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SERBIA - Hospitable to permanent 'tourists'?

 
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boxalldr



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: SERBIA - Hospitable to permanent 'tourists'? Reply with quote

I'm looking for a place in the Balkans where I can stay pretty much indefinitely just by going to the border every 90 days and getting a new entry stamp in my passport. Does anyone know from personal experience whether Serbia - or any other country in the region - is such a place?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9509
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you want to avoid filing for legal status in a country where you want to stay for a while?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12323
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fugitive from Justice?

I think Serbia is not the place. Turkey is also a Balkan state and fits the bill
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ytuque



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived and worked in Serbia for 2 years. The first year I took my work contract down to the main police station in Novi Sad and received a multi entry work visa for 9000 dinars ($120 US) without too many problems. My 2nd year, I was given the option of getting a work visa, doing border runs every 3 months, or because I was living with a Serbian woman, there is a special visa category for this. The employees of that dept. suggested that I do visa runs or get the special visa shagging a Serb visa. I can't remember what they call this category, so I made up my own description.

I had a chance to talk to some of the police. There are so many illegal foreigners running around Serbia that the stray American/Brit/Canadian or whatever you are doesn't concern them. They are concerned about Albanians, Bosnians, Macedonians etc, and there are thousands of them. They also don't want to have any embassy people calling and asking questions.

Whatever you do, make sure you are registered with the police and carry your registration card with you at all times!!!! I know a Brit who got locked up overnight because of this in Belgrade. After a 10000 dinar fine, he was back in business.

As for fugitives, there are a number of war criminals hiding out in Serbia. If you are a shady character, you will fit right in!

I never had any problems with the police in Serbia. If you want trouble with the police come to Belarus or the Ukraine.
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boxalldr



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: Serbia - hospitable to permanent "tourists"? Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you who replied.

To satisfy the curious, let me explain why I raised the question in the first place: I'm not wanted by the War Crimes Tribunal for genocide and assorted atrocities. I just can't abide bureaucrap, so a border run every 90 days is for me the least worst option.

Incidentally, in case anyone is interested, it appears that Montenegro and Bosnia/Herzegovina are two other places in the Balkans where you can stay "street-legal" just by getting a new entry stamp in your passport every 3 months.
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ytuque



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As entry into the EU moves further along, the 90 day border runs will likely go away. So it won't last in Montenegro, but Serbia and Bosnia have a long time before this becomes an issue. From my experience, it is more cost effective to get a Serbian work visa since the cost of the border runs adds up and the visa is fairly inexpensive.

Have a good time in Serbia! BTW, the language is very difficult and not particularly useful.
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Vanica



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 368
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ytuque wrote:
BTW, the language is very difficult and not particularly useful.


Not true! BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) also provides an easy intro to all the other Slavic languages, and also some Turkish vocabulary. But in Novi Sad, many speak Hungarian and that is a more difficult language of limited application. And then there are all the dialects, but you're not responsible for those.
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ytuque



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was trying to point out that Serbian is a very difficult language. Knowing Serbian won't get you very far traveling or open up many job opportunities. The time and effort would be better spent by a young person learning one of the so called "world languages" such as Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, etc.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12323
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian have a large degree of intercomprehensibilty. It is a bit like Norwegian/Danish/Swedish/Faroese.

Put it this way - if you learn Serbian to any degree of competence you can be understood by speakers of other South and East Slavonic languages. When I speak in Bulgarian I am understood by speakers of Russian and Serbian !
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ytuque



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After 5 months in the Russian speaking part of the Ukraine, I found that perhaps a third of what I said was not understood. Which really isn't bad if you think about it
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Badmotorfinger



Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ytuque, how're things treating you in Ukraine these days?
I'm also a teacher in Serbia and don't have much to add really, Ytuque pretty much covered it all... I've been here a year and half and have just been getting by on the tourist visa with border runs with no problems at all so far. The only time not having legit working papers here will bother you is if you want to start applying for jobs with international companies, they tend to be more strict about their paperwork. The bureaucracy here is a SERIOUS pain in the ass, I think Ytuque has had more luck than I have in that regard, and so I've just avoided it as much as possible.
There is work to be had out here although everything tends to happen through personal connections, so it can take a little while to get up on your feet while you meet people and ask around and whatnot.
As for the language... ytuque is on the money, it's a beeeeeyotch and in fact not even that necessary out here, you can get by just on english very easily, so you really have to be motivated to put in the time to learn it all properly. Otherwise basic "survival" Serbian is more than adequate for most any foreigner.
One thing to consider though is the political situation... Things definitely got frosty around here for Americans/Brits/friends after Kosovo declared independence... Things have quieted down somewhat and it feels like life is back to normal, but now the government has been dissolved and no one has the slightest clue what will happen in the near future.
Most people here, and particularly anyone you would be in contact with if you were teaching, are fine about it all, but all it takes is one bad encounter with a group of drunken hooligans looking to vent their anger to make your stay here really nasty...
So yeah, Serbia is a cool place to be but it's definitely not for everyone, think carefully before you jump in. Have you visited out here before?
Cheers
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ytuque



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am now in S. Korea teaching at a university. My student's English language proficiency is on par with the Gypsies who used to panhandle outside my faculty in Belgrade. On the other hand, they are well behaved!

As for the Ukraine, it didn't work out. State universities receive professors at no cost through the American Fulbright and Peace Corp. programs. I had job offers from private universities, but they couldn't/wouldn't process the required work documents. After 4 months, I threw in the towel and took a job in S. Korea. Serbia seemed like Switzerland after being in the Ukraine!

The work visa was no problem once I had a written job offer in hand. The cost of the work visa 9k dinars was good for 10 months. Just to add a qualifier, I received my work visa in Novi Sad. I found that I had far fewer problems there than in Belgrade.

As for all things in Serbia I found the farther north I went, the fewer problems I had. There is an expression in Serbian which my friends translated as, "the farther south the more sad." With all the Kosovo problems, I think the best place to live in Serbia would be Vojvodina province. I really liked Novi Sad and Subotica. If I could get a teaching job in Subotica, I would come back.

Have fun with those 7 noun cases, and I hope you don't encounter any nationalist village idiots.

BTW, I came to Serbia because a Serbian professor arranged everything. Personal connections is the key to all things in Serbia as you have found out. Good luck with your Serbian adventure.
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