Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 31/03/21


Asylum seekers acquire the right to free access to the labour market nine months after they have lodged their application if the decision in their procedure has not yet been taken by the Migration directorate and the delay cannot be attributed to the asylum seeker.[1]

Once asylum seekers have the right to free access to the labour market, they can access self-employment, employment and work without meeting other requirements such as consent to the single residence permit and work permit or EU Blue Card or seasonal work permit. The Ministry of Interior only issues them a notice stating that they meet the abovementioned conditions.[2]

In practice, asylum seekers face systematic and practical obstacles when searching for work and employment such as the language barrier, cultural differences, lack of certificates bringing evidence of education, lack of work experience, medical problems, discrimination, structural imbalances in the labour market and lack of employers’ trust.[3]

In 2017, the UOIM was established and one of the responsibilities of the newly established authority is also integration of asylum seekers into the labour market. In practice, NGOs also help asylum seekers find employment.

After nine months, applicants are also allowed access to vocational training.[4] In practice asylum seekers prefer to find employment and enter vocational training after obtaining international protection.


[1] Article 87(1) IPA.

[2] Article 6 Employment, Self-Employment and Work of Foreigners Act, Official Gazette of RS, No. 47/15 and 10/17.

[3 EMN, Focused Study: Integration of beneficiaries of international/humanitarian protection into the labour market, 2015.

[4] Article 87(2) IPA.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation