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How will the changes to the Employment of Foreigners Act affect the labor market?

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Amendments to the Law on the Employment of Foreigners, which were adopted on July 26th, introduced a single permit that unifies the residence and work of foreigners in Serbia. Issuance of this permit is possible entirely digitally, and the law foresees a more flexible concept of employment of foreigners, who will more quickly and easily realize the right to temporary residence and at the same time the right to work, but still with the application of the concept of conducting the labor market test.

Digitization has made it possible to submit requests from abroad, as well as download relevant data through official channels. As stated in the law, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is responsible for regulating the stay of foreigners, while the National Employment Service is responsible for issuing work permits.

The new law regulates the conditions and procedure for employment of foreigners as well as temporary employment, and a foreigner is any person who does not have Serbian citizenship.

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According to the provisions of the law, a foreigner can come to the country for temporary work in order to be professionally trained and perfected for the needs of the employer. The employment contract that the employer can conclude with a foreigner is for a definite or indefinite period, depending on how long the unique permit lasts.

A foreigner is obliged to, within 30 days after his employment contract ceases to be valid, or conclude another contract or another contract by which he exercises his rights based on the law without establishing an employment relationship, otherwise the provisions of the law regulating the conditions for entry, movement, stay and return of foreigners.

The law also defines an assessment, which is an assessment of the fulfillment of the conditions for employment of a foreigner, special cases of employment and self-employment of a foreigner, which is the responsibility of the National Employment Service.

The foreigner must submit the evidence necessary to assess the fulfillment of the conditions for issuing a single permit electronically, through the portal, and the assessment is marked with a grade of “meets” or “does not meet”.

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The Government of Serbia may, if there is no need for certain occupations, not to give consent for the issuance of unique permits for those occupations.

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