What do the announced changes to the Law on Residence and Employment of Foreigners in the Republic of Serbia actually mean?
Single work permit
One of the most important changes is the electronic submission of requests for temporary residence and work permits, which the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia (MUP RS) would decide on within 15 days. The single electronic procedure implies that the MUP RS issues a single permit for temporary residence and work permit (up to three years with the possibility of extension for the same period) upon request. The novelty is that, in addition to the employees, the employer will also be able to submit a request for a single work permit.
The amendment of the law is envisaged so that two procedures, i.e., the procedure for approving temporary residence and procedure for issuing a work permit would be combined into one procedure in front of MUP RS. Although there is a possibility to conduct the procedure in this way in the existing version of the law, it does not work well in practice, so the reason for changes is to enable the implementation of this solution.
The period when a foreigner submits a request for a temporary residence permit is specified in relation to a period that is longer than 90 days from the day of entry. In this sense, the article is amended by the period of stay determined by the international agreements, as well as the period of validity of the visa for a longer stay in which the foreigner can submit a timely request for approval of temporary stay. The Government of Serbia is authorized to render a regulation to determine additional categories of foreigners who can be granted a temporary residence. The amendments allow for approving temporary residence on all grounds for a period up to 3 years with the possibility of extension for the same period (instead of one year with the possibility of extension for the same period, as previously provided for). The change is also reflected in the fact that foreigners with approved permanent residence in Serbia are given the possibility of free employment, by abolishing obligations regarding obtaining a personal work permit. The proposed amendment foresees an easier procedure for certain categories of foreigners who submit requests for approval of temporary residence in Serbia, so the proof of means of subsistence and proof of health insurance during the planned stay in Serbia shall not be requested from a foreigner who submits an application based on employment.
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