Tunisia: Serbia Rescinds Visa-Free Travel Under EU Pressure Over Migrants

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Diplomacy, Tunisia


The Serbian government formally announced that as of 11 November 2022, individuals traveling to Serbia on a Tunisian passport will require a visa. The Serbian government reportedly bowed to pressure from the European Union (EU) to end visa-free travel in order to counter irregular migration into Europe from the Balkans. This change in policy essentially removes the only visa-free travel option for Tunisians to a European destination.


With Serbia’s application for status as a member of the EU ongoing, this move does not come as a surprise. Particularly given the rapidly rising rate of irregular migration originating in Tunisia and the ongoing challenge to prevent migrants entering Europe via the Balkans. While Serbia has benefited from Tunisian tourism, Belgrade has far greater interest in cultivating its relationship with the EU. The inability of the Tunisian government to slow irregular migration continues to impact the rights afforded to Tunisian passport holders. In an apparent effort to respond to the policy change, the Tunisian Ministry of Interior made public on 26 October 2022 a breakup of a migrant network through Serbia. However, the announcement is unlikely to shift Serbian government thinking in the near-term.