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COVID-19 – Status of Foreign Citizens in Serbia during the State of Emergency

COVID-19 – Status of Foreign Citizens in Serbia during the State of Emergency

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Since the state of emergency was declared in Serbia on 15 March 2020, the status of foreign citizens has been uncertain. This is because the Directorate for Foreigners has been closed for serving parties at the counters (as well as all other public institutions except for Tax Administration, Customs Administration and Treasury Department). Due to the fact that the Directorate for Foreigners has not yet introduced the possibility of submitting requests and documentation electronically, foreign citizens residing in Serbia were basically unable to initiate proceedings in order to regulate their stay.

However, on 24 March 2020 the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on the Status of Foreign Citizens in the Republic of Serbia during the State of Emergency(“RS Official Gazette”, No. 41 of 24 March 2020, hereinafter: (“Decision”), which entered into force on the same day.

The Decision provides that foreign citizens legally residing in the Republic of Serbia on the date of declaration of the state of emergency may lawfully remain in Serbia for the duration of the state of emergency without the obligation to initiate administrative proceedings for further determination of their residency status.

Additionally, ID cards of foreign citizens, as well as asylum seekers, that expired or will expire during the state of emergency, shall be considered valid for the duration of the state of emergency.

Also, the Decision provides that during the state of emergency all actions of police officers aimed at collection of biometric data from foreign citizens shall be suspended until conditions for safe collection are met.

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact us.

By Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic

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