Looking to find your place in the Croatian sun or thinking of making a career move and want to work in the country you’ll probably going to need some form of visa. Croatia became a full member of the European Union in 2013 but however there are still a few rules you’ll need to be aware of.
To cut through the red tape and paperwork (yes, there is plenty of that) we have collected all the information in one place to make your bureaucratic journey as smooth as possible (but expect a fee bumps along the way).
Firstly, the Republic of Croatia categorises foreigners into different groups, and they are -
Foreigners who wish to stay or work in Croatia into several categories. The documents submitted with the application depend on the category. Those categories are:
SHORT-TERM STAY REGISTRATION PROCEDURE
Short-term stay is a stay of a foreign national of up to 90 days in any period of 180 days on the basis of a visa or without a visa.
NATIONALS OF EEA MEMBER STATES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS
Foreigners, nationals of EEA members or the Swiss Confederation and their family members, as well as family members of Croatian nationals
THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS WITH PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN AN EEA MEMBER STATE AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS
Foreigners, nationals of third countries with permanent residence in an EEA member state and their family members
HIGHLY-QUALIFIED THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS
Nationals of third countries are foreigners who are not nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) members. Regulating their stay or work depends on whether they have permanent residence in an EEA member, whether they are family members of a national of an EEA member state, the Swiss Confederation, Croatian national, or do not fall under any of the abovementioned categories.
SHORT-TERM STAY REGISTRATION PROCEDURE
Short-term stay is a stay of a foreign national of up to 90 days in any period of 180 days on the basis of a visa or without a visa. All foreign nationals who are not exempted from this obligation under the provisions of the Foreigners Act must register for a short-term stay.
The following are exempted from the obligation to register for a short-term stay:
Nationals of EEA Member States who are entitled to stay in Croatia for up to 3 months from the date of entry, if they possess a valid travel document or personal ID.
Foreign nationals who are not nationals of an EEA Member State and are family members of nationals of Croatia or another EEA Member State. They are entitled to stay in Croatia for up to 3 months from the date of entry, provided they have a valid travel document. Persons who can be considered family members are designated in the provisions of the Foreigners Act. They include e.g. a spouse or unwed partner, adoptive children, step children.
Nationals of a Third State who is required to register for a short-term stay shall on his/her own register within 2 days from the date of entry i.e. from the change of accommodation.
If not done by the foreign national in person, the short-term stay of a foreign national shall be registered by the accommodation provider (commercial accommodation providers - hotels, hostels, camping sites etc., and non-commercial accommodation providers – relatives, friends etc.) within 1 day od from the arrival of the foreign national.
A short-term stay shall be reported with the Police Department or police station in charge by the place of accommodation of the foreign national, and it may also be effected online.
A foreign national who owns an apartment/vacation home may also register for a short-term stay with the Tourist Board and also include his/her friends/relatives.
If the foreign national is going to be accommodated on board a vessel, he/she shall register for a short-term stay with either the Police Department in charge of control of the border crossing in the port where there is border control, if the foreign national arrives on a vessel that is his/her accommodation, or the Police Department or police station by the place of embarkation of the foreign national.
NATIONALS OF EEA MEMBER STATES AND THEIR FAMILY
Nationals of EEA member states or the Swiss Confederation and their family members, or family members of Croatian nationals intending to stay in Croatia longer than three months have to register temporary residence no later than eight days before the end of the three-month stay at the competent police administration or police station depending on the address.
Certificate of registered temporary residence is issued in the form of a biometric residence permit valid for up to five years.
Work of nationals of EU member states and their family members
Nationals of EU member states and their family members can work and provide services in Croatia with no residence or work permit and no work registration certificate.
However, according to Article 236 of the Foreigners Act, the Government of the Republic of Croatia may after accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, by its Ordinance, lay down implementation rules referring to work of nationals of the European Union Member States and members of their families and which are being implemented at the time of signing a Treaty of Accession, with regard to nationals of those Member States that are to implement national measures or measures resulting from Bilateral Agreements, for the period of implementation of such measures.
List of EU member countries that have limited access to their labour market for Croatian nationals can be found on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System (http://www.mrms.hr).
Based on reciprocity, for nationals of those EU member states and members of their families restrictions apply in accessing Croatia’s labour market, therefore said foreigners can regulate their legal work status in the following manner:
if they want to work up to 90 days a year based on the work registration certificate
if they want to work longer than 90 days a year and are establishing labour relations in Croatia, they have to apply for residence and work permit.
Said regulations will remain in effect until EU member states begin applying the same national work regulations in regard to Croatian nationals and their family members.
THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS WITH PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN AN EEA MEMBER STATE AND THEIR FAMILY
Foreigners from this category can submit their temporary residence application at the diplomatic mission/consular post of Croatia in the EEA member state they have permanent residence in or at the police administration/station in Croatia.
Temporary residence to a third-country national with permanent residence in another EEA member state will be approved if they have:
a valid passport
means of supporting themselves and their family members
if they meet the rest of the criteria for granting temporary residence given the nature of said stay
HIGHLY-QUALIFIED THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS
Issuing residence and work permit – the EU Blue Card
Highly-qualified third-country nationals have to submit their application for work and residence permit at the diplomatic mission/consular post of Croatia or at the police administration/station in their intended place of residence.
Residence and work permit (the EU Blue Card) simultaneously grants temporary residence and work in Croatia.
Residence and work permit can be granted to third-country nationals who meet the criteria stated in Article 54 of the Foreigners Act (a valid passport, health insurance, proof they have means of support) and enclose:
work contract or some other corresponding contract for performing highly-qualified labour, lasting for at least a year
proof of high school education or completed undergraduate and graduate studies or integrated undergraduate and graduate studies or specialist graduate studies.
The residence and work permit (the EU Blue Card) is issued in the form of biometric residence permit.
Temporary residence may be granted on the following grounds:
secondary school education and university studies
work of posted workers or for other purposes.
Foreigners who do not need a visa for entering Croatia can submit their temporary residence application to the police administration/police station according to the intended place of residence, employer’s location or place of work.
Foreigners who do need a visa for entering Croatia submit their temporary residence or work and residence application to a diplomatic mission/consular post of Croatia. Exceptionally, they can submit the application to the police administration/police station according to the intended place of residence if:
they are coming for the purposes of regular undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate studies
they are coming for the purposes of scientific research based on visiting contract
they are covered by Article 76, paragraph 1, items 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the Aliens Act. These are aliens working as part of youth mobility programmes run by the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with other states, scientific research and aliens employed for scientific, scientific-teaching or other research work places in scientific legal persons, university professors, native speakers of foreign languages, foreign-language instructors and other lecturers invited by Croatian universities or registered foreign language schools, aliens working pursuant to an international treaty, other than the treaty referred to in Article 79, paragraph 1, item 2 of the same Act.
The following must be enclosed with the application:
a colour 35x45 mm photo
a copy of a valid passport
evidence of health insurance
evidence of sufficient means of subsistence
evidence of the reason for temporary stay (e.g. marriage certificate, university enrolment confirmation or other proof based on purpose of intended stay).
Documents enclosed with the application must be either original or a certified copy, while foreign documents have to be translated into Croatian language and certified in line with special regulations.
Documents must not be older than six months.
Within 30 days of receiving the notification that their temporary stay has been granted, foreigners have to report their residence to the police administration/station. Failing to do so within said time period, the temporary stay permission/work and residence permit become invalid.
All information and details are correct according to the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.