Immigrating to Croatia

BUSINESS TRAVEL

The term business visit, from an immigration perspective defines a short trip that does not require work permits and authorizations in Croatia. As such the business traveler is only allowed to undertake specific business activities allowed by Croatian legislation, during which visitor represents interest of employing company based outside of Croatia.

Allowed Activities

Business visitors must generally limit their activities and may undertake the following:

  • attend business meetings
  • attend business discussions
  • attend seminars and lectures, provided that the business visitor does not give the seminar, lecture

In certain cases a foreign national may convert from visitor to work permit status without leaving the country. Please contact Move One to confirm whether a visit may be classified as business.

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Entry Requirements and Limitations

VISA EXEMPT

Nationals of the following countries may enter Croatia without a visa for up to 90 days within 180 days based on national ID cards:

  • EU/EEA & Swiss nationals

Nationals of the following countries may enter Croatia without a visa for up to 90 days within 180 days period based on national passports:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemla
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Salvador
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • United States of America
  • Vatican
  • Venezuela



Complete list of visa exempt countries can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia.

Above foreigners may enter Croatia without a Croatian visa if they have a permanent residence in a Schengen member state or if they possess a valid multiple entry Schengen short-stay visa (type C) and if they are arriving to Croatia on cruise ships for the purpose of tourism.


VISA REQUIRED


Business Visa

Nationals not specified above must obtain a short-stay visa for business purpose before entering Croatia.


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Visa Application


Visa Application Form

A foreigner must apply for a short-stay visa at a Croatian embassy or consulate abroad. Authorities may grant single/multiple entry business visas. No continuous stay or total duration of several consecutive stays may last for more than 90 days within a 180 days period, commencing from the date of first entry.

STANDARD DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:

  • Passport
  • 1 Photo
  • Application form
  • Return ticket to home country
  • Proof of sufficient funds for duration of stay
  • Health insurance
  • Guarantee letter from host entity

For specific requirements visitors should contact the consulate where application is to be lodged. List of Croatian consulates is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia.


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Upon Arrival


Address Registration

Upon arrival to Croatia, all nationalities must register at local police administration.

  • In case visitor is staying in a hotel, registration is handled by the hotel.
  • Visitors staying in private accommodation must register at the local police within 2 days after arrival and inform them of any change of address within 3 days of the change.



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Spouse and Children

Visa regime for family members is defined in the same way as for business travelers. Family members may apply for visa together with main applicant and receive a short-stay visa.


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WORK PURPOSE

In order to carry out paid activities in Croatia a work authorization is required valid for a predetermined period of time and allowing the foreigner to hold a temporary job in the country. The process for obtaining work and residence authorization depends on factors including but not limited to nationality, company type and payroll.

Key Questions to Determine the Process

Answers to the following questions will determine what immigration process must be followed for a foreign employee:

  • Nationality?
  • Location of company (city within Croatia)?
  • Company type (limited liability, branch office or representative office)?
  • Location of payroll (home or host)?
  • In case of home payroll, grounds for assignment?
  • Job position and description? (In case of managing position, is foreigner entered in company registration documents)
  • Estimated start date of assignment?
  • Length of assignment?
  • Has the foreigner lived in Croatia / does the foreigner currently reside in Croatia and if so, on what status?
  • Will foreigner be working based on contracts between company in Croatian and home country (if yes, further information will be required such as cost, time for accomplishing, number of foreigners, subject of agreement, location of realization)?
  • Will family members join?
  • Respective nationalities of family members?



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Typical Procedures & Timelines

STANDARD PROCESS

For a specific case please contact Move One.

  • Step 1: Work Permit

    30 days

  • Step 2: Temporary Residence Permit

    30 days

  • Step 3: Address Registration

    1 day


Work Permit

A company must submit a work permit request to the local police administration in the jurisdiction where its headquarters is located. A work permit authorizes a specific foreign national to work for a specified company.

APPEARANCE: A4 paper size

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Police administration

VALIDITY: Up to 2 years

EXTENSION: Possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With company


Temporary residence Permit

On the basis of a work permit approval, a foreigner must visit a Croatian consulate abroad in order to apply for a temporary residence permit, which gives the right to reside on the territory of Croatia.
Foreigners who do not need a visa to enter Croatia, may arrive to Croatia and apply for a temporary residence permit at a police administration.

STANDARD DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:

  • Passport
  • 2 Photos
  • Application form
  • Croatian health insurance card
  • Lease agreement
  • Statement from employer confirming salart
  • Invitation letter from company
  • Work permit

For specific requirements visitors should contact the consulate where application is to be lodged. List of Croatian consulates is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia.

APPEARANCE: Sticker in passport

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Croatian consulate abroad or police administration in Croatia in case of visa free nationals

VALIDITY: Up to 1 year

EXTENSION: Possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With foreigner


Address Registration

Upon arrival to Croatia, foreigners must register at the local police within 3 days after arrival and inform them of any change of address within 3 days of the change.

APPEARANCE: A4 paper size

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Police administration nearest to address of living

VALIDITY: For the period of stay in Croatia

EXTENSION: Required in case of change of address

ORIGINAL LOCATION: With foreigner



*The time-frames are an estimate and authorities can shorten or extend it according to their requirements. Immigration procedure vary depending on many variables therefore specific information about the foreigner and / or family member will be needed to better clarify the specific procedures that will be involved.
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Employment Enrollment Formalities


HEALTH / SOCIAL SECURITY


Health Insurance
  • Foreign employees on local payroll must be registered in the national health insurance fund by their employers. As proof of registration a confirmation certificate and, if requested, a health card is issued to a foreigner based on which registered foreigners are entitled to free health care at government clinics.



TAX


Tax ID
  • Local hires and in some circumstances foreigners on assignment, must be registered with the tax authority by their employers. Enrollment takes place based on a unique identification number issued to a foreigner during temporary residence permit application.

NOTIFICATIONS

  • Within 15 days of work permit issuance, an employer must submit a signed employment contract to the competent police administration.



Work Permit Exemptions

Following foreigners may be exempt from the work permit requirement:

  • Holders of permanent residence permits
  • Foreigners granted temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification
  • Foreigners working based on international agreements facilitating professional and technical assistance signed between Croatia and the European Union or international organization
  • Foreigners on short-term assignments no longer than 90 days within one year do not need a work permit for:
    • attending professional training in a legal entity having its seat in Croatia
    • on assignment completing practical training in branch or representative offices of foreign companies
    • installation or the warranty repair of imported machinery and equipment
      engaging in activities related to the delivery and installation of imported machinery and equipment, if work is included as a condition in warranty rights
  • Citizens of: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.



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Spouse and Children

Family members may accompany a main traveler on a long-term assignment. Requirements must be reviewed individually per each case.

VISA EXEMPT

Certain nationals may enter Croatia visa free, however temporary residence permit must be arranged for long-term stay after arrival.

VISA REQUIRED

Dependents must obtain a temporary residence permit on the basis of the main traveler’s application before arrival to Croatia.

  • Marriage and birth certificates are required for family member applications and must be legalized.
  • In general, only spouses, persons living in a common law marriage in accordance with Croatian legislation, children under 18, parents or adopted parents of children under 18 qualify for dependent status. However, any other relative may also be regarded as a member of the nuclear family if there are special personal reasons or serious humanitarian grounds for the family reunification.



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Red-flags

  • Processing times for applications may vary depending on individual circumstances, therefore assignments must be planned well in advance.
  • All foreign documents need to be officially translated into Croatian.
  • Degree certificates are required for work permit application and must be translated.
  • An annual quota of work permits is set by the government of Croatia for the following year by October 31 each year.
  • In case of termination of employment, a foreign national needs to return their work permit and temporary residence permit to the issuing authority.
  • Family members may only join an assignment after main applicant’s permits are granted.



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Penalties

FOREIGNER

  • Non compliance with legislation in force and staying on territory of Croatia without required documentation may result in a fine of up to 10,000 kunas (approximately 1,800 US dollars), imprisonment or deportation.

COMPANY

  • The penalty for illegal employment of foreigners is determined by labor authorities based on the degree of violation and may reach up to 100,000 kunas (approximately 18,000 US dollars) per each illegally employed person. A company’s operations may be suspended in case of repeated violations.



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VITAL DOCUMENTS

Vital documents are official records issued by government institutions to individuals, essential as proof of identity and status. Move One offers support for the procurement of vital documents in Croatia, as well as their legalization for use outside the country.


Birth Certificate


Birth Certificate

A birth certificate documents the birth of an individual, naming a child’s biological parents, indicating the date of birth and the place where the child was born. Birth certificates may be required as supporting documents during immigration procedures.

BIRTH CERTIFICATES IN CROATIA

  • A Croatian birth certificate is issued in the local registry office, where a child’s birth was registered. A birth certificates is issued in the Croatian language and includes details of the individual as well as the individual’s parents.
  • It is possible to obtain a duplicate of an original birth certificate. Issuing time and required application documents may vary depending on the registry office processing the request.
  • Not all formats of Croatian birth certificates may be legalized for international use, therefore holders should check for the specific requirements in advance of arranging certificate legalization.



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Marriage Certificate


Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate serves as proof of an act of marriage between two individuals. Marriage certificates may be required as supporting documents during immigration procedures.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES IN CROATIA

  • A Croatian marriage certificate is issued in the regional governmental office where the marriage was registered. A marriage certificates is issued in the Croatian language and includes details of the husband, wife as well as the witnesses.
  • It is possible to obtain a duplicate of an original marriage certificate. Issuing time and required application documents may vary depending on the regional office processing the request.
  • Not all formats of Croatian marriage certificates may be legalized for international use, therefore holders should check for the specific requirements in advance of arranging certificate legalization.



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Legalization


Apostille Stamp

Public documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, criminal record certificates and notarial attestations of signatures, frequently need to be used abroad. However, before a public document can be used in a country other than the one that issued it, its origin must often be authenticated.

CONSULAR LEGALIZATION

The traditional method for authenticating public documents to be used abroad is called legalization and consists of a chain of individual authentications of the document. This process involves officials of the country where the document was issued as well as the foreign consulate of the country where the document is to be used.

APOSTILLE

A large number of countries have joined a treaty that simplifies the authentication of public documents to be used abroad. This treaty is called the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. It is commonly known as the Apostille Convention. Where it applies, the treaty reduces the authentication process to a single formality: the issuance of an authentication certificate by an authority designated by the country where the public document was issued. This certificate is called an apostille.

Apostille requirements:

  • the country where the document was issued must be party to the Apostille Convention
  • the country in which the document is to be used must be party to the Apostille Convention
  • the law of the country where the document was issued must consider the document to be a public document
  • the country in which the document is to be used must require an apostille in order to recognize it as a foreign public document

Croatia is a signatory to the Hague Convention, therefore documents issued in Croatia may be authenticated with an apostille for use in a country which is also a signatory member of the convention.


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*International travelers should note that immigration procedures vary depending on many factors and specific information about the transferee and / or family members. Please get in touch with Move One to discuss your specific case by sending an email to immigration@moveoneinc.com.

Last updated: March 9, 2012

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