THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS

STAY AND WORK OF FOREIGNERS IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA – Third-country nationals

 

Third-country nationals are non-nationals of Member States of the European Economic Area (European Union, Principality of Liechtenstein, Kingdom of Norway, Republic of Iceland, hereinafter referred to as EEA). Nationals of the Swiss Confederation are subject to the provisions of the Act on EEA Nationals and Members of Their Families (Official Gazette, no. 66/19 and 53/20).

Terms and conditions for approval of the temporary and permanent residence to the nationals of third countries are set forth in the Aliens Act (Official Gazette, no. 130/11, 74/13, 69/17, 46/18 i 53/20) and relevant regulatory acts.

The foreigners who wish to stay or work in Croatia can be devided into several categories. Documentation that must be enclosed to the request for regulation of residence longer than 90 days depends on the given categorisation.

 

A third-country national may work in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate. The residence and work permit is issued on the basis of an annual quota and outside of the annual quota. The decision on the annual quota is made by the Government of the Republic of Croatia and is published in the Official Gazette.

 

Foreigners may stay in the Republic of Croatia on:

  • Short-term stay (up to 90 days in any period of 180 days)
  • Temporary stay (up to one year)
  • Permanent stay (unlimited period of time).

 

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 the cases referred to in Articles 82 to 85 of the Foreigners Act (Official Gazette 130/2011, 74/2013 and 69/2017).

The Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia of 22 July 2014 establishes the application 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.

Foreigners who need a visa for Croatia can also fill out a visa application form via the link crovisa.mvep.hr  After completing the online application, it is necessary to print it and submit it to the competent Croatian embassy/consulate, visa centre or agency of the accredited travel agency, accompanied by other prescribed documentation.

 

More info

 

Relevant links

o   Ministry of the Interior

o   Handbook for foreigners

o   Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

o   Foreigners Act

 The Act on EEA Nationals and Members of Their Families

o   Regulation on the Schengen Borders Code

o   Regulation on the Visa Code

o   Annual quota of work permits for employment of foreigners for 2018

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

A short-term stay is a stay of a third-country national up to 90 days on the basis of a visa or without a visa. Accommodation of third-country nationals on short-term stay shall be subject to registration by a legal or natural person who accommodated such third-country nationals within one day of their arrival, and to registration by a third-country national within two days of his or her entry in the Republic of Croatia or to any changes in accommodation.  A foreigner who does not need a visa may stay for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days counting from the first day of entry.

A foreign national who is the owner of an apartment / vacation house may report his or her short-term stay, as well as the stay of his/her friends or relatives, to the tourist board via the e-visitor system.

A short-term stay is reported at the police administration or police station competent for particular place of stay of a third-country national.

Short-term stay application (Form 8a)

Temporary stay/residence is the stay of a foreigner for up to one year and may be granted for the purposes of family reunification, life partnership, work, secondary education and study, scientific research, humanitarian reasons, work of posted workers or for other purposes.

Temporary residence/stay for the purpose of work is granted as a residence and work permit.

Application for issuance of stay and work permit (Form 9a)

A third-country national who does not need a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia may apply for a temporary stay/residence permit at the competent diplomatic mission/consular office of the Republic of Croatia in an EEA Member State in which he or she has been granted permanent residence or at police administration / police station at the place of his or her intended stay, employer’s seat or place of work.

 

A third-country national who needs a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia, submits the application at the diplomatic mission / consular office of the Republic of Croatia.

Exceptionally, nationals of third countries who require visa for entering the Republic of Croatia, may apply for a temporary stay at the police administration / police station if:

  • The purpose of their stay is studying at higher education institutions or colleges as regular students on undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, as well as members of their immediate family,
  • They are researchers who come under a visiting contract and members of their immediate family,
  • They come to work on the basis of Youth Mobility Programmes conducted by the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with other countries or on the basis of scientific research, and who are employed on scientific, educational or other research positions in scientific legal entities / professors – native speakers of foreign languages, lecturers and other teachers who teach at Croatian higher education institutions or registered foreign language schools, and who work on the basis of international agreements, except for contracts referred to in Article 79, paragraph 1, item 2 of the Foreigners Act, and members of their immediate family,
  • They are immediate family members of Croatian nationals,
  • They are formal or informal life partners of Croatian nationals.

Temporary stay/residence shall be granted to foreigners if they meet the following conditions:

  1. If they prove the purpose of their temporary stay/residence,
  2. If they have valid travel documents (passports),
  3. If they have sufficient means for supporting themselves and their family members,
  4. If they have health insurance,
  5. If they are not banned from entering into the republic of Croatia, and
  6. If they do not pose a threat to public order, national security or public health.

A permanent stay may be granted to foreigners who have been legally staying in the Republic of Croatia for an uninterrupted period of 5 years before the submission of their application (multiple interruption of temporary stay up to 10 months in total, or up to 6 months one-time, is not considered as interruption of temporary residence). Foreigners 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.

Permanent stay/residence shall be granted to foreigners if they meet the following conditions:

  • If they have valid travel documents (passports),
  • If they have sufficient means for supporting themselves and their family members,
  • If they have health insurance,
  • If they are familiar with the Croatian language and Latin script, Croatian culture and social organisation,
  • If they do not pose a threat to public order, national security or public health.

Application for permanent stay (Form 1a) is submitted at the police administration / police station competent according to the foreigner’s place of stay, and the Ministry of the Interior makes decisions on the applications.

Form 1a

Foreigners with approved permanent stay/residence have the right to:

  • Employment and self-employment,
  • Vocational training,
  • Education and scholarships,
  • Social welfare, social security rights (pension and health insurance, health care, child allowance and parental benefits),
  • Tax reliefs,
  • Access to goods and services market,
  • Freedom of association and membership in organisations representing workers or employers.

Third-country nationals exercise their rights in accordance with the regulations of the Republic of Croatia governing certain areas.

The EU Blue Card is a residence and work permit for a third-country national who is a highly qualified worker and at the same time is a holder of a temporary residence and work permit in the territory of the Republic of Croatia. The EU Blue Card is issued in the form of a biometric residence permit. A third-country national who has been issued an EU Blue Card may work in the Republic of Croatia only on jobs for which he or she has been granted a residence and work permit and only with the employer with whom he or she has established the employment relationship.

A highly qualified worker who is a third country national has to apply for a residence and work permit at the diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Croatia, or at the police administration / police station according to intended place of temporary residence.

The conditions for issuing the EU Blue Card are as follows:

  • A valid travel document (passport), health insurance, proof of sufficient means of supporting
  • A contract of employment or other appropriate contract for the performance of a job of highly qualified worker, concluded for a period of at least one year with an employer who is established in the Republic of Croatia (the contract of employment or other appropriate contract must indicate the gross annual salary in the amount which shall not be less than 1.5 average gross annual salary according to the officially published data of the competent statistical body),
  • Evidence of higher education or completed undergraduate and graduate university study or integrated undergraduate and graduate university study or specialist graduate professional study.
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