Carta Serbica

Spend time in Serbia as a foreign citizen of Serbian origin.

Carta Serbica

Who can benefit from this program?

Carta Serbica is a program intended for individuals from Serbian diaspora who do not hold Serbian citizenship and are interested in living, working or retiring in Serbia.

Following the initiative by the Returning Point, a streamlined procedure for obtaining temporary residence and work permit was introduced, specially designed for foreigners of Serbian origin. Temporary residence is granted for one year and can be renewed, and applications are open for:

Persons of Serbian origin born in former Yugoslav republics.

Persons of Serbian origin born in diaspora.

Persons od Serbian origin who cannot get Serbian citizenship.

Carta Serbica program is based on amendments of the Decree on criteria for delineating categories of foreigners and categories of foreigners whose temporary residence in Republic of Serbia can be granted independent from the basis for granting temporary residence. The text of the Decree is available on the following link.

Carta Serbica

Who are potential


34 years

Born in Knin, Croatia in 1988, emigrated with her family to Canada without being granted a refugee status in Yugoslavia. As a proof of Serbian origin she provided the excerpt from the official population census where her entire family declared themselves as Serbian.


27 years

Born in South Africa as a third generation immigrant from Serbia. He is considering coming to Serbia and spending some time here, and as a proof of Serbian origin can provide his grandfather’s baptism certificate and direct descendant lineage.


62 years

She has been living in Frankfurt since 1995, and in 2010 she had to give up Serbian citizenship in order to acquire German. She is planning to return to Serbia after retirement and has birth certificate as a proof of Serbian origin.

Carta Serbica
Carta Serbica

How to prove Serbian

Serbian origin can be proved by providing one of the following documents:

Domestic or foreign public document that clearly designates Serbian origin of the applicant.

Baptism certificate from the Serbian orthodox church that confirms the Serbian origin of the applicant or his/hers ancestor.

If the submitted document designates Serbian origin of the direct ancestor of the applicant, it is necessary to submit evidence and documentation that establishes direct relation with the person whose origin is being determined.

Aside from fulfilling one of the conditions, it is also necessary to fulfil general conditions for issuance of temporary residence.

Carta Serbica


Precondition to initiating procedure for temporary residence is determining your current visa status. If you are a citizen of a country that does not require a specific tourist visa for entry into Serbia, in the biggest number of cases you can file for temporary residence without any restrictions. In case you have any dilemma whether you need special pre-approved visa in order to apply for temporary residence, more information can be obtained from website of the Ministry of foreign affairs.

Carta Serbica


Preparing general and specific documents is the first key step prior to submitting a request for temporary residence.

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All relevant documents need to be submitted to the closest office of the Ministry of Interior that handles requests of foreign citizens.

The deadline for processing the request is 30 days. In case the request for temporary residence is requested for the first time, due to additional security checks, the process may take longer.

Temporary residence based on Serbian origin is issued for a full year, with a possibility for extension.


Temporary residence does not automatically mean that person was also granted a work permit. For the permit to be issued, applicant must also initiate a procedure before the National Employment Office.

Persons who are granted residence based on origin are entitled to personal work permit, which means that they can be employed by various employers locally, without limitation.

Request is filed before the closest branch of the National Employment Office.

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As temporary residence is always granted for a specific duration, month prior to expiry of the residence permit, a new request has to be filed before the closest office of the Ministry of Interior that handles requests of foreign citizens` for extension.

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Carta Serbica

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