Extract from the law on foreigners

(Official Gazette of RS, no. 97/2008)

Law on foreigners regulates the conditions for entry, movement, residence, and the jurisdiction and operations of state administration bodies of the Republic of Serbia regarding the entry, movement, and stay of foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. A foreigner may enter and reside in the Republic of Serbia under the terms of this law, with a valid travel document in which a visa or residence permit is entered, unless the law or international agreement state otherwise.

Certain terms used in the law on foreigners have the following meanings:

1) The alien is any person who has no citizenship of the Republic of Serbia; 
2) The competent authority is the regional unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, responsible for foreign affairs; 
3) The Border Police is an organizational unit of the Ministry which directly deals with border control and other matters of protection of state borders; 
4) Entry into the Republic of Serbia is the arrival of foreigners on its territory, which was approved by the competent state bodies, crossing the state border, more exactly border crossing at the place where border control is conducted. Stay of foreigners in the transit area of airports and ports through which international traffic is carried out shall not be considered as entering of the Republic of Serbia in this law; 
5) Transit is transition through the territory of Serbia; 
6) Border control is control of people and their travel documents, control of transportation assets, and control of the things that are done in the area of border crossing in relation to the intended crossing of the border, or immediately after the crossing of state border, and other controls in accordance with law; 
7) Foreign passport is personal, family, co, diplomatic or official passport booklet, and maritime shipping booklet provided with visa and other document recognized by international treaties as a travel document, on the basis that can determine the identity of its holder, the expiry date has not expired, and it was issued in accordance with the regulations by the state or the relevant act of international organizations; 
8) Passport for foreigners is a travel document for refugees, a travel document for stateless persons, and travel document for foreigners;

Transition or stay for foreigner will be restricted or prohibited in a certain area of the Republic of Serbia if required by reasons of public order, or security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens, or on the basis of international agreements.

Transition or stay for foreigner will be restricted or prohibited in a certain area in the Republic of Serbia if required by reasons of public order or security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens, or on the basis of international agreements.


A foreigner is obliged, during their time of transition of stay in the Republic of Serbia, to respect the regulations and decisions of state bodies, and they will have to undergo border control when entering and exiting the Republic of Serbia.


An alien who is listed in the travel document of another person can come in and out of the Republic of Serbia with the person in whose travel document they have been added. Foreigners who have a common travel document can enter and exit from the Republic of Serbia only together. Foreigners who are listed in a common travel document must have a document with a photograph, on the basis of which their identity can be determined. The leader of the group must have their own travel document.

A foreigner can be stopped from entering the Republic of Serbia if:

1) They have no valid travel document, or visa if required;
2) There are no sufficient funds for maintenance during the stay in the Republic of Serbia, for return to the country of origin, or for the transit to a third country, or they are not provided support during the stay in the Republic of Serbia otherwise;
3) Protection measures or security measures of expulsion are forced on them, of if their visit was canceled, and in the case of other measures recognized by the national or international law, which includes the prohibition of crossing the state borders - while these measures or dismissal are valid;
4) They have no certificate of vaccination, or other evidence that they have no disease, if coming from the area affected by epidemics;
5) Reasons to protect public order, or security of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens requires such a measure;
6) The appropriate records state them to be international offender;
7) There is reasonable suspicion that the residence will not be used for the intended purpose.

Denial of entry is entered in the travel document of a foreigner.

International agreement or decision of the Government may determine that nationals of certain countries can enter the Republic of Serbia without a visa. An alien who does not need visa of passport to enter the Republic of Serbia can stay in it for up to 90 days during the period of six months, counting from the date of first entry.

A foreigner can freely leave the Republic of Serbia, but exceptionally the border police can temporarily prohibit a foreigner to leave the Republic of Serbia, if:

1) They have someone else’s, invalid or incorrect, or other travel document;
2) They have no visa required for entry to another country;
3) There is a reasonable suspicion that by exiting from the Republic of Serbia they could avoid criminal or misdemeanor prosecution, prison sentence, the execution of court orders, arrest or execution of the property outstanding legal obligations, by order of competent authority.

Upon termination of these reasons, the foreigner will be allowed to leave the Republic of Serbia.


A visa is permission to enter, stay or transit that a foreigner obtains before entering the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Visa is issued to a foreigner who has a valid travel document for the time shorter than the period of validity of these documents. Visa is issued by the diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Serbia, if law does not state otherwise. Exceptionally, when there are serious humanitarian reasons, or is in the interest of the Republic of Serbia, the border police, with the approval of the Ministry, may issue a visa for short stay (visa C) for a single entry from the validity period of 15 days, if a foreigner did not have the opportunity to request the visa through diplomatic or consular missions of Serbia, and if they submit appropriate evidence of the urgency of the travel for which they needed the visa. 


Transit visa is issued to a foreigner for one, two or more travels across the territory of the Republic of Serbia. 


Transit visa is issued with validity period of up to six months, and stay during transit may not exceed five days. Transit visa may be issued to a foreigner who has a visa to enter the country to which they travel, or through whose territory they continue to travel, if they are not exempt from the obligations of possession of a visa by international agreement. Transit visa may be issued for a group of passengers, formed before decision about the travel was made, who cross through the territory of the Republic of Serbia together. This visa can be issued to a group of at least five, and maximum 50 persons, whereby the person who leads a group must possess a special visa, if required. 

Short stay visa is issued for tourist, business and other trips for one, two or more entries in the Republic of Serbia. Continuous residence, or a total duration of consecutive visits of a foreigner with a short stay visa can not be longer than 90 days in a period of six months, counting from the date of the first entry. Visa for short stay with multiple entries is issued with validity period of up to one year, and the staff of foreign diplomatic or consular mission, on condition of reciprocity, may be issued with a longer validity period. Visa for short stay, with a validity period of 30 days, may be issued for group of at least five passengers and a maximum of 50 persons, formed before a decision about the travel was made, if members of the group come together on the territory of the Republic of Serbia, residing in it, and leave as the group, whereby the person who leads a group must possess a special visa, if required.

Visa for a temporary stay is a permit for entry and temporary stay of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia. Visa for temporary stay is issued for the purpose, duration, and under conditions that are prescribed by this law, to permit a temporary residence. A foreigner who intends to stay in Serbia for more than 90 days is obliged to obtain a visa for temporary stay, or to obtain approval for temporary stay from the competent authority during their stay in the Republic of Serbia.

Visa validity period can not be extended. Exceptionally, the period of validity of visas can be extended if humanitarian, professional or personal reasons or force majeure demand it. Request for extension of visa validity period shall be submitted to the competent authority by place of residence the foreigner.

Foreigners in the Republic of Serbia to whome a stay of up to 90 days was granted, and a foreigner who was granted a temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia a permission for stay can be taken away because of the barriers of this law, or if it was learnt later. During the cancellation of stay, competent authority shall determine the period, which can not be longer than 30 days, in which the foreigner must leave the Republic of Serbia, and the time for which the foreigner is not allowed to enter the Republic of Serbia. Cancelation of the stay, and prohibition of stay are enrolled in the side of the travel document.


Travel Certificate for Foreigners is issued for the foreigner who does not have a valid travel document if:

 

1) They lost their travel document, or they are otherwise left without it, and the state whose citizen is has no diplomatic or consular representation in the Republic of Serbia, or its interests are not represented by other countries - to go abroad;
2) They lost their travel document abroad, for foreigners with travel document issued by diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Serbia, the competent authority or body authorized by special law - to return to the Republic of Serbia.

Foreigners will not be issued a travel document for foreigners, or already issued document will be temporary seized:

1) If there is a criminal or misdemeanor procedure against them, unless there is consent of the authority conducting the procedure;
2) If they are sentenced to imprisonment or a fine, during the duration of the sentence, or until they pay the fine;
3) If they have not settled their due compensation obligation for which there is a final decision on the request of a competent court;
4) If it is required by reasons of public order, or security of the Republic of Serbia;
5) If the international obligations of the Republic of Serbia requires that.

For the temporary seizure of travel documents for foreigners certificates are issued. 

The competent authority shall return the temporarily confiscated travel document for when mentioned reasons are no longer valid. 


A foreigner is obliged, at the request of police officers, to show a document of identity. 

A foreigner in the Republic of Serbia proves his identity by foreign passport, and other public documents containing the photo. 

A foreigner shall is not to give the identity document to another person, nor shall he serve the invalid document, or use other’s as their own.

A foreigner is obliged to inform the competent authority or the nearest diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Serbia about the disappearance or loss of documents for verification of their identity issued by the authority in the Republic of Serbia. These authorities are obliged to issue a certificate of disappearance or loss of documents for proving the identity to the foreigner. The loss or disappearance of documents to prove identity is advertised in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, at the expense of foreigners. The competent authority is obliged to issue a new document to a foreigner in place of missing or lost document. 

Place of stay, in terms law on the foreigners, is a place where a foreigner who was granted residence in the Republic of Serbia intends to stay longer than 24 hours. 

Legal and physical persons that provide accommodation to foreigners with compensation, and persons which foreigners are coming to visit, are obliged to report to the competent authority their residence within 24 hours from the hour of service provision of accommodation, or foreigner coming from hours to visit . A foreigner who does not use the accommodation of legal or physical persons providing accommodation services is obliged to report to the competent authority, as well as change of residence address of the apartment within 24 hours of arrival at the place of residence or change of address from the apartment in the residence. A foreigner is required to log out before leaving the residence.