Work Permits and Conditions
Law on Foreigners (Official Gazette of Montenegro, no. 12/2018 and 3/2019) provides the foundation of Employment and Work of a foreigner in Montenegro, under the conditions determined by the Law, collective agreement, ratified and published international treaties and generally accepted rules of international law. According to the Law, the term foreigner represents a person who is not a Montenegrin citizen, whether he/she is a citizen of another state or a stateless person, and does not make distinguish between foreign-EU nationals and nationals of third countries.
According to the Law, foreigner may be employed, i.e. work in Montenegro, provided that he/she has: work permit, permission for permanent residence i.e. temporary residence permit, concluded labor contract and that the taxpayer has reported the work of the foreigner in accordance with this Law.
Work permit is issued by the Employment Bureau of Montenegro. The work permit is a required document, according to which foreigner may obtain a temporary residence permit for the purpose of employment or work. After receiving approval for a temporary stay of the foreigner, the employer concludes with a foreigner labor contract, or a legal entity or organizational unit of a foreign company registered in Montenegro conclude civil contract and register his/her employment at the Employment Service within 15 days since the beginning of employment.
To regulate all forms of employment and work of foreigners in the labor market of Montenegro envisages three types of work permits: personal work permit, employment permit and work permit.
Personal work permit is a license that allows free access to foreigner labor market, regardless of the state and market relations. A foreigner with a personal work permit has an equal status as a Montenegrin citizen in terms of unemployment and employment rights. This work permit can be issued to a foreigner: with permanent residence, in accordance with the Law on foreigners, refugees and additionally protected persons, according to the Law on Asylum (Official Gazette of MN, no. 45/06) and the new Law on International and Temporary Protection of Foreigmers (Official Gazette of Montenegro, no. 2/2017 and 3/2019). Personal work permit is issued upon the request of the foreigner for a indefinite period of time, and exceptionally may be issued for a period up to one year.
Note: the new Law refferes to refuges as "foreigners who have requested international protection and foreigners who have been granted protection in Montenegro", while the migrants as „foreigners who have applied for international protection in Montenegro". The Law refers to the term refugee as foreigner who has been granted asylum (asylum seeker).
Employment permit is a permit according to which an employer makes labor contract with a foreigner and is issued upon the request of the employer. Permit for employment and work of foreigners shall be issued upon the request of the employer, legal person or organizational unit of a foreign company, registered in Montenegro. Exceptionally, the employer will not be refused upon a request for work permits for foreigners:
With higher education, in management affairs
Montenegrin citizen family members (spouse and children up to 21 years old)
Family member of the employer (spouse and children up to 21 years old)
For the occupation for which is not possible to provide education in Montenegro
Work permit is a permit with the pre-determined duration of work, according to which an employer makes a labor contract with a foreigner, i.e. foreigner with a legal entity with headquarters in Montenegro or organizational unit of a foreign company, registered in Montenegro, delivering services or other form of work, on the basis of civil law contracts. This permit could be for:
Seasonal work of foreigners
Work with the addressed foreigners (cross-border services, further training and education, movement of persons within a foreign company)
Training and education of foreigners and
The provision of contractual services
Permits are issued for a limited time, for a period of three months to one year, extendable to two more years, depending on the type of permit.
The Employment Bureau shall be obliged to decide on the request within 30 days from the day of submitting the request.
The Government of Montenegro, upon the proposal of the ministry in charge of the work, having previously obtained the opinion of the ministries in charge for some activities for which quotas are determined and opinion of the Social Council, in accordance with the migration policy and consideration of the labor market, establish an annual quota of work permits.
Quotas are not determined for the work permit issued to a foreigner if:
he/she has a personal work permit;
is employed in Montenegro on the basis of international agreement, on the basis of reciprocity
performs teaching in educational institutions, in the language and alphabet of minorities and other minority ethnic communities;
professional athletes and sports workers working in Montenegro according to concluded labor contract
a person residing in a neighboring country, who is employed or works in Montenegro and returns to the place of residence at least once a week (daily migrant) a person involved in the implementation of development projects from the list of development projects determined by the Government, at the proposal of the administrative body responsible for development projects , no later than November 30 of the current year, for the following yearrepresentative of the company or entrepreneur
addressed foreigner (managers, specialists)
provider of contractual services.
Foreigners who have a permit for temporary residence in the Republic shall not be
obliged to obtain a work permit, in the following cases:
a foreigner who is a member of diplomatic or consular mission on the territory of the Republic
a foreigner who has the immunity on the basis of the international agreement
a foreigner who, in the Republic, performs activities on the basis of international agreements that the Republic concludes with another state, international organization or European Union, regarding professional-technical assistance, or on the basis of ratified international agreements
founders, procurators, members of managing and governing bodies and auditors of the business organization who perform the activities within that business organization, if performance of those activities does not have the character of employment and does not last longer than three months per year
academic staff invited in capacity of professor or lecturer and scientific worker who participates in a scientific-research project important for the Republic
members of the international missions performing the research activity in the Republic, which is approved by the Government
foreign correspondents accredited in the Republic or reporters of foreign media
artists and technical staff for opera, ballet, theatre, concerts, fine arts and other cultural performances, if they do not stay in the Republic longer than 30 days, or three months annually with interruptions
foreigners who come in the Republic to participate in sports events
foreigners who perform the activities related to delivery, installation or service of machines or equipment, if their work does not last longer than 30 days with no interruptions, or the total of three months annually with interruptions
foreigners who participate in fairs and exhibitions where their employer exhibits
foreigners who participate in organized professional gatherings and seminars
foreigners employed in circuses or entertainment parks, if they do not stay in the Republic longer than three months with no interruptions
civilian and military officials of governments of other countries who come to Montenegro on the basis of cooperation agreements with the Government
students doing internship in Montenegro, on the basis of an international agreement of the exchange of students
foreigners operating within registered humanitarian organizations
service providers who negotiate the sale of services or conclude service contracts
employees in a foreign company, who conduct additional training and development of the employees, as well as employees who receive additional training and development with a legal entity in Montenegro that is business or ownership related to a foreign company
Exception: The Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners shall not apply for foreigners-academic staff invited to Montenegro as a professor or lecturer participating in a scientific and research project of importance to Montenegro.