News for foreigners interested in getting a work permit in Serbia

10
Jan 2018

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work permit in Serbia, getting work permit for Serbia

The Law on Employment of Foreigners from 2014 regulates terms and procedures for the employment of foreign citizens in the Republic of Serbia, as well as other issues regarding work permits of foreign citizens in the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter: the Law). This regulation applies to foreign citizens who are employed in the Republic of Serbia in cases when the conditions determined by the law or the valid international agreement are fulfilled. The provision of the Law that guarantees the equal position of foreigners employed in the Republic of Serbia in terms of equal rights and obligations in terms of work, employment and self-employment is of special importance.

Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners from December 2017 provided some modifications to the said regulation.

News for Foreigners in Serbia

Primarily, upon determining the employer, in addition to the domestic and foreign legal or natural persons registered for performing activities in the Republic of Serbia, both the branch and the representative office of a foreign employer registered for performing activities in the Republic of Serbia fall under the scope of the Law. Therefore, the number of employers to whom the Law applies has increased, which means – the improved position of foreigners in terms of employment in the territory of Serbia.

On the other hand, there are new categories of persons to whom the Law does not apply. Specifically, conditions for employment of foreigners do not apply to the employment of foreigners who belong to family members of a member of the diplomatic-consular representation of the country with which the Republic of Serbia has concluded a bilateral international agreement allowing the person to perform a paid activity in the Republic of Serbia.

Also, in addition to the already established rule that a work permit for work in Serbia for special employment cases is issued at the employer’s request for seconded employees, independent professionals, as well as for transfer within the company, a new rule foresees issuing this license in the case of training and professional improvement.

With respect to the abovementioned, and on the basis of the entirely new Article 22a, a work permit for qualification and training is issued at the request of an employer or a foreigner in order to carry out training, internship, professional practice, as well as vocational training or professional development. The conditions under which a foreigner can obtain a work permit in Serbia are that a foreigner has to have a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Serbia, as well as a contract with the employer for performing the listed activities. In addition, the contract must stipulate the location and duration of the contract. The work permit is issued for the duration of the listed contents, for a maximum period of one year, with the possibility of extension for another year.

Secondment to Serbia

According to Article 19 of the Law, work permits for persons seconded to work in Serbia who are employed by a foreign employer could be issued at the request of an employer in Serbia for the purpose of doing business or performing services in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The work permit is issued for a concluded contract period between the employer and the foreign employer, not exceeding a maximum period of one year. The novelty is paragraph 4 of the said Article which stipulates that the work permit for the persons seconded to work in Serbia can be extended for up to two years, with the consent of the competent ministry in charge of employment, and upon the previously obtained opinion of the competent ministry in charge of the area which regulates the activity of the employer for business or services that are of interest to the Republic of Serbia.

Extension of a Work Permit

The amendments foresee the extension of the work permit for transfer within the company, in terms of temporary movement or transfer of employees and (exceptionally) of trainees, secondment from abroad to work in a branch or a subsidiary company registered in Serbia. Specifically, until the adoption of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Employment of Foreigners, the work permit for the said activities would usually be issued for a period of the duration of the temporary residence, for a maximum of one year. However, based on the amendment introduced to the Law, the work permit can be extended for up to two years, with the consent of the ministry competent for employment and according to the previously obtained opinion of the ministry competent for regulating the activity of employers for businesses or services of interest to the Republic of Serbia.

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