Law on Foreigners

Temporary residence permit

The provisions of the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 24/2018 and 31/2019) regulate the conditions and procedure for issuing a temporary residence permit, extending the validity of temporary residence and the reasons for terminating temporary residence in Serbia.

Temporary residence is a residence permit for a foreign national in the Republic of Serbia granted to a foreigner who intends to stay in the Republic of Serbia for over 90 days on the grounds of:

  • Employment;
  • School or learning the Serbian language;
  • Studies;
  • Participation in international exchange programmes for pupils or students;
  • Specialist, professional training and practice;
  • Scientific research or other scientific or educational activity;
  • Family reunification;
  • Performing religious service;
  • Treatment or care;
  • Ownership over immovable property;
  • Humanitarian stay;
  • Status of a presumed victim of trafficking in human beings;
  • Status of a victim of trafficking in human beings;
  • Other legitimate reasons under the law or an international treaty.

As an exception, temporary residence on the grounds of employment may be granted to a foreigner intending to stay in the Republic of Serbia for under 90 days, but this work needs a work permit following the regulations on the employment of foreigners for this employment.

A foreigner who has been granted temporary residence on one of the grounds prescribed by the Law on Foreigners is obliged to reside in the Republic of Serbia following the basis for which his residence was granted.

Irrespective of the grounds for granting temporary residence, the temporary residence may be given to specific categories of foreigners. Criteria for determining the types of foreigners and the categories of foreigners themselves are determined by an act of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

Application for Temporary Residence and Timelines

A foreigner’s application for a temporary residence permit or the extension thereof shall be submitted personally to the competent authority on a prescribed form.

A foreigner who has entered the Republic of Serbia legally and does not require a visa for entry and a foreigner who has entered the Republic of Serbia with a Long-Term Visa shall apply for temporary residence. When there are humanitarian reasons or force majeure, or this is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia, the foreigner that has entered the Republic of Serbia legally and is staying in the Republic of Serbia legally on a Short-Term Visa may apply for a temporary residence permit, if he provides evidence of the existence of the said reasons.

A foreigner may submit a request for temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia electronically from abroad.

The grounds for applying for temporary residence must be identical to those for issuing a Long-Term Visa.

Application for extension of a temporary residence permit shall be submitted no earlier than three months and no later than 30 days before the expiry of the temporary residence permit.

A foreigner, who timely applies for a temporary residence permit or an extension of a temporary residence permit, may stay in the Republic of Serbia until the finalisation of the first-instance procedure, or until the finalisation of the second-instance process, in case of an appeal against the decision on refusal of the application. Suppose the competent authority approves the extension of the temporary residence permit. In that case, the time between the expiry of the previous temporary residence and the application for the extension of the temporary residence shall be considered a legal and continuous stay.

If this is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia, if it is determined that humanitarian reasons, or a force majeure, exist, the competent authority may review an application for the extension of a temporary resident permit submitted after the expiry of the temporary residence permit, if the time between the expiry of the previous temporary residence permit and application for the extension of the temporary residence permit is under three months.

Combined Application for Temporary Residence and Work Permit

The request for approval, the, i.e. extension of the temporary residence of an alien with the demand for a work permit, shall be submitted by the alien in person or electronically to the competent authority on the prescribed form. The appearance and content of the document and the documentation submitted with the request shall be prescribed by the agreement between the Minister in charge of internal affairs and the Minister in charge of employment.

Decision-Making Authority

The competent authority shall decide on approval or extension of the temporary residence permit within 30 days of applying.

Upon deciding on the submitted application for the temporary residence permit, the competent authority shall, in addition to assessing whether general criteria referred to in Article 43 of this Law have been met, also acquire an assessment by the state authority responsible for the protection of the security of the Republic of Serbia about whether the stay of the foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Serbia presents an unacceptable security-related risk.

The deadline for issuing the assessment shall be 25 days from the day of applying for review.

General Eligibility Criteria for a Temporary Residence Permit

Alongside the application for approval or extension of a temporary residence permit, a foreigner shall submit:

  1. Valid personal or service passport;
  2. Evidence of means for subsistence during the planned stay;
  3. The registered address of residence or residencial address in the Republic of Serbia;
  4. Evidence of health insurance during the planned stay;
  5. Evidence that the application for a temporary residence permit follows the grounds for issuing a temporary residence permit prescribed by the Law on Foreigners as well as other documents at the request of the competent authority;
  6. Proof of payment of the prescribed administrative fee.

More detailed criteria for temporary residence approval, the layout of an application for the temporary residence permit, and the layout and manner of affixing a temporary residence permit sticker into a foreign travel document shall be prescribed by the Minister responsible for internal affairs.

Duration of Temporary Residence

Temporary residence may be approved for up to one year. Depending on the grounds for stay and existing reasons for approving temporary residence, it may be extended for the same period.

A temporary residence permit shall be granted by affixing the temporary residence sticker to a foreign travel document.

Travel documents in which a temporary residence permit is attached shall be taken over in person. Exceptionally, if legitimate reasons exist, the travel document with the affixed temporary residence sticker may be taken over by the foreigner’s proxy.

The validity period of the travel document must be at least three months longer than the expiry date of the temporary residence permit.

Exceptionally, if humanitarian reasons exist, the interest of the Republic of Serbia or force majeure, temporary residence of a foreigner who does not have a valid travel document, but meets the general criteria for issuing temporary resident permits prescribed in Law on Foreigners, shall be approved or extended by a decision.

Refusal of Temporary Residence Application

The application for a temporary residence permit or extension of a temporary residence permit shall be refused when:

  1. The validity period of the person or service passport isn’t at least three months longer than the expiry date of the temporary residence permit;
  2. One or several general criteria for issuing temporary resident permits prescribed in Law on Foreigners have not been met;
  3. A protective measure of removal, security measure of expulsion or issued entry ban to the foreigner is in effect;
  4. Reasons require this to safeguard the security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens;
  5. There are valid reasons to believe that the foreigner will not use the temporary residence for the intended purpose;
  6. The foreigner submits a forged travel document;
  7. It is determined that the evidence submitted with the application for temporary residence is false or acquired illegally;
  8. There are reasons to believe that he will not act following the legal system of the Republic of Serbia.

If inspection of the travel document or records kept in accordance with the regulation on records and data processing in the area of internal affairs shows that a foreigner spent less than half period approved to him during the validity period of a previous temporary residence permit in the Republic of Serbia, the competent authority may refuse the application to extend the temporary residence permit, in case if the foreigner does not submit evidence to justify his absence from the Republic of Serbia.

An appeal statement may be filed by a foreigner against the decision on refusal of application for temporary residence permit or the extension of the temporary residence permit within 15 days of receipt of the decision.

The appeal shall be lodged in writing, in Serbian, having paid the prescribed fee. The appeal against the decision to refuse the application for temporary residence permit, or to extend temporary residence permit, shall be decided on by the Ministry of Interior. The appeal shall delay the enforcement of the decision.

Administrative proceedings may be initiated against the decision made in the second-instance procedure. The initiation of the administrative proceedings shall not delay the enforcement of the decision of the second-instance authority.

Termination of Temporary Residence

If it should be subsequently learned that there are one or more reasons prescribed for refusing an application for temporary residence related to a foreigner who has been granted temporary residence, the competent authority shall issue a decision on termination of rights to temporary residence and set a deadline for his departure from the Republic of Serbia, which cannot exceed 30 days.

The decision to terminate rights to temporary residence may also include a ban on entry.

Article 78 of the Law on Foreigners, which regulates issuing a ban on entry into the Republic of Serbia, shall apply accordingly to the issuance of the ban.

When deciding on the termination of rights to temporary residence, the competent authority shall evaluate the particular circumstances of each case, particularly the duration of prior temporary residences of the foreigner, and his personal, family, cultural, economic and other ties to the Republic of Serbia.

A foreigner may file an appeal statement to the competent authority against the decision to terminate rights to temporary residence within 15 days of receipt of the decision. The appeal shall be lodged in writing, in Serbian, having paid the prescribed fee. The appeal against a decision on the termination of rights to the temporary residence shall be decided on by the Ministry of Interior. The appeal shall delay the enforcement of the decision.

Administrative proceedings may be initiated against the decision made in the second-instance procedure. The initiation of administrative proceedings shall not delay the enforcement of the decision of the second-instance authority.

Read more:
Procedure for issuance, extension, revoaction and cessation of validity of work permit for foreigners in Serbia »
Work permit »
Forms of work engagement in Serbia »

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