Serbia can be a tough place to travel at times. Decades of conflict and repression can make the general populace wary. But when it comes to visas, having the right documentation is very important, especially in a country constantly watching those across the border.
Serbia has seen a renaissance with more tourists visiting the Balkan nation each year. This shouldn't scare you away from seeing what Serbia has to offer, just understand that officials like things to go to plan.
If you are planning a trip to Serbia, here are some ideas to keep yourself out of jail and trouble.
Following a brutal war with its Kosovo neighbor, Serbia has often been wary of anyone heading over the border. And similar to the relationship between some Middle Eastern countries and Israel, having a stamp from Kosovo in the past, would end your journey to Serbia.
In 2014, the Serbian Government legislated that entry into Serbia would be visa free for 90 days for holders of foreign passports having a valid Schengen, other member states, UK, United States and Australia. Any visitor who stays longer than 90 days or for business purposes requires a visa.
For those who may be dual nationals, it is also important to use the same passport when you enter and exit Serbia.
Luckily, times have changed and for the time being, this is no longer the case. Officials will just over-stamp your Kosovo visa with a "cancelled" stamp. But whatever you do, don't try to outthink the Serbian border officials. Entering Serbia through Kosovo without a Serbian entry stamp is considered as an illegal entry and can be met with stiff penalties.
Likewise, leaving Serbia via Kosovo is not considered legally leaving the country, so you run the risk of being charged with overstaying your entry permit.
Every country has its tough custom officers Serbia has it's own set of rules to test the traveller.
Products are usually fine, But travellers are required to declare on arrival valuables (such as lap top computers, cameras, and jewellery) with a value of 10,000 Euros or more and obtain a declaration from customs officials. This declaration form is required on departure from the country. Failure to comply may result in the confiscation of valuables.
You can now bring an unlimited sum of foreign currency into Serbia, but be aware that you can only take up to 10,000 EUR out of the country.
Similar to neighbouring Bosnia and Croatia, foreigners are required by law to register themselves with the police station in their district within 12 hours of receiving a Serbian entry stamp at a border crossing or airport. This may sound a hassle, but if it isn't done, you'll find yourself in a far more precarious position.
When you check-in at your hotel, staff will register you automatically. This is quite common when you travel to any country (it even happens in France), so don't get too nervous about the information. However, if you are staying with friends in a private dwelling, you must register your presence with the police in the district in which you are staying.
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