A large number of amendments to the “Foreigners Law” and “Foreigners Employment Law” came into effect on May 7, 2019. Some of these provisions will be applicable from January 1, 2019. It is expected that Serbia will become more and more important. An attractive place for employment. Foreigners also encourage foreigners to invest in Serbia. We discussed in detail the “Foreigners Law Amendment” in our blog.

The general idea of ​​the amendment is to improve the business environment in Serbia by facilitating the process of obtaining temporary residence permits and work permits in Serbia.

Specifically, temporary residence and work permits are common to all foreigners working in Serbia, but what distinguishes them from them is the legal basis on which they are based.

The analysis of the implementation of the “Foreign Employment Law” shows that, among different types of work permits, the most issued by the National Employment Service is the employment work permit.

More precisely, the most sought-after are the work permits of persons seconded to Serbia and employed by foreign companies.

Therefore, seconding foreigners to Serbia will be the subject of discussion in this blog.

If you are interested in this topic, we recommend that you read the following blog, which will help you familiarize yourself with the key points about this issue.

1. Employment permit

One of the most significant changes in the aforementioned “Aliens Act” is that you can apply for a long-term visa (Visa D) based on employment opportunities. This new regulation, applicable from January 1, 2020, provides for a new type of visa, the “employment-based long-term visa.”

Therefore, foreigners who obtain long-term visas based on work exercise their employment rights in accordance with the “Foreigners Employment Law” without first obtaining a temporary residence permit or even the obligation to obtain a temporary residence permit.

This will make it possible for foreigners to apply for a work permit under a long-term visa without having to wait for a temporary residence permit. The legal solution introduced is expected to simplify the previous extension procedure for hiring foreigners in Serbia.

However, if working hours exceed the period of visa D, you must apply for a temporary residence permit to extend your stay before visa D expires.

2. The second person-definition

Nowadays, modern business has transcended national boundaries. Therefore, increased labor mobility is a natural result. In addition, many foreign employers choose to borrow their employees abroad in order to work in branches or subsidiaries registered in Serbia.

According to the “Foreign Employment Law” (hereinafter referred to as the “Law”), a seconded person is a foreigner employed by a foreign employer who exercises his rights due to his employment relationship and conducts business temporarily in the Republic. According to the law and approved international agreements, Serbia may provide services through the commercial activities of foreign employers.

3. Work permit for special employment situations

Article 18 of the law regulates the work permit for seconding foreigners to Serbia, and is classified as a work permit for special employment situations, as well as a work permit for transfer within a company, independent professionals, and training and Professional improvement.

The law stipulates that based on a contract between an employer and a foreign employer, such a work permit can be issued at the request of an employer in Serbia in order to conduct business activities or provide services in the Republic of Serbia.

The contract period for the issuance of work permits shall not exceed one year. However, it can be extended to two years with the consent of the competent department in charge of employment, and in accordance with the opinion of the competent department in charge of the employer’s business or service activities previously stipulated by the competent department. Things of interest to the Republic of Serbia. The aforesaid consent shall be obtained by the National Employment Service Bureau ex officio, and the applicant’s consent and opinions shall be obtained before the passage of legal amendments.

However, the relations between Serbia and some countries on this issue are regulated by bilateral or international agreements. Therefore, if the employer of the assigned individual is registered in that country, in this case, the secondment work permit shall be issued in the procedure and in accordance with the conditions, benefits and duration determined by the agreement. We recommend that you consult a lawyer to check whether your country has reached an agreement with Serbia on this matter.

The request to extend the work permit of seconded personnel employed by foreign employers shall be submitted to the National Employment Service at least 60 days before the expiration of the previous work permit.

4. Conditions for issuance of work permit

In order to obtain a secondment work permit, the following requirements must be met:

1) Foreign employees must obtain long-term visas based on work or temporary residence permits;

2) The secondee must be employed by a foreign employer for at least one year;

3) The existing bill seconded to Serbia, which determines the way to exercise the rights and obligations arising from the working relationship, and the type of accommodation during their stay and work in Serbia.

5. Electronic application for work permit

In order to simplify the sometimes complicated and time-consuming procedures, the amendments to the above-mentioned laws introduce a new possibility of unified application for temporary residence permits and work permits. This is already the subject of our blog – Serbia provides employment and residence for foreigners convenient.

In addition, the amendment to Article 41 of the Aliens Act allows the option of electronically submitting applications for temporary residence permits and work permits from Serbia or abroad.

From January 1st, this useful novelty will be introduced through an electronic application called “e-foreigner”. In other words, the possibility of this new introduction means that even before the seconded arrives in Serbia, a work permit will be obtained. In other words, this amendment will be of great benefit to foreigners, because until now, they have been traveling or spending high expenses during their stay in Serbia without the right to work.

6. Conclusion

Employee mobility is clearly changing the way the modern workforce operates, and more and more companies are going global. Nowadays, today’s employees are usually required to perform work assignments at a company location far from home (or even in another country).

Practice shows that since the implementation of the “Foreigners Employment Law”, employers have a great interest in getting foreigners to start working as soon as possible.

The novelty introduced by the Employment Law Amendment has great potential to improve the business environment in Serbia. The results of the changes introduced can provide appropriate treatment to foreigners in Serbia, and focus on simplifying and saving time procedures for obtaining work permits.

It is expected that these changes will help increase investment in the Republic of Serbia, especially in terms of hiring highly qualified experts, and will help the Republic of Serbia to better position itself.