Essential Employment Paperwork in Serbia



The beauty of Serbia is definitely undeniable, but like all most sought after destinations abroad, this country also requires foreign nationals to take care of a considerable amount of paperwork. Citizens of the United States, European Union and European Economic Area are not obliged to obtain a visa as long as their stay is not more than 90 days. 

Foreign nationals coming from countries that are not eligible for the visa exemption need to secure the appropriate visa before going to Serbia. One of the essential requirements when applying for a visa is a Letter of Invitation (verified by the competent Serbian authority) from the expatriate’s employer. This document must be presented at the Serbian Consulate/Embassy in the applicant’s home country along with the other documents listed below: 

  • Valid Passport with at least two blank pages
  • Receipt from an authorised tourist company to verify that the applicant's travel arrangements have been paid
  • Proof of sufficient funds (in hard currency)
  • Proof of Medical/Health Insurance 

White Card and Temporary Residence Permit 

Within 24 hours of arrival in Serbia and receiving a Serbian entry stamp, all foreign nationals are required by law to enlist with the district police station. The local authorities will issue the bottom half of a document called the ‘White Card’ which the expat must carry with him at all times along with his passport. 

Another important step that foreign nationals must do is to obtain a residence permit within seven days of arrival in Serbia. Applications for this permit must be submitted to the Labour Market Office whereas the procedure typically takes about 15 business days. It is essential that the expat appears in person when applying for a residence permit because he will also make a written statement stating his acceptance of the jurisdiction of Serbian courts in the case of any future disputes with his employer. Temporary residence permits carry a validity period of 12 months. 

Work Permit 

There are several types of work permit for Serbia that are issued by the National Employment Service. The most typical type of permit issued to expats is the Work Permit for Employment which must be requested by the prospective Serbian employer. Before obtaining one, the hiring company must first prove that they have advertised the vacancy in the local labour market for at least one month and no Serbian national or resident has been found to fill the job post. 

Work Permits for Employment are usually issued with a validity of six months or more but no longer than the duration of the expatriate’s temporary residence permit. The process of approval of a work permit from the time of application as mandated by the law of Serbia is 30 days at most and some of the documents that must be presented during the application are: 

  • Temporary Residence Permit of the expat
  • Employment Contract
  • White Card of the expat
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of Educational and Professional/Work Certificates