The Republic of Serbia is a vast cultural and historical heritage, affordable prices and a rapidly growing economy. And the “heart of the Balkans” is one of the clearly underestimated areas for relocation. Our guide will help you figure out if Serbia is right for you personally and what you need to move to.
The first 30 days for Russian citizens on the territory of Serbia there is a visa-free regime. For a longer stay in the republic, you can open a long-term visa – it allows you to stay in Serbia for up to 90 days.
Another option is to apply for a residence permit. The grounds for approval of an application for a residence permit are work, study, marriage to a citizen of Serbia, treatment, purchase of real estate and starting a business. The status of a temporary resident is issued for 1 year, after which the status must be renewed.
After five years, a foreigner can apply for permanent residence – that is, a permanent place of residence. And after three years in this status – even citizenship.
List of documents for obtaining a residence permit:
A valid international passport valid for at least 6 months after the expiration of the residence permit.
Confirmation of the availability of funds for the duration of the planned stay in Serbia at the rate of 50 EUR per day.
Registration of the address of residence in the Republic of Serbia at the Ministry of Internal Affairs or “white card”. This is a certificate issued to the owner of an apartment where a foreigner lives. It is issued at the local police department no later than 24 hours after the arrival of the foreigner in the apartment.
Medical insurance for the duration of the planned stay in Serbia.
Proof of payment of the administration fee.
Two color photographs 35×45 mm.
During the application process, you may also be asked to provide additional documents.
Serbia will soon also be able to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa. Such a visa gives the right to stay in the country for a long time without a residence permit, residence permit or citizenship. It is ideal for those who work remotely and online.
In Serbia, the digital nomad visa will be valid for six months with the possibility of extension. To apply for it, you will need medical insurance and evidence of an average monthly income of 3,500 euros necessary for living in the country – this can be both savings and the salary of a remote worker. And the visa also gives a tax break for the first 90 days of life in the country.
With a digital nomad visa in Serbia, you can stay longer than with a regular tourist visa. However, it is impossible to get a regular job on it. Remote work in a company or doing business online are mandatory requirements for obtaining it.
Novi Sad is second in Serbia's largest city
There is currently no direct flight between Russia and Serbia. Flights from Moscow include a mandatory transfer in Turkey or the Emirates. The cost of tickets varies from 600 to 3000 euros and depends on the duration of the transfer and the airline. The cheapest option is to fly low-cost Pegasus with baggage already included, or Flydubai with a small extra charge for baggage.
Danube Embankment, Belgrade
It is not easy for a foreigner to immediately find accommodation in Serbia. There are specialized sites for selecting apartments, for example, Nekretine or Oglasi, but without knowing the language it is difficult to navigate them.
To get started, you can use Booking to find temporary accommodation. Hotels and apartments of a decent standard cost in the range from 40 to 60 euros per day, and for a 4-5-star hotel they ask for an average of 100-150 euros. A hostel in the center of Belgrade will cost only 10-15 euros.
It is worth looking for long-term apartments through local real estate agencies or Russian-speaking landlords. Another option is to use thematic groups on social networks or Telegram channels for the request “rent apartments in Serbia”.
Goulash and red beans are the basis of Serbian cuisine
Food prices in Serbia are comparable to those in Russia and even a little cheaper. For example, milk will cost 60 rubles, bread – 30, chicken meat – 350. It is more profitable to buy food in the markets and in small shops than in large supermarkets.
Restaurants are also quite affordable. Dinner in an inexpensive cafe, even in the capital Belgrade, will cost about 500 rubles, it is quite possible for two people to meet 1,500 rubles with drinks.
Serbia also has two food delivery apps, Wolt and Glovo. In addition, many establishments offer their own food and alcohol delivery service with pre-order by phone.
Park in Belgrade, Serbia
There are local taxi services in Serbia, as well as Yandex Taxi, Naxis and Pink services. Belgrade also has a well-developed public transport system: 11 trams connect the center with other districts; the city train BG:VOZ travels from Belgrade to the suburbs every day. In general, it is easy to get to any point by trolleybus.
But the most popular form of transport in the capital is the bus – there are 141 regular routes in the city, as well as 32 night ones, running from 00.00 to 04.00 in the morning. You can find the right bus through the online service busevi.com.
There is also a city bus from the airport and it takes about 40 minutes to get to the center. Don't forget about payment — bus turnstiles accept payment by cards connected to the SWIFT system.
Prices for renting an economy class car start from 55 euros per day.
Park in Belgrade, Serbia
Serbia has a high unemployment rate. Therefore, newcomers will have to compete for vacancies with the locals. Getting a well-paid job in Serbia is almost impossible without knowing the language. The most demanded profession for Russian-speaking emigrants is a teacher of the Russian language. They are often sought after by large firms for their employees.
IT-specialists can find work in an international company, as well as engineers in the field of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Beauty specialists, cooks, auto mechanics, nannies and nurses are also in demand in Serbia.
To search for a job, you can contact specialized paid agencies for the selection of vacancies. But be careful: there are also a lot of scammers here. Jobs can be found through social media, through Learn4good, Careerjet or Poslove, or through the public employment service.
Subotica is a city in northern Serbia
To move, the animal must have a permanent marking (microchip) and an international veterinary passport, be vaccinated against rabies and treated for parasites. You can fully prepare your pet in one clinic, but it is better to contact and make an appointment in advance because of potential queues.
Keep in mind that the rules for transporting animals are different for different airlines – they should be clarified separately.
Serbia's economy is growing rapidly, and with it the quality of life is growing. Such a dynamic state gives the country a number of advantages for relocation – life here is much cheaper than in many European countries, and there are enough opportunities to start a business. Here, there are almost the lowest rates of fuel and electricity costs, cheap mobile communications, and programs to support entrepreneurship and investment in the country's economy are actively developing. And the Serbs themselves are a people friendly to the Russians, who will gladly support the guests of the republic during the period of adaptation in a new place.