How to Find a Job in Serbia

For several years now, Serbia has been experiencing a decline in population, partially compensated by an increase in the number of foreigners. In recent years, the number of migrants has significantly increased, making the issue of migrant employment in the country highly relevant.

In this article, we will discuss potential job opportunities for foreigners and provide recommendations on how to find a job in Serbia. Previously, we discussed about online-transfers-abroad-myths-and-reality.


As of the third quarter of 2023, Serbia recorded an unemployment rate of 9%. A key long-term problem in the labor market has been the shortage of labor, particularly felt in certain sectors. In 2022, the number of workers decreased by 51,400 (-1.2%) due to rapid aging and emigration of the working-age population to EU countries.

However, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign workers: according to official data from the National Employment Service of Serbia, the figures for the first six months of 2023 exceeded the data for the entire year of 2022.

According to the Employment Service, in 2022, the number of migrant workers reached 35,000, and in the first months of 2023, it was 30,000, mainly in industries, construction, and skilled professions.

Additionally, many work permits were issued to IT specialists. Foreigners are also employed as auxiliary workers in various sectors of the economy, the service industry, and the hotel business.

There is a shortage of workers in certain professions in the country:

  • Carpenter,
  • Electrician,
  • Hairdresser,
  • Welder,
  • Plumber,
  • Builder,
  • Painter,
  • Agricultural worker.

In 2024, Russian nationals can find jobs in Serbia as IT engineers, doctors, guides, workers in the tourism and hotel industry, foreign language teachers. Many come to the country for seasonal work. Some open and run their own businesses in the country. Many IT specialists, who work remotely, register as individual entrepreneurs in Serbia and continue their activities as local entrepreneurs.

Currently, working as an IT specialist and developer is one of the highest-paying professions. According to recent reports, the average salary in this field is expected to reach €43,000 by 2025. This is a significant increase compared to previous years, highlighting the growing demand for specialists.

The most sought-after positions in this field are software architects, followed by project managers and DevOps engineers.

Compared to other industries, the IT industry offers some of the highest salaries. For example, the average salary for a teacher in Serbia is around €8,000 per year, and for a medical worker, it is around €11,000 per year.

Working as a guide is less lucrative, with an average salary of around €500 per month. However, the upper limit depends on the employer and workload. If you choose to work in an agency or hotel business, you will have to interact with clients, organize tour packages, and book transportation and hotels. The salary will be roughly the same. However, you will need to learn Serbian at least at a minimal level for this job, as positions without language knowledge pay less. Some tourism-related positions require a tourism license.

To work as a doctor or teacher in Serbia, you will need to validate your education level.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of workers in certain professions in the country, so jobs like driving, warehouse work, or construction in Serbia are suitable if you have the necessary skills. All you will need is to obtain permission.

In 2023, Russian nationals most often searched for jobs in Serbia on specialized websites:


You can also find vacancies on the Employment Service website.

Another option is to search for jobs in local Serbian social media groups.

Searching on the spot can be risky because you might not find a job quickly, so we recommend deciding on a vacancy and getting an offer beforehand.

Your choice of city may be influenced by your field of work. For example, Belgrade hosts the highest-paying jobs in the information technology sector. Many international companies have offices here. However, remote work is also possible, so if living in the capital does not suit you, you can choose another option. It is also easy to find work in education, hotel business, and tourism in the city.

Novi Sad is the second-largest city. In 2021, it was named the European Capital of Culture due to numerous artistic projects, communities, and welcoming spaces filled with Austro-Hungarian history. It is often chosen by students who pursue higher education in the country.

Subotica is excellent for immigrants looking to open a restaurant. The city is often visited by gastronomic tourists due to the abundance of catering establishments. However, salaries there are not high.

If you plan to work as a factory or plant worker, consider Niš. It is located in the southeast of the country, where the production capacities of many German companies are concentrated. Salaries there are on average higher than in the rest of the country, and developed infrastructure makes the distance from Belgrade less noticeable.


The Serbian authorities have recognized the development of private entrepreneurship as one of the country’s priorities. In March 2015, the government adopted a strategy for the development of small and medium-sized businesses.

As part of this strategy, the subject of “Entrepreneurship” was even introduced in schools, which was developed and implemented in 50 experimental schools of five specialties in the first stage of the Secondary Vocational Education Reform Program.

The country has a complex tax system: different types of businesses pay differently. Therefore, before opening a company, it is recommended to consult with a tax lawyer or accountant.

Immigrants most often start the following types of businesses:

  • Restaurant (bars, cafes, catering),
  • Tourism (hotels, tour organizations, car sharing),
  • Beauty salons,
  • Appliance repair,
  • Scrap metal processing,
  • IT companies.

Bloomberg agency claims that in 2022, the number of arriving Russian nationals exceeded 100,000 people. More than 17,000 of them obtained residence permits in Serbia and found jobs. The country’s registry office published data that Russian citizens registered 2,321 companies, most of which are located in Belgrade.

This growth was largely facilitated by benefits for the IT sector, the conditions of which continue to change.

The areas of business opened by migrants vary: coworking spaces, assistance in transporting animals, legal consultations, IT business, yoga, restaurants.


Documents for Working in Serbia

The Republic of Serbia provides for two types of work permits:

  • Personal, which grants the right to employment on general grounds. After termination, immigrants may receive unemployment benefits.
  • Special, which strictly regulates the place of employment for an individual. It is issued for a specific company or industry. If changing jobs, the document will need to be reissued.

Staying in Serbia as a tourist does not grant the right to legal employment. Foreigners require permission, which can be obtained by submitting an application to the labor market bureau in Belgrade. The processing and decision-making typically take up to two days.

Initially, the employer must contact the National Employment Service to demonstrate that there are no Serbian nationals available for the position. If local candidates cannot be found, the employer can apply for a work permit.

The permit itself is valid for three months to a year. However, in recent years, some relaxations have been introduced, extending the validity period.

To begin working in Serbia, you need to obtain a residence permit (Visa for Temporary Stay). Visit the police department and submit the following documents:

  • Passport,
  • 2 photos,
  • Completed application form,
  • Proof of payment of state fee,
  • Bank statement showing a minimum of €2,000 in your account,
  • Proof of accommodation (beli karton),
  • Employment contract with a Serbian company,
  • Approval from the employment service,
  • Insurance.

This can be done online by uploading documents and completing everything on the eGovernment Portal website.

Then, contact the Employment Service. Provide:

  • Application for employment of a foreign citizen,
  • Passport,
  • Employment contract,
  • Employer’s documents package: employer registration documents, employee count certificate,
  • Certificate from the Central Register of Mandatory Social Insurance,
  • Diploma,
  • Resume,
  • Proof of payment of state fee.

After the permit is issued, you are entitled to start working.

For renewal, you must apply to the same authority no earlier than 30 days and no later than 15 days before the expiration of the employment contract.

If you want to start your own business, note that foreigners in Serbia have the right to engage in entrepreneurship as:

  • Sole proprietors,
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs) with a statutory capital of no less than 500 euros,
  • Joint-stock companies with a capital of 10,000 for closed type and 25,000 for open type.

To register a company, you need to:

  • Choose a name and arrange a legal address. Prepare founding documents and lease documents for real estate. If the premises are owned, documents confirming ownership will be required.
  • Open an account in one of the banks in Serbia.
  • Submit documents to the Agencija za Priivredne Registre (Agency for Business Registers). Registration takes about 8 working days. Then you will be issued a registration certificate and tax number.
  • Register with the tax office and the pension fund.

If you prefer not to go through the hassle of registering a company from scratch, you can buy an already established business. In this case, you will need the assistance of a lawyer.

When establishing a company from scratch, the founder must obtain a business visa.

Money can be transferred from EU countries to Serbia using the Korona application, with the option to receive cash in euros or directly to a dinar card. Download the app to learn all the conditions.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that for many foreigners, working in Serbia is not considered the final goal. For most of them, it is the beginning of life in a European country with plans to move to the European Union or waiting for Serbia to become part of it. Nevertheless, some immigrants successfully find work and opportunities to thrive in this new environment.

In our blog, we write extensively about life and work in Europe, so check out all the articles here.