Simplified procedure for obtaining a work and residence permit for foreign citizens

Law on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 31/2019) and Law on Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 31/2019 – hereinafter: Law Amendments), were adopted in April of 2019, in order to improve the procedure for issuing a residence or work permit to a foreigner and have started to apply from 7th of May 2019.

The adoption of amendments to these legal regulations was aimed at improving the process of two procedures, one conducted by the Ministry of Internal affairs (hereinafter: MIA) in the procedure of issuing a residence permit, and the National Employment Service (hereinafter: NES) in the procedure of issuing a work permit.

Pursuant to Article 41a, paragraph 3 of the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 24/2018 and 31/2019), the MIA and the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs have jointly adopted on November 26, 2020, the Rulebook on the joint request for approval, or extension of temporary residence and issuance of a work permit to a foreigners (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 144/2020 – hereinafter: the Rulebook). The Rulebook has entered into force on 28.11.2020 and began its implementation on 01.12.2020.

Thus, the amendments to these regulations stipulate that the request for approval, or extension of temporary residence of a foreigner with a request for a work permit is submitted by a foreigner in person or electronically to the competent authority on the prescribed form and that the prescribed fee is paid for the request, and that the request form and appearance, as well as the documentation submitted with the request, shall be prescribed by an agreement between the Minister in charge of internal affairs and the Minister in charge of employment. At the same time, it is envisaged that this provision will be applied from December 1, 2020, and the delayed application was necessary due to the need of establishing material and technical conditions, i.e establishing conditions for exchange of relevant data between competent authorities in the process of issuing or extending work permits, namely: Diplomatic and consular missions, MIA, the Directorate for Foreigners, the NES and the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs.

The Rulebook prescribes a new form of a consolidated request and exhaustively stated evidence that are required for the residence permit and the issuance of a work permit to a foreigner. As before, besides the basis for residence and the type of work permit, the documentation submitted for a certain type of work permit is also listed. Namely, it remains that the procedures for obtaining a temporary residence permit and work permit are two formally separate procedures and that each body resolves requests within its competence, but with this Rulebook when the NES receives a joint request from the MIA, the employer/foreigner should forward the necessary documentation for issuing a work permit by e-mail to the address of the competent branch of the NAS. Therefore, even after submitting a joint request, the foreigner will receive two different permits, one for temporary residence and the other for work, as has been the practice so far.

This way, the envisaged cooperation and exchange of information between state bodies is accomplished, which aims to facilitate the exercise of the rights of foreigners and to simplify procedures. Bearing in mind that these were two procedures before and that the total time period for decision-making by the two bodies used to be 2 months, this significantly contributes to the economy of the procedure and enables employers to hire foreigners in twice the time.

On 30.12.2020. The minister of MIA has adopted the Rulebook on detailed conditions for submitting requests for approval of temporary residence electronically, which has entered into force on January 7, 2021, and its application starts from 01.04.2021. The right for electronic submission of requests was introduced by the amendments to the Law on Foreigners from 2019, but this Rulebook explains the procedure in more detail.

A foreigner can submit a request for obtaining or extending a temporary stay from abroad, or during his stay in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. In order for a foreigner to successfully submit a request, it is necessary to first register on the eUprava portal. After successful registration on the eUprava portal, the foreigner submits the necessary request within the service on the LivinginSerbia domain.

After submitting the request, a foreigner receives instructions for further action through the portal and is informed about the course of the procedure by the competent authority. Every foreigner who has successfully registered on the eUprava portal can find a singular mailbox in which he receives notifications.

In case the conditions for granting temporary residence are met, the singular mailbox receives a notification on the date and address of the meeting with the competent authority, where the presence of the foreigner is mandatory in order to imprint a sticker on approved temporary residence permit in his passport. Based on the same principle, a foreigner will receive a notification if the conditions for granting temporary residence are not met, so that in this way the foreigner will receive a decision of the competent authority of rejection or denial of the request for temporary residence, in accordance with the law.

If you have any additional questions or need more detailed information on the application of these Rules, you can contact us at the email address

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