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What can the Serbian diaspora do through the eGovernment portal?

Marija Medić

Attorney at Law

01/04/2024

The digitalization of services provided by the administrative authorities of the Republic of Serbia is well underway. On the path to complete digitalization of this sector, a large number of tasks can now be completed electronically, and this opportunity is increasingly available to both Serbian citizens and foreigners.

After introducing the option for foreign citizens to apply online for a visa D (long-stay visa) for employment purposes, which facilitates their access to administrative authorities in the Republic of Serbia, the next step towards complete digitalization has been taken. The well-known digital platforms (eGovernment, eInspector, ePayment) are now available to Serbian citizens who are residing outside of Serbia as well. The aim of these platforms is to expedite and streamline numerous administrative procedures. What used to require visiting government offices and waiting in lines can now be done with just a few clicks.

Collaboration Protocol

To enable Serbian citizens living abroad to access government services digitally, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications signed a Collaboration Protocol at the end of last year. At the same time, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office for Information Technologies and eGovernment signed the Collaboration Protocol “eGovernment Scheme,” which initiated implementation earlier this year.

The implementation of the Protocol represents a significant step forward in the digitalization and modernization of the administration in the Republic of Serbia. It ensures equal rights and opportunities for citizens living and working outside of Serbia, aligning them with those who reside within the country. The physical presence of citizens in the diaspora is no longer necessary for exercising their rights.

Starting from February 1st, all citizens of the Republic of Serbia who possess a valid biometric document (ID card or passport) can become “eCitizens” by using the ConsentID application.

How Can Diaspora Citizens Become eCitizens?

If Serbian citizen resides abroad, they can obtain the parameters or QR code for activating the ConsentID mobile application at the nearest diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Serbia. The list of diplomatic/consular missions can be found here.

To start using the ConsentID application, citizens living abroad need to take three simple steps:

  • Install the ConsentID mobile application.
  • Visit an embassy to obtain the parameters for activating the mobile application.
  • Gain free access to all eGovernment services.

In other words, all that is needed is a mobile phone and a visit to a diplomatic-consular mission for citizens of the Republic of Serbia worldwide to be able to use government services online.

Services Available in Just a Few Clicks

Through their phones or tablets, eCitizens living abroad will be able to perform a wide range of administrative procedures that previously required them to visit Serbia. By accessing portals such as eConsulate, eGovernment, ePayment, and eInbox, the Serbian diaspora can now complete various actions. Some of the available possibilities include:

  • Obtaining an electronic signature on the eID portal, allowing citizens to sign documents online. We have covered this topic in more detail in our blog on electronic signatures.
  • Scheduling appointments for consular services at diplomatic missions.
  • Accessing the Local Tax Administration portal to view tax obligations, receive tax assessment notices, pay property taxes, and submit tax declarations.
  • Requesting certificates of (non)criminal record or (non)pending criminal proceedings.
  • Scheduling appointments for passport and/or ID card issuance. While the appointment for ID card issuance can be scheduled online, please note that the application itself can only be submitted within the territory of the Republic of Serbia, based on the place of residence. On the other hand, applications for biometric passports can be submitted at diplomatic missions.
  • Registering foreign residents in the Republic of Serbia is an electronic service that does not require the applicant’s presence in Serbia as well.
  • Requesting extracts from the register of vital records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates.

In addition to these new services, eCitizens living in the diaspora also have access to eCitizenship and eConsent on the eGovernment portal. To use these services, users need to be logged in to the eGovernement portal using the ConsentID mobile application or a qualified electronic certificate. Once this requirement is met, citizens from the diaspora can easily utilize the new electronic services of the Republic of Serbia’s administration.

  • eCitizenship allows citizens worldwide to request a certificate of citizenship in either paper or electronic form.
  • eConsent includes seven new services, including services that enable parents to provide online statements or consents in procedures related to their minor children.

The full list of statements/consents that can be given electronically within eConsent includes:

  • Statement/consent for admission to the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia for a minor child;
  • Statement/consent for registering the residence of a minor child, a citizen of the Republic of Serbia;
  • Statement/consent for issuing an ID card to a minor child, a citizen of the Republic of Serbia;
  • Statement/consent for issuing a passport to a minor child, a citizen of the Republic of Serbia;
  • Power of attorney for collecting the passport;
  • Consent of the owner of real estate (apartment or house) for the registration of the residence of an adult person, a citizen of the Republic of Serbia, at the address of the property owned or co-owned;
  • Revocation of statement/power of attorney/consent.

 

Another novelty, available since February 1, 2024 is the possibility to apply for the unified permit electronically in just a few steps. We have previously, in other blogs and news, informed you that there was already a possibility of electronic application for the temporary residence permit.

The old-fashioned system of having two separate permits (residency, and work), has now been replaced with the unified permit. Everything in one place. The only way to submit the request for issuance of the unified permit is electronically, which is one more plus to the complete digitalization of our country.

Firstly, if the applicant is a foreigner, registration on the unique web portal for foreigners is necessary. The application itself is submitted by filling out the online application form available on the Portal. After the successful submission of the application, all notifications and further instructions are delivered to the applicant’s mailbox in the Portal.

Regardless of their location, Serbian citizens can now use government services electronically, allowing them to efficiently and easily conduct business with administrative authorities, saving both time and financial resources.

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