Serbia and its capital city, Belgrade, are rapidly emerging as a destination for both travelers and entrepreneurs alike. With a vibrant tech-scene, low-cost of living, and stable governmental foundation - there are significant opportunities for those who are interested. Obtaining visas for Serbia can be complex, depending on your objectives.
Long-Term Stay in Serbia
On October 30, 2014, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on visa-free entry to the Republic of Serbia for holders of foreign national passports having a valid Schengen, UK and other Member States' visa or visa of the United States of America, and for holders of foreign national passports having residence permit in the countries of the Schengen area, EU or the United States of America. Based on this decision, the categories mentioned above of foreign nationals may, without prior visa application, enter, transit and stay in the Republic of Serbia for up to 90 days during six months and within the validity of said visas or residence permits.
Other holders of foreign national passports who plan to stay in Serbia for up to 90 days or 90 to 180 days must submit a visa application to the diplomatic and consular mission of the Republic of Serbia abroad. The types of visas issued in diplomatic and consular missions:
· Short stay visa (visa C)
· Long-stay visa (visa D)
What is the Best Visa for Serbia?
Visa C - Short Term Stay in Serbia
This visa is for a short stay is issued for tourist, business and other travel for one, two or more entries into the Republic of Serbia. Continuous residence of an alien with a short-stay visa, or a total length of consecutive stays, can not exceed 90 days within six months from the date of first entry. Visa for a short stay with multiple entries shall be issued with a validity period of one year.
Visa D - Long Term Stay in Serbia
A long-stay visa shall be permitted to enter and stay on the territory of the Republic of Serbia between 90 and 180 days. A foreigner following the visa regime for entry into the Republic of Serbia requires a visa, and who intends to apply for temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia shall obtain a long-stay visa.
A foreigner whom has been issued a long-stay visa based on employment exercises the right to employment following the regulations governing the employment of foreigners.
Before the expiration of the valid long-stay visa based on employment, the foreigner submits a request for temporary residence approval if his business engagement in the Republic of Serbia lasts longer than the validity of the long-stay visa.
What is the Long-Term Visa for Serbia (i.e. Visa D)? Learn more about the benefits, requirements and processes below:
Long Stay Visa Issuance Authority
Visa shall be issued by the diplomatic or consular mission unless determined otherwise in the Law on Foreigners. As an exception, a Short-Term Visa may be issued by the Border Police.
The Visa application shall be reviewed and decided on by the diplomatic or consular mission in the area of legal residence of the applicant. Exceptionally, the diplomatic or consular mission shall check and decide on the application submitted by a foreigner who is staying legally in its consular area and does not have a residence in that country when he submits evidence of the urgency of travel to the Republic of Serbia for he requires a visa.
In countries with no diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Serbia, the mutual agency in the visa issuance procedure may be defined in an international agreement.
Foreign Travel Document
When applying for a visa, a foreigner must present a foreign travel document, valid for a minimum of three months after the intended date of departure from the Republic of Serbia, with at least two consecutive blank pages, and issued within the past ten years. If this is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia, or there are humanitarian reasons for this, when applying for a visa, a foreigner may present a foreign travel document that does not meet the previously mentioned criteria.
If this is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia, or there are humanitarian reasons for this, and the Republic of Serbia does not recognise the travel document, the visa shall be issued on the Visa Entry Form. The layout of the Visa Entry Form and the manner of entry of the visa into the form shall be prescribed by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs.
Belgrade is rapidly emerging as a central-hub for commerce within Eastern Europe
Visa Application Submission
Visa applications shall be submitted personally, on a prescribed form, not earlier than three months before the start of the intended journey.
The diplomatic or consular mission may deviate from personal submission of the visa application if determined that the applicant has used previously issued visas lawfully. Persons included in the travel document of the visa applicant shall submit separate visa applications on a prescribed form.
The following shall be submitted alongside the visa application:
- Filled-in Visa Application Form;
- Travel document;
- Proof of paid fee for visa issuance;
- Proof of the purpose and reasons for stay in the Republic of Serbia;
- Letter of invitation;
- Adequate and valid travel medical insurance.
Diplomatic or consular missions shall refuse a visa application if the applicant does not meet one or more of the general criteria or does not submit the application within the provided timeframe. In case of visa application refusal, the documents submitted with the application and the fee paid for visa issuance shall be returned to the applicant.
When humanitarian reasons or interests of the Republic of Serbia exist, a visa application shall be reviewed even if the general criteria have not been met.
If a visa application is accepted for review, the travel document of the foreigner shall be stamped, confirming the receipt of the visa application. Diplomatic and service travel documents shall not be stamped.
The layout of the Visa Application Form and the receipt stamp shall be prescribed by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs.
Evidence of Eligibility for Visa Issuance
Upon submission of the application for long stay visa, the applicant shall also submit the following evidence:
- Of the purpose of the visit;
- Of sufficient funds for accommodation expenses or other proof related to accommodation;
- Of available means of subsistence during the intended stay and for return to the country of origin or place of usual residence;
- Other evidence which may be used to verify the applicant's intent to leave the Republic of Serbia before the expiry of the visa applied for;
- Evidence, or documents, necessary following the provisions of the Law on foreigners when applying for temporary residence (depending on the grounds for residence).
Letter of Invitation
A legal entity or natural person inviting a foreigner for a personal or business visit must submit a letter of invitation.
In the letter of invitation, the Inviter shall commit to cover all the costs of stay and forced removal of the foreigner from the territory of the Republic of Serbia, as well as all costs in case of stay and accommodation of the foreigner in the detention centre, if they cannot be charged from the foreigner.
If the Inviter of the foreign national in the Republic of Serbia is a natural person, the letter of invitation shall contain a statement of the natural person that he shall commit to cover all the costs of stay and forced removal of the foreigner from the territory of the Republic of Serbia, as well as all costs in case of stay and accommodation of the foreigner in the detention centre, if they cannot be charged from the foreigner, information about the foreigner (name and family name, date of birth, nationality, travel document information), information about the inviter (name and family name, date of birth, nationality, telephone number, address of residence, reason for inviting the foreigner into the Republic of Serbia), as well as any other
information relevant for the procedure of visa issuance. The letter of invitation from a natural person shall be stamped by the competent authority for official verification of documents.
If the inviter of the foreign national into the Republic of Serbia is a legal entity, the letter of invitation shall contain a statement of the legal entity that it shall commit to cover all the costs of stay and forced removal of the foreigner from the territory of the Republic of Serbia, as well as all costs in case of stay and accommodation of the foreigner in the detention centre, if they cannot be charged from the foreigner, information about the foreigner (name and family name, date of birth, nationality, travel document information), name, address, registration and tax identity number, signature and stamp of the authorised person in the legal entity inviting the foreigner to visit, the reason for inviting the foreigner into the Republic of Serbia, as well as other information relevant for the procedure of visa issuance.
Travel Medical Insurance
The Visa applicant must provide proof that during his stay in the Republic of Serbia, he has adequate travel medical insurance coverage costs that may be incurred concerning emergency medical assistance, emergency hospital treatment, return to the country of origin for health-related reasons or in the case of death. As an exception, proof of travel medical insurance shall not be needed from holders of diplomatic travel documents or applicants for Airport Transit Visa.
The period of insurance must not be shorter than the planned stay in the Republic of Serbia.
Verification of Eligibility and Risk Assessment
A diplomatic or consular mission, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and state authorities responsible for safeguarding the security of the Republic of Serbia, shall verify information about the applicant and inviter by checking records kept following the law, determining the validity of the information provided in the documents attached to the visa application, as well as whether the purpose of travel is justified. Personal information of the visa applicant, connected natural persons, and legal entities shall be collected and processed following the regulation on records and data processing in internal affairs. Before issuing a visa, a diplomatic or consular mission shall acquire prior consent from the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry of Interior shall issue prior consent based on assessment results of the competent authority responsible for the place of arrival of a foreigner, the assessment of the state authority responsible for safeguarding the security of the Republic of Serbia, and other operational information available in the specific case. The deadline for providing consent shall be ten days after the day of submission of the visa application for review. The deadline may be extended to 25 days if there are legitimate reasons for this.
The competent authority responsible for the place of arrival of a foreigner shall interview the inviter and determine the circumstances surrounding the foreigner’s coming into the Republic of Serbia, perform checks on the records kept following the law and undertake other actions under the law and regulations based on the law, to establish the facts necessary to assess whether the visa application has merit.
Checking information and evidence provided with the visa application shall determine the existence of one or more reasons to refuse the visa issuance prescribed in Article 36 of the Law on foreigners.
In justified situations, a diplomatic or consular mission, or competent authority, may invite the applicant or inviter to provide additional information and documentation to the application.
If a visa application is being reviewed again, prior refusal of the visa application may not be why to refuse the new one.
Deadline for Deciding on a Visa Application
A visa application shall be decided on within 15 days after the day of submission of the application. The deadline of 15 days may be extended to up to 30 days if there are legitimate reasons for this.
Learn more about obtaining the right visa for Serbia and navigating the requirements today
Dragana Lj. Djordjevic has over 26 years of experience in the immigration practice for Serbie. Dragana also assists with real-estate transactions and represents companies and persons who plan to set up business in Serbia.
👉 Contact Dragana today and request further information on how to purchase real-estate as a foreigner in Serbia.