Why Serbia may be the best destination for you

Those looking for a better life often seek out the so-called immigration hotspots such as the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. It is the latter that is the most intriguing of the bunch, as it offers a multitude of destinations to choose from, all offering a unique lifestyle and unique perks. 

Among those in Europe is Serbia, a country that does not get the recognition it merits in terms of immigration, but one that should not escape your consideration. We will highlight why that is, starting with the country itself. 

Serbia

Interested in reading more about companies, bank accounts, and immigration in Serbia? Explore our dedicated country site SerbiaWealth.info 

A robust infrastructure in an aesthetically beautiful setting

Serbia’s centralized location gives it a great climate and simplifies global access. The country hosts about seven million residents within its borders, all living their lives in a lush landscape with flowing rivers and towering mountains. 

English is prevalent throughout the nation thanks to its robust education system and growing tourism sector, while the healthcare foundation is robust, allowing those residing in the country to live worry-free in terms of health concerns. 

The economic landscape

The capital city, Belgrade, has become one of the finest and technologically advanced cities in Europe. Several urban renewal development projects headed by the Government of Serbia aimed at improving Belgrade’s cityscape and economy by revitalizing several areas along the promenade. 

The capital city’s business region is under rapid development and reconstruction. A mix of apartment and office buildings are under construction to upgrade infrastructure for the growing Information and Technology (IT) sector. Growth in IT services are has increased dramatically, becoming one of Serbia’s largest economic industries.

The nation has increased its global economic trade outside of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), having concluded bilateral free-trade agreements with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and the European Free Trade Association (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). Serbia is also a beneficiary of Japan’s GSP (preferential duties on importation to Japan).

Tax Advantages 

The capital city, Belgrade, has become one of the finest and technologically advanced cities in Europe. Each year, the National Employment Service publishes various incentives for the employment of highly qualified individuals. There are currently tax exemptions available for IT companies which is another reason to look to set up a tech-based business.

The current tax allowances are as follows:

Serbia taxes
  • During the year 2021: 70% tax and 100% PIO contribution;
  • During 2022: 65% tax and 95% contribution to PIO; and
  • During 2023: 60% of taxes and 90% of contributions to the PIO. 

Companies that do not qualify for the current exemption are taxed at 15%. Dividends are taxed at 15%, and personal income taxes are very favorable. There is 0% tax for persons earnings below €18,000. 10% €18,000 – 53,000, and high network individuals earning above €53,000 will be taxed a maximum of 15%. 

There are no additional wealth taxes, and inheritance and gift taxes are low at 1.5% – 2.5%. Overall, the tax structure in Serbia is highly favourable to HNW individuals opting to expand into Europe.

Lifestyle

Serbia has become well known for its culture, deep and lengthy history, delicious cuisine, beautiful unspoiled nature, hiking, forests, and vibrant nightlife in major cities in the country. There are more than fifty spa and health resorts to unwind and relax and four world-class ski centres to choose from to enjoy superb mountain escapes. 

Belgrade and Novi Sad are the cultural hubs of Serbia, offering extensive nightlife and other cultural hotspots. Various cafes, sporting events and galleries are open across the cities to give those living there. 

The countryside has a lot to offer with its abundance of places to experience traditional Serbian life, including small rustic villages, which bring their historical uniqueness and relaxes pace compared to the bustling cities.

Education

There is a rich history of tertiary education in Serbia for local and international students. According to the Shanghai University list, the University of Belgrade was founded in 1808 and is ranked in the top three hundred universities globally. 

There are various international primary and secondary schools, including the British, French, Russian, and American schools. Tuition fees are lower than comparable schools found in Western Europe.

Healthcare 

The National Health Insurance Fund (RFZO) manages all healthcare in Serbia for all citizens and permanent residents. In 2020, the EU offered €250million to reconstruct and construct twenty large hospitals across Serbia. The healthcare system is ranked thirty-third globally, providing world-class facilities and patient care, making the country an attractive place to live permanently.  

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Residency by Investment Program 

Another great thing about Serbia is that it hosts its own residency by investment program. This allows foreign investors to obtain Serbian residency easily, instead of having to jump through immigration hoops that other nations set up. 

There are two options available in the RBI program. An investor can start a company or invest in real estate. Both opportunities and the steps required for residency are shown below in more detail. 

Forming a company in Serbia:

This option is very simple; it only requires an investor to rent an apartment and apply to open a company. A rental agreement would need to be signed, and forming a company requires documents translated into Serbian. 

What makes it even easier is that the process can be done remotely, and there is no requirement to be in Serbia at this stage. 

Residence by Investment into Real-Estate:

Serbia requires an investor to purchase real estate in Serbia, where prices can start at €10,000 and move into the millions to gain residency through this route. The cost of the real estate in which a client invests is not limited in any way, and there is no minimum amount of investment. Procedures take at least one-to-two months, with only one or two visits to Serbia for a period of up to fourteen days.

On buying the real estate, additional expenses apply, such as 2.5% ownership transfer tax (should be paid by the seller but depends on the parties’ agreement) and real estate agent commission up to 3%. A Serbian notary must be present when the contract is signed.  

For both options, an investor would apply for residency; this requires the investor to open a bank account and deposit about €1,500 to show proof of funds to support themselves. If a local director is appointed, the company can open a bank account in about three-to-seven days. Additional documents are required depending on each applicant’s case, but once collected, the application is made, and there is a quick turnaround of fewer than six weeks to obtain residency.

A great place to live may just get greater

Serbia has made a strong case for being an up-and-coming RBI program for Europe. Their pending membership into the EU, vibrant city lifestyle with quality IT infrastructure, and low taxes are attractive options for investors and entrepreneurs. 

The process for obtaining residency is cost-effective, starting from around €5,000 and easy to follow. To learn more about the Serbian RBI program, book a free consultation with one of our experts by contacting us today.

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