Criteria and conditions


Country Report: Criteria and conditions Last updated: 15/05/23


Nikola Kovačević

A beneficiary of international protection has the right to reunification with their family members.[1] Family members are the spouse, provided that the marriage was contracted before the arrival to the Republic of Serbia, the common law partner in accordance with the regulations of the Republic of Serbia, their minor children born in legal or in common law marriage, minor adopted children, or minor step-children. Exceptionally, the status of family member may be granted also to other persons, taking into account particularly the fact that they had been supported by the person who has been granted asylum or subsidiary protection, their age and psychological dependence, including health, social, cultural, or other similar circumstances.[2] A family member for whom there exist grounds to be excluded from asylum shall not have the right to family reunification.[3]

The family reunification procedure is also regulated by the Foreigners Act. Foreigners Act explicitly recognises that that family members of persons granted asylum have to apply for visa in the diplomatic-consular representation of the Republic of Serbia in the country of origin or third country. They also have to provide the evidence on their family tie with a person granted asylum in Serbia. Those people granted visas to arrive to Serbia will be granted temporary residency for the purpose of family reunification and in line with the Article 55 of Foreigners Act.

The general requirements for the any kind of temporary residency are the following:

1) Valid travel document

2) Evidence of means for subsistence during the planned stay

3) Registered address of residence in the Republic of Serbia

4) Evidence of health insurance during the planned stay (around 300 EUR per year)

5) Proof of payment of the prescribed administrative fee (around 135 EUR)

The Foreigners Act prescribes that the family reunification is related to the so called ‘nuclear family’ which covers: spouses, civil partners, their minor children born in or out of wedlock, minor adopted children or minor stepchildren, who have not married.

In 2020, a family reunification procedure was carried out for the first time. In July 2020, the APC’s client from Afghanistan was reunited with his wife and 5 children who were transferred from Afghanistan to the consulate of Serbia in New Delhi, India.[4] The family reunification procedure lasted 10 months, but this case should be observed as a model to learn from for all future cases. Still, when the family arrived to Serbia they applied for asylum and were granted refugee status.




[1] Articles 70(1) and 9(2) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 2(2) and (12) Asylum Act.

[3] Article 70(4) Asylum Act.

[4] APC, Prvi slučaj spajanja porodice izbeglice u Srbiji, 20 July 2020, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection