessary documents that support the purpose of foreigner’s staying in Serbia.
Different regimes for TRP and work permit apply, depending on the legal ground for the stay in Serbia. Each legal ground assumes that at least one of the prescribed connection points with Serbia are fulfilled (such as: employment with a local company, engagement under certain out-of-employment agreement, secondment, performance of business or other professional services, real estate ownership, family reunion, etc.).
The Ministry decides regarding the TRP application within 30 days of the submission of a proper and complete application.
Legal Grounds for obtaining temporary residence permit
The Law prescribes several legal grounds for obtaining a TRP:
- Secondment (for a limited period),
- Performance of business or other professional services, incorporation of the company, appointment of a foreigner as a representative;
- School, study or specialization, scientific-research work, practical training, participation in international exchange programs for students and alumni, and other scientific and educational activities;
- Family reunion;
- Real estate ownership;
- Other justifiable reason in accordance with Law or international treaty.
Documents required for the purpose of RP obtaining varies from the legal ground which is relevant in the concrete case. However, the Ministry of Interior Affairs has the discretion right to request any additional documents they deem necessary to come to a decision in this administrative matter.
The work permit is issued by the National Employment Service, without personal presence of the applicant being needed.
Work permit may be required in all cases when foreigner enters into contracts prescribed by the Labour Law – employment contract, contract on the rights and obligations of the representative, contract for work engagement outside the employment relationship, contract on occasional and temporary activities, service contract, contract for professional development and training, etc.
In some certain cases, WP will not be obligatory to provide.
The expected time for obtaining the WP is usually 15-30 days. The employee cannot commence with work before both TRP and WP are obtained.
Opening of non-resident bank account
The procedure and list of documents required for the purpose of opening non-resident accounts for natural person depends on the chosen bank. Generally, the procedure is quite simple and straight forward in cases when person is physically present.
On the other hand, the non-resident bank accounts may be opened remotely, based on the Special Power of Attorney.