What can you expect if you are irregularly in the country?
These are the nine most common risks you could face if you are traveling through or staying irregularly in the Republic of Serbia. These risks may not stop when you leave the country:
– Do not use the services of smugglers – If you, your parents or relatives give money for your trip and/or you have contacted a smuggler to arrange your trip, you may not be able to repay that money or you may run into larger debts. This can lead to financial loss, debt, and to becoming a victim of exploitation or abuse by smugglers. Travel conditions provided by smugglers are almost always dangerous for your safety, your health, and the health of the people you are traveling with, which could jeopardize one’s health conditions and lead to death. Use legal flows to cross the state border and contact the nearest police station or Border Police officer if you feel threatened.
– Do not participate in the smuggling of other migrants – A person who allows others to cross the border of the Republic of Serbia illegally or is illegally staying or illegally transiting through Serbia could be sentenced to one to eight years in prison.
– Do not cross the border illegally – Illegal border crossing is a violation of the laws of the Republic of Serbia. If you cross or try to cross the state border of the Republic of Serbia outside an official border crossing, or without a valid travel document or another valid document for crossing the border, you could be fined from 10,000 to 100,000 dinars or imprisoned for up to 30 days. If, upon entering the Republic of Serbia, you express your intention to apply for asylum without delay or provide a valid explanation for your illegal entry or stay, you will not be fined or imprisoned for illegal entry or stay in the Republic of Serbia. Use legal flows to cross the state border and contact the nearest police station or Border Police officer if you feel threatened.
– Abuse of the asylum procedure – Expression of intent for asylum is accompanied by the issuance of a confirmation form. The validity period of the confirmation is 15 days, after which the person is obliged to submit a request for asylum. The asylum procedure is considered to have been initiated by submitting the asylum application form to the Asylum Office. A person who has expressed an intention to apply for asylum shall, immediately after expressing their intention, be registered and be referred to an asylum center or another facility designated for the accommodation of asylum seekers, where they must report within 72 hours from the moment the registration confirmation is issued. If a person does not report to the asylum center or other facility designated for the accommodation of the asylum seekers within 72 hours after registration, and without a valid reason, the person may be punished in accordance with the regulations on the legal status of foreigners in the Republic of Serbia.
– Abuse of the registration process – Register your residence address. If you have decided to leave the center or you will change your current residence address, you need to inform the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) or the Asylum Office.
– Be careful not to become a victim of human trafficking – If you are in debt and unable to repay the money, there is a risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking. Do not give your travel documents to others and take care of your own safety.
– Verbal, physical and sexual violence – Irregular migrants are at high risk of experiencing some form of verbal violence (insults, threats, etc.), physical violence, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. If you feel threatened, contact the nearest police station. If you are in a reception or asylum center, contact a representative of any present governmental or non-governmental organization.
– Robbery or kidnapping – If you travel irregularly, you may be robbed, kidnapped, or held captive against your will during the trip. If you feel threatened, contact the nearest police station.
– Trauma and life-threatening experiences – If you travel irregularly, you may find yourself in a life-threatening situation, caused by people you meet on the road, difficult weather conditions (extreme cold or heat), or wild animals. You may witness the death or disappearance of a group member. If you feel threatened, contact the nearest police station.