How Serbia Became the Destination of Choice For Thousands of Indian Entrepreneurs

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The past decade has seen increasing numbers of Indian nationals relocate to Serbia. Indians – unsurprisingly, due to the nation’s massive population – make up a large portion of immigrants to Europe, but those moving to Serbia may just have found a hidden gem.

The world’s largest diaspora

India has the largest diaspora population of any country. Emigration from the sub-continental nation has a long and vaunted history; tens of millions of its people have migrated across the globe throughout the centuries, looking for better opportunities and a better standard of life. 

According to a United Nations report, 18 million people from the country live abroad as of December 2020. The United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, and Saudi Arabia host the greatest number of migrants from India; nearly 9 million Indians live in one of those three countries.

The Indian entrepreneurial spirit comes with a keenness for exploration and dedication to hard work in specialized fields of industry such as medicine. Indians around the world have used these skills and flourished when setting up a new life in a foreign country. 

More recently, the Global Wealth Migration Review found that nearly 5,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) from India moved abroad in 2020, primarily due to the restricted freedom of movement in the country during COVID-19 and a tax environment cumbersome to the effective operation of businesses.

Residency by Investment Program (RBI)

There are currently two routes to obtain residency in Serbia by investment; acquiring real estate or registering a new company. It takes between four and six weeks for an application to be processed. An investor is free to purchase any property in the country, and apartments start as low as €10,000, which can still present a positive rental yield, even after including annual expenses of around €1,000 per annum. 

The RBI program also presents an attractive opportunity for Indians to obtain a second residency by opening and operating a company. Indian communities are widely recognized for their excellence as small business owners, setting up successful small to medium-sized businesses worldwide. The annual cost of setting up a business in Serbia is around €5,000. Running, annual expenses cost a similar amount, including renting a small space to operate their business. 

Why Indians have a particular interest in Serbia

Serbia has had an increase in Indian migration in recent years. The Balkan nation offers a European business framework and access to Western Europe, though with lower business costs and more relaxed living conditions. Indian passport holders can visit Serbia without a visa for 30 days, providing, for first-time visitors, an easy method to explore the country. In 2021, there has been an enormous influx of Indian tourists to Serbia and a growing expectation of many visitors becoming residents using the Serbian Residency by Investment (RBI) Program. 



Serbia and India have a trade agreement, formed in 2006 after Serbia gained its independence. There has been a consistent flow of electronic goods from India into Serbia. Since 2017, India has been supplying organic chemicals for agriculture, which has increased its export value considerably. The relationship, based on business and important Indian products, continues to grow, which is a positive sign for those looking to use the company RBI program to obtain residency. 

Unfortunately, Indians are unable to hold dual citizenship, making other Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIPs) unattainable and pointless. Investors and entrepreneurs take advantage of a favourable Residency by Investment (RBI) program in Serbia, providing a second place of residence for business, a permanent home, or a home to live in for part of the year.

After five years of residence, it is possible to apply for permanent residency in Serbia. Obtaining Serbian permanent residency could be extremely valuable in the future for Indian passport holders. Serbia is working towards becoming a full member of the European Union in 2025, which would enable both temporary and permanent residents to travel within the Schengen area without a visa.

Taxes, Lifestyle, and Infrastructure

Serbia has a friendly tax regime for businesses and individuals. The maximum tax rate is 15% for both. However, a special tax dispensation exists (if individuals are registered as entrepreneurs) to reduce the tax rate to 3-5% for earnings up to €60,000. 

Serbia's cities are growing slowly but consistently, partly thanks to immigrants from outside of Europe. Belgrade and Novi Sád are developing a cosmopolitan vibe comparable to Western European cities. This growth bodes well for Indian investors or business owners who wish to move to these vibrant cities and add their unique cultural aspects from food and clothing to small businesses such as electronic stores, call centres, or restaurants. 

The Serbian University of Belgrade was founded in 1808 and is ranked in the top three hundred universities globally. There are various international primary and secondary schools, including the British, French, Russian, and American schools. The country has strived to become a technology hub in Eastern Europe by ensuring quality IT infrastructure and high-speed internet.

In 2020, the EU offered €250 million to reconstruct and construct twenty large hospitals across Serbia. The healthcare system is ranked thirty-third globally and provides world-class facilities to its patients for treatment. 

Demand for immigration to Serbia expected to grow

Serbia has made a strong case for being an up-and-coming RBI program in Europe. Their prospective EU membership, vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle, ease of opening a business or purchasing property, and low taxes are attractive options for investors and entrepreneurs. 

India and Serbia have a growing relationship in freedom of visa-free travel, expanding business opportunities, and easy access to Western Europe. Investors and businesspersons can use the RBI program to provide their families with a better lifestyle, quality education, healthcare, and cosmopolitan living conditions. 

Indian investors and businesspersons who opt to use the RBI will enjoy the program's ease of obtaining one of the most cost-effective residency opportunities in Europe. To learn more about the Serbian RBI program, get in touch with us and connect with one of our experts.

Meet the experts

NTL Trust are second citizenship and residency by investment experts who specialize in getting you and your family where you need to go. The team constitutes of veteran immigration, business, and tax consultants that can seamlessly guide you through the entire process.

NTL Trust have a office situated in Belgrade, Serbia that facilitates business establishment, tax registration, property acquisition, and immigration services to high net worth individuals looking to make Serbia their new home. All you need to do to begin your journey is contact them via the website form or directly at info@ntltrust.com.

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