As the world gradually ceases to be a safe place, people are looking for Plan B to use in case of a major upheaval, and obtaining a second passport is a part of the arrangements. There are a lot of citizenship-by-investment offers that give an opportunity to acquire fast-track citizenship, but this is almost impossible for European countries – at least at an affordable price. Serbia is not an exception as there is no quick citizenship route (like in the Caribbean countries, for instance, where you can get a passport in a matter of several months). However, you can obtain citizenship by naturalization here, and the path is not very difficult. You can get more details on a trusted portal – for example, you should know that Serbian citizenship necessitates a personal visit. Do not hesitate to follow the link for information or free expert advice on Serbia!
A Typical Immigrant
The majority of those who get a Serbian residence permit (this is the first step to citizenship) come from Germany, Ukraine, Northern Macedonia, Turkey, Romania, China, and Russia. The main reasons for living in the beautiful Balkan country include work, studies, family reunification, property ownership, business, or marriage.
Residence holders have the same rights as nationals with regard to employment (including self-employment).
Many foreigners get a Serbian residence permit to open a bank account in the country as it offers excellent European-quality banking at fees that are much lower than on average in Europe. As Serbia is not an EU member yet, it has its own deposit insurance system: if your deposit does not exceed 50,000 euros, you will get it back in full in case of bank failure. Foreign individuals and legal entities can start companies and open bank accounts in Serbia without any restrictions. However, you will have much less trouble with banking if you have a residence permit.
You can easily obtain a residence permit if you invest in local real estate or start a company in Serbia. Both options are really recommendable: investment in Serbian real estate is profitable if you choose the property wisely, and the conditions for business are really favorable, which makes the country popular with entrepreneurs from across the globe.
Path to Serbian Citizenship
First of all, mind that you may come across websites that offer citizenship by investment in Serbia with prices ranging between 100,000 and 500,000 euros. You’d better keep away from such “opportunities” as these are made by scammers only. Serbia does not offer any economic citizenship program, and the only way to get a local passport is to follow a standard procedure.
Let’s look at the main stages:
- First of all, you obtain a residence permit. You can do it if you have some vital interests in Serbia (studies, family, real estate, business, and so on). As soon as you have obtained the document, you can live outside Serbia and keep it valid. However, it is issued for one year only, so you will have to extend it when it expires.
- If you want to become a tax resident of Serbia (many Europeans use this option as the taxes here are lower than in the rest of Europe), you can do so one year after the first approval of your residence permit. Fiscal residency requires you to live in Serbia for most of the year (at least 183 days).
- If you have successfully extended your residence permit for another year, you can apply for permanent residence when it expires.
- The permanent residence permit is issued for 5 years. When it expires, you can apply for a Serbian passport.
Serbia is about to join the EU (in fact, it is planning to do so in 2025). On the one hand, its prospects are good. On the other hand, it may face obstacles on the part of EU member states as it refused to impose sanctions against Russia, for example. If everything goes as planned, you will obtain an EU passport in about 7 years or a little longer.
This is an incredible opportunity even though it’s still in the air. You may be interested to find out that the only possibility to get an EU passport by investment is a Maltese program. However, it requires investing over 1 million euros, and there are a lot of requirements you will have to comply with (for example, you need to prove strong ties with Malta by living in the country for 1 year before you can apply). Not everyone can afford that.
Another opportunity is a residence-by-investment program offered by Portugal (also known as the Golden Visa program). This is an attractive opportunity, but it requires more investment than Serbia and it will not be any faster.
There are no other ways to easily get an EU passport as all the other programs are either suspended (Montenegro and Cyprus) or nonexistent. This fact makes Serbia a unique opportunity not to miss.
There are three ways to get a Serbian passport more quickly:
- You have to prove that you are a valuable person for the country and have some special merits. That is an exclusive way, and it is used very rarely as you may guess. Steven Seagal managed to become a Serbian citizen that way – so you need to be like Steven Seagal!
- If you are an emigrant from Serbia or a descendant of the country, you can obtain a passport quickly – and you don’t even need to live in Serbia or obtain a permanent residence permit.
- Finally, if you register a marriage with a citizen of Serbia, you will be able to apply for a passport in 3 years on the condition that you have acquired a permanent residence permit before.
Living in Serbia: Benefits
Let’s take a brief look at the reasons why many people choose Serbia to be their home:
- The cost of living is not very high
- The local business sphere is developing at a tremendous speed, and the process of company registration is pretty straightforward
- Serbian tax residents are liable for low taxes
- Freelancers who work remotely find Serbia to be a very convenient country
- The Serbian passport is strong enough
- The level of personal security is sufficiently high to feel comfortable
- The locals are very hospitable to foreigners
Sounds interesting? If you are reluctant to venture on your own and need more information, you are welcome to click on the above link to study the portal devoted entirely to life in Serbia and seek professional assistance – ask your questions for free! We wish you a happy life in Serbia.