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The Republic of Serbia has almost half a decade foreseen the need based on good international cooperation with India to simplify entry for Indian citizens to Serbia. More precisely on August 22, 2017, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a Decision on the abolition of visas for citizens of the Republic of India, and holders of ordinary passports traveling to Serbia, which will enable future citizens of this remote eastern country to enter, transit and stay within the territory of Serbia for up to 30 days without visas, in a period of one year. The decision came into force on September 2, 2017. Holders of Diplomatic or Official passports do not require a visa for a stay in Serbia for up to 90 days in the period of one year.
Immediately prior to the adoption, it was announced that the Decision aims to facilitate the uninterrupted arrival of tourists as well as potential investors from this country, in order to create a more favorable business environment as well as to bring bilateral relations with India to a higher level. At the time, this announcement was spread by almost all the media in the country.
It is easy to guess that you will need a visa if you are a citizen of India and want to stay in Serbia for more than 30 days. The visa then becomes an existing issue, and the first step is to know for which visa to apply. The Law on Foreigners specifies 4 types of visas (A, B, C, and D). Should you plan a short stay in Serbia that is longer than 30 days, visas C or D will be of interest to you.
When you plan to apply for Visa C or D, the essential and mandatory document you need to submit is the invitation letter. The invitation letter can be issued by a Serbian citizen or by a company with a seat address in Serbia. Of course, this is not the only document you will need to present for the visa application, however, this document is the only one you can not obtain by yourself, it needs to be issued by a Serbian citizen or a Serbian company.
The visa C is issued for a stay of up to 90 days for a period of 6 months, for the period indicated in your letter of invitation. That stay in Serbia can be with a single entry, which would involve one entry and one exit in those 6 months, i.e. a continuous stay of up to 90 days. Also, you can “interrupt” your stay, i.e. have multiple entries in the approved period of 6 months, that is, enter and leave the Republic of Serbia several times, as long as your total number of days spent in Serbia does not exceed 90 days.
Different from Visa C, Visa D is issued for 90-180 days in Serbia. I.e. with visa D, you will be able to stay legally in Serbia from 3-6 months.
You can apply for a visa C and D in any Serbian embassy in the world. You can file a request with the embassy of the Republic of Serbia in New Delhi, although you do not have to apply strictly there just for being an Indian citizen. For instance, if you are staying in Germany for business purposes at the time you wish to apply for a visa C, there is no barrier to doing so at the Serbian embassy in Germany.
The deciding period from the day of submission of application for a Visa is 15 days, however, in some special circumstances this period can be prolonged to a period of 30 days.
After you’ve been granted visa C or D, you will be invited to go to the embassy with a passport, in order for your visa C to be issued. Understandably, you could ask yourself what would happen if you are on a trip or for any other reason are unable to collect your visa from the embassy at the moment they invite you. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia assures that it is not a problem to come and collect the visa a few days late. In that case, the visa will be issued to you from the day you picked it up and not starting with the date you were invited from the embassy to arrive (that is, the date when the visa was to be issued to you).
Besides from the approved time period of stay in Serbia, the biggest and most important matter to emphasize is that if you are planning to apply for temporary residence in Serbia, first you will need to obtain Visa D.
For further explanation, temporary residence permit is residence that is approved to a foreigner by the Police, and it is the longest period that can be approved to foreigner i.e. maximum of one year.
If you are a citizen of India and you plan to stay in Serbia for more than 30 days, you need to apply for Visa C or Visa D.
With approved visa C you can legally stay in Serbia in the period of maximum 90 days in 180 days, and with approved visa D you can stay legally in Serbia in the period from 90-180 days.
If you plan to apply for temporary residence in Serbia, first you need to obtain Visa D.