Stand on your own two feet
All of us who live in Serbia are aware that it is not easy to get a job. It is especially difficult to get a job that suits our competencies and in which we will feel good. M.K., who has been living in our country for several years, knows how difficult this is for migrants in Serbia.
M.K. is a young man from Iraq who came to Serbia in 2016. Although he sought asylum, he only received a stay for humanitarian reasons in 2018, and then extended his stay based on employment in Serbia. Given the legal status he had in our country, M.K. was not entitled to a personal work permit. This meant that, in order to be employed, he had to obtain a work permit for employment, which tied him to the employer at whose request the work permit was issued, and he could only work for him and only for jobs for which the work permit was issued. In essence, he did not have the opportunity to change jobs if he was not satisfied or if he was offered better working conditions by another employer, without going through the entire procedure of granting residence and work permit again.
“I was not satisfied with the job and working conditions, nor with the attitude of the employer towards me. I was aware that the dismissal could mean that I could no longer stay in Serbia,” says M.K.
Although he was not satisfied with the job, he met the love of his life at work. M.C. is his colleague with whom he worked on the same job. They went out and had fun, and then they decided to formalise their love with marriage. However, they also faced new challenges.
In order to overcome the legal and bureaucratic confusion in obtaining the necessary documents for the wedding, M.K. turned for help to the legal team of the project “Guidelines for Migrants – A Guide through the Labyrinth”. The legal team requested information on the required documents from two registry offices. However, the information on the required documents was not the same. The legal team also contacted the Iraqi Consulate in Belgrade regarding the acquisition of these documents. When the documents were obtained and translated, the legal team together with M.K. arranged for their authorisation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and accompanied M.K. and M.C. when scheduling a wedding in the Municipality of Savski Venac.
During the period of obtaining all the necessary papers and providing legal assistance, between M.K. and the legal team, a friendly relationship developed. In September 2020, at the invitation of M.K. and M.C., the wedding was attended by members of the legal team. In addition to legal assistance in obtaining the necessary documents for the residence permit and the submission of the request, the necessary administrative fees were paid for M.K. from the budget of the project “Guidelines for Migrants – A Guide to the Labyrinth”. His stay was first granted for one year. However, as a temporary residence permit based on marriage to a Serbian citizen enables the submission of an application for a personal work permit to be submitted, the application was also submitted with the help of the legal team.
In January 2021, M.K. received a personal work permit for one year. M.K. now has the opportunity to live “like normal people”. He currently has a job he is satisfied with that allows him and his new family a decent life. From the unsuccessful asylum seeker in the Republic of Serbia, in a period of about two years, M.K. will be able to meet the conditions for acquiring the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia and to be fully integrated.