ENTRY REGIME FOR CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Serbia is still on the list of high-risk countries of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, thus arrival for tourism purposes (up to 90 days) is possible only for persons vaccinated with one of the vaccines recognized by Switzerland: Spikevax (Moderna), Comirnaty (Pfizer / BioNTech), COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Sinovac and Sinopharm.
More information can be found on the websites of the Federal Office of Public Health and the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration:
Fast check of entry conditions: https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home
ENTERING AND LEAVING THE COUNTRY
Citizens of the Republic of Serbia holding biometric passports do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days in a six-month period. The visa-free regime does not apply to holders of passports issued by the Coordination Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia. Visas are obtained at the Embassy of Switzerland in Belgrade, which also issues visas for Liechtenstein. It is not possible to obtain a visa at border crossings. For the purposes of tourism travel, the passport must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of departure from Switzerland, and the passport must be issued in the last 10 years. The passport must be valid at the time of regulating one’s stay.
Passports of Serbian nationals who have a residence permit in one of the Schengen countries, or a valid D-visa (long-stay in Schengen), do not have to be valid for 3 months after the date of departure from the territory of Switzerland. Also, holders of a Serbian passport valid for less than 3 months may leave and re-enter Switzerland if they have a B or C residence permit issued by the competent Swiss authorities (residents). However, these persons should note that the border authorities of Croatia, Slovenia and other countries on the road between Switzerland and Serbia require that the passport is valid for more than 90 days from the date of entry into those countries, even if their holders have a regulated stay in Switzerland. Therefore, persons with a passport valid for less than 90 days are advised to travel by air from Switzerland to Serbia (and back).
The Swiss authorities recommend that minors traveling across the Swiss border independently or accompanied by one parent or a third party have parental or guardian authorisation for travel. The authorisation must state personal information and telephone number, information about the date of travel, destination, duration of stay and the reason for travel. It is recommended that the document is drafted in one of the official languages in the Swiss Confederation (German, French, Italian) or in English. There is no special form in which this document should be drafted; it may be written in a free form.
Considering the very expensive medical services, it is recommended to have travel health insurance. It may happen that the border authorities request an insurance certificate for inspection. In terms of bringing in and taking out cash money, there are no restrictions or declaration obligations. However, it is possible for border authorities to control the origin of money at a border crossing in case a person has more than 10,000 francs. It is necessary to have enough funds to stay in Switzerland, at least 150 francs a day. In terms of bringing in excise goods, persons older than 17 may bring in 1 box of cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, a maximum of 2 litres of spirits with maximum 15% of alcohol, and one litre of spirits with more than 15% of alcohol. To bring pets into the country, travellers must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or pet passport with all the vaccinations listed. For more information, go to the Swiss Customs website: www.ezv.admin.ch.
SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENT
The Social Security Agreement concluded between the Republic of Serbia and the Swiss Confederation, which entered into force on 1 January 2019, regulates matters of disability, age and family insurance (rehabilitation, illness, maternity, severance pay, extraordinary pension, method of calculating a pension and payment of benefits), insurance in case of injury at work and occupational disease.
HEALTH SITUATION — The general sanitary situation is excellent. There is no need for special vaccinations. The emergency phone number is 144. In case of poisoning, call 145. Current information on the health situation in Switzerland can be found on the website of the World Health Organization: www.who.int.
SECURITY SITUATION — The security situation in Switzerland is good. There is relatively little crime. Contacts with the police are at the cantonal level. The phone numbers for the police are 112 and 117, for roadside assistance 140, for the fire brigade 118. The permitted alcohol level while driving is 0.5‰.
TRANSPORT — The two largest airports are Zurich (00 41 43 816 22 11) and Geneva (00 41 0848 192 020). Upon entering the country, travellers may buy a vignette for road transport throughout Switzerland for 40 Swiss francs and there are no additional taxes or ramps on motorways. Switzerland has the most developed railway network in Europe. Trains are fast, on schedule, comfortable, but also expensive. A return ticket on the Bern–Zurich route, second class, is 110 Swiss francs. The road infrastructure is very developed. It is possible to drive with a Serbian driver's licence up to 12 months of residence, after what time it must be exchanged for a Swiss driver's licence, with the driver taking a control driving test. An international driving permit is not required, nor is a green card.
The speed limit on motorways is 120 km per hour. Traffic violations are strictly sanctioned (everything is recorded by cameras) and speeding is fined between 40 and 260 Swiss francs, depending on the speed level and whether speeding was committed in a populated area or on a motorway. Persons who do not pay a fine for the above-mentioned offences may, on their next arrival in Switzerland, have their vehicle temporarily confiscated until they pay the fine, plus warning and court fees. A penalty in the amount of 150 Swiss francs is charged for talking on a mobile phone or not wearing a seat belt while driving, 40–120 Swiss francs for improper parking, depending on the time of the overparking, the parking location and the like. Fines of the perpetrators who stay in Switzerland as tourists are delivered to their home address in the Republic of Serbia.
OTHER INFORMATION — The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF). It is possible to use only international credit cards (Visa, Diners, Mastercard, etc.). The price of tram or trolleybus ticket ranges from 2 to 4 Swiss francs per ride. The price of a short taxi ride in the city is 25 Swiss francs. Lunch in restaurants is served from 12 pm to 2 pm (an average menu with one glass of wine is 40 Swiss francs), dinner is served from 6 pm to 11 pm (an average price with a drink for two is about 100 Swiss francs). Hotel accommodation price depends on the location and category. The starting price for a double room in a 3-star hotel, with breakfast included, 160 Swiss francs.
For consular assistance and protection while in the Swiss Confederation, you may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Bern (telephone numbers: 00 41 31 352 6353, 00 41 31 352 4996, e-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.berne.mfa.gov.rs), and the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in Zurich (telephone numbers: 00 41 43 344 5630, 00 41 44 20 20273, e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.zurich.mfa.gov.rs).