The Foreigners Act (OG 133/20 ) prescribes the conditions for entry, movement, residence and work of third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia.
Conditions for granting temporary and permanent residence, i.e. temporary and permanent stay to third country nationals are prescribed by the Foreigners Act and by subordinate legislation.
Third country nationals may reside in the Republic of Croatia on:
- Short-term stay (up to 90 days in any period of 180 days)
- Temporary residence (up to one year, depending on the purpose of residence: eg family reunification, secondary education, studies, humanitarian cause, life partnership, work, work of posted worker, based on EU blue card, residence as a third country national with approved long-term residence in another EEA Member State, for other purposes, the residence of digital nomads)
- Long-term residence (unlimited)
- Permanent residence (unlimited period of time).
Third-country nationals may work in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a work permit and temporary residence permit, work registration certificate and without a temporary residence or work permit or work registration certificate (categories of third-country nationals prescribed by Article 89 of the Foreigners Act).
As regards the visa issue, the Republic of Croatia, as a Member State of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU), applies the common visa policy of the EU in the part related to the common visa regime. On the basis of a visa, a third-country national cannot work in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, except in cases when work registration certificates are issued in accordance with Articles 82 to 85 of the Foreigners Act.
A short-term stay visa is an approval for the purpose of:
- Transit through the Republic of Croatia or the intended stay in the Republic of Croatia for maximum 90 days within any period of 180 days;
- Transit through the international transit area of airports.
It is issued for one, two or more entries for the purpose of transit, aviation transit tourism, business or private visits, culture, sports, official visits, health reasons, education, etc. The validity period of a visa depends on the circumstances of travelling and cannot exceed five years.
Visa application shall be submitted prior to the entry into Croatia, at the competent embassy/consulate. If there is no Croatian embassy/consulate in the applicant’s country, the application may be submitted at the nearest Croatian embassy/consulate in another country or at the embassy/consulate of another Member State with which the Republic of Croatia has concluded a visa-recognition agreement.
Visa application is submitted in person. Exceptionally and, in justified cases, a visa applicant does not need to file the application personally, but he/she must present himself/herself when called upon by the embassy/consulate.
The decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia of 22 July 2014 establishes the applications of the Decision No. 565/2014/EU. All foreign nations who are holders of valid Schengen documents (residence permits and visas for two or more entries), as well as holders of national visas and residence permits of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania do not require an additional (Croatian) visa for the Republic of Croatia, provided that the aforementioned Schengen document is valid at the time of entry into and at the time of exit from the Republic of Croatia.
Third-country nationals who need a visa for Croatia can also fill in the visa application form via the website at the link crovisa.mvep.hr. After filling in the online application, it is necessary to print it out and submit it with other prescribed documentation to the competent Croatian embassy/consulate, visa centre or through an accredited tourist agency.