Residence permit

As an exchange student/staff who will stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina longer than 90 days for academic/administrative purposes, you will need to regulate your residence permit in order not to have residence problems during your staying in Sarajevo. Note: Citizens of the European Union Member States do not require visa for entrance to Bosnia and Herzegovina which of course applies to students – citizens of the EU Member States. They do not need to obtain student visa. However, in order to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina longer than three (3) months for academic/administrative purposes it is required to regulate your residence permit. Citizens of non-European countries need to check if they need student visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their home countries.

Residence permit is a document that allows a foreigner to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina for certain period on time (for you, it is a period of your academic/administrative mobility). It is required to be issued in the first 30 days of students/staff arrival. This document is issued by the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In order to obtain this permit, you need to collect certain documents and bring it personally to the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Documents that are required:

  1. Application for approval – extension of temporary stay in B&H – one original and one copy;
  2. One photo, size 35x 45 mm;
  3. Two copies of your passport (copy of the page with personal data and the page with stamp of entry in Bosnia and Herzegovina) – one copy verified and one regular copy;
  4. Certificate on residence registration or White Card – this is explained below;
  5. Certificate on enrolment at the educational institute for current school/academic year;
  6. Evidence on payment of scholarship or other costs of educational or other institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  7. Evidence on provided funds needed for sustenance for school or academic year;
  8. Certificate about your knowledge of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian;
  9. Medical report with an expiry date of a minimum three months longer than the period for which the temporary residence approval is requested;
  10. evidence on provided health insurance in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  11. evidence on provided accommodation in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  12. copy of landlords ID card;
  13. evidence on that there is no criminal procedure being conducted against the foreigner, as well as to that he/she has not been convicted of any crime;
  14. Proof of payment of 100,00 KM of administrative fee.

Explanations for each document is given next:

  • (1) Application must be filled electronically or by hand, and printed on both sides of one paper. NOTE: application must be signed by you. You will need one original and one copy (copy doesn’t have to be verified).
  • (3) make sure that an expiry date of your passport is longer than the period for which the temporary residence approval is requested. You will need two copies of the mentioned pages above, out of which one copy needs to be verified and other not.
  • (4) Certificate on residence registration or popularly „White card“ is provided at the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina with presentation of documents (3), (11) and (12).
  • Document that provides data on (5), (6) and (7) is provided by the International Relations Office of the University of Sarajevo or member of the University depending on the status (Potvrda) that states your participation in exchange program, enrollment at the University of Sarajevo, your duration of staying in Sarajevo and provided funds.
  • (8) this document will be issued by the professors at the Language school that is organized as a part of the Orientation program. If you are a native speaker of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, you do not need this document. In case that lessons and exams are organized in English, your host faculty/academy/institute/center should provide a certificate stating this evidence.
  • (9) Medical report is issued by the local medical institutions wherein is visible that he/she does not suffer of any disease that represents threat to public health in B&H. It is required to be done in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and medical examination from your home country will not be accepted. Note: HIV tests are not required as a part of medical report, as it was previously asked from the exchange students/staff.
  • (10) As a part of an exchange program, you will receive a document that states your travel, health and life insurance. As for the freemovers, you need to provide the insurance for yourselves and present as a proof for the residence permit.
  • (11) this can be an contract between landlord and student/staff, or statement by landlord that he/she owns the apartment and rents it to the student/staff. In case that the owner is outside of the country and he/she has appointed someone else to deal with the renting activities, they need to provide a document of authorization that he/she is allowed to do the renting of that apartment on the behalf of the owner. With this document and documents (3) and (11) you need to verify it. Location for verification is given on the map below.
  • (13) this document must be issued by the competent body from the state where an foreigner has an usual residence place, issued no longer than six months prior to application submitting. Note: it must be issued by the State Ministry or similar appointed institution – document issued by county institutions will not be accepted.
  • (14) Administration tax in amount of 100,00 KM must be paid before heading to the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs. The filling of the payment form is explained here.

Steps to follow:

Phase 1: verify the copies of your passport, contract/statement for accommodation and landlord’s ID card.

Phase 2: make sure to have all needed and required documents.

Phase 3: go to the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of B&H (address: Braće Mulića bb) – marked on map

Phase 4: first you need to regulate your Certificate on residence registration or White Card with documents: your verified copies of your passport, contract/statement for accommodation and landlord’s ID card.

Phase 5: after getting the Certificate on residence registration or White card, with that and other documents you will proceed to the next door office that deals with exchange students of the University of Sarajevo (marked Univerzitet u Sarajevu on the door).

Note: phase 4 and 5 are done at the same place in one day.

Phase 6: if you have provided all needed documents, you should be leaving the building with the residence permit in your passport.

Where to verify documents?

Before going to the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs you will need to do the verification of above mentioned documents. The closest place in the centre is the Center Municipality (Općina Centar), address: Mis Irbina 1 – marked on map below. NOTE: verification of documents in Municipality is free of charge for students. For the verification, your landlord or the person that he/she authorized, must accompany you.


How to get to the Service of the Foreigners’ Affaires?

Service of the Foreigners’ Affaires has their new offices at the new address: Braće Mulića bb (bb stands for no number). You will notice black – glass building and official flags of Bosnia and Herzegovina next to it.

By taxi: depending from where are you leaving, from the Old Town Baščaršija until the offices the taxi should charge you approximately 15-18 KM. The price should be less if your are closer to the Offices. Make sure that taxi-meter is turned on.

By trolleybus: make sure to catch the bus that goes towards Dobrinja. On the second-to-last station you’ll need to exit and walk approximately 800 meters back to the Service of the Foreigners’ Affairs (marked on the map).

NOTE: All documents must be issued or translated on Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. If you are submitting documents in English, make sure to have translation on Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.