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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. What are the requirements for a foreign national to stay/reside in the Republic of Croatia?

The Aliens Act lays down the conditions under which aliens may stay in the Republic of Croatia. Aliens may be granted short-term stay, temporary stay or permanent stay.

 

2. What is a short-term stay?

A short-term stay refers to stay of aliens of up to 3 months, with or without a visa.

Aliens who are not required to have a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia may stay in the Republic of Croatia for a maximum period of 3 months over a period of 6 months, counting from the day of their first entry.

 

3. What is a temporary stay?  

A temporary stay may be granted on the following grounds: family reunification, work, secondary school education and university studies, scientific research, humanitarian grounds, work of posted workers and for other purposes.

A temporary stay for the purpose of work shall be granted as a stay and work permit. A temporary stay application shall be submitted at a competent diplomatic mission/ consular post of the Republic of Croatia.

Aliens who are not required to have a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia may submit their temporary stay application at a police administration/police station based on the place of their intended stay, their employer’s registered office (seat) or their place of work. Exceptionally, aliens who are required to have a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia may submit a temporary stay application at a police administration/police station if:

  • they are to study at a university as full-time students at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level,
  • they are scientific researches working pursuant to a guest lecturer contract,
  • they are aliens referred to in Article 76, paragraph 1, items 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the Aliens Act (aliens working on the basis of youth mobility programmes carried out by the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with other countries/scientific researchers and aliens employed for scientific, scientific teaching or other research positions in legal persons in the scientific domain/university professors - native speakers of foreign languages, foreign-language instructors and other lecturers teaching at Croatian universities or registered foreign language schools, and aliens working pursuant to an international treaty, other than the treaty referred to in Article 79, paragraph 1, item 2 of the same Act) and members of their immediate family. Aliens who submit their first temporary stay application in the Republic of Croatia before the expiration of their short-term stay, may remain in the Republic of Croatia until the decision concerning their application becomes enforceable.

 

4. Temporary stay permit

A temporary stay permit shall be issued with the term of validity of up to one year. The term of validity of a travel document shall be at least 3 months longer than the time period for which the temporary stay permit is issued.

A temporary stay application shall contain the purpose of stay, i.e. a justified reason for stay (for example: work, family reunification, university studies, secondary school education, and other).

Aliens shall be granted temporary stay if they prove the purpose of temporary stay, hold a valid travel document, have funds to support themselves, have health insurance, are not prohibited entry and stay and are not considered to be a threat to public order, national security or public health.

             

5. What is a permanent stay?

A permanent stay may be granted to aliens who have been legally staying in the Republic of Croatia for an uninterrupted period of 5 years before the submission of their application, what includes a temporary stay permit, asylum or subsidiary protection. It shall be deemed that the stay of aliens in the Republic of Croatia has been continuous, without any interruptions, if their several-time absence from the Republic of Croatia within a period of five years has not lasted longer than 10 months, or if their one-time absence from the Republic of Croatia within a period of five years has not lasted longer than 6 months.

Aliens need to have a temporary stay permit in the Republic of Croatia at the time when the decision on their application for permanent stay permit is being made.

Likewise, permanent stay may also be granted to:

  • aliens who by the date of submission of their application have had at least three years of uninterrupted temporary stay, and at least 10 years of refugee status, which shall be proved by a certificate issued by the competent state authority for refugees;
  • aliens who had residence in the Republic of Croatia on 8 October 1991, and who are beneficiaries of a return, reconstruction or housing care programme, which shall be proved by a certificate issued by the competent state authority for refugees, provided that it has been established that the said aliens have returned with an intention of living in the Republic of Croatia on a permanent basis;
  • a child living in the Republic of Croatia:
    • whose both parents had a permanent stay status at the moment of his/her birth,
    • whose one parent at the moment of his/her birth had granted permanent stay (with the consent of the other parent),
    • whose one parent had a permanent stay status at the moment of his/her birth in the Republic of Croatia, whereas the other parent has been considered unknown, has died, has been pronounced dead, or whose parental rights have been taken away, or/and has been fully that is partially deprived of legal capacity when it comes to parental care.   
  • persons who were born and who have been living on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, but who have not regulated their residence stats because of justified reasons on which they did not have any influence.

An application for a permanent stay permit shall be submitted at a local police administration/police station, based on the alien's place of temporary stay, and the decision is made by the Ministry of the Interior.

 

6. What are the requirements for a foreign national to work in the Republic of Croatia?

Aliens may work in the Republic of Croatia pursuant to a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate, unless provided for otherwise by the said Act. A stay and work permit is a single permit which allows aliens to temporarily stay and work in the Republic of Croatia. A stay and work permit shall be issued by a competent police administration/police station in a form of a decision on the basis of an annual quota and outside the annual quota.

A stay and work permit based on the annual quota shall be granted to aliens who meet the prerequisites for a temporary stay permit and who provide the following:

  1. a contract of employment or a written confirmation that a contract of employment has been concluded or an corresponding proof of work,
  2. proof of aliens’ educational background and qualifications,
  3. proof of the registration of a company, branch office, representative office, sole trade business, association or institution in the Republic of Croatia.

7. What categories of aliens may work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit?

Aliens may work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate if they have been granted:

  1. permanent stay;
  2. asylum, subsidiary or temporary protection;
  3. temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification with an alien on permanent stay, an asylee, or an alien who has been granted subsidiary or temporary protection;
  4. temporary stay under humanitarian grounds;
  5. autonomous stay;
  6. the status of a full-time pupil or student when they perform services through the mediation of authorised agents, without getting employed;
  7. temporary stay for the purpose of scientific research pursuant to Article 64 of the Aliens Act.

 

8. Which stay and work permits do not make up an annual quota of work permits?

A stay and work permit outside the annual quota may be issued to:   

1. daily migrant workers under the condition of reciprocity,

2. key personnel, providers of services, workers and their family members, whose status has been regulated by the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the        European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Croatia,

3. aliens performing key activities in companies, branch offices and representative offices,

4. aliens transferred as part of internal staff transfers within companies and other indispensable personnel, as defined by the Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation,

5. aliens who are self-employed in a company they own or in a company in which they hold a share of more than 51% or in their own sole trade business,

6. workers who provide services on behalf or for a foreign employer not entitled to the right of establishment in an EEA Member State,

7. teachers and lecturers who do their teaching at educational institutions in the language and script of national minorities,

8. professional athletes or sports workers working in the Republic of Croatia,

9. artists working at cultural institutions in the Republic of Croatia,

10. aliens who take up employment with foreign associations registered as a foreign association in the Republic of Croatia and at least three other countries,

11. aliens who are members of the trust bodies of the representative offices of foreign trusts and foundations registered in the Register of the Representative Offices of Foreign Trusts and Foundations in the Republic of Croatia,

12. aliens working on the basis of youth mobility programmes being carried out by the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with other countries,

13. scientific researchers and aliens employed for scientific, scientific teaching or other research positions in legal persons in the scientific domain,

14. university professors - native speakers of foreign languages, foreign language instructors and other lecturers teaching at Croatian universities or registered foreign language schools,

15. aliens working pursuant to an international treaty, other than the treaty referred to in Article 79, paragraph 1, item 2 of the Aliens Act.

A stay and work permit outside the annual quota may also be granted to aliens who meet the prerequisites for temporary stay and:

  1. who perform key activities referred to in Article 76, paragraph 2 of the Aliens Act in a company or who hold an ownership share in such company of at least 51%, where this company is:
  2. a beneficiary of incentive measures in accordance with the regulation on investment incentives, or
  3. carries out strategic investment projects in line with the regulation on strategic investment projects of the Republic of Croatia,
  4. who perform jobs or carry out projects in the Republic of Croatia pursuant to international treaties on professional and technical assistance that the Republic of Croatia has concluded with the European Union, some other state or an international organisation.

 

9. Who is required to have a work registration certificate?

Based on a work registration certificate, the following categories of aliens may work for the period of up to 90 days a year:

  1. procurators, key personnel and members of the supervisory board of a company, who perform services for the company, but are not employed,
  2. service providers in tourism, tourist agents or recreation workers in accordance with special regulations,
  3. scientists on scientific and professional training, scientists-representatives of international organisations and scientists who are to participate in the implementation of scientific projects important for the Republic of Croatia,
  4. administrative staff, experts, teachers and lecturers at foreign cultural, educational and scientific institutions performing services in the Republic of Croatia as part of a cultural and educational cooperation programme, and administrative staff, experts, teachers and lecturers at foreign cultural, educational and scientific institutions having branch offices in the Republic of Croatia, provided that they come from their home institutions,
  5. civilian and military officials of the governments of other states coming to the Republic of Croatia to work further to cooperation agreements with the Government of the Republic of Croatia,
  6. foreign correspondents, accredited in the Republic of Croatia or foreign media reporters,
  7. representatives and staff of religious communities performing activities exclusively related to religious or charitable service,
  8. students who come to volunteer in work camps or on similar work and educational programmes organised by Croatian associations or institutions, or who are on training programmes at diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in the Republic of Croatia,
  9. volunteers working in non-profit associations and institutions in the Republic of Croatia in accordance with special regulations or based on international exchange and volunteer cooperation programmes,
  10. aliens coming to the Republic of Croatia to complete their traineeship in companies, branch offices or representative offices owned by foreign companies, provided that the said aliens come from the registered office (seat) of such companies or from their representative office or branch office in some other state,
  11. aliens performing the activities of supervision and inspection of overhaul and shipbuilding and aliens performing the activities of supervision or inspection of production, assembly of equipment, machinery and other facilities under an export or order contract for a foreign client,
  12. aliens working on vessels, entered on a list of crew,
  13. aliens completing traineeship, professional training or volunteer work within the Community Programmes, Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programme, and other programmes and initiatives carried out by the authority competent for education and science,
  14. experts in the area of cultural heritage protection, library and archives science,
  15. aliens carrying out vocational or professional training or education of workers employed with legal and natural persons in the Republic of Croatia,
  16. aliens engaged in activities related to the delivery, assembly or service of machinery or equipment, whose work is a condition for exercising warranty rights or is related to the delivery of machinery or equipment,
  17. aliens completing professional training at a legal person with registered office (seat) in the Republic of Croatia which has organisational links to a foreign employer,
  18. pupils receiving their practical education through an authorised organisation or pupils’ exchange programme,
  19. aliens on their unpaid internship programme at Croatian legal or physical persons, institutions or associations.

The above said categories of aliens referred to in items 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 who intend to stay and work in the Republic of Croatia for a period longer than 90 days may be issued a stay and work permit outside the annual quota provided that they meet the prerequisites for temporary stay and submit proof of their work and the duration of their work in the Republic of Croatia.

As an exception to the provision of Article 54 paragraph 1 item 4 of the Aliens Act, aliens from paragraph 1 item 13 who participate in the programme Youth in Action and its follow-ups, are not obliged to submit proof of health insurance, unless proscribed otherwise by the rules of the programme.

A stay and work permit may be issued to volunteers from paragraph 1 item 9 outside the annual quota if they are between 18 and 65 years of age and have concluded volunteering contract in line with special regulations on volunteering. The organisation in which aliens are to volunteer must assume the full responsibility for them during the period of volunteering, which includes costs related to subsistence, accommodation, food, health insurance and return.

A stay and work permit to aliens from paragraph 1 item 19 may be issued outside the annual quota if aliens submit proof on participating in internship programmes at legal or physical persons, institutions or associations recognized by a competent body from the industry branch in which this internship programme is being carried out.                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

10. Who may work based on a work registration certificate up to 60 days a year?

Based on a work registration certificate, the following categories of aliens may work up to 60 days a year:

  1. providers of auditing and consulting services,
  2. lecturers taking part at organised conferences and seminars,
  3. artists and technical staff participating in opera, ballet, theatre, concert, visual arts and other cultural events, and authors and performers in film and television arts,
  4. aliens employed in circuses or amusement parks.

 

11. Who may work based on a work registration certificate up to 30 days a year?

Based on a work registration certificate, the following categories of aliens may work up to 30 days a year:

  1. authors and performers in the field of music and performing arts, as well as accompanying reporting, organisational and technical staff,
  2. aliens participating at fairs or exhibitions where their employers are exhibitors.

 

12. Where can aliens get a work registration certificate?

Aliens or legal and natural persons who will be using their services shall obtain a work registration certificate at a competent police administration/police station according to the location of their work or the employer’s business seat, prior to having started working.

Based on a work registration certificate, aliens may work for the same employer or service recipient throughout the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

A legal or natural person employing or using the services of the above said aliens shall have an appropriate contract or other relevant document signed with the alien or foreign employer deploying the alien to work in the Republic of Croatia.

No letter of attorney is needed for the issuance of a work registration certificate.

 

13. What is a travel document for aliens?

A travel document for aliens shall mean:

  • a laissez-passer for aliens
  • a special travel document for aliens,
  • a travel document for stateless persons and
  • a travel document for asylees.

A travel document for stateless persons shall be issued to a stateless person who has been granted temporary or permanent stay in the Republic of Croatia. Contents and form of such travel document are defined by the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (New York, 28 September 1954).

 

14. Which documents are considered as proof of health insurance?

For the nationals of the countries with which the Republic of Croatia has concluded an agreement on socialinsurance, the proof of health insurance is considered to be: a European Health Insurance Card, acceptedby the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance, a patient’scertificate issued bythe Croatian Institute for Health Insurance, a regular certificate of a foreign health insurance agency or any other proof provided for under the agreement on social insurance.

 If the above said aliens have been issued a certificate of a foreign health insurance agency or any other proof provided for under the agreement on social insurance with a validity period shorter than the planned duration of their stay, upon the expiration of validity of the said certificate aliens are obliged to contact the competent office of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance, in order to have their rights to the health insurance for the remaining time of their valid stay established according to the regulations on health insurance of aliens in the Republic of Croatia.

The nationals of the countries with which the Republic of Croatia has not concluded an agreement on social insurance are obliged, when applying for the first temporary stay permit, to submit a travel insurance certificate, and upon their arrival into the Republic of Croatia and upon having been granted a temporary stay permit, they are obliged to contact the competent office of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance in order to have their rights to health insurance established according to the regulations on health insurance of aliens in the Republic of Croatia.

Aliens who have submitted an application for the first temporary stay permit in the Republic of Croatia, and who are nationals of the countries with which the Republic of Croatia has not concluded an agreement on social insurance or who cannot produce the said proof shall be issued a certificate by a competent police administration/police station indicating that they have submitted their application. The said aliens then have to contact the competent office of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance and provide the said certificate so that their rights to health insurance could be established according to the regulations on health insurance of aliens in the Republic of Croatia.

Health insurance of aliens is regulated by the Act on Obligatory Health Insurance and Health Insurance of Aliens (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia, Narodne novine Number 80/13).

15. Which documents are considered as proof of provided means of subsistence?

The minimum amount of funds that an alien needs to have on a monthly basis for his/her own needs is HRK 2,000.00. For a two-member family the minimum amount is HRK 2,750.00, for a three-member family HRK 3,250.00, and for every additional family member the said amount is increased by additional HRK 500.00.

Documentation that aliens are obliged to produce as proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves is regulated by the Ordinance on Status and Work of Aliens in the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia, Narodne novine, Number 52/12 and 81/13).

 

16. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – family reunification) in the Republic of Croatia?

Depending on the purpose of temporary stay, the following documents shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay:

For temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification:

  • as proof of marriage - a marriage certificate, dated not more than 6 months prior to the application,
  • as proof of common-law marriage - birth certificates dated not more than 6 months prior to the application, or a certificate of single status if marital status cannot be entailed from the birth certificate, statements of common-law marriage by both partners, proof that both partners have lived together in the same household for the last three years prior to their application, certificate from the register of common-law marriages if it is kept in the country of their common-law marriage, statements by witnesses concerning the existence and duration of common-law marriage and other proof of the existence and duration of common-law marriage,
  • as proof of child-parent relationship - birth certificate or the decision issued by a competent authority on child adoption,
  • as proof of other kinships and serious personal or humanitarian grounds for family reunification - all relevant documents from which any kinships and serious personal or humanitarian reasons can indisputably be entailed.

Birth certificates are to be submitted when aliens apply for the temporary stay for the first time and are not required every time when applying for the extension of stay.

 

17. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – secondary school education) in the Republic of Croatia?

The following documents shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay for the purpose of secondary school education:

  • a certificate of enrolment in an institution for secondary education,
  • proof of participation in an approved student exchange programme,
  • a consent by parents or a legal guardian for a planned stay in the Republic of Croatia (parents’ signature on the Form 1a),
  • an official letter by an authorised organisation which carries out the said student exchange programme stating that it shall be responsible for the said student in particular as regards funds to support himself/herself, studying, health care and return costs, and
  • proof that the family where the respective student is to be accommodated meets the criteria prescribed by a special regulation.

 

18. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – university studies) in the Republic of Croatia?

The following documents shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay for the purpose of university studies:

  • a certificate of enrolment in a higher education institution, or
  • a letter/certificate of a higher education institution stating that the respective alien is coming within the framework of a student exchange programme or interuniversity agreement, or
  • a letter/certificate of an authorised organisation stating that the respective alien is coming to complete his/her traineeship.

 

19. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – scientific research) in the Republic of Croatia?

The following documents shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay for the purpose of scientific research: a visiting contract concluded with a legal person performing scientific research work in the Republic of Croatia.

 

20. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – humanitarian grounds) in the Republic of Croatia?

The following documents shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay on humanitarian grounds:

  • for human trafficking victims - a certification of victim status issued by the Operational Team of the National Committee for the Suppression of Trafficking in Human Beings,
  • for aliens who have had a refugee status for at least 10 years prior to the submission of their application, or who are part of a reconstruction, return or housing care programme - a certificate issued by the competent state authority for refugees of the Republic of Croatia,
  • for aliens who cooperate with competent authorities in criminal proceedings against the employer who has illegally employed them - a certificate issued by a competent authority confirming participation in the proceedings,
  • for temporary stay based on serious justified reasons of humanitarian nature - proof on the basis of which humanitarian grounds can be established (e.g. of aliens having stayed in the Republic of Croatia for very many years but without having regulated their status because of their particularly serious health condition or old age; of aliens who have been victims of domestic violence and who have been left without adequate care etc.).

 

21. Which documents are considered as proof of justified purpose for staying (purpose – other purposes) in the Republic of Croatia?

A deed of title to property in the Republic of Croatia shall be considered as proof of justified temporary stay for other purposes which may be granted for the maximum period of up to one year, whereas evidence of a longer tourist stay shall be an all-season camping contract or proof of paid accommodation in a hotel or an apartment.

 

22. How can an alien married to a Croatian national, an alien who has been granted permanent stay, an asylee or an alien who has been granted subsidiary or temporary protection work in the Republic of Croatia?

Aliens who have been granted temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification with a Croatian national, an alien who has been granted permanent stay, an asylee or an alien who has been granted subsidiary or temporary protection may work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate. In other words, aliens who have been granted temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification, as stated above, do not have to change the purpose of their stay if they wish to work in the Republic of Croatia.

Family members of Croatian nationals with issued residence card may work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit/work registration certificate.

 

23. Do provisions for young drivers contained in the Act on Road Traffic Safety relate to aliens?

Young drivers are drivers aged between 16 and 24 whose driving licence is issued in the Republic of Croatia.

Young drivers must not operate vehicles on roads at speed higher than 80 km per hour, on fast roads and roads intended solely for motor vehicle traffic at speed higher than 100 km per hour, or 120 km per hour on high-way, or moped at speed of 40 km per hour.

Furthermore, young drivers must neither operate nor start to operate motor vehicles if their organisms contain narcotic drugs, alcohol or if they show signs of alcoholic state.

Young drivers who have passed a driving test for B category of vehicles must not operate personal vehicles with motor power exceeding 80 kW.

Any young drivers who violate the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article shall be fined in the amount of HRK 1.000,00.

These legal provisions relate only to persons, young drivers, whose driving licence has been issued in the Republic of Croatia and do not relate to aliens who come to visit or transit through our country.

 

24. Which provisions of the Aliens Act regulate entry, stay and work of nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members, nationals of the Swiss Confederation and family members of Croatian nationals?

Entry, stay and work of nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members, nationals of the Swiss Confederation and family members of Croatian nationals is regulated by the provisions of Articles 153-183 (Title X) of the Aliens Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia, Narodne novine, Number 130/11 and 74/13).

 

25. Are the nationals of the EEA Member States obliged to report their stay up to 3 months in the Republic of Croatia?

 Nationals of the EEA Member States are not obliged to report stay up to 3 months.

 

26. When are the nationals of the EEA Member States obliged to report their stay?

 Nationals of the EEA Member States who intend to stay longer than 3 months in the Republic of Croatia are obliged so report their temporary stay at a competent police administration/station at latest within 8 days since the expiry of a 3-months stay. The competent police administration/station shall issue a certificate on reporting temporary stay.

 

27. Inwhat form is a certificate on reporting temporary stay for nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members issued?

 A certificate on reporting temporary stay for nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members is issued in form of a residence card.

 

28. To what period is a certificate on reporting temporary stay/permanent stay card issued to a national of the EEA Member State?

 A certificate on reporting temporary stay is issued to a national of the EEA Member States with a validity period of up to 5 years, and a permanent stay card with a validity period of up to 10 years.

 

29. May nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members work in the Republic of Croatia and provide their services without a stay and work permit/work registration certificate?

 Nationals of the EEA Member States and their family members may work in the Republic of Croatia and provide their services without a stay and work permit/work registration certificate.

 Exceptionally, the same measures based on reciprocity apply to the work of nationals of the EU Member States and their family members who are nationals of those EU Member States who apply national measures or measures resulting from bilateral agreements to the work of nationals of the Republic of Croatia and their family members. This implies that they need a stay and work permit/work registration certificate for their working in the Republic of Croatia.

   

30. When do nationals of the EEA Member States become entitled to permanent stay?

 Nationals of the EEA Member States become entitled to permanent stay after the expiry of 5 years of a continuous legal stay in the Republic of Croatia.

 

31. May family members of Croatian nationals work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit/work registration certificate?

 Family members of Croatian nationals who possess a valid residence card may work in the Republic of Croatia without a stay and work permit/work registration certificate.