Bosnia and HerzegovinaOfficial Name: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Three months past your planned date of departure
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under three months
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
1 Robert C. Frasure Street
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Telephone: +(387) (33) 704 000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(387) (33) 704-000 press "0" and ask for the embassy duty officer
Fax: +(387) (33) 221 837
Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bosnia and Herzegovina for information on U.S.–BiH relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Visit the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina website for the most current visa information.
- You need a passport valid for at least three months past your planned date of departure. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days within a period of six months following the first entry.
- The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina does not issue visas to U.S. travelers prior to travel for any length of stay and purpose of travel, including diplomatic assignments.
- If you are staying in a private residence, you or your host must register your stay with the local police or field office of the Department for Foreigners within 24 hours of arrival if you are planning to stay in BiH for more than three days.
Temporary Residence Permits:
- 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 Department for Foreigners of the BiH Ministry of Security. 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. The process is complex. Gather the required documentation well in advance and should submit the application as soon after arriving in-country as possible.
- After the application is made and all requirements are met, there are often months of delays before a residence permit is finally issued, but U.S. citizens who submitted complete applications may remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina while awaiting decisions.
- The maximum duration of a temporary residence permit is 12 months, with the possibility of renewal.
- Visit the Department for Foreigners of the Ministry of Security website for detailed information and requirements for applying for a temporary residence permit.
- Your U.S. passport must be valid for at least three more months after the end of the period for which a temporary residence permit is requested.
Requirements for minors traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- Notarized permission from the parents or guardians is required if a minor under 18 is traveling alone.
- If the child is accompanied by one parent, particularly if the parent has a different last name from the child’s, it is recommended, although not legally required, that the accompanying parent carry a notarized letter from the other parent giving permission to travel.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
- Incidents involving injury or death due to mines still occur annually.
- Minefields, active land mines, and unexploded ordnances are a threat throughout the country.
- Many land mines are unaccounted for, due to excessive flooding and landslides throughout northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- You should take special care to stay on hard surfaced areas and out of abandoned buildings when near the former lines of conflict, including the suburbs of Sarajevo.
- For more information about landmines and unexploded ordinance please visit the website of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center.
Demonstrations in Bosnia:
- Are not always planned in advance.
- Can be large and disruptive involving property damage and injuries.
- Exercise caution if you encounter large gatherings in Sarajevo and throughout the country.
- Can draw large crowds to the areas and restaurants and bars around the stadium, before and after the matches.
- Cause a lot of traffic, both for driving and walking. Road closures are common.
- Can be dangerous! While not common, rival fans have gotten into fights and caused damage to property. Plan ahead whether you want to be in the area.
Terrorist threats and violent incidents:
- In 2015, a terrorist opened fire on several off-duty soldiers near a military base in Sarajevo. Earlier in 2015, another terrorist attacked a police station in Zvornik. A terrorist shooting attack in 2011 targeted the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, wounding one local police officer.
- Local criminals are known to use firearms and explosives to settle personal, business, and political disputes.
- The foreign community is rarely the target of violence, but there is always the danger of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Attacks by stray dogs:
- BiH has a problem with stray dogs throughout the country.
- Attacks by packs or individual dogs occur most often in the quiet times of day and in quiet areas such as cemeteries, but can be totally unpredictable, both in urban and rural areas.
- Emergency medical care facilities are well equipped for dealing with dog bite wounds, and rabies shots are available.
Crime: The overall crime rate throughout the country remains moderate, although Sarajevo has a consistently high rate of property crime.
- The most common criminal activities throughout Sarajevo are armed robberies, residential break-ins, break-ins and thefts of vehicles, and pick-pocketing.
- Be alert to your surroundings at all times, especially after dark and in locations visited by foreigners such as cafés and restaurants.
- Take normal precautions to protect your property from theft and exercise common sense personal security measures, such as traveling in groups and staying in well-lighted areas after dark.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money.
- Be aware of those who may be attempting to distract you or directly pick your pocket.
Most locals in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not use backpacks. People wearing backpacks tend to attract the attention of pickpockets who quite easily gain access to backpacks without the owners’ knowledge. See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 122 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (387) 33 704 000.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
The local equivalents to the “911” emergency lines in Bosnia and Herzegovina are:
Police – 122
Ambulance – 124
Fire – 123
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
It is forbidden to photograph military or secure installations, including airports, equipment, bridges, government checkpoints, troops. If in doubt, ask permission before taking photographs.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina is still predominantly a cash economy.
- Travelers should not expect to use credit cards to cover all expenses even though they are becoming accepted more widely.
- Automated teller machines (ATMs) are available at the banks in Sarajevo and other major cities and towns.
- Traveler’s checks can be cashed in every bank immediately.
- Cash transfers from abroad may involve delays, but Western Union transfers are available in many banks and post offices throughout the country.
- All official payments must be made in convertible marks (KM), the national currency.
- Foreigners attempting to exchange money should be prepared to present their passport to complete the transaction.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
- Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- While reports of physical attacks on people identified as LGBT are rare, hate speech, especially on web portals, is much more common.
- There are some laws protecting the rights of the LGBT community, but these laws are not universally enforced and the community has a relatively low profile.
- There are no Pride events and attempts to hold such events have not been supported by the Government.
- For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT travel information page.
Persons with Mobility Issues: While in Bosnia and Herzegovina, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. The law mandates that all public buildings be retrofitted to provide access to persons with disabilities. However, in practice, buildings are rarely accessible to persons with disabilities.
Medical Facilities and Medications:
- Adequate medical facilities may not be available outside of Sarajevo and may not be up to U.S. standards.
- Medications may not be obtainable or shippable to Bosnia and Hercegovina. Bring your own supply of prescription drugs and preventive medicines.
- All major surgery is performed in public hospitals.
- Persons with mental health conditions may not be able to locate English-speaking mental health providers.
- Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
- Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
- You should ensure that your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.
- Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
Air quality and allergens may pose problems for individuals with asthma or other chronic respiratory conditions, especially in Sarajevo.
Packs of feral dogs pose a potential health threat for the transmission of rabies. It is recommended that visitors receive series of pre-exposure rabies vaccinations prior to coming to BiH.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
For further health information, go to:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety:
- Many roads are poorly maintained and are sometimes blocked because of landslides, de-mining activity, and traffic accidents.
- Two-lane roads between major cities are quite narrow in places, lack guardrails, and are full of curves.
- Driving in winter is hazardous because of fog, snow, and ice.
- Be alert for drunk drivers or drivers at excessive speed, and heavy vehicles and agricultural equipment. Street lights are uncommon outside of major cities.
The emergency number for vehicle assistance and towing service is 1282.
- The use of seat belts is mandatory.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving is prohibited in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The tolerated blood alcohol level is .03 percent.
- Bosnian law requires having a safety vest, spare tire, jack, first aid kit, safety triangle, towing rope, and spare light bulbs in the car at all times. In order to drive legally in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you must have an international driving permit in addition to your U.S. license.
During the winter months, flights into and out of Sarajevo are frequently delayed or canceled due to heavy fog. Travelers should be prepared for last-minute cancellations, schedule changes, lengthy delays, alternate routings, or time-consuming overland transportation.
Please refer to our road safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the country’s national tourist office. The local automobile association, whose website is currently only in Bosnian, is responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.