Serbia: Immigration Changes in Employment Law & ICT

Considering the amendments that have taken place in the Law of foreigners and Law of employment of foreigners recently in Serbia and which we have already written about, in this text, we would like to refer in particular to the improvements that apply on the work permits for the special type of employment in Serbia, such as Assignment and Intra-company transfer work permits.  

As a reminder, previous Law of employment of foreigners prescribed many limitations for these 2 types of work permits. The most important was related to the validity of the permits which was set at maximum one year. After the first year, extension was only possible if there is a bilateral agreement between two countries that defines longer period of the assignment or if assignee’s work was of the high importance for the Republic of Serbia which two ministries must confirm and approve. If assignees do not qualify for any of the above options for extension, employers had no choice other than switching their permits to the local hire work permits after the first year. 

Starting from February 1st, 2024, the following improvements will apply:
• Assignment and Intra-company transfer work permit will be issued with validity of up to three years
• Extension will be possible for additional period of up to three years
• Rights and conditions of work such as remuneration, compensations, allowances, working hours, annual leave etc, for the assigned personnel cannot be lower than the rights and conditions prescribed as minimum by the Law that regulates work in the Republic of Serbia. In this matter, foreign assignees will be equal to Serbian nationals. 

In relation to the last point, affective August 4th, 2023, Assignment letter which is one of the main requirement for these types of work permits, should be more comprehensive and include mandatory details, such as:
• Period of the assignment
• Place of work
• Position 
• Work condition
• Working hours 
• Annual leaves and other absences
• Remuneration and the way how it is paid
• Other compensations
• Accommodation and meals allowances
• Transportation allowances
• Safety and health conditions

Assignment letter would also need to include the information that assignee will be relocated back and continue to be employed by the sending entity from which he/she was temporarily assigned to the Republic of Serbia, once work engagement in the Republic of Serbia is over. 

One year of prior employment by sending entity is still mandatory requirement for both types of work permits and during this period employee must be enrolled into social security in the country where sending entity is registered.

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