Development of researchers mobility policy guidelines for the region of Western Balkans - 2005-2007

Homepage Legislation reviewLegislation review for incoming mobility in Bosnia & HerzegovinaMapping exercise for identification of research organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mapping exercise for identification of research organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foreign Researchers in B&H

  • Many obstacles prevent foreign researchers from working in Bosnia: difficulties to obtain residence permits, work permits, getting foreign academic degrees recognised...
  • Almost impossible to bring someone from abroad to work on a project for one year;

Legal Requirements

 In B&H, each entity/district has its own law related to employment of foreign nationals:

  • -FB&H: "Law on Employment of Foreign Nationals";
  • -RS: "Law on Employment of Foreign Nationals and Persons without Citizenship";
  • -Brčko District: "Law on Employment of Foreign Nationals";

All three laws state that:

  • A foreign national can sign a contract with an employer in B&H, only if he/she has a work permit;
  • The work permit shall be issued only if the foreign national has a temporary or permanent resident permit and under the condition that no citizen of B&H with qualifications required by the employer is registered on the list of Employment Agency;
  • Work permits are issued on a determined period of time, usually one year, with possibility of extension;
  • Exceptionally, for foreign nationals with permanent resident permit, the permanent work permit may be issued

Recognition of Academic Degrees

  • One of the preconditions to get work permit, is recognition of academic degree as an equivalent to the local one;
  • Universities in B&H do not have proper understanding of foreign systems of education, and very often the requests for recognition of foreign academic degrees are rejected;
  • According to the Law, the procedure for recognition of one diploma should not take longer than 60 days;
  • In practice, this procedure takes much longer since there are no penalty provisions if the procedure is not implemented in the determined period of time;
  • This procedure takes approximately one year in most cases, and sometimes even more;

Finding Information about Scientific-Research (SR) Institutions in B&H

  • Some of the institutions do not even have web-sites;
  • Institutions that have web sites, do not regularly up-date them, thus the information presented is very often incorrect;
  • The web sites very often do not provide information about departments and especially about facilities of institutions;
  • Information about vacancies was found only at one web-site;

Scientific-Research Institutions in B&H

  • Universities/faculties;
  • Public Research Institutes;
  • Private Research Companies;
  • Other;

Up to now, 150 scientific-research institutions found;

SR Institutions According to Type

Research Areas

Of the research areas given, the largest number of institutions belongs to the following:

  1. Health;
  2. Materials and Production;
  3. Socio-Economic Sciences;

Division of SR Institutions According to Research Area

Employment Options at SR Institutions in B&H

  • No vacancies offered;
  • No definedexchange programmes for researchers, nor for students at universities /faculties;
  • Only links to different schools and universities that offer scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees;

International Cooperation

  • Almost all universities have some type of International Relations Office, which is in charge of arranging cooperation with other scientific institutions;
  • Most of the work in these offices is again related just to finding universities/faculties in other countries, that offer scholarship possibilities for Bosnian students or possibilities to attend different seminars and trainings;
  • Some of the research institutions are involved in international projects (e.g. EU FP6 programme), but this cooperation is usuallylimited to just several joint meetings where project results are discussed;

State Authority in Charge of International Cooperation

  • Ministry of Foreign Affaris of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Department of Scientific, Technical, Educational, Cultural and Sports Cooperation;

One of the tasks of this Department is cooperation related to: "international, scientific and research projects in the areas of science, technology, education and culture", however, not one of these projects is mentioned at the site;


  • Very difficult for foreign nationals to come and work in B&H;
  • Obstacles to employment of foreign nationals at SR institutions in B&H - legal requirements, long period of time necessary to obtain all permits, diploma recognition...
  • B&HSR institutions are not offering specific projects or exchange programmes at which foreign nationals could work;

WEB-MOB project is an
INCO FP6 project supported by
the European Commission

Development of researchers mobility policy guidelines for the region of Western Balkans - 2005-2007