Virginia, US

Nov 08 2018

New Background Check for Visas and Residence Permits


The situation

Foreign nationals applying for Serbian visas or residence permits are now subject to an additional background check by the Serbian Security Information Agency.

A closer look

The Ministry of Interior, Serbia’s main immigration authority, must now request an opinion from the Security Information Agency on whether visa or residence permit applicants present a risk to national security, as determined by the Serbian government. The additional check is expected to take between a few business days to a few weeks.


Foreign nationals are advised to account for delays in visa and residence permit processing as a result of the new background check. 


While Serbia has been facilitating short-term travel by adding seven nationalities to the visa waived list this year, the general immigration policy has been gradually becoming more strict, with more documents being required, intracompany assignments being limited to a total stay of two years, and a strict local payroll requirement.

The Security Information Agency is part of Serbia’s security/intelligence system, and handles national security and defense strategy and rules.

Serbia is one of the few countries in the region that does not require criminal / security clearance for residence permit applications, with five out of eight neighboring countries requiring such certificates.

Looking ahead

Serbia has been regularly amending its immigration laws and policies over the past years, and is expected to continue doing so in the coming months. Fragomen will report on relevant changes as they occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to