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Serbia has come a long way since it was part of Yugoslavia and later joined up with Montenegro. Now, it’s a country all on its own and lots of people from all over the world are choosing to move there. But why do they pick Serbia? What’s so great about this place in the Balkans? And what problems might they run into? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Serbia?

The appeal of Serbia lies in a combination of factors. Its rich history, having transitioned from a Yugoslavian republic to a sovereign state, adds to the nation’s charm. The country’s evolution has not gone unnoticed, and today, it is a favored spot for relocation.

The allure of living in Serbia

Serbia, while not part of the EU, is undeniably a part of Europe. It offers a lifestyle that’s distinctly European, complete with delicious food and breathtaking natural scenery. A remarkable feature of Serbia is its affordability. The cost of living here is low compared to the rest of Europe, making it an attractive option for many.

The country is quite open, allowing visa-free entry for numerous nationalities. However, those from Africa and the Middle East will need to apply for a visa, whereas most other countries benefit from visa-free access.

As of 2024, several aspects make Serbia an appealing place that you might want to choose for your permanent or temporary residence:

  • Cultural Heritage: Serbia is like a treasure chest full of different cultures that have come together to create something really special. Its history is a mix of times when it was ruled by different empires, like the Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians, and its own Slavic roots. This has made Serbia a place with unique traditions and a really interesting past. When you travel around Serbia, you’ll see lots of old buildings, places where major historical events happened a long time ago, as well as some amazing churches and monasteries. Two of these, called Gračanica and Dečani, are protected by the whole world as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They’re beautiful examples of old Serbian art and show how different styles from the East and West came together in this part of Europe.
  • Advantageous Position: Serbia is in a great spot, right in the middle of the Balkans, where East meets West. This makes it ideal both for businesses aiming to grow and for people who have a passion for travel. The country’s location offers seamless access to various markets, which is a boon for trade and investment.  Since 2000, Serbia has been doing better and better, with income per capita more than doubling, let alone a significant poverty reduction.
  • Economic Opportunities: Currently, Serbia’s economy is on the rise, offering a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. The government’s incentives are designed to promote a business-friendly environment, encouraging both local and foreign investment. With relatively low living costs, the country is financially appealing to a wide range of people, from retirees to digital nomads.
  • Safety and Hospitality: Recognized for its safety and hospitality, Serbia welcomes visitors and expatriates alike. The country’s low crime rate contributes to a sense of security that is valued by those who live there or come to visit. The rules for hotels and restaurants are clear and strict in the nation. This means that businesses know how to take good care of their customers and keep everything running smoothly.

Challenges of relocating to Serbia

If you’re planning to move to Serbia, you should know that some things might be tough at first. Do you intend to live in Serbia for a long time? If so, be ready to handle a few tricky things:

  • Relaxed Pace of Life: In Serbia, life moves at a leisurely pace. Appointments and punctuality aren’t always top priorities, and it’s common for people to be late for meetings. This relaxed attitude is part of the culture but can be a source of frustration, especially in business.
  • Job Market: While Serbia’s job market has a high unemployment rate, which may make finding a well-paying job tough for expats, there’s a silver lining. Technical jobs are in demand, so skilled workers like carpenters and electricians are likely to find employment quickly, particularly in bigger cities.
  • Bureaucracy: Dealing with paperwork and official procedures is often a headache in Serbia, as bureaucracy is a big part of life. Whether it’s setting up a business, opening a bank account, or just general interactions with authorities, it may be quite time-consuming. To avoid stress, consider hiring a local lawyer who’s familiar with the system to help you navigate these processes.
  • Heating Systems: Many places in Serbia still use furnace heating, which may lead to smoky air in the winter. However, the government is aware of this issue and plans to address it in the future.
  • Healthcare Considerations: While Serbia offers universal healthcare, the standards may vary, and expatriates often opt for to go private, which, although affordable, is an additional cost.

Residency permits in Serbia

Are you about to move to Serbia permanently? There are several legal paths you can take to make it possible. While the costs involved in the process do matter, they are generally not excessive. To make sure your stay in Serbia is legal, feel free to obtain either a temporary or a permanent residence permit, depending on your goals:

  1. Temporary Residence: To extend your stay in Serbia beyond 90 days, you’ll need a temporary residence permit. This permit can be valid for one to three years, depending on your specific situation. You are welcome to apply for a temporary residence permit either through the Police Directorate for the City of Belgrade or regional Police directorates. Alternatively, you may use the eGovernment portal.
  2. Permanent Residence: To qualify for permanent residency in Serbia, you must have lived in the country continuously for five years. This status allows for long-term settlement and grants access to Serbia’s healthcare and education systems.

For a quicker route to legal residence in Serbia, purchasing property in the country is an option to consider. At, you will find lots of appealing options to choose from. For any questions or concerns you might have, don’t hesitate to contact SerbiaWealth. We are here to make your life easier!

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