Visas and Residency Requirements

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Visas for U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for tourism do not require visas if their stay is shorter than 90 days.  However, your passport must be valid for three months after your date of departure from BiH.  Questions about visas for BiH should be directed to the appropriate Embassy or Consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo cannot assist with visa cases.

Please note, that while there is not a requirement for a visa in these cases, there still is a requirement that you register with the local police within the first 24 hours if your stay is longer than three days.  If you are staying in a hotel or renting an apartment, this should be handled by the management or owner; however, it is still important that you verify that your stay has been registered.  Failure to register could cause deportation or problems crossing the border in the future.


U.S. citizens who wish to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than 90 days must apply for a temporary residence permit from the local field office of the Foreigners’ Affairs Department of the Ministry of Security. Eligibility requirements are limited to certain specific circumstances and the necessary documentation is extensive. You must submit your application for a temporary residence permit at least 15 days prior to the expiration of the initial 90-day visa-free period of stay. However, due to the complexity of the process, those planning to apply should begin gathering the required documentation well in advance and should submit the application as soon after arriving in-country as possible. After the application is made, there are often months of delays before a residence permit is finally issued, but the U.S. applicant can remain in the country while awaiting the decision as long as the Ministry of Security has accepted the application as complete. An application will not be accepted until all documentation requirements are met. The maximum duration of a temporary residence permit is 12 months, with the limited possibility of renewal. The fee is 100 convertible marks (KM), or approximately 70 USD.

Helpful tips:

  • There is an office of the Department for Foreigners in Sarajevo, East Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Zenica, Travnik, Bijeljina, Trebinje, Goradze, Tuzla, Livno, Ljubuski, Orasje, Bihac, Brcko and Doboj.
  • If you plan to apply for a residency permit, one thing you will likely need is a police record from your home.  This can be very difficult to obtain while you are in BiH, so we strongly recommend that you obtain it before your trip.
  • We recommend that you do not procrastinate with this process. Until you have submitted all the necessary materials, the application is not considered complete, and you will not be allowed to stay past 90 days.
  • If you do stay past 90 days without applying for a residency permit, you will be considered illegally present in BiH.  The U.S. Embassy cannot assist or intervene in these cases.
  • Forms for residency are available at the Department for Foreigners, but may only be available in local language.  There is no guarantee that someone at the Department for Foreigners will speak English.  Be prepared for your visit.