How to Get Serbian Citizenship by Exception

Johnny Depp, Steven Seagal, and Ralph Fiennes share more than just fame; they've all been granted honorary Serbian citizenship. This privilege isn't limited to celebrities; anyone with skills benefiting Serbia could join this elite group.


Serbian citizenship can be obtained through naturalization, birth, marriage, descent, or investment. Another option, often overlooked, is citizenship by exception (CBE), granted at the government's discretion, without official criteria like citizenship by investment (CBI).

What is Citizenship by Exception?

To gain Serbian citizenship through CBE, diverse achievements beyond economics are considered. Categories like business, technology, science, sports, and culture qualify.

Serbian Citizenship by Exception

This pathway can expedite citizenship without requirements like language tests or permanent residency.

Serbian CBE requires less paperwork than citizenship by investment. Lawyers handle most of the process, and two visits to Belgrade are necessary for approval and collection if successful.

Applying for Serbian Citizenship by Exception

Acquiring Serbian CBE doesn't necessarily mean paying taxes there unless you become a tax resident. If you do, expect low tax rates, ranging from 10% to 20%, with no wealth taxes. 

CBE and Taxes in Serbia

How can I become a Serbian citizen? - There are a limited number of options to obtain Serbian citizenship. Serbia offers citizenship by descent (CBD), by naturalisation, birth and marriage and, on rare occasions, by exception.

Serbian Citizenship by Exception: FAQs

Serbian citizens and passport holders can visit 85 countries without obtaining a visa, with an additional 50 countries if you count locations that offer eTAs and visas on arrival.

How good is a Serbian passport?

Serbian is the official language, a Slavic Indo-European language related to Polish and Russian. English is also widely spoken in the country.

What language do they speak in Serbia?

As of 2011, Serbia no longer has mandatory military service.

Does Serbia have obligatory military service?

If you’re applying for citizenship by descent in Serbia, you will need to prove your nationality and ancestral lineage. However, other forms of citizenship, including CBE and CBI, do not require Serbian ancestry.

Do I need to be of Serbian descent to qualify for citizenship?

Yes, the Republic of Serbia allows dual citizenship. You do not need to renounce any other citizenship to obtain Serbian citizenship, meaning dual citizenship is permitted.

Does Serbia allow dual citizenship?

The Serbian government may grant foreign nationals in Serbia a permanent residence visa if they have resided continuously in the Republic of Serbia for at least three years, with no more than 183 days outside the country each year.

How do I get permanent residency in Serbia?

With Serbian citizenship, you can live there, visit occasionally, or keep your passport as a backup plan. Whether for lifestyle flexibility or as a relocation option, Serbian citizenship offers great benefits.

Serbia: the Perfect Plan-B Citizenship?

At Nomad Capitalist, we always advocate having a Plan B for international diversification. So, why limit yourself to one country? From a tax planning, asset protection and lifestyle standpoint, it makes sense to have an option in your back pocket just in case things change in your home country.


Our experienced team can help you legally reduce your tax rate offshore, protect your assets, invest overseas, obtain a second citizenship, and improve your peace of mind. We’ve helped 1,500+ HNWI entrepreneurs and investors and we can help you, too.

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