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Work permit is a document issued by the National Employment Service based on which you can work in the Republic of Serbia. The employment of foreigners is regulated by the Low on employment of foreigners.


Work permit may be issued to a foreigner who was previously granted a temporary or permanent residence. Therefore, a work permit will be issued for a time period that must not be longer than the time frame of the residence permit. Both the temporary and the permanent residence is regulated by the Law on foreigners which lays out 3 types of stay:

  • stay up to 90 days
  • temporary residence
  • permanent residence

For the stay up to 90 days, a special approval from the competent authority is not necessary. However, it is obligatory to report the stay to a local police department within 24 hours of your arrival. If planning to stay in Serbia for more than 90 days, a foreigner should apply for a temporary residence in Serbia. If granted, the residence permit will be issued for a period from  90 days to a year, depending on each individual case.


Work permit is an act by which the foreigner may be employed or self-employed in Serbia, and can be issued as (A) a work permit or (B) a personal work permit. For the same period shall be issued only one type of license. We are going to describe only the work permit, not a personal work permit for which permanent residence is needed.

Work permit may be issued for:

  • self-employment;
  • employment
  • special cases of employment;

1.Work permit for self-employment

Work permit for self-employment is issued at the request of a foreigner who has a temporary residence permit in Serbia. Work permit application for self-employment should have following attachments:

  • a statement of the nature, duration and scope of activities planned by foreigner;
  • evidence that he has appropriate qualifications for specific activity;
  • Pre-contract or contract as evidence of the ownership or lease of business premises in which he will carry out his business activity;
  • proof that the applicant has the appropriate equipment to perform specific activities;
  • a statement of the number and qualifications of people planed to be employed, particularly of citizens of Serbia, persons who have free access to the labor market and foreigners possessing a personal work permit.

2. A work permit for employment

Employing a foreigner is realized through an employment contract or other similar agreement by which a foreigner will realize labor rights in accordance with the law.

Employer is a domestic legal or natural person registered (entrepreneur) to perform business activities in Serbia, as well as branch and representative office of a foreign employer registered for business activities in Serbia.

Foreign employer is a foreign legal or physical person registered abroad to perform business activities.

A work permit for employment shall be issued at the request of the employer, provided that the employer:

  • didn’t dismissed employees due to technological, economic or organizational changes at the same post for which the work permit for foreigner employment is asked
  • one month before applying for a work permit for employment he didn’t found the citizens of Serbia, person who have free access to the labor market or a foreigner with a personal work permit, appropriate qualifications with the National employment service;
  • submit a proposal of the employment contract or other agreement by which employees exercise their rights on the basis of work.

3. Work permit for the special cases of employment

Work permit for the special cases of employment shall be issued upon the request of the employer, for (a) foreigner sent by foreign employer, (b) movement within the company, and (c) independent professionals.

The procedure for issuing work and residence permit is quite complex so do not hesitate to contact us via email, phone, chat in order to save your time and efforts.