On 25 April 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners (Zakon o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o zapošljavanju stranaca, “Official Gazette of RS”, no. 31/2019) and the Law on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners (Zakon o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o strancima, “Official Gazette of RS”, no. 31/2019), which entered into force on 7 May 2019, whereby certain provisions will become applicable from a later date.

The common purpose of the adopted amendments to the mentioned laws is to facilitate the procedures related to issuing temporary residence permits and work permits to foreigners in the Republic of Serbia, thus improving the business environment in the Republic of Serbia.

The Law on Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners 


The main reason for the adoption of the Law on Employment of Foreigners is to specify the provisions of the law that simplify the procedure for issuing a work permit, in order to further develop a more favorable business environment and attract foreign investments. 

The Law on Employment of Foreigners introduces certain novelties mainly when it comes to the procedure of obtaining work permits for seconded persons and work permit for movement within the company. Namely, the respective procedure for extension of these types of work permits will be significantly simplified and sped up, since the Serbian National Employment Service will, ex officio, obtain the consent and opinion of the competent ministries, by which a unified procedure is introduced. 

Further, the possibility of applying for a work permit (for employment; for seconded persons; for movement within a company; for an independent professional and for self-employment) to a foreigner who has been granted a long-stay visa based on employment (“type D” visa), without having to wait for temporary residence permit, has been introduced. These work permits may be issued for the maximum period of 180 days, which corresponds to the period of validity of the type D visa. This provision will apply as of 1 January 2020. 

In addition, the employer is given the possibility to initiate the procedure for issuing a work permit before the National Employment Service while the foreigner is still abroad, during the process for approval of visa for longer stay on the basis of employment which is conducted before the competent diplomatic-consular representative office. 

Another novelty of the Law on Employment of Foreigners is that the request for the extension of the work permit for the seconded persons and for movement within the company is submitted to the organization competent for employment no later than 60 days before the expiration of the validity period of the previously mentioned permits. So far, it has been possible to file for extension of work permit at the earliest 30 days, and at the latest before the expiration of validity period of the previous permit. 

The Law on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners 


The main reasons for adoption of the Law on Foreigners are enabling the submitting a request for the issuance of a temporary residence permit electronically and from abroad, as well as introducing a single administrative place for submitting a consolidated request for temporary residence and a work permit of foreigners. 

One of the most important novelties of the Law on Foreigners is that, inter alia, a foreigner may submit a request for temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia electronically and from abroad. This provision will apply as of 1 January 2020. 

Furthermore, another important novelty of the Law on Foreigners is introduction of the possibility of submitting a consolidated request for temporary residence and work permit. This provision will be applicable as of 1 December 2020. 

Additionally, it is envisaged that the temporary residence approval may be granted to certain categories of foreigners, as it will be determined by a separate decree of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (the deadline for adopting the Decree is 7 November 2019).