Laws and regulations

Issuing of visas, conditions for entering into Bosnia and Herzegovina, crossing the state border and staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as international protection of foreigners is regulated by the following legislation:

• Law on Movement and Stay of Aliens and Asylum („  Official Gazette of BiH“, No. 36/08)
• Decision on Visas ( „ Official Gazette of BiH“, No. 100/08)
• Rulebook on issuing visas for long-term stay ( „D“ visa) and procedure while issuing such visa ( „Official Gazette of BiH“, No. 104/08)
• Rulebook on entry and stay of aliens ( „Official Gazette of BiH“, No. 81/08)


The work permit quota is the number of work permits that can be issued in BiH in one year for foreigners of certain occupations i.e. foreigners performing certain activities which require work permits for work in BiH and shall be calculated into quota. The quotas are determined based on expressed needs, according to the level and type of education i.e. qualifications or expertise. Advantage at issuance of work permits will be given to foreigners who already have an authorised temporary stay in BiH.

Working permits issuance

When a foreigner wants to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with the intention to work or perform other profitable activities he/she can enter only if he/she possesses a valid work permit.

When a foreigner intends to stay in BiH with intention of taking paid work, he/she must have a work permit issued by the body competent for employment of foreigners, in accordance with all relevant BiH laws, except when it is determined that for certain types of work the work permit is not required. The performance of activities required for the establishment and registration of a legal person shall not be considered as type of work for which the work permit is required.

The work permit can be issued to a foreigner upon the request of a legal or physical person which intends to hire him/her (the employer). Depending on the place of residence i.e. seat of the employer, the work permit shall be issued by the body competent for employment of foreigners at entity or Brcko District level. The work permit shall be issued by the body competent for employment of foreigners based on determined quota that is not calculated into quota. The work permit is issued for certain working posts and/or certain types of work activity and with a maximum validity period not exceeding one (1) year.

The work permit can be issued regardless of determined annual quota of work permits in the following cases:

• To a foreigner with education corresponding to higher education, completed postgraduate or doctoral study in BiH;
• Foreigner whose work in BiH is based on an international agreement;
• Foreigner performing key activities in business and who is not excluded from the requirement of possessing work permit based on international agreements;
• Teachers or professors performing or assisting in teaching in educational institutions due to their specific knowledge;
• Professional athletes or sports workers with valid signed contracts for work in BiH;
• Foreigner who is in marital or extramarital union with a foreigner who has authorised permanent stay in BiH or is a child of a foreigner with authorised permanent stay in BiH.

In the request for issuing work permits for a foreigner the employer is obliged to enclose:

• Data on the foreigner he/she intends to sign work contract or other appropriate contract and particularly: name and surname, including all prior names and surnames, names and surnames of parents, date of birth, sex, place of residence and address in country of origin, number, date and place of issuance of valid travel documents;
• Data on work position or type of work and working conditions;
• Excerpt from relevant registry of the competent court on employer’s registration in BiH;
• Evidence from the bank where the employer has bank account on solvency of the employer;
• Evidence on paid tax liabilities and contributions for all existing employees including the foreigner in the case of extension of work permit, and;
• Explanation of justification of employment of foreigner.

The work contract or other appropriate contract with a foreigner the employer may sign only upon approval of the temporary stay to the foreigner. The employer is obliged to submit a copy of the signed work contract or other appropriate contrct immediately and no later than three (3) days after signing of the contract.

A foreigner cannot start working in BiH based on a work permit prior to having authorised temporary stay. The foreigner can work in BiH only based on the work permit the temporary stay is authorised to him/her upon. Based on the work permit the foreigner can work in BiH only at the work position or type of work for which the performance the work permit is issued and based upon which the foreigner is granted temporary stay in BiH. Shortly upon expiry of validity of work permit the authorisation of temporary stay shall expire, should the temporary stay be authorised based on the work permit.  

With application of all provisions of all laws pertaining to temporary stay, the work permit for work in BiH does not have to have, amongst others, the following categories:

• Key persons appointed to the positions of the member of supervisory board of legal person having the seat in BiH, established as joint stock company with majority ownership of legal i.e. physical person should the appointment have no character of working relation or the work in those positions exceeds total of three (3) months during a year;
• Founders of business association i.e. company having the seat in BiH who perform certain type of works in that business association i.e. company, should such work have no character of working relation or exceed total duration of three (3) months during a year;
• Various educational, cultural, sports and religious workers coming to BiH for a certain period of time or upon the invitation of domestic subjects or those participating in the official international exchange programs;
• Foreigners sent by foreign employers and which enable professional development and training to persons employed with physical or legal persons having the seat in BiH in duration of total three (3) months annually;
• Foreigners performing work related to delivery, mounting and servicing machines and equipment should their work not exceed 30 continuous days or longer than a total of three (3) months in a year with pauses;
• Foreigners participating in fairs or exhibitions where their employer is exhibiting;

The courts competent for registration of business subject are obliged immediately and no later than within seven-day (7) period from the day of completed registration of business subject, i.e. change of data, to forward to the Service full information on registration i.e. each data change on the following categories of foreigners:

• Owners of the share, i.e. shares in registered legal person;
• Members of the board i.e. procurators in registered legal person and;
• Members of supervisory board of registered legal person.


Request for issuance of visa form


Ministry of Security BiH

Service for Foreigners Affairs

Pijačna 6, 71000 Sarajevo
Tel: 033/772-950 Fax: 033/772-982