The long-awaited possibility of applying for a temporary residence permit in Serbia electronically (hereinafter: Request) is finally on its way and will be in use from April 1, 2021.
The latest amendments to the Law on Foreigners from a year and a half ago envision the possibility of applying for temporary residence in Serbia electronically. The application of this novelty is conditioned with the passing of an appropriate bylaw by the competent ministry, which was expected at the end of 2019 and early 2020. Although the Rulebook came a year later, it is certain that everyone welcomed it with open hands, especially given the current state in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rulebook on Detailed Conditions for Submitting a Request for Temporary Residence Approval Electronically was adopted on December 30, 2020, and its implementation was postponed until April 1, 2021, requiring technical requirements for filing an electronic Request.
The first, great novelty is the possibility of applying not only in Serbia but also from abroad. This was not possible until now but the Request was handed over in person to the competent police administration on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
To apply, a foreign national must access and register on the eUprava portal (electronic administration portal). The issue of authenticating the identity of a foreign national has remained open, as foreigners do not have an electronic signature issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, and registration on the portal by entering a username and password does not provide reliable authentication. We hope that an adequate answer to this question will be provided by the technicians in charge of creating the electronic platform.
The decision on the Request itself will be delivered to an e-mailbox on the eUprava portal. If the Request is decided positively, a foreign national will have to be present at the competent police administration in order to put a sticker for temporary residency into their passport.
After the novelty with joint submitting of request for temporary residence and work permit that has quickly entered into practice and quickly demonstrated positive results, the electronic application for temporary residence is a step towards digitization that is a trend in the legislation of the Republic of Serbia. Bearing in mind that electronic applications for work permits are possible, from April 1, 2021, the stay of foreigners in Serbia will be predominantly digitalized.
While we expect answers to questions that remain open, such as, what evidence on health insurance and on support funds will be sufficient for a foreigner to apply from abroad, in addition to this novelty yet to be shown in practice, we are confident that the electronic application for temporary residence in Serbia will greatly facilitate and speed up the process of resolving the residency of foreigners in Serbia.