Bosnia and Herzegovina is an economically diverse and dynamic country with big potential. Its major cities attract expatriates around the world, and a strong service sector, as well as a growing tourism industry, draw businesses such as yours. Unfortunately, expanding globally also includes certain challenges, such as figuring out how to get a Bosnia and Herzegovina work visa for every employee.
Types of Work Visas in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina requires two things from foreign workers — a work permit and a temporary residence permit. Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina is trying to become a member state of the European Union (EU), and the country has a visa policy similar to the EU. Citizens from up to 101 countries can enter Bosnia and Herzegovina without a visa and stay up to 90 days within 180 days.
Those wanting to stay in the country for more than three months must apply for a temporary residence permit from their local field office at the Foreigners’ Affairs Department of the Ministry of Security. Individuals have to submit their temporary residence permit application at least 15 days before their three-month visa-free period ends. A temporary residence permit is valid for 12 months and can be extended.
Requirements to Obtain Bosnia and Herzegovina Work Visas
The country has numerous work visa and permit requirements, including:
- Information about the employee, including formal names, date of birth, place of residence, and more
- Information about the employee’s job, including job type and working conditions
- Information about your company, such as your registration number
- A written explanation about why you hired a foreign employee over a local individual
- The foreigner’s graduation certificate translated into one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s official languages
The government also needs certified documents, including the employee’s passport and graduation certificate, as well as your company’s tax ID and proof of solvency. You must also provide evidence that you paid all of the administrative expenses of the Bosnia and Herzegovina working visa or permit.
As the employer, you’ll need to apply for a work permit on behalf of your employees. Doing so is a lengthy process, so we recommend starting early. Keep in mind that Bosnia and Herzegovina also has quotas for work permits that apply to foreigners in certain occupations for one year. The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina sets the annual quotas per the country’s migration policy and labor market situation. Priority for work permits goes to foreigners who already have a temporary residence permit for family reunification.
If you meet the quota, you’ll need to first apply for a work permit in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the country’s Employment Service. Then, the Federal Employment Agency will approve or deny the permit. If the application gets approved, employees can then apply through their local embassy or consulate. Work permits are usually temporary and active for up to a year, after which employees must re-apply.
Other Important Considerations
Certain professionals within your company may be exempt from obtaining a Bosnia and Herzegovina work permit. For example, founders of a company or enterprise performing certain tasks that do not have employment characteristics or exceed three months of service do not need a work permit. However, a founder who is also a manager and receives a salary must get a work permit to stay compliant.
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