Moving to Serbia: Cost of Living, Moving Strategies & Tips for Expats
Serbia is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with its breathtaking mountains, gorgeous rivers, lakes, and vibrant cities.
Before you choose to connect your new life adventure with Serbia, take a moment to reflect on the aspects of moving there that you find most appealing and take advantage of the guidance provided by professionals at IMovingTo.
Brief Overview of Serbian Culture
The expression “Serbian culture“ refers to the aesthetic, gastronomic, literary, musical, political, and social components that are distinctive of Serbia. Serbians are well regarded for being outgoing, sociable, and highly friendly people. Individuals from more conservative societies might perceive them as being excessively amiable or open.
The official language here is Serbian. Be aware that Serbian is a challenging language to learn due to its extensive use of grammar rules. Nevertheless, many people speak English effectively, especially at a younger age.
When it comes to religion, Orthodox Christianity still predominates, but as one of the most varied nations in Europe, there is also a mix of Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and other religious denominations. Not surprisingly, in Serbian culture, manners and customs are very important. Locals have a strong interest in team sports such as volleyball and water polo in addition to football and basketball.
If you join one of the Danube River excursions, you’ll easily discover how determined this country is to establish an economic presence in Europe despite its difficult past.
Visa Types & Work Permit Requirements
Numerous bilateral agreements exist between Serbia and other countries. Due to these bilateral agreements, citizens from 96 countries can enter Serbia without a visa.
When Serbia joins the EU in 2025, its residents will have the freedom to travel to Serbia, live there, and work there using only their national ID or passport. Until then, foreigners who want to work in Serbia have to obtain a work permit and a temporary residency permit.
- A short-term C-visa may be used for stays of fewer than 90 days. It is eligible for one or several entries, for vacation or business, but not for paid employment.
- Foreign nationals should apply for a D-Visa if they intend to stay longer and apply for a temporary residence permit while in Serbia.
The work permit comes in specific varieties.
- Persons with a permanent address, refugee status, or family ties in Serbia are eligible for a personal work permit.
- A simple work permit is most frequently required for foreign nationals who are asking to work in Serbia from their home country with an employment contract, for self-employment, or in some unique circumstances, such as when they are allocated to a company in Serbia.
Special Laws You Should Be Aware of to Move to Serbia
If you plan to relocate to Serbia, you should remember that there are certain laws and regulations you should be aware of.
Specifically, a foreigner needs to present a certificate of vaccination following the Serbian Ministry of Health’s regulations, demonstrating their immunity from contagious diseases, in addition to a valid passport and an identity card issued by their home country.
In addition, bank statements detailing the financial condition and proof of at least €50 per day in living expenses should be submitted while applying for a visa to Serbia.
Serbia prohibits entry to all foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements listed below.
Cost of Living: What Does the Serbian Economy Look Like?
With $1,000 a month, you can comfortably live in Serbia. Depending on one’s location and preferred lifestyle, the average monthly cost of living for expats and remote workers ranges from $600 to $1,500, which is 99% more affordable than in Germany and 41% less expensive than in France.
For the majority of Serbia’s largest cities, one should budget $30 per month for a public transportation pass. This gives you unrestricted access to the city’s public buses, trains, trams, and minivans.
Without imposing any limitations on the condiments you use, you can anticipate spending a maximum of $300 a month on groceries if you prepare the core of your meals at home.
The cost of utilities is the most crucial factor to consider when creating your rent budget. A monthly water bill of $20-30, a maintenance bill of $5-50, and an electrical bill based on usage are all included.
How to Get Accommodation in Serbia
Before beginning your property search in Serbia, it’s always a good idea to consider your priorities, including neighborhood, infrastructure, accessibility to essential locations, and so on.
In Slovenia, a long-term lease is significantly less expensive than a daily rental. Even so, expats often worry about the expenses of housing in Belgrade, even if they are fortunate enough to find an acceptable choice.
Wealthier foreigners opt to buy rather than rent a home in Serbia more frequently. The primary benefit of real estate investing is the dramatic decrease in costs, but this only holds over the long run. Therefore, if you have serious plans to go abroad, it makes sense to consider buying an apartment or home.
Indomio and Srbija-Nekretnine are the places where you can find your next rental home in Serbia. On these sites, hundreds of letting agents and property owners have listed thousands of properties.
Career Opportunities & Job Market in Serbia
These days, IT-related jobs like IT engineers and developers are in high demand in Serbia. Both local and foreign workers find that these positions offer some of the highest salaries. However, in light of Serbia’s high unemployment rate, finding employment locally is still probably not the best option for an expat.
Considering this, starting your own company is a far better alternative. If you’re a digital nomad, moving to Serbia won’t do anything more than modify the atmosphere in which you live.
Keep in mind that a work permit is required for every foreigner who plans to work locally. Depending on your contract and the type of work you do, the Serbian government issues it for three to 12 months.
To apply, ask the employer to make a work permit application. Finally, the Labor Market Office of Serbia grants the work permit. According to expats, the entire procedure lasts about 2 days.
Healthcare System & Insurance in Serbia
Locals in Serbia are required to have health insurance, but foreigners are only covered if their nation has a bilateral agreement with Serbia. Your work might also provide you with insurance.
You will need to show proof of private health insurance, nevertheless, to get a residence visa if you move to Serbia and do not have a job there. Most expats utilize an international medical insurance plan that provides coverage for care abroad.
Only private clinics in Serbia have the latest innovative medical technology available. Expats describe the public hospitals’ medical facilities as decent but not brand-new. The medical team, however, is competent and makes the best use of the resources at its disposal.
You should obtain international private health insurance coverage, whether you are eligible for Serbia’s public healthcare system or simply want an alternative.
For instance, you will have comprehensive access to internationally available health coverage through Cigna’s global network of healthcare providers.
How to Transport Your Household Goods & Pets
If you can prove that you have owned your personal belongings for at least 6 months and haven’t resided in Serbia for at least a year, you can enter Serbia as a foreigner tax and duty-free. Technical and mechanical goods temporarily brought into Serbia are subject to registration and inspection upon exit.
It is essential to mention that most expats in Serbia take advantage of international moving companies, which simplify the process of relocation. Most reputable companies also offer international moving and packing services and provide customers with knowledgeable advice on the regulations and procedures.
Please be aware that if you are moving to Serbia with a pet, you will need to provide documentation proving that the animal is rabies-free, in good health, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Pets transported into Serbia are subject to veterinarian inspection by customs, for which there is a cost.
Social Life in Serbia: How to Integrate With Locals
The quality of life for citizens of Serbia is favorable and more than satisfactory as a result of the country’s high Human Development Index (0.802).
Serbia, a country in the Balkans rich in history and cultural diversity, provides a variety of experiences for the adventurous expat, from delectable eating in one of the country’s renowned Kafanas to a taste of Balkan brass music at the yearly Guca festival.
When you get to Estonia, you might want to interact with locals and become part of the vibrant community of Serbians. It will facilitate your integration because Serbians will provide guidance, encouragement, and answers to all of your inquiries regarding daily life in the Balkans.
Serbs are known for being outgoing, sociable, and incredibly friendly. It is relatively easy to converse with them in parks or outdoor gatherings because others from more traditional societies could regard them as being sociable or open.
Best Places to Live in Serbia
Living in Belgrade may provide you with a little bit of everything, from affordability to the city’s distinctive atmosphere. Belgrade, while being a large city and the capital, has low housing costs as well as wonderful restaurants and cafés that are also reasonably priced.
The capital is a fascinating fusion of tradition, modern influence, and a bohemian vibe. The floating river clubs that line the Sava and Danube rivers are a distinguishing feature of Belgrade.
Novi Sad is a center for higher education and research as well as a city filled with youth, joy, and music. The residents admire Liberty Square because it is surrounded by gorgeous architecture and historic structures.
There is a sandy river beach in Novi Sand, and the Danube Park is a green haven for the city and a haven for a diverse range of wildlife.
Because of its significant importance in the history of the Roman and Byzantine empires, Nis is often referred to as the Imperial City. Every year, the city hosts an international jazz music festival that draws both tourists and Serbs.
Additionally, it is a significant industrial hub with a low cost of living in comparison to other Serbian cities. Niš is well linked, with a reliable local transportation network and an expanding number of low-cost flights to significant European destinations.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Serbia
Serbia has gained international recognition for its rich culture, vast and complex history, delectable food, stunning, untainted landscapes, hikes, woods, and exciting nightlife in the nation’s largest cities. In addition to 4 top-notch ski resorts, there are more than 50 spa and health resorts where you may relax and unwind while enjoying fantastic mountain getaways.
The central location of Serbia facilitates worldwide connectivity and provides a pleasant environment. Within its borders, the nation is home to seven million people who all share a lush environment with rivers that flow and mountains that rise over the horizon.
Because of its strong educational system and expanding tourism industry, English is widely spoken throughout the country. Additionally, because of its solid healthcare system, citizens can live without worrying about their health.
Thriving economic landscape
The Government of Serbia coordinated several urban renewal development initiatives through the revitalization of several districts along the promenade.
The infrastructure of the nation is undergoing tremendous development and reconstruction. The infrastructure for the expanding IT sector is being upgraded with a combination of housing and office buildings. One of Serbia’s main economic sectors is now IT services, whose growth has accelerated significantly.
The traditional Serbian way of life is firmly entrenched in patriarchal ideals, according to which the man is the head of the household and women serve as more of a companion than a wife. They are not allowed to express their opinions and should instead focus on taking care of the home and kids.
So, from the start of their lives, women are essentially undervalued since they are still expected to perform these menial tasks like cooking, cleaning, and selling goods.
You won’t enjoy Serbia very much if you’re a vegetarian or simply don’t like eating meat too much.
Daily, the typical Serbian family consumes a lot of processed meat. Furthermore, most Serbs appear to be troubled when you mention that you don’t eat meat.
As you can see, Serbia is an affordable and vibrant country that is an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts with its breathtaking natural beauty.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking for expert guidance from moving professionals, we will unquestionably ensure a smooth guide to your move to Serbia. So don’t hesitate to take your initial step on the way to your relocation and benefit from international relocation services at IMovingTo!