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The Serbian government has withdrawn its proposed amendments to the Law on Citizenship from the parliamentary procedure. Introduced on May 5, 2023, these amendments (namely, a Proposal for Changes and Addendums of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia) aimed to simplify the conditions for foreigners to acquire Serbian citizenship.

The original proposal specified that a foreign individual could obtain Serbian citizenship by meeting certain criteria, including holding permanent residence, being 18 years or older, maintaining business capacity, and submitting a statement affirming the Republic of Serbia as their chosen country.

Notably, individuals from other countries are eligible for permanent residency by meeting general conditions stipulated by law and residing in Serbia for three years without interruption, as approved through temporary residence.

Additionally, another incentive for acquiring Serbian citizenship was proposed, allowing individuals to potentially obtain citizenship after just one year of temporary residence in Serbia. This option was available if specific conditions were met, such as obtaining secondary or higher education in Serbia, or having a foreign higher education document recognized by the competent authority in the Republic of Serbia. Furthermore, individuals had to engage in an independent activity or be employed or contracted by an employer conducting operations within the Republic of Serbia, while also expressing a declaration considering the Republic of Serbia as their country of choice.

However, the European Commission expressed concerns in July 2023 about potential migration or security risks for the EU, given that Serbian citizens enjoy visa-free access to the EU. In response to these concerns, the Serbian government decided on October 12, 2023, to withdraw the proposed changes to the Law on Citizenship from the parliamentary procedure. The European Commission urged Serbia to address these concerns by incorporating strong safeguards and security checks into any future amendments to the citizenship acquisition law. Given the political climate in the EU and the upcoming Serbian parliamentary elections, it remains uncertain whether the new government will pursue changes to the Law on Citizenship that align with the initially proposed amendments or take a different approach.

Eurofast’s dynamic team in Serbia remains at the forefront of legislative changes introduced by the Serbian government. Our dedicated professionals stand ready to guide clients through the legal landscape with confidence and efficiency. For further guidance, contact Eurofast office in Serbia at belgrade@eurofast.eu


Eurofast is a regional business advisory organization employing local advisors in over 21 cities in South East Europe & the Middle East (SEEME). The Organization is uniquely positioned as a one-stop-shop for investors and companies looking for professional services in  Tax & Transfer Pricing – Payroll & Employment – Accounting & Compliance –Advisory & Corporate. 
Predrag Dejanovic Eurofast

Predrag Dejanovic
Legal Advisor
Eurofast Belgrade
belgrade@eurofast.eu

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