This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.


Focused on members of the Serbian diaspora who do not hold Serbian citizenship, this program presents an expedited procedure to obtain a legal temporary residence in Serbia for one year, with the possibility of extension.

Aleksandar Zurovac is the first foreigner of Serbian origin who, thanks to the Carta Serbica program, obtained temporary residence in the country. At this time, Zurovac, a US citizen, and his family continue to reside in Serbia legally, as they wait for their Serbian citizenship procedure to be resolved. In the meantime, he has the right to work or start a business legally. This facilitated procedure would not be possible without the Carta Serbica program, initiated by Returning point and developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Secretariat of the Government of Serbia.

As Director of Returning point, Ivan Brkljač stated - This program is another one in line with important initiatives that share a common goal, which is to overcome the administrative obstacles people from diaspora encounter when they attempt their return. In close conversations with representatives of the diaspora, especially with people from the second and third generations, we mapped the problem of residence our people face in case they do not possess Serbian citizenship. Carta Serbica was conceived considering exactly the individuals who are of Serbian origin and would like to live and work or retire in Serbia. Now, they can apply for a temporary residence based on their background and regulate their status in our country.

Who can benefit from Carta Serbica and how does the procedure look?

The option to obtain temporary residence in Serbia is open for people of Serbian origin born in the diaspora or any of the former Yugoslav republics, as well as for the people of Serbian origin who cannot obtain Serbian citizenship at present.

How to prove Serbian origin?

Serbian origin can be proved by providing one of the following documents:

  • Domestic or foreign public document that clearly designates the Serbian origin of the applicant.
  • Baptism certificate from the Serbian orthodox church that confirms the Serbian origin of the applicant or his/hers ancestor.

If the submitted document designates the Serbian origin of the direct ancestor of the applicant, it is necessary to submit evidence and documentation that establishes direct relation with the person whose origin is being determined.

Aside from fulfilling one of the conditions, it is also necessary to fulfill the general conditions for the issuance of temporary residence.

More information about Carta Serbica is here.


This article was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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