Accomodation of asylum seekers in one of the reception centres:
There are right now 5 reception centres where asylum seekers are accommodated; in Banja Koviljaca (capacity of 120 places), in Bogovadja (160 places), “Kranjaca” near to Belgrade (200), and two in the South of the country, in Sjenica (70 places) Hotel “Berlin”, and in the town of Tutin (70 places). Even though there are around 600 places in all of these camps, it sometimes happens that all the places are occupies and people are sleeping in the „jungles“ around the centres. More problematically, in order to be able to be accommodated in one the centres, you need a valid 72-hours-paper, issues precisely for the camp you want to enter. It is usually because people do not have valid papers anymore that they are not accommodated in the camps. Thus a lot of migrants are sleeping in the parks in Belgrade, in the makeshift camps called „jungles“ in the border areas, or under bridges and abandoned buildings.
Practical tips on reaching the two centers for asylum seekers closest to Belgrade:
- Bogovadja: There is a bus connection with the number 581 from Belgrade to Lazarevac (8 km from Bogovadja). One ticket costs around 4 Euros. You can also try to make it without ticket. If you get controlled just leave the bus and wait for the next one. From Lazarevac you have to take a taxi which should not cost more than 7 Euros (try 5 Euros.).
- Kranjaca: The number of the bus is 108 from Omladinski stadion (to get there take the tram 12 or 3 from the main train station).
Accomodation of asylum seekers - Privately
It is also possible to be accommodated privately. In this case you can apply for state support which is 50-80 Euro per month. You have to apply for private accommodation via a lawyer. In Belgrade this seems to be easier than in other cities, but be aware that it takes a long time till you finally receive the money, because the Serbian bureaucracy is slow. Obviously this amount is not enough to house and feed you properly. During your asylum procedure you do not have the right to work.
Accomodation for undocumented people:
The possibility to stay in a youth hostel is – legally speaking – reserved only for those people who have a valid 72-hours-paper or who have an expulsion paper (i.e. the paper you get from the court, after you have served your sentence of 5 days in prison, or paid the fine for “illegal” border crossing or residence). However, some youth hostels take people even without a valid paper, but it is sometimes hard to find these youth hostels, and you might be charged more for staying in one, as the owner is technically breaking the law. In the absence of one of the two types of papers, or finding a youth hostel that is willing to accommodate people without papers, many people sleep in the streets, parks, under bridges, abandoned buildings, „jungles“ close to the borders.
Accomodation for those who got asylum status granted:
There is a lack of provisions for persons who have obtained a refugee or a subsidiary protection status. But when you have been granted asylum and you are not employed so far you may apply for accommodation with the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration (CRM), which should support with up to 20’000 RSD (around 170 euros) to cover the housing expenses. To get this support is a quite bureaucratic effort needed and also in case you get this support it’s difficult to find an appropriate place to stay. Because of that people also often remain in the accommodation of the reception center for asylum seekers in absence of any other housing or leave Serbia.