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SERBIA CITIZENSHIP AFTER ONE YEAR TEMPORARY RESIDENCY - DRAFT LAW?

oldtimer2

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Oct 21, 2022
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So at the end of May 2023 the Serbian government sent to Parliament a draft law that will allow Serbian citizenship after only one year of temporary residency under a few (not so hard) conditions). If you google "serbia draft law on citizenship 2023" then various links about it will come up. Seems you can ignore the 10 May news article claiming the government has backed off the idea because later in may it was sent to the Parliament for discussion and voting. There seems to be no news online about the progress of the draft law. Are there any members in or watching Serbia with any news about this possibility?
 
There are 2 draft laws and the first one is now (effective end of July) passed into Law. This now allows for Serbian permanent residency (and therefore citizenship) after just 3 years of temporary residency. Now the first residency permit can be for 3 years (not one year extendable as was the rule before). It will become a residency card instead of a stamp in the passport. Amendments to the Law on Residence and Employment of Foreigners .

The second draft law (if it gets passed by parliament) will allow citizenship after just one year of temporary residency.
 
There are 2 draft laws and the first one is now (effective end of July) passed into Law. This now allows for Serbian permanent residency (and therefore citizenship) after just 3 years of temporary residency. Now the first residency permit can be for 3 years (not one year extendable as was the rule before). It will become a residency card instead of a stamp in the passport. Amendments to the Law on Residence and Employment of Foreigners .

The second draft law (if it gets passed by parliament) will allow citizenship after just one year of temporary residency.
Can you recommend a good immigration lawyer in Serbia?
 
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Can you recommend a good immigration lawyer in Serbia?
I have not chosen one yet.

Usually there is requirement that you actually stay (183days+ per year) in the country in such cases. Is this the case here too?
I think that will be the case - but staying 184 days under a 1 year to citizenship option would be very attractive I think. It will be worth checking if 'business people' who need to travel to conduct their business can get away with less than 183 days as an exception (if the business seems valid and is paying some taxes).The other requirements in the draft law are to hold a school diploma or higher qualification, and to operate some kind of business and pay some tax (simple to do). But even 3 years to citizenship could be interesting. Currently we are in Georgia with a 10 year temporary residency before permanent residency system.. not good at all.

Can you recommend a good immigration lawyer in Serbia?
Currently our plan is to take a 12 months nomad visa in Malta. 12 month visa gets you a biometric residency card (not just a stamp in the passport like the 6 months nomad visa option) and we can put that in our pocket. It will give some flexibility to move around inside the EU. After getting the Malta card, then go for the Serbia option especially if it is a 1 year pathway. Other reasons for Serbia? Well, we are looking for the closest non EU country so we can enter the Schengen easily by driving (without needing to board planes and fly). Every country has its issues but Serbia seems like an easy residency option and even 3 years to a passport is worth thinking about if the 1 year option doesn't get passed by parliament. We qualify for the Italy Representative Office Visa (it is outside the quotas and has very easy requirements) with residency - but many people complain about Italy and so we are wary of taking that option. The consensus seems to be it's lovely to holiday in Italy but avoid residency.

If I recall correctly you are in Italy under the 100k flat tax scheme but thinking about perhaps leaving Italy??
 
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What about Serbian language requirement ?
None as far as I know.
Usually there is requirement that you actually stay (183days+ per year) in the country in such cases. Is this the case here too?

It seems the previous law said you could apply for permanent residency (and then citizenship) after 5 years temporary residency during which time you could only be outside Serbia for 300 days in total and never more than 6 months at one time. In the current (newly amended) law they simply changed the 5 years to 3 years.... so according to the law it is now 300 days in total and no more than 6 months at one time during 3 years. There is a second draft law that proposes to reduce the 3 years requirement down to only one year of temporary residency.... and it might contain other changes as well. so its possible the 300 day rule might change. Having said that, I have read that this 'stay' requirement can be waived if the applicant is a business person who can show they have good business reasons to be outside Serbia for more than 300 days during the period. However, I have not talked to anybody who has used this 'waiver' so this is a subject to discuss with a Serbian lawyer specialising in immigration.
 
Yes but I’m not spending much time in Italy
I'm slowly shifting to a Cyprus non-dom, but would like to live in Italy for 3-4 months a year. Could that be a problem?
I know their tax office is agressive but how agressive? Is it like with the Swiss or Spain where they deem people who come on long holidays as tax residents.

Can you recommend a good immigration lawyer in Serbia?
I am assuming Serbia, like many eastern europe countries, only works on connections and "expedited fees". If you found a good lawyer since the post, please pm me.
 
I'm slowly shifting to a Cyprus non-dom, but would like to live in Italy for 3-4 months a year. Could that be a problem?
I know their tax office is agressive but how agressive? Is it like with the Swiss or Spain where they deem people who come on long holidays as tax residents.


I am assuming Serbia, like many eastern europe countries, only works on connections and "expedited fees". If you found a good lawyer since the post, please pm me.
I think there are not so many countries (Eastern Europe or otherwise) these days where it's simple and risk free to 'go it alone' or to even 'go it with well meaning' input. On the other hand, finding reliable lawyers is hard which is why we are always asking for recommendations for 'good lawyers'. :). Visiting Italy only in the second half of each year will help to minimise risks of them trying to bite you.
 
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Some online sources are saying the draft amendment to the law, allow 1 year to citizenship, has been withdraw by the government. For example, in this article the law firm says: it has been withdrawn but we have to wait and see if it is permanently withdrawn.
 

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