Coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina for educational purposes
This page explains the following topics for regulating your status in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Travel documents
- Visa to enter B&H
- entering without visa
- entering with visa
- Regulating your residence to B&H <<< for mobility students and staff
- White Card
- Residence permit
- Foreign Affairs Office
Entry of international students and staff members to Bosnia and Herzegovina is regulated by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Travel documents
You can use one of the following travel documents to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- A valid passport or another travel identification document issued by a competent foreign authority recognized by Bosnia and Herzegovina and
- A valid ID card or another identification document which is recognized by Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Students coming for educational purposes and staying longer than three months must bring their passports.
- Staff members (who do not require a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina) and stay less than three months can use their ID.
2 Visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Without visa
Nationals of the following states may enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with a passport or a valid identity card proving their identity and citizenship without a visa:
- Member State of the European Union
- State signatory to the Schengen Agreement
- Albania, Andora, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Serbia, the Holy See, the Swiss Confederation, Turkey
You can check whether your home country needs a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of B&H. We recommend contacting the embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina in your country for correct information.
Below you can check if your home country has an official representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (embassy or consulate) and, if not, which country your contact is. Blue pins show the country with the embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina in that country. Red pins mark countries that don’t have an embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina and connect your country’s representation.
- With visa
Suppose you need a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that case, you need to obtain a verified invitation letter to enter/stay in B&H (which differs from the invitation letter from the University of Sarajevo).
A verified invitation letter to enter/stay in B&H is prepared by the University of Sarajevo and confirmed by the Foreign Affairs Office. Its content is focused on inviting a student or staff member to visit B&H for a specific purpose and a certain period when they need a visa to enter B&H.
Students and staff can stay in B&H for a shorter or longer period, so documents for issuing a “C” or “D” visa are prepared accordingly:
- “C” visa – This visa is issued for foreign students and staff who will stay in B&H for less than 90 days.
- “D” visa – This visa is issued for foreign students and staff who will stay in B&H for more than 90 days to 1 year (this is the most common type of visa required since one semester lasts longer than three months).
Please note: It is essential to know about your visa status a few months prior, as preparing and collecting documents is bureaucratic and can last up to two months.
More detailed information is provided in the Instructions for the verified invitation letter for the local staff at the University of Sarajevo.
3 Regulating your residence in Bosnia and Herzegovina
As in every country in the world, Bosnia and Herzegovina has regulations regarding foreign entering and exiting. As an international student/staff staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina longer than 90 days for academic/teaching purposes, you must regulate your residence status. For this, you need to obtain two documents:
- White card
- Residence permit
Please note: these documents are obtained upon your arrival in Sarajevo, so you do not need to get them before. However, you must bring certain documents from your home country for the residence permit.
- White card
When you arrive in Sarajevo, you have approximately a few days to obtain the White Card.
If you are staying in the hotel/hostel, then this document is regulated/issued by the accommodation provider.
If you are staying in private accommodation, the Foreign Affairs Office needs to issue this document. Before going there, you need to prepare some documents (this is where the landlord of the private accommodation is included):
- your passport (make a copy)
- landlord’s identification document – ID (make a copy)
- proof of accommodation – statement by the owner stating that you are staying in that place (in written)
- payment of 10,00 BAM (KM) for administration taxes
With the mentioned documents and the owner, you must go to the municipality centre nearby to verify the statement.
After completing the statement, you must go to the Foreign Affairs Office to get your White card. The white card is issued instantly.
Check our website for more detailed instructions on preparing the statement and payment for the White card:
- Detailed instructions for getting the White card
- How to fill in the banknote to pay the administration tax for the white card
- Residence permit
The residence permit is a document that regulates your stay as an international student for the purpose and period of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is required to be issued in the first month of students’/staff arrival. The Foreigners Affairs Office issues this document (a sticker on your passport).
To obtain this permit, you must collect certain documents and bring them personally to the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the same Office where you previously got a White card).
- The list of documents needed to be collected to apply for the residence permit
- Detailed instructions for getting the residence permit
- How to fill in the banknote to pay the administration tax for the residence permit
Please note: all collected documents must be issued or translated into Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. If you submit documents in English or your homeland language, make sure to have a translation in Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian with the original.
4 How to get to the Foreigner Affairs Office?
The Foreign Affairs Office is placed at Braće Mulića bb (bb stands for no number). You will notice black – glass building and official flags of Bosnia and Herzegovina next to it.
How to reach it?
By taxi: depending on where you are leaving, from the Old Town Baščaršija until the Office, the taxi should charge you approximately 20-25 KM. The price is less the closer you are to the Office. Make sure that the taxi meter is turned on.
By trolleybus: make sure to catch the electric bus from the centre towards Dobrinja. You’ll need to exit at the second-to-last station and walk approximately 800 meters back to the Foreign Affairs Office.