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Help with Serbian Residence Permits and Serbian Tax Residency By Real Estate Investment

This article contains facts and recommendations on arrangements for obtaining Serbian residence permits by real estate investment and the Serbian tax residency. You will learn about the costs of professional services provided by licensed immigration agents. We will tell you about the standard procedure and documents you will need to prepare before submitting your applications.

Serbia

When choosing the best option from the huge variety of investment migration programs, you should not overlook a very attractive program in Serbia. 

The Republic of Serbia, a democratic European state located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula rich in culture and extensive historical heritage, offers a very affordable option of obtaining legal residence permits and tax residency by investments in real estate in this European country.

Terms and provisions of obtaining Serbian residence permits by real estate investment

According to the legislation of the Republic of Serbia, residence permits can be issued to foreigners who reside, have some business and vital interests in its territory. Besides, it is necessary to spend at least 183 days continuously or intermittently in this country during a 12-month period (fiscal year).

Foreigners meeting the above-mentioned residency requirements can apply for the tax residency certificates in Serbia. They will need to submit the application to the Serbian tax authorities, confirming their compliance.

One’s vital interests can be proven by the purchase of local real estate: an apartment, a house, etc. In fact, this method is very affordable: you do not need to spend huge sums of money to get a residence permit and a tax residency certificate in Serbia. Moreover, there is no specified threshold for the minimum amount of investment, so applicants can choose the least expensive offers in the real estate market. According to market analysts, the property prices in Serbia start from €10,000, and the value of real estate investment is not limited in any way.

The standard application procedure for the residence permit in the Republic of Serbia takes at least a month. On average, it takes about 8 weeks. Only one or two visits to Serbia are required during the application and waiting period. You will have to stay in the country for about two weeks to take care of all formalities. The initial residence permit is issued for a period of 6 months. Each subsequent residence permit will be issued for a period of 1 year.

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Documents required for your obtaining your Serbian residence permits by real estate investment and the Serbian tax residency

The procedure of obtaining a residence permit by investments in real estate in Serbia and Serbian tax residency is as follows. To begin with, a foreign investor needs to choose and buy some property. By engaging a licensed immigration agent, the investor can minimize the risks and select the best option from the duly verified listings.

Please note that besides the property price, you will have to pay some additional fees and charges: for example, a real estate agent’s commission of 3% of the transaction amount.

You will need to contact a local lawyer to assist you in further steps. This can be arranged either in your country or in Serbia. You will also need to issue a limited POA to allow the lawyer to successfully perform all proper verifications, paperwork, and procedures related to the acquisition of the Serbian real estate.

Important: if a Power Of Attorney is issued outside Serbia, this document will need to be translated into Serbian and apostilled. To avoid the possible red tape, experts advise getting the document translated by professional translators in Serbia.

When filing for a temporary residence permit (the “White Card” or a long-term visa) valid for 90 days, the investor will need to be present in person. Fortunately, all processing procedures for obtaining a “White Card” take 1 day.

Your residence permit in Serbia will be stamped in your passport. To get it, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • a copy of the passport (notarization is not required)
  • the property title, i.e., the certificate of ownership of your Serbian real estate (an excerpt from the real estate Catastre of the Republic of Serbia)
  • a documented proof of subsistence (a local bank certificate in Serbia will be sufficient): to receive it, you can deposit €1,000 in a personal current account in a local bank
  • a Health and Social Security  certificate (this needs to be arranged from some insurance company, not necessarily a Serbian one, in advance)
  • your CV in the Serbian language
  • 2 passport photos.

The application procedure for foreigners’ residence permits is usually fast: 2-3 days, including the interview. After the application portfolio is submitted, you will have to wait for about half a month for the CDD (Customer Due Diligence.  The investor’s passport is always stored in the Serbian police during this period.

You do not need to take a medical examination to qualify for a residence permit and tax residency in Serbia by real estate investment. There is no need for you to be present in person in Serbia to obtain a Serbian tax residency certificate translated into the language that you use and apostilled in accordance with The Hague Convention. These and all relevant documents can be received through your investment migration agent.

The steps required for obtaining your Serbian residence permits by real estate investment and Serbian tax residency

To get a residence permit, the client needs to invest in real estate (an apartment, a cottage, a summer house). Prices start from €10,000.

The minimum value of the real estate and the minimum amount of investment is not restricted.

The whole procedure takes at least 1-2 months and only one or two visits to Serbia for up to 14 days.

The first permit is issued for 6 months, and each subsequent permit – is for 1 year (the procedure needs to be repeated each time).

The procedure and the documents

The real estate investment matters 

The real estate purchase may take about 7 days and can be done by a local specialist acting on your behalf under the limited power of attorney.

  • Property selection. We will provide you with a list of thoroughly selected and duly checked properties matching your requirements.
  • A contract with the local immigration agent (when needed) and the issuance of the Power of Attorney in the agent’s name in your country or in Serbia. The POA will authorize the agent to carry out all the verifications and other procedures relevant to the purchase of the real estate on your behalf. If the POA is executed abroad, it needs to be translated into the Serbian language (preferably – in Serbia), notarized, and apostilled.
  • The purchase of real estate. Additional expenses apply, including the real estate agent’s commission of up to 3%. The signing of the purchase agreement needs to be in the presence of a notary. 

The residence permit matters 

  • The Property Title/Deed (i.e., the proof of your real estate ownership; it can be an extract from the Serbian Real Estate Catastre or a Purchase contract) 
  • Your bank statement that you have enough money to settle and reside in Serbia. The first thing you need to do is get a personal bank account. This will take a couple of hours. (We usually include this in the service package). You will need to make a minimum deposit of €1,500 into your individual account and obtain a stamped certificate from the bank, which is one of the mandatory documents to be submitted for a residence permit.
  • Two 4×3 cm photographs. Can be taken in Belgrade.
  • Your CV in Serbian. If it is in English or any other language, we will get it properly translated.
  • A local health insurance. Depending on the age of the client it can cost from €200 to €450 per year. If you are over 50 years old, you will need to undergo a medical examination by a local doctor, which will cost 12 euros. It can take 2 to 3 days to get the insurance policy from the time of the medical examination. We usually negotiate and pay the insurance before the client arrives, so that everything is ready in advance (if the client does not need to undergo a medical examination).
  • The ‘White Card’ (i.e., your temporary address in Serbia). You will need to go to your local police station to register and get the “White Card”. This normally does not take long.
  • Visit the Immigration service. We will arrange an appointment for you and accompany you to the Immigration office. This may take up to 2 hours. You will be interviewed by a police officer on the same day or the day after submitting the documents. After that, you can move freely around the country. In about 1 month, you will need to return to get a stamp in the passport confirming the authorization of the residence permit. You need to have at least one blank page in your passport for this stamp.
  • TIN. As soon as you get a stamp confirming the residence permit, the individual taxpayer number is immediately issued at the local tax office.
  • After the issuance of the residence permit, you need to obtain a work permit.
  • After 6 months (more than 183 days), you will be able to obtain a certificate of your tax residency status from the Tax Office of Serbia.

Costs

  1. Annual property tax – up to 0.4% of the property market value; many discounts. From  €50/year
  2. Personal health insurance – €300/year
  3. Electricity, utilities, etc. – €300/year
  4. Occasional expenses – receiving correspondence, selecting a room, etc. €600/year
  5. Total – from €1,000/year.

The overall cost of obtaining the Serbian residence permits by real estate investment in 2022 with prospects for the Serbian tax residency

By engaging a trusted and reliable licensed agent specialized in Serbian investment migration matters, you can save time and money. The following professional services can be ordered to help you with obtaining a residence and tax residency in Serbia by real estate investments:

  • assistance in filling in all necessary forms
  • registration at the Serbian police department for a period of up to 90 days (the “White Card”) 
  • translation of documents into Serbian by professional translators (this optional service costs €20 per page)
  • payment of the state fee for immigration registration in Serbia
  • assistance in choosing and verifying a real estate to be used as an investment property
  • opening of a personal account with a Serbian bank
  • registration of documents at the Serbian Tax Office for confirmation that the investor is a tax resident of the Republic of Serbia
  • a stamp in the applicant’s passport certifying that he/she has received a residence permit in Serbia.

The above-listed services are provided as a package. Their cost is 5500 EUR. It is also possible to order additional services after obtaining a residence permit. The list of such optional services includes administrative support after signing a special administrative agreement with the investor, services of an accountant licensed to work in Serbia, consultations by a tax representative licensed to work in Serbia.

For more information about arrangements for your Serbian tax residency by real estate investments, please contact our experts at [email protected].

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