Visas and Work Permits 13 min

Work permits and visas in Bosnia: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
January 9, 2024
Sally Flaxman


share to linkedInshare to Twittershare to Facebook
Link copied
to clipboard

The remote working trend has become mainstream and many people are beginning to work remotely while visiting other countries. As this work culture increases in popularity, many countries, including Bosnia, are starting to encourage the digital nomad lifestyle. 

When you run a company with a flexible work culture, your employees may want to travel to a foreign country while carrying out their duties. Supporting their relocation can benefit you and the employee in the long term. However, it would be best to consider several factors when setting up work permits and visas for them in Bosnia. This process may be trickier than you thought, from hiring and traveling costs to visa processing time.

Although working while traveling overseas is welcome in many regions, legal aliens must have a legal “go-ahead” to work. Without the correct right-to-work permission from the local authorities, working there would be illegal. 

Usually, working illegally comes with harsh penalties. While most regions fine perpetrators, some dish out more severe punishments like deportation and prison sentences. The only way to avoid these punishments is to comply with all local laws, including tax and immigration. Not only can non-compliance affect your employee’s career aspirations, but it can also put your business at risk. Thus, complying with labor, tax, and other relevant laws is crucial. 

If you want to stay compliant while supporting your employee’s migration to Bosnia, start with this guide. Here, you will discover how to comply in critical situations such as:

  • Hiring an employee in Bosnia without having a registered entity in the country

  • Hiring a third-world government national in Bosnia 

  • Relocating a current employee to Bosnia 

  • Permitting a digital nomad to work in Bosnia compliantly.

Why is immigration compliance important in Bosnia?

Working while visiting some of the most exciting places in the world is a lifestyle many crave. While this work arrangement has many benefits and is largely positive, it has its risks. Every country has unique laws, cultures, and government styles that can affect a digital nomad’s experience in the country. While some are pleasant, others may prove detrimental to an individual’s career prospects. 

Even if a digital nomad only chooses to relocate temporarily to a foreign country for work, their experience may have a lasting effect. Navigating the legal system regarding having the correct travel documents or filing taxes can be intense for foreigners. One of such complexities involves having the valid right to work in Bosnia. 

Foreign nationals entering Bosnia, especially people from third countries, must have legal clearance to work during their stay. Although all legal aliens can stay in the country depending on their visa duration, not all can work. Working without having legal authorization to work is illegal in this country. It can lead to penalties such as heavy fines for employees and employers. 

Governments worldwide are taking legal measures to stop aliens from working illegally as the digital nomad trend gains momentum. 

Which workers need a right-to-work check in Bosnia?

Having the right to work is highly important for workers looking to relocate to this country for work. This ensures that employees do not break any laws that may result in harsh punishments. European countries expect companies to hire employees to ensure they have the correct authorization to work. 

In Bosnia, only non-citizens require this check to gain employment. However, there are various categories of non-citizens, and the regulations may differ for each individual. Here is how right-to-work checks affect residents and work permit holders.

Permanent Residents 

A foreigner may secure permanent residency in Bosnia by staying in the country for five straight years. It permits a foreigner to work in the country with or without a work permit. 

Temporary Residents

A temporary residency permit is for foreigners on a long-stay visa to Bosnia. With this permit, foreigners can stay for up to a year in the country for various reasons, including employment. Temporary residents can gain employment in Bosnia with or without a work permit. When the visa expires, holders can renew it to continue their activities in the country. 

Work Permit Holders

Foreigners with a work permit are eligible to work during their stay in the country. Thus, a Bosnia work permit holder can work for an employer, earn a living, and pay taxes accordingly in Bosnia. They can also renew their work permit once it expires to retain their right to work authorization. 

Managing right-to-work checks or employees relocating to Bosnia is not always straightforward. Fortunately, working with a global employment platform can help you complete this process quickly. Remote typically handles the relocation process by overseeing right-to-work checks, including the requirements and questionnaires, and rectifies issues with accompanying documents. 

Reach out to our Mobility team with your specific case to see how we can help you sort out work permits for your team members easily. 

Get your Remote Relocation Guide

Learn how to simplify your planned relocation with this walkthrough guide. We outline the key steps for you and your employer to enable a compliant, efficient, and hassle-free move.

Relocation Guide download

Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Bosnia?

Like most countries, only Bosnian citizens can work or apply for jobs freely without a permit. Non-citizens must meet Bosnia's work visa requirements and work permits to get jobs, especially people from third-world countries. Third-country nationals must also possess a Bosnia work visa to enter the country legally. 

Meanwhile, European nationals can enter Bosnia without a visa, especially on a short stay. They may only need to carry their national ID cards.  

How is the Schengen Visa applicable?

The Schengen visa permits non-citizens of countries in the Schengen zone to stay or travel through any member state for a limited period. This visa type doesn’t enable its holder to work in any country they visit. It is also applicable to working in Bosnia. Although Schengen visa holders can stay in the country short-term, the visa doesn’t permit them to earn in the process.

How is the European Union Blue Card applicable?

The European Union Blue Card is a means of identification issued by a member of the European Union to third-country nationals wanting to work in the country. This Blue Card permits highly skilled professionals outside of Europe to migrate and work during their stay legally. 

Although Bosnia is not a member of the EU, it acknowledges the Blue Card in its immigration policy. According to the Bosnian law on the immigration of foreigners, the Blue Card serves as a residency permit for highly skilled aliens. This permit allows them to get jobs legally during their stay.

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Bosnia?

To get a work visa in Bosnia, employees must possess the correct documents when applying. They would then apply in person with the necessary documents at the nearest Bosnian embassy or consulate. 

The employee must also present an invitation letter from the employer in Bosnia. Applicants are advised to tender their applications between 20 and 30 days before their expected departure date.

What are the long-stay visa types in Bosnia?

The extended stay (D) visa is for foreigners who intend to stay in the country for up to 180 days a year. Bosnia issues D visas for two major purposes: family reunification and employment.

  • Employment visa. This visa enables foreigners seeking employment in Bosnia to gain entry. They must have an invitation letter from the employer in Bosnia, approved by the Ministry of Security, Service for Foreigners’ Affairs.

  • Family reunification visa. Foreign individuals wanting to reunite with close family members in Bosnia apply for this visa. The inviting party must issue an invitation letter which the Ministry of Security, Service for Foreigners’ Affairs, must certify.

How do you get a work visa for Bosnia?

Foreign nationals entering Bosnia for work must have the following documents:

  • Valid international passport

  • Visa application form

  • Invitation letter by employer

  • Proof of paid accommodation

  • Health insurance coverage

  • 35mm × 45mm passport photograph

  • Means of subsistence during the stay

In Bosnia, employees applying for a work visa must have all the required documents. Next, they will go to the Bosnian embassy or consulate closest to their country with their valid documents. They shall appear in person with their visa application. 

Work visa processing may take up to 30 days. That’s why applicants must submit their applications at least 20 days before their intended travel date.

To make your life easier, your best bet is to work with a team of mobility experts who will do all the heavy lifting to ensure your employees can focus on their jobs. From sorting out the required paperwork, preparing questionnaires, and rectifying invalid document issues according to local laws —

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Bosnia?

Employers willing to sponsor their workers’ travel to Bosnia must request a work permit. Thus, you need to own a legal entity in Bosnia to facilitate your employee’s sponsorship. Remote can help you streamline this procedure without owning a local entity in Bosnia. We offer a purpose-built Relocation service through the expertise of our mobility team. 

Remote can help you speed up the processing time while making sure you comply with local legislation. We will also help you manage your employees’ work permits, work visas, and right-to-work permissions in five steps:

  • Log in details of the candidate for sponsorship

  • Set up a questionnaire to gather the required documentation

  • Our Mobility team conducts a right-to-work analysis and advises you on the candidate’s eligibility for sponsorship

  • Organize a pre-hire assessment and supply quotes

  • Onboard the employee to Remote upon approval 

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Bosnia?

Bosnia does not have a specific visa category for digital nomads, unlike some European countries. Thus, remote workers follow the visa requirement for long-stay employment purposes. 

Bosnia maintains a tax treaty agreement with nearly 40 countries, most of which are European nations. This helps foreigners from these countries avoid paying double taxes. 

Bosnia issues three classes of visas: airport transit (Visa A), short stay, and long stay visas.

What is Bosnia’s airport transit visa?

The airport transit (Visa A) visa allows international airport travelers to stop at or go through Bosnia. This may be due to the discontinuation or continuation of a flight to a different destination.

What is Bosnia’s long-term stay (Visa D) visa?

The D visa is Bosnia’s long-stay visa. It allows foreigners to stay in Bosnia for up to 180 days in one year. Foreigners can use this visa for employment or family reunification purposes. A “D visa” holder can apply for a temporary residency permit upon entering the country.

What is Bosnia’s short-term stay visa (Visa C)?

This short-stay visa permits foreigners to stay in Bosnia for up to 90 consecutive days out of 180 days. The C visa is issued for any of the following purposes:

  • Medical

  • Business

  • Sports

  • Academia

  • Tourism

  • Science

Why use an employer of record to hire in Bosnia?

If you've found your ideal candidate in Bosnia or want to relocate a team member to the country, keep in mind that you'll have to do so via your own legal entity in the country. Opening a legal entity involves establishing a physical presence, figuring out local employment laws and taxes, and setting up employee management processes — managing all of this is a challenging and long-winded process.

To make your life easier, you could work with employer of record (EOR) like Remote, who takes on the legal responsibility of hiring in Bosnia or any other country. Remote handles legal compliance, payroll, benefits, taxes, and other HR-related tasks. An EOR typically allows businesses to expand operations into other countries without setting up a local entity.

Remote can make it simple and easy for you to hire employees around the world. If you're looking to relocate team members to Bosnia, learn more about the process by watching this webinar on relocation for international employees.

Complying with the tax, immigration, employment, and other crucial laws in a foreign country can be intense. One of the most effective ways of complying with these laws is working with Remote’s EOR.

Upon entering the country, we can employ your team members compliantly make all relevant contributions and tax deductions timely. We also bear the legal risk so that you can focus on expanding your international team.

Relocation in any form can be tedious and time-consuming for employers as well as their staff. Crucial procedures, including visa application, immigration requirements, and securing digital nomad visas, can quickly become complicated. The situation or challenge is different depending on the location. Here’s what you need to know as an employer.

1. How to fulfil requirements for immigration and visas. A comprehensive understanding of how the immigration, tax, and employment processes work helps an employee work in a foreign country without breaking the law. Your business can still be susceptible to risks and legal punishments when you have employees abroad. Even when they attempt to comply with local laws, your employees may ignorantly break them.

2. Understand international taxation. Taxation is a simple concept. The government takes its share of a company’s profits operating on its soil. As international teams begin to expand, these processes become more complex. While income and corporate taxes may become chaotic, tax and physical residency may be difficult to differentiate. Often, tax treaties affect how and when companies pay taxes but managing these processes becomes more complicated as a digital nomad stays in a foreign country for an extended period.

3. Be wary of permanent establishment risk. Although employing local talent is beneficial, it isn’t enough to guarantee your permanent establishment in a foreign country. However, the employees can improve their chances by playing crucial roles in your company. Businesses must continue reevaluating possible risks, as a permanent establishment is an ongoing exercise.

4. Stay compliant with local employment laws. Employment laws differ in every country. Failing to comply with a country’s regulations can result in punishments and hefty fines, especially regarding the misclassification of contractors and employees. Note that a company cannot hire workers in a foreign country without a locally registered business.  

This helps you avoid non-compliance or immigration issues, start by consulting Remote’s Relocation Guide. This document contains all the relevant information you need to support your employees’ career aspirations compliantly. 

Alternatively, for expert advice on your situation, contact the Mobility team at Remote who can help you expertly handle visas, permits, compliance, and international payroll for your global workforce. 

Hire, pay, and manage relocation for your global team

Create an account with G2’s top-ranked multi-country payroll software and start onboarding your first employees in minutes.

Get started now
Remote is the G2 top-ranked multi-country payroll software

Subscribe to receive the latest
Remote blog posts and updates in your inbox.