Activation of Foreigner’s Identification Number in Serbia: Procedure and Requirements

One common question we receive at Stojković Attorneys (STATT) is:

“When a foreign national is granted permanent residence in the Republic of Serbia and receives a foreigner’s ID card and identification number, is it necessary to activate this number? If so, what is the procedure? This pertains to a Russian citizen who has been granted permanent residence and has purchased an apartment in Serbia, but has not received a Tax Administration decision on the tax on transfer of absolute rights for two years. Upon investigation, it was found that the system in the Tax Administration does not recognize him, nor does the system in the Ministry of Interior. Is there anything additional that needs to be done to activate the identification number so it is visible to the Tax Administration?”

Legal Framework for Foreigner’s Identification Number

According to Article 7, paragraph 2 of the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 24/2018, 31/2019, and 62/2023), the competent authority assigns an identification number to a foreigner ex officio or upon the request of the party. Paragraph 3 of the same article specifies that the structure of the foreigner’s identification number is determined according to the provisions of the Law on the Unique Master Citizen Number, whereby a foreigner with permanent residence or asylum in the Republic of Serbia is assigned the registry number 06, while other categories of foreigners are assigned the registry number 66.

Procedure for Activating the Identification Number

For a foreigner to exercise the right to a foreigner’s ID card, as prescribed in Article 102, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Law, the content of these documents includes the foreigner’s identification number. The Rulebook on the Appearance of Residence Registration Forms and the Manner of Registering a Foreigner’s Residence, Address of Residence, Change of Address, Registration and Deregistration of a Foreigner’s Residence (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 84/2018) prescribes, among other things, the form for reporting a change of address (Form 2) and the form for reporting a change of residence (Form 3). Both forms include a field for the foreigner’s identification number.

Data Processing by the Ministry of Interior

The Ministry of Interior processes personal data of foreign nationals and other connected persons, including the foreigner’s identification number, based on the relevant provisions of the Law on Records and Data Processing in the Field of Internal Affairs (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 24/2018). If the prescribed regulations have been correctly implemented, the identification number should exist in the official records maintained by the Ministry of Interior. If there was an error in the initial assignment or subsequent changes, the Ministry must rectify it by deactivating the incorrect number and assigning a new one.

Steps to Ensure Visibility of the Identification Number

Given the described situation, the foreigner can take the following steps:

  1. Request Information from the Ministry of Interior: The foreigner can submit a written request to the Ministry of Interior to obtain information about the data recorded in their records, including the existence of their identification number. If the number is missing, they can request its assignment, or if it is incorrectly assigned, they can request its deactivation and reassignment.
  2. Submit Evidence: Along with the request, the foreigner should provide relevant documents and evidence they possess.
  3. Contact the Tax Administration: The foreigner can exercise rights under Article 24, paragraph 1, items 1 and 2 of the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 80/2002, etc.). They can request a written response from the Tax Administration concerning their tax situation, specifically regarding the expected Tax Decision on the transfer of absolute rights.

Conclusion

If a foreign national in Serbia is not recognized by the system of the Ministry of Interior or the Tax Administration, it is essential to ensure that their identification number is correctly registered and activated. Stojković Attorneys (STATT) provides comprehensive legal support to foreign nationals in resolving such issues, ensuring that all necessary procedures are correctly followed and that the foreigner’s rights are fully protected.

For more information and legal assistance, contact Stojković Attorneys (STATT).

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