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Visa Formalities
Registration of stay

All foreigners are required by law to register themselves with the police station in their district within 24 hours of receiving a Serbian entry stamp at a border crossing or airport. Registration is done automatically by hotel staff upon check-in (white temporary ID will be given to you by hotel staff).

 It is important to keep your white card, or a copy of it, with you, all the time. It is the foreigner equivalent of the personal ID and the only document which state your address.
If you are staying in a private accommodation, the responsibility falls on you and your host to register yourself with the police in the district in which you are staying (presence of foreigner and host required, with passport, ID card and Foreigner Registration Form). You will receive the bottom half of the Form (white temporary ID) to carry with you; when exiting the country, you will be required to present it to the Border Police.

Failure to register and obtain the bottom half of the Registration Form can result in prosecution and a fine.

You must report any change of address within 24 hours of moving.

Types of stay and visas

A foreigner who does not need a visa or a travel document to enter the Republic of Serbia may stay in the country for a maximum period of 90 days, within a timeframe of six months starting from the day of the first entry.

There are three types of stay for foreigners in Serbia:

  • Stay of up to 90 days (the stay of a foreigner either without a visa or on the grounds of a Short stay visa - type C). Short stay visa shall be issued for the purpose of tourism, business and other traveling for a single, double or multiple entries into the Republic of Serbia. The duration of an uninterrupted stay, and/or the total duration of successive visits of a foreigner with a short stay visa shall not exceed 90 days within a period of six months which started on the day of the first entry. A short stay visa with the multiple entry option shall be issued with the term of validity of up to one year.
  • Temporary residence (on the grounds of Temporary residence visa - type D). A temporary residence visa shall be issued for the purposes, under the conditions and with the term of validity stipulated by this Law with respect to the permission for temporary residence. If a foreigner intends to stay more than 90 days in the Republic of Serbia, he/she shall be obliged to obtain this visa or to obtain the permission for temporary residence from the competent authority during his/her stay in the Republic of Serbia. Host organization is obliged to organize work visa application.
  • Permanent residence.

Temporary residence may be permitted to a foreigner whose intention is to stay in the Republic of Serbia longer than 90 days for the purposes of:

  • Work, employment, performance of economic or other professional activities;
  • Enrolling a school, university or advanced education course, scientific research, practical training, participation in the programmes of international exchange of pupils and students, and/or other scientific/education activities;
  • Family rejoining;
  • Other reasonable reasons in accordance with the law or an international treaty (for example, Non-marital relationship).
If the reason for your stay is educational, specialized, scientific research, employment or professional work and you will be staying over 30 days, you MUST apply for a temporary residence permit within 3 days of entering the country. The authority in charge of issuing residence permits is the Police Department (Secretariat of Internal Affairs) operating in the municipal district where you have declared yourself as residing (see above).

A foreigner may be granted the permission for temporary residence if he/she furnishes the proof that:

  • He/she has got sufficient financial means to sustain him/her (What this mean in reality is that you will need a certificate from your bank to prove you have at least EU 1,000 so as to be able to pay for any medical or other expenses you may incur in Serbia. It is possible to print a statement off the internet from your bank stating your current balance);
  • He/she has got health insurance;
  • His/her reasons for temporary residence are justified and in compliance with the purpose of temporary residence referred to in Article 26, paragraph 1 of the Law.

Typically, long visas are issued for periods of 1 year or 6 months.

Extension of stay

A foreigner shall file the application for extension of the temporary residence (visa) period to the competent authority at least 30 days prior to the expiry of the temporary residence period. So make sure you apply to renew your visas at least 1 month before or face a fine up to 15,000 dinars or worse (banned from a country for a period of one year).

By law immigration office have to issue a decision on your application within 15 days, but they usually tell you to come back the next day to pick up your passport with visa and sometimes you can even get it back on the same day.

If you have the visa and stamp in your passport then you dont need to renew the white card (registration of stay). Make sure that you keep it though because it is needed to renew the temporary residency visa. It is the only document which proves where you live.

External links

Visas regime
Listing by countries (Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)
Customs formality guide
Information about: declaring items brought into the country, personal luggage, customs clearance, exemption from import taxes, articles not to be imported, temporary import of goods or items, temporary import of motor vehicles and their export, bringing into and taking foreign and local currency out of the country.

(Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)

List of border crossings in Serbia
(Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)
Registration of foreigners
Procedure for the registration of foreigners and granting permission to stay temporarily in Serbia.

(Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)

Entering the country without visa
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs list of countries whose nationals may enter Serbia without a visa.

(Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)

Serbian diplomatic and consular missions in other countries
(Website of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia - Consular Affairs)


Go back to a main page with practical information for Incoming researchers, or find more details in Survival guide for short visits of research staff to Serbia or Serbian mobility guide 2011.


Last modified: 18.10.2009
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