Relocation to Serbia: Main Benefits and Drawbacks


Serbia is a beautiful Balkan country with a rapidly developing economy, vast opportunities for business and investment, excellent banking services, the lowest utility bills in Europe, and a relaxed lifestyle that does not leave anyone indifferent: you are bound to love it or hate it. The Republic of Serbia attracts a lot of immigrants for different reasons, and its capital, Belgrade, is a multinational, bustling business hub like any capital of a developed country. Immigrants come from Western and Eastern European countries and also from Asia. This post will examine why the country is attractive for life and work and what barriers you may encounter if you relocate.

Relocation to Serbia: The Upside

Serbia is a European country (and it is expected to join the EU soon), so you will find European architecture, lifestyle, and customs – with a bit of local colour. The locals are very friendly to foreigners, which is an essential factor. Nature lovers will enjoy stunning views and secluded mountainous retreats. You are sure to appreciate the local cuisine, too. The good news is that you may enjoy all the above at much lower prices than on average in Europe!

The majority of nationalities can enter Serbia without a visa and stay there for 30 to 90 days, except for residents of Africa and the Middle East who do need a visa.

Here is a list of benefits that make Serbia an appealing place to nationals of different countries:

● The cost of living is affordable for almost anyone.

● The local business sphere is experiencing rapid development, and business-minded people will quickly start a company here (there are very few administrative barriers) and fit into the local environment.

● Serbian residents are liable for taxes, but the rates are not very high (especially compared to other European countries).

● Freelancers who opt for Serbia feel comfortable as the conditions are reasonable.

● Subject to certain conditions, you can get a Serbian passport by naturalization (the only way) in about seven years, and it allows visa-free travel to many countries.

● You can become a Serbian citizen if you first get a residence permit and then (in 2 years) obtain a permanent residence permit and live in Serbia for five years after that. The good news is that both licenses are easy to get.

● Personal security is essential when choosing a country to live in. However, Serbia has a low crime rate, so you should not worry about that.

● Serbian homes are places where you will be treated with incredible hospitality.

Serbia: The Downside

Each country has its pros and cons. You cannot do anything about it except ask yourself – is there anything among the disadvantages that I find unbearable? If so, you have to think twice whether you are prepared to live with it. Otherwise, the drawbacks should be taken into consideration. Here are the things you will have to put up with in Serbia:

● You will have to deal with red tape in practically all spheres of life in Serbia. Interaction with local authorities, company formation, setting up an account with a bank – all that is connected with bureaucracy. The only way out here is to hire an experienced Serbia-based lawyer who will jump through all the administrative hoops for you.

● The pace of life can be irritatingly slow at times, and you will never come across a Serbian who is in a hurry. Being late is normal, and keeping your appointment is unimportant. This should be regarded as a peculiarity of the local culture if you decide to conduct business in the country – mainly if you are used to strict time management.

● Serbian houses use furnace heating, and in winter, you will see smoke coming out of chimneys in numerous places. However, this problem is expected to be resolved shortly as the local authorities are determined to do something about it.

● The unemployment rate is relatively high, so it is a good idea to “bring your work with you” if you are a freelancer or an online worker—or start a local or international business. Jobs are limited, especially well-paid ones. The only exception is the jobs requiring technical expertise, which can easily be found in all major cities in Serbia. You will find an excellent job in the country if you are an electrician or a carpenter.

Serbian Residence Permits

Even if you can stay in the country visa-free, this period is limited. How do you make your stay legal after this period expires? Let’s look at the main strategies used by ex-pats:

● If you enter into a labour agreement with a Serbian employer, the latter will get a residence permit for you. Remember that the document will expire once your agreement is terminated.

● Many people use a visa run, even though it is inconvenient. Suppose you can stay in Serbia for 90 days without a visa. All you have to do on the 89th day is to cross the border to the nearest country and re-enter Serbia – and now you have 90 more days of legal stay. You can do this as many times as you want, and nothing is illegal. The only problem is that you cannot legally work in Serbia without a residence permit. However, this is not a problem if you are a freelancer who pays taxes in another country, and all you need is to live in Serbia.

● You can form a company in Serbia to be eligible for a residence permit.

● Another way is to buy local real estate (unlike many other countries, the cost is not limited – you can find accommodation at 10,000 euros (!).

● Finally, students qualify for a residence permit as well.

Are you interested in Serbia? Follow the above link to find more information on the fully devoted portal to Serbia or ask a specialist (use the live chat during office hours) any questions. We wish you a pleasant stay in Serbia!

Read More: Incorporate a Company in Serbia with a Corporate Bank Account.

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