The southeastern European state of Bosnia and Herzegovina – also often referred to as Bosnia-Herzegovina or even, informally, just ‘Bosnia’ – is far from the most obvious destination for independent professionals. Nonetheless, there can be no doubt that this once war-torn part of the Balkan Peninsula has been reinventing itself in some style in recent years.
A country that dispels many preconceptions
If your enduring perception of Bosnia derives from scenes of conflict on the TV news in the 1990s, you may be surprised by the dynamism the country now shows as an economic power in the region. The nation’s economy can be broadly divided into the three main sectors of services, industry and agriculture, with tourism continuing to be a particular focus for growth.
As one might expect given its complicated history, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a somewhat complicated place to live today. This is due to not only the country’s ethnic diversity – Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslim) and Croats (Bosnian Catholic) being joined by Serbs, who are Orthodox Christians – but also the Bosnian language, which shares strong similarities with Serbian and Croatian, but is nonetheless classified as its own language. The demographics of some parts of the country today also differ somewhat from the situation in pre-war Bosnia.
What requirements must you fulfill to work here?
While Bosnia-Herzegovina is a candidate for membership of the European Union (EU), it is not yet an EU member. This means that regardless of whether or not you are an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) national, you will need to obtain a work permit in order to work in the country.
The process of securing a work permit for Bosnia-Herzegovina can be a long one, so contractors are always urged to apply in advance. You will need to first be offered a job in the country, given that it is your prospective employer that will need to apply to the nation’s Employment Service on your behalf. This will be followed by the Federal Employment Agency issuing an approval for the employment of foreign persons for your prospective place of work, after which, you will be able to apply through your local embassy or consulate.
Once issued, a work permit will usually only be active for a period of up to one year. It should also be noted that Bosnia differs from many other European countries in that it applies a flat 10% income tax rate to all income from employment, interest, royalties and capital gains – as opposed to the progressive, sliding scale system frequently used elsewhere. This may help to make Bosnia-Herzegovina an especially attractive contracting destination if you are a high earner.
We can help to ease your transition to overseas contracting
As a trusted provider of umbrella employment solutions and HR outsourcing services across Europe and the wider world, Link Global Management assists recruitment agencies and contractors alike with their involvement in the Bosnian labor market.
Simply call +44 (0)203 829 7221 or send our team an email today to learn more about how we can address your most discerning needs with our specialized expertise.