SerbiaOfficial Name: Republic of Serbia
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for styas under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
None if under 10,000 Euros
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
None if under 10,000 Euros
Embassies and Consulates
Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadordevica 92
Telephone: +(381) (11) 706-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(381) (11) 706-4000
Fax: +(381) (11) 706-4481
Serbia, situated at the crossroads of Central and Southern Europe, is in the midst of reforming its democratic, economic, and social institutions. In 2012, Serbia became an official candidate for European Union membership. Despite this, Serbia is still facing some challenges. In 2008, Kosovo, which used to be part of Serbia, declared itself an independent country, and was recognized as such by the United States. Travelers should be aware that Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and the subject remains a sensitive topic for Serbians.
Tourist facilities, including hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and gas stations, are widely available throughout the country. However, the quality varies significantly, and may not be up to Western standards outside of larger cities. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Serbia for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens with tourist, official, or diplomatic passports do not need a visa to enter and stay in Serbia for up to 90 days. However, you must register your presence within the first 24 hours of your arrival. If you are staying at a hotel or similar accommodation, they will do this for you automatically. If you are staying at a private residence, then you will need to register in person at the nearest police station.
It is important to enter and exit Serbia using the same passport. U.S. citizens who also hold Serbian citizenship should always enter and exit Serbia on their Serbian passport. If you lose your U.S. passport, the Serbian police will not let you leave the country until you get an exit visa from the Ministry of Interior.
If you want to stay in Serbia longer than 90 days during any 180-day period, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at the local police station with authority over the place you are staying in Serbia. You cannot apply for a residence permit outside of Serbia. To apply for a temporary residence permit, you will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and an official police report from your state of residence in the United States or from law enforcement authorities in the country where you live permanently, if outside of the United States. You need to get the police report within 90 days of applying for your residence permit. All of your documents should have an "apostille" stamp from the government office where you got the document. To learn more about apostilles and other official documents, please see the Notarial and Authentication Services page.
You can contact the Embassy of Serbia in Washington, D.C., for the most current visa information. The Embassy of Serbia is located at 2134 Kalorama Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008; telephone: (202) 332-0333; and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Serbia also has Consulates General in Chicago and New York City. Both provide information on travel and long term stays in Serbia. The Serbian Consulate General in Chicago is located at 201 East Ohio Street, Suite 200, Chicago, Illinois 60611; telephone: (312) 670-6707; and email: email@example.com. The Serbian Consulate General in New York City is located at 62 West 45th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 596-4241; and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special note on Kosovo: Serbian border officials do not recognize the authority of Kosovo’s government, and will not grant entry to travelers who try to enter Serbia at the Serbia-Kosovo border without first having entered Serbia at another entry point. Travelers who fly or drive into Kosovo and plan to travel to Serbia must first exit Kosovo and enter Serbia via either the Serbia-Macedonia or the Serbia-Montenegro border.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Serbia.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Public demonstrations by political parties, unions, and other groups happen in Serbia from time to time. Violent demonstrations have occurred as recently as August 2011, and the Government of Serbia cancelled the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Gay Pride parades due to security concerns. You should know that even demonstrations that start out peacefully can quickly turn violent. U.S. citizens traveling or living in Serbia should avoid demonstrations if possible, and maintain caution if within the vicinity of demonstrations. There is often a heavier than usual police presence in areas where demonstrations are taking place, and traffic may slow or stop until well after the demonstration ends.
Anti-U.S. feelings are strongest in Serbia around the anniversary dates of certain events, and on some national holidays. Among these dates and holidays are March 24 (the beginning of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign), February 17 (the date of the 2008 independence of Kosovo), and ethnic Serb holidays such as St. Vitus’s Day (Vidovdan, celebrated June 28).
Wins or losses in sporting events can also trigger violence. U.S. citizens were not targets of any recent sports-related violence, but in a few isolated cases, soccer hooligans and petty criminals singled out and attacked citizens of other Western countries. We urge U.S. citizens to be vigilant if attending, or in the vicinity of, sporting events in Serbia. U.S. government employees are strongly discouraged from attending most sporting events, especially soccer matches between teams that are long-standing rivals.
Belgrade nightclubs are increasingly popular with foreign tourists. If you decide to go to a nightclub, you should know that they can be crowded and may not be up to Western standards for maximum occupancy and fire safety.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Serbia on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Belgrade does not have high levels of street crime, but pick-pocketing, purse snatchings, residential burglaries, and other crimes of economic motivation regularly occur. People traveling to Serbia should take the same precautions in Belgrade as they would in any large city in the United States. You should be especially vigilant in Serbian city centers, just as you would anywhere else in the world. Most crimes happen because people let their guard down. Unlocked cars, valuable items left in plain sight, such as money, jewelry, and electronics, open gates, and open garage doors make attractive targets for thieves. Violent crime in Serbia is most often associated with organized crime activities, but can also be the result of xenophobia. Tourists are not often the targets of violent crime, but killings associated with organized crime have occurred in places where tourists gather such as hotels, restaurants, shops, and busy streets.
When taking taxicabs in Serbia, travelers should pay attention to cab meters and listed fares as taxi drivers sometimes try to charge foreigners higher rates.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Serbia is 192 (police), 193 (fire-fighters), 194 (paramedics), and 1987 (road assistance). If you are dialing any of these numbers from your cell phone, you need to dial the area code first: in Belgrade, 011 + number.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Serbia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can differ vastly from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you. Also, it may be illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, and in Belgrade, you are not allowed to take pictures of the old annex of the Ministry of Defense building or the old Ministry of the Interior building. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.
If you break local laws in Serbia, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you go.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: People who are citizens of both the United States and Serbia may be affected by certain laws that put special responsibilities on Serbian citizens. The Serbian Parliament eliminated compulsory military service in 2011. Please contact the citizenship unit of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade if you have specific questions about the rights and responsibilities of dual nationals (citizens of both the U.S. and Serbia). For additional general information, see our Citizenship and Nationality information.
Belgrade is a port of call on Danube River cruises. U.S. citizen passengers who fall ill in Serbia may find that medical care is not to U.S. standards and should have emergency medical evacuation insurance. The U.S. Embassy cannot issue an emergency passport outside of business hours. U.S. citizens whose passport is lost or stolen on a river cruise may miss the ship’s departure and need to make alternate arrangements. Please review our travel tips for Older Travelers.
Regulations on Bringing Money into Serbia: If you bring more than 10,000 Euros in cash (or an equal amount in other currencies) to Serbia, you must declare it to Serbian customs when you arrive. Serbian customs officials can take your money permanently or levy heavy fines if you do not follow their customs rules. Please review our Customs Information for additional details.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Serbia. Serbia has active and increasingly-visible lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups, and several LGBT bars operate openly and without problems in Belgrade. Many LGBT public events, including 2012 and 2013 Pride week events, have been held without incident although the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Pride parades were cancelled because of security concerns.
LGBT travelers should consider exercising caution when visiting Serbia, especially with regard to expressing affection in public. Many LGBT Serbians do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity, and avoid reporting incidents to police. As a result, individual police officers may have limited experience or knowledge with regard to specific concerns of LGBT individuals or the LGBT community more broadly. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Serbia you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Serbia, travelers with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what is available in the United States. While new buildings are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities, travelers may encounter difficulties in accessing older buildings, outdoor tourist sites, hotels, and public transport. Sidewalks and paths to buildings and tourist sites are often uneven. Hotels frequently do not have elevators.
Many doctors and other health care providers in Serbia are highly trained. However, the equipment and hygiene in hospitals, clinics, and ambulances are usually not up to Western standards. You can get many medicines and basic medical supplies at private pharmacies, but you should not expect to find the same brands of medication or medical supplies in Serbia that you can get in the United States. Medical facilities usually require payment in cash for all services, and do not accept U.S. health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid as payment.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Serbia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
You may use a foreign or U.S. driver’s license in Serbia for up to 180 days after your arrival
You must wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a car in Serbia. According to Serbian law, a driver with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.05% is considered intoxicated. Serbian traffic police carry portable breathalyzers to test drivers.
Roads in Serbia are not always well-maintained, especially in rural areas and in Southern Serbia. Drivers should exercise caution when driving on roads in Southern Serbia in the winter. Drivers should also be cautious when driving along Serbia’s Ibarska Magistrala, the highway between Belgrade to Čačak because of the higher rate of accidents there.
Winter fog in Serbia is another concern, and significantly reduces visibility on the roads. Winter fog is especially heavy in the Vojvodina region between Belgrade and the Hungarian border.
Roadside assistance is available by dialing 1987 locally. The local numbers for the police and ambulance are 192 and 194, respectively.
Belgrade and some other large cities in Serbia have public transportation networks. However, buses are often crowded, and some lines and vehicles are poorly maintained. There is also intercity bus and train service for many locations in Serbia
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. More specific information concerning Serbian driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and required insurance is available at the Serbian Automotive Association's website.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Serbia’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Serbia’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.