On arrival in Serbia, every foreign person is obliged to register him or herself with the Police within 24 hours. This informs the local authority of your official address in the country.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This usual process is free of charge and you can do it in less than one hour.
- If you’re a traveler staying in a hotel, hostel or Airbnb during your visit to Serbia, you don’t have to go to the police station personally. The people providing you with accommodation services will complete the registration on your behalf.
- If you’re staying in a private residence you should go to the nearest police station within 24h of arrival to register yourself. You should always be accompanied by the owner of the residence so they can verify you are staying in his or her house.
If you don’t go to the police station, you could get a fine the next time you present any official paperwork. This card is also needed in order to apply for a VISA, so make sure to keep it in a safe place.
Here’s an example of the residence application form (white card) and a list of every police station where you can submit the application:
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
1. At the police department, they will fill in a Bela Karta (a white card form made of two parts). It will be processed and stamped and they will give you one of the parts.
2. If you know the date of departure from Serbia, you should include this in the form to avoid a second visit to the same police department for de-registration. This procedure is free of charge.
3. You always need to carry this card while you are in Serbia as well as your passport.
4. When you leave Serbia, this white card will be collected by the immigration officer at customs.
HOW DOES THE WHITE CARD AFFECT MY VISA APPLICATION?
If you’re in the middle of the process of requesting a temporary VISA, you need to register yourself every time you enter Serbia -even if you haven’t change your official address.
Example: You came to Serbia and rented a flat, this address will be registered in your Bela Karta. You have submitted the temporary VISA application and in the meantime you have to go to your home country. When you enter Serbia again, you must go to register yourself in the police station because you will have a new entry stamp with different date in your passport before the VISA is submitted.
If you have already been granted a temporary VISA, you don’t have to keep re-registering yourself in the police every time you enter the country, as your situation is being legalized.