On 28 June 2018, the National Assembly of Serbia adopted amendments to the Employment of Foreigners Act (“the Act“). These amendments, which simplify the procedure for issuing work permits in order to further develop a favorable business environment and attract foreign investments, will come into force on 7 July 2018.

The simplification of the procedure has been achieved by changing one of the requirements for obtaining work permits. Namely, the period for determining whether there is an eligible Serbian citizen for performing the job in relation to which the foreign citizen is applying for the work permit is now shortened – from one month to ten days.

Since the implementation of the Act began, it could be evidenced that a significant number of work permits were issued to highly qualified foreign experts, mainly due to the need to obtain trained staff for Serbian branches of foreign companies.

In 2015, one year following the adoption of the Act, the National Employment Agency issued 6.362 work permits in total, of which 45.16% were work permits issued at the request of the employers. This trend continued in 2018 and in the first 4 months of 2018 this category remained the highest at 46.11%. These numbers demonstrate the necessity for introducing a simplified procedure for issuing work permits.

Given all of the above, the simplified procedure will allow the employers to expedite the process of finding eligible experts, thus improving their business strategies in Serbia.