Foreigners may stay in the Republic of Croatia on short-term stay, temporary stay, long-term stay, or permanent residence.
A citizen of third-countries, i.e. a person who is not national of European Economic Area (hereinafter referred to as EEA), or the Swiss Confederation may be in the territory of the Republic of Croatia on a short-time stay (tourist stay) for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days, provided he has registered accommodation.
A citizen of third-countries is required to register for a short-term stay within 2 days after entering Croatia or the registration can be made by the accommodation provider within 1 day upon arrival at the accommodation. A short-time stay shall be reported with the competent police department according to the place of accommodation of the foreign national.
Contrary to the above mentioned, a citizen of an EEA Member State is entitled to stay in Croatia for up to 3 months from the date of entry into Croatia without registering his stay to the police.
However, in most cases, citizens of third-countries are granted temporary residence for the purpose of work. Generally, a residence and work permit shall be issued for a period of validity of up to one year, only for the specific employment and with the specified employer.
Except for work, temporary residence for citizens of third-countries may be granted for the purpose of family reunification, secondary school education and study, scientific research, humanitarian reasons, life partnership, stay of another EEA Member State’s long-term resident, for other purposes and stay of digital nomads.
The application for a temporary residence permit shall be submitted to the competent diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Croatia, but in certain cases can also be submitted to a local police department or police station according to the intended place of residence, i.e. the headquarters of the employer or the place of work. The application shall be submitted by a third-country citizen or by the employer (in cases when the application for permission to stay and work is submitted), and temporary residence shall be granted if foreigner:
It is important to point out that a citizen of third-countries would be obliged, within 30 days of being granted temporary residence, to report his residence to a local police department or police station according to the intended place of residence, otherwise a temporary residence permit shall become invalid.
On the other hand, a citizen of an EEA Member State who intends to stay in Croatia for more than three months shall - no later than eight days after the expiration of three months of residence - report temporary residence to a local police department or police station according to the intended place of residence. Temporary residence may be granted for the purpose of work, study, family reunification, life partnership and others.
Furthermore, to a third-country national may be granted a long-term stay if he has been granted temporary stay in the Republic of Croatia for a continuous period of five years. He shall also have a valid foreign travel document, means to support himself, health insurance, speak the Croatian language and use the Latin script and not pose a threat to public order or national security. A third-country national shall submit the application for the approval of a long-term stay with the local police department according to the place of stay.
Finally, the stay of a third-country national may be granted as a permanent residence. The application for a permanent residence permit shall be submitted to a local police department according to the intended place of residence. Permanent residence may be granted to a third-country national who has a valid foreign travel document, does not pose a threat to public order or national security and who:
A citizen of an EEA Member State is also entitled to permanent residence after 5 years of uninterrupted legal residence in the Republic of Croatia. At his request, the Ministry, through the police department, issues a residence permit with a validity period of 10 years.
Author: Silvija Žužić | Lawyer Croatia | Law office Rijeka, Krk