If you plan on working or setting up a company in Belgrade, you might need to apply for both a visa and a Serbian work permit, depending on the country of your origin. The only exceptions are if you’re coming to Belgrade as a diplomat, to work for an international organization, or if you’re a volunteer on a special international project. If you’re a citizen of a European Union member state, you’re also exempt from applying for a visa and work permit. 

If you are the owner, founder, representative, or a member of the executive body of a legal entity registered in Serbia, with which you don’t have an employment contract, or if you reside in Serbia for the purpose of establishing business contacts or attending business meetings, without generating any income, or you perform other business activities related to the preparation of prospective employment in Serbia, you don’t need a work permit, under the general condition that your stay in Serbia does not exceed 90 days within six months.

There are seven types of work permits in Serbia:

  • personal work permit – this type of permit is issued to foreigners with permanent residence permits, refugees, and people belonging to a special category of foreigners.
  • employment permit – a work permit obtained by your Serbian employer who couldn’t hire a Serbian national to perform the work 
  • work permit for appointed persons – a work permit for persons employed by a foreign employer in Serbia
  • work permit for movement within a company – a work permit for key personnel from a foreign company appointed to a branch or subsidiary company in Serbia
  • work permit for an independent professional – this is a one-off permit, issued at the request of an employer with a set deadline for the independent professional to perform certain work
  • work permits for training – permits for the purpose of training, apprenticeship, professional practice, vocational training, i.e. training in Serbia 
  • self-employment work permits – a permit issued at the request of a foreigner with a long-term d visa on the basis of employment or/and a temporary residence permit in Serbia

If your work engagement in Serbia on a long-term d visa is shorter than the validity of the visa, you don’t need to have a temporary residence permit. Otherwise, if your business engagement in Serbia will last longer than the validity of your long-term d visa, or you don’t need a visa to enter Serbia, applying for a temporary residence is mandatory.

  • will you be self-employed in serbia?

    All work permits are granted by the Serbian National Employment Service. If you are self-employed, you’ll have to file for a Serbian work permit yourself. In other cases, your Serbian employer will do it for you. 

    If you work as a freelancer, then you fall under the self-employed category.

    This type of work permit is issued to foreigners who want to conduct their business activities in Serbia after registering a company with the Serbian Business Register Agency.

    A self-employment work permit has the same length as a long-term d visa (if you don’t have a temporary residence) or a temporary residence permit – a maximum of one year, with the possibility of extension.

    If you are filing for a self-employment work permit, the process is quite simple – you only have to submit the required documentation, and you might have to answer a few additional questions. An application for a permit or an extension of a work permit can be submitted:

    • via e-mail, under the condition that you have an electronic signature or if you issue a power of attorney to an attorney with an electronic signature – for Belgrade, the address is pisarnica.beograd@nsz.gov.rs
    • In person, at the counter of appropriate branch offices of the Serbian National Employment Service – in Belgrade, it’s located at its headquarters at 23-25 Gundulićev Venac 

    Documentation required:

    1. Application form 
    2. Copy of a valid passport
    3. Temporary residence permit (if required)
    4. Statement on type, duration, and volume of the activities to be conducted in Serbia
    5. Proof of appropriate qualifications for conducting the activities in question
    6. Proof of the right to use business premises in Serbia for conducting the activities in question – lease agreement or proof of ownership
    7. Proof of fee payment in the amount of 13.880,00 dinars (approximately 110 €)
  • please note

    You can carry out only the activities for which the work permit is granted.

    If you have a self-employment work permit, you must start performing the activities for which a work permit has been granted within 90 days from the date of obtaining that permit, while for other types of work permits this deadline is even shorter – only 15 days.

    If you’re still confused about the visa and employment permit process, take a look at our support vouchers section.