Serbia’s economy has seen considerable growth in recent years. If your company is up for the challenge of working in a developing economy, Serbia may be an excellent destination for global expansion.

Serbia’s economy has seen considerable growth in recent years. If your company is up for the challenge of working in a developing economy, Serbia may be an excellent destination for global expansion.

What Kinds of Serbian Working Visas Are Available?

The Serbian government issues a variety of visas to foreign nationals. Types of visas include:

  • Type A visa for airport transit
  • Type B visa for transit
  • Type C visa for short stay
  • Type D visa for temporary residence

Some of your employees may benefit from a Type C visa. This short-stay visa may be granted to individuals who wish to enter Serbia for business purposes, such as conferences or training workshops. The visa can be issued for single, double, or multiple entries into Serbia. Visitors with a Type C visa may not spend more than 90 days in Serbia.

In order to live and work in Serbia on a long-term basis, employees will need to obtain a temporary residence permit as well as a work permit.

Requirements to Obtain a Work Visa in Serbia

The general requirements to obtain a visa to enter Serbia are as follows:

  • A duly completed visa application form
  • A passport that is valid for a minimum of 90 days after the issuance of the visa
  • A letter of invitation from the potential employer in Serbia
  • Proof of health insurance
  • A passport photo
  • Evidence of sufficient funds or income for staying in Serbia
  • Depending on the duration of the applicant’s stay, an itinerary or a return ticket to leave Serbia
  • Proof of payment of the visa fee

All official documents should be translated into Serbian.

How Can Employees Apply for a Serbian Work Permit?

In Serbia, the processes of obtaining a work permit and a residence visa are closely tied to each other. The work permit must be secured by the employer. The process is as follows:

  • Before hiring a foreign worker, the employer must ask the National Employment Service (NES) to conduct a labor market test to ensure that there are no eligible Serbian nationals available to fill the position.
  • Within a month, the NES will conduct the test and issue a report to the employer.
  • If the NES finds a suitable candidate for the position, the employer should review the candidate’s qualifications. The employer is not obligated to hire any recommended candidates, but they will need to provide an explanation to the NES if they choose to move forward with a foreign applicant instead.
  • Once the need for a foreign worker is established, the employer may apply for a work permit from their local organization for employment affairs.

The processing time for a work permit may be one to two weeks.

A residence permit must then be obtained from the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs. Temporary residence visa applications should be submitted to the Serbian embassy or consulate in the prospective employee’s current country of residence. The applicant will need to provide the required documents listed in the previous section. It is necessary to secure a job offer before applying for a temporary visa for employment purposes.

Once the temporary residence visa and work permit have both been approved, the employee may travel to Serbia and begin working.

Are There Any Unique Considerations When Noting How to Get a Work Visa in Serbia?

Keep in mind that while Serbia is a European country, it is not currently a member of the European Union (EU). This means that citizens of EU member states will require a permit to work in Serbia, just like any other foreign national. This requirement will change in the event that Serbia enters the EU.

You should also be aware that the employer is responsible for the payment of any fees associated with the issuance of a work permit. The employer must also register foreign employees for social security.

Other types of work permits in Serbia

The authorities in Serbia also issue other types of work permits for certain categories of foreign employees, such as:
•    work permits for special cases of employment dedicated to independent professionals, company transfer personnel, or assigned staff;
•    work permits for self-employment for foreigners with a temporary residence in Serbia who want to perform activities as sole traders. Our Serbian attorneys are at your disposal with comprehensive and essential support.
It is good to know that once the work permit for self-employment is issued, the foreigner must commence the activities within 90 days. There are also employment cases which do require work permits in Serbia, like the ones in which the foreigner has residency for less than 90 days or a foreigner is a shareholder or a legal representative of a Serbian institution.
We invite you to get in touch with our law firm in Serbia for legal guidance and information about how to obtain a work permit in Serbia.