Foreigners may stay in the Republic of Croatia on short-term stay, temporary 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) members 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:
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. A third-country citizen that has been issued with a residence and work permit or a work receipt certificate can be employed only on a job for which permit / certificate has been issued and with the specified employer.
Except for the purpose of work, temporary residence for citizens of third-countries may be granted for the purpose of family reunification, secondary education and study, scientific research, humanitarian reasons and for other purposes.
The application for a temporary residence permit shall be submitted to the competent diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Croatia, but it 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:
A temporary residence permit is issued for a period of validity of up to one year, and can be extended upon request. In this regard, 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 or her residence to a local police department or police station according to the intended place of residence, otherwise a temporary residence permit (as well as a residence and work 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 which issues a certificate of registered temporary residence.
Finally, the stay of a third-country national may be granted as a permanent residence if he or she has been legally resident in the territory of the Republic of Croatia for a continuous period of five years, or if he or she has been granted temporary residence, asylum or subsidiary protection. The application for a permanent residence permit shall be submitted to a local police department or police station according to the intended place of residence. The Ministry shall decide on the application, and a permanent residence will be granted if, in addition to the conditions specified for temporary residence, the third-country national knows the Croatian language and the Latin alphabet.
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, which confirms permanent residence. But, if a citizen of an EEA Member State within that period resides outside Croatia for more than two years continuously, the permanent residence permit shall become invalid.
Author: Silvija Žužić | Lawyer Croatia | Law office Rijeka, Krk