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Procedure for obtaining a work permit for a foreign national in BiH


When foreign nationals intend to employ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, first of all they must obtain a work permit. Work permit is a legal authorization allowing an alien to take paid employment with national legal or physical persons, whereby the alien has the same work-related rights, obligations and responsibilities as employed citizens of BiH, unless otherwise specified under an international agreement.

Procedure for issuing work permits for aliens 

A work permit shall be issued for employment at a specific position and/or specific kind of work.

> IMPORTANT: The work permit may not be issued for a term exceeding one year.

The work permit for employment of an alien shall be issued by the Employment Service pursuant to legislation applicable to employment of aliens within the specified quota of work permits in accordance with Article 78 of the Law on Movement and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum, or as a work permit which is not calculated into the quota pursuant to Article 79 of the same Law.

Application for issuing work permit to an alien shall be submitted by an employer to the branch office of the Service depending on the Company’s seat. 

Persons who are not required to obtain a work permit to work in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Certain categories of aliens are not required to obtain a work permit to work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among others, these include founders of a commercial company having seat in BiH who perform specific tasks in such company if such work has no character of a working relationship or lasts for more than three months a year; university professors invited by the universities in BiH to teach; representatives of religious communities registered in BiH while performing tasks related to their religious service exclusively; artists and performers in the theatrical-musical category provided that their stay in BiH for such purpose shall not exceed 30 days of stay in BiH at a stretch, or more than three months intermittently a year in total;

How to make application for issuance of work permit to an alien? 

The application for issuing a work permit to an alien shall be submitted in a special form by the employer or the legal representative. The application shall include information about the alien, information about the job position, type of work and working conditions, company information, etc.  
Decision on issuing the work permit for an alien cannot be brought by the competent Employment Service before the Service receives a consent by the Institute – approval for issuance of work permit. 

After either the approval to issue a work permit or a rejection of work permit issuance is received by the Service, a decision on issuing the work permit or a decision on refusing issuance of work permit shall be issued by the Service within three (3) days.

> After a work permit is obtained, it is necessary to regulate the residency -  the temporary residence. So we proceed to the next chapter. 

Registration of aliens’ residence in BiH 

The rule is that an application for approval of the first temporary residence should be submitted in person by an alien outside BiH through BiH Diplomatic and Consular Office. In the territory of BiH an alien may submit an application for granting the first temporary residence to the competent organizational unit of the Service in BiH in only two situations:

    • if the alien has entered BiH with a long-term stay visa (Visa - D)
    • if the alien is a citizen of non-visa regime country (countries having a visa regime with BiH)


      Temporary residence permit shall be necessary to obtain for a specific situation such as working in BiH while Visa-based residence shall be sufficient for any other situation. 

      > LOOKING FOR HELP IN FORMING WORK PERMIT REQUEST: LJUBIĆ LAW FIRM provides legal representation to clients in work permit procedures. If you are encountering any kind of uncertainty in request forming, feel free to address your question to our administration.

      After a work permit is obtained, it is necessary to regulate the residency - the temporary residence

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