Croatia lies at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It is bounded to the north by Slovenia and Hungary, to the east by Serbia, to the southeast by Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the very south by Montenegro, and to the west by the Adriatic Sea. With a surface size of 56,600 km2, it is one of the smallest EU members, yet it is still larger than Slovakia, Denmark, or the Netherlands, for example.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND PERMITS
Before moving to Croatia, you should become acquainted with the admission requirements as well as the procedures for acquiring a resident permit. The duration of your planned stay, your nationality, and your reason for visiting or relocating all play a role in whether or not you need a visa to enter Croatia.
SHORT TERM VISA
Not everyone who wants to stay in Croatia for less than 90 days needs a visa. Short-term travellers are not required to obtain a visa if
- They are a national of another EU or EEA member
- or they already have a Schengen visa or a resident permit for a member
- or they have a national visa or residence permit for Bulgaria, Cyprus, or Romania
- or they are a citizen of one of the countries with visa exemptions for stays of up to 90 days.
Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, the US, the UAE, and other countries have visa waivers for short-term stays in Croatia. Check with the nearest Croatian mission to see if the exceptions apply to you.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A SHORT TERM VISA
- Completed application form
- proof that you have paid the visa fee (460 HRK (69 USD))
- a valid passport (original and copy)
- a 35x45mm colour photo
- proof of financial means to cover your stay
- proof of your intention to leave the country again, e.g. return plane ticket
- proof of accommodation, e.g. hotel reservation
- travel health insurance (with a minimum cover of at least 30,100 USD)
- proof of purpose for your stay
- a Letter of Guarantee for private visits and business trips (though not for leisure tourism)
LONG TERM VISA AND WORK PERMITS
Non-EU nationals must normally apply for a visa as well as a temporary residency permit (aka Temporary Stay Permit) through their nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate for stays of more than 90 days. It is important to note, however, that obtaining a temporary residency permit does not automatically grant you the ability to work in Croatia. If you have found work in Croatia, you will additionally require a work permit. To legally practise in their sector, self-employed foreigners require, among other things, a company permit. Regardless of where you come from in the EU, you must obtain a residency permit from the local police. This must be done within the first three months of your stay, no later than 82 days.
HOW TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCE PERMITS
If you are permitted to visit Croatia without a visa but wish to stay for more than 90 days, you can apply for residency and work/business permits from within the country. These applications are processed through the local police station. However, there is no assurance that you will be successful, and depending on your personal situation, you may have to leave the country again.
However, regardless of where you apply for a temporary residence visa, outside or inside the country, you will typically be required to produce the following documents:
- A valid passport or other form of identification (original and copy)
- certificate of birth (plus a certified translation)
- A passport photo in colour
- evidence of financial ability to maintain yourself
- evidence of health insurance
- proof of your stay's purpose (work, family, education, research, etc.)
- background investigation (plus a certified translation)
- evidence of payment for visa cost (113 USD if applying from abroad, 660 HRK (98 USD) if applying from within Croatia)
- If you are travelling with a minor child, you must provide proof of consent from both parents.
RESIDENCE PERMIT RENEWALS
A temporary residence permit is only valid for one year, however it can be extended through the local police station. You must, however, begin the renewal process at least 90 days before your permit expires. You can apply for a permanent residency visa after holding a temporary one for five years in a row. When you enter Croatia, regardless of your travel document, visa, or permit, you must register with the local police. This regulation will eventually apply to all foreign residents of all nationalities. If you stay at a hotel, bed and breakfast, or campsite, the staff will normally take care of this for you. Short-term visa holders must complete the registration process within 48 hours. Those who already have the right to live in Croatia, such as through a temporary residence permit obtained in another country, have up to 72 hours to register. EU/EEA nationals, on the other hand, do not need to register with the police unless they intend to stay for more than 90 days. As previously stated, people should apply for their temporary residency permit at the local police station at least eight days before the first period expires. You will receive an ID number once you have registered as a foreign resident. This is critical since you will need this ID number for a variety of additional actions, such as opening a bank account or applying for a phone contract.