The Employment of Foreign citizens in the Republic of Serbia is regulated by the Law on Employment of Foreign Citizens (“Off. Gazette of RS” No. 128/14, 113/2017 and 50/2018), and the Rulebook on work permits for employment (“Off. Gazette of RS” No. 94/15).
A foreigner who shall be employed in the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the Law on Employment of Foreign Citizens have the same rights and obligations in terms of work, employment and self-employment as well as the citizens of the Republic of Serbia.
Employment of foreigner shall be realized under the condition that it has a temporary residence permit or permanent residence and work permit.
Types of Work permits
Work permit may be issued as:
- personal work permit and
- work permit, whereby only one of these two types of permits may be issued for the same period of time.
Personal work permit
Personal work permit is work permit which to a foreigner in the Republic of Serbia provides free employment, self-employment and rights in case of unemployment in accordance with the law.
A Personal Work permit shall be issued at the foreigner’s request to:
- foreign citizen who has acquired a residence permit
- person who has the refugee status
- person belonging to a special category (seeking asylum, etc)
- immediate family member of persons covered in points (1) and (2)
- immediate family member of a Serbian citizen, and foreigner with Serbian origin up to the third degree of consanguinity in the direct line.
Work permit shall be issued as:
- work permit for employment
- work permit for special cases of employment, and
- work permit for self-employment.
Based on a Work permit, a foreign employee can be employed only for the particular job for which the permit was issued for.
Work Permit for Employment shall be issued in the accordance with the conditions on labor market and at the employer’s request if:
- the employer did not, before filing the request for permit, terminated the employment due to redundancy at the position for which the permit is being requested, in accordance with labour regulations
- ten days before submitting the request for work permit the employer could not find Serbian citizens, persons who have free access to the country’s labor market or foreign citizens with a personal work permits with the requested qualifications in the records of the National Employment Service. Exceptionally when it is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia or when it is reaquired by internationly accepted commitments, the minister responsible for employment affairs may specify a period of less than ten days
- the employer files the draft of the employment agreement or other agreement providing rights stemming from employment, in accordance with the Law.
Exceptionally, when it is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia or when it is reaquired by internationally accepted obligations, temporary work permit for employment may be issued to a foreigner who meets all the requirements from the request of the employer relating to the appropriate knowledge and skills, qualifications, previous experience, etc., with prior consent of the minister responsible for internal affairs, with condition that the foreigner has submitted an application for a temporary residence.
A temporary work permit for employment shall be issued for a period not longer than 45 days.
A Work Permit for Employment is issued for the duration of the planned employment but not longer than period of temporary residence.
Work Permit for Special Cases of Employment is issued at the employer’s request for:
- assigned personnel
- independent professionals,
- transfers within a company and
- training and specialization.
A Work Permit for assigned personnel can be issued if a foreign citizen has
- a temporary residence permit
- an agreement concluded between two employers (a foreign employer and a Serbian employer for whom deals shall be performed and services shall be provided) containing the place and term for providing services
- evidence that the particular employee has been employed with a foreign employer for at least a year and
- a act on the assignment to temporary work in the Republic of Serbia.
Work permit for a transfer within the company registered in a foreign country shall be issued at the request of a branch or affiliated company which is registered in the Republic, with the purpose of temporary assignment, i.e. relocation of the employee in the branch or affiliated company which is registered in the Republic, provided that the employee has been employed by a foreign employer for at least a year in the position of director, manager and specialist (i.e. key staff) and is to perform the same type of work in Serbia.
A Work Permit for an Independent Professional shall be issued at the employer’s request i.e. last user of the services. A Work Permit for an Independent Professional shall be issued if such person has:
- a temporary residence permit
- concluded agreement with an employer/service user that must include time limit for job
- relevant higher education and/or technical qualifications and has acquired relevant specific professional experience.
The Work permit for special cases shall be issued for the period required for the job, but not longer than one year.
Work Permit for self-employment shall be issued at the request of a foreign citizen who has a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Serbia and who submits certain evidences determined by the Law on Employment of Foreign Citizens. This permit shall be issued for a period of duration of a temporary residence permit, a maximum of one year with possibility of extension in a case that foreign citizen provides the evidence that he/she continues the same work under the same conditions under which the permit was granted.
A foreign citizen who receives such permit is obliged to start to perform activities for which a work permit is issued within 90 days of receiving the permit.
Work permit for training and specialization shall be issued at the request of the employer respectively the foreigner because of the perform of training, traineeship, vocational training respectively specialization if the foreigner has:
- a temporary residence permit
- concluded an agreement with the employer on carrying out of training, traineeship, professional practice, vocational training respectively specialization, which contain the place and expiration date.
Work permit for training and specialization shall be issued for a period of training, internship, professional practice, vocational training respectively specialization, but not more than one year, with the possibility of extension for another year.
Procedure for issuance, extension, cacellation and cessaition of validity of permit
In terms of the procedure for issuance and extension of the Permit for employment, as well as the procedure for its cancellation, i.e. cessation of its validity, the first instance decision-making is entrusted to the National Employment Service.
The request for issuing or extension of the license shall be submitted according to the place of temporary residence or permanent residence of the foreigner citizen, or the headquarters of the employer or the place where the work is performed, depending on the type of license. The request for extension shall be filed not earlier than 30 days and no later than 15 days before the expiry of the previous permit.
For mentioned types of permits it is necessary to submit an request with accompanying certain documents, which varies depending on the type of permit.
Way of the issuance or extension of the work permit, a way of proving the fulfillment of conditions and necessary evidences for the issuance or extension of the work permit and the form and content of the permit are regulated in detail by Rulebook on work permits for employment.
Last update 07. 08. 2018.