Staying Or Working In Croatia – Visa Requirements

Sorting out or summarising in “Plain English” the information available on the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia for foreigners who wish to stay or work in Croatia, as current in April 2018, has smartly and aptly been carried out by The Dubrovnik Times and it’s well worth reposting the information here as the bureaucratic paths to achieve a visa can be quite burdensome. Here are summaries of requirements and explanations across various categories of visa-seekers.

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 EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (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 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:

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