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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Working in EuropeWork permitBosnia and Herzegovina

Work permits


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.

Issuing a work permit

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.

In addition to the general requirements established by law, the foreigner must meet a specific requirement to have a work permit issued by the Employment Service of the Republic of Srpska (in Republic of Srpska) or Cantonal Employment Services or Federal Employment Institute (in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Foreigners with a permanent residence in B&H, foreigners with approved international protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina and foreigners with approved temporary protection are entitled to work in the Republic of Srpska without the obligation to obtain a work permit.

More information about work permits to foreign citizens in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

More information about work permits to foreign citizens in Republic of Srpska

Working hours/overtime/leave

The working week has 40 working hours. A General Collective Agreement signed between the employer and employee may conclude a reduction in the number of working hours which cannot be lower than 36 hours per week. In the case of sudden increase in the scope of work and in other cases imposing the need for completion of unplanned work within a specific time limit employee can work overtime, no more than four hours a day, and at most 10 hours per week.

For each calendar year, an employee has the right to at least 20 working days of annual leave for a period to be determined by general act or contract of employment.

Employment types

The labor contract may be concluded for a part-time work, for definite or indefinite period of time. A labor contract for a definite period of time may be signed for specific circumstances such as seasonal jobs, specific projects, etc. Contract for definite period of time may last no longer than two years. The employee is entitled to social insurance and to all the rights stemming from the employment contract in proportion to the time spent at work.

An employer may sign a contract with a person for temporarily and periodical work related to his line of business. A person with whom this contract has been made is entitled to pension, disability and health insurance. An employee can also conclude a special service contract to perform jobs outside the line of business of his employer and with the aim of independent execution of particular physical labor or intellectual work.