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Serbia Issues Visas to Indian and Guinean Nationals Beginning January 1, 2023

Citizens of India and Guinea-Bissau will no longer be able to visit Serbia without a visa, since the government has implemented a visa regime for these citizens in order to conform with EU visa policy.

According to a travel advise, Indian nationals planning to enter Serbia on or after January 1, 2023, should first apply for a visa at the Serbian Embassy in New Delhi or in their home country.


The action was implemented in an attempt to harmonise its visa laws with those of the EU and to curb illegal migration, which has become rather common in recent years. As on January 1, 2023, Indian citizens visiting Serbia would need to apply for a visa, as Serbia has terminated the existing visa-free entry arrangement for those possessing an Indian passport.


Prior to these changes, Indian visitors possessing a passport or other travel documents did not need to apply for a visa to enter Serbia for up to 30 days within a year.


"It should also be noted that holders of Indian passports with a valid Schengen, UK, or US visa, or residence permit of these countries may enter the Republic of Serbia visa-free for up to 90 days during a six-month period, and within the validity of said visas or residence permits," the Embassy stated.



Along with India and Guinea Bissau, Serbia stopped its visa-free policy with Tunisia and Burundi, citing the similar goal of decreasing unlawful migration.


Serbia has seen an increase in the number of refugees from other nations, particularly Cubans, with the figure rising from 36 to 339. However, the increase in Turk arrivals has outpaced all other figures, rising from 1,653 to 6,186, worried both Serbia and the European Union.


Furthermore, immigration from India increased from 557 to 4,469 during this period, indicating that the government needed to take measures to prevent the country from becoming a migratory gate.


Turkey, India, Tunisia, Cuba, and Burundi accounted for 2.5 percent of unlawful border crossings documented on the Western Balkan Route in 2021, which increased by 20% this year.


Serbia currently has visa waiver agreements with the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Oman, Mongolia, Qatar, Suriname, and Turkey. Furthermore, Russian and Belarussian citizens can visit Serbia without a visa for up to 30 days.


Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, disclosed that 61% of the 36,500 border crossings detected in October 2021, totaling 22,300 detections, occurred in the Western Balkan route, which has been the most affected in the last three months. According to Frontex, the majority of immigrants originated in Burundi, Afghanistan, and Iraq.


Furthermore, since 2015, when the migration crisis was at its zenith, the Western Balkan route has recorded the highest number of unlawful border crossings.

By fLEXI tEAM



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