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How to get a residence permit in Croatia in 2024

The content of the article:

  • Advantages of a Croatian residence permit
  • Conditions for obtaining a residence permit
  • Family reunion
  • Education: secondary school and student education
  • Scientific research and humanitarian causes
  • Employment opportunities
  • Opportunities for entrepreneurs
  • Self-employed or digital nomads
  • Documents for obtaining a residence permit


When VelesCLub Int. When starting cooperation with a new country, the main task that its employees set themselves is how they can help their customers, what needs they can cover. And here, first of all, everything depends on what goals clients set for themselves: real estate for rental business, for obtaining a residence permit or as a successful investment of their investments in the future. Today we will talk about a new direction — Croatia: the pros and cons of obtaining a residence permit, on what conditions and what you should pay attention to.

Advantages of a residence permit in Croatia:
Visa-free visits to EU and Schengen countries. In 2023, Croatia entered the Schengen area, which simplified the entry of its residents into the territory of the countries of this zone.
The opportunity to study at prestigious universities in the EU. With a residence permit, foreigners have the opportunity to enroll in the best educational institutions on a budgetary basis on an equal footing with the local population.
Preferential conditions when applying for a mortgage or loan. After obtaining a temporary residence permit in the country, you can open an account with a European bank and apply for a mortgage or loan at preferential rates.
A residence permit in Croatia makes it possible, when conducting business, to receive a reduced tax rate for small businesses.
With a residence permit, foreigners can use the services of the public health system, as well as apply to the best clinics in the EU.
Social benefits. With 15 years of work experience, the state guarantees the registration of a pension, permanent residence and citizenship. With a residence permit after 5 years, you can apply for a long-term residence permit (indefinite) or apply for citizenship.      

Disadvantages of obtaining a residence permit
There is no "golden visa" in Croatia and it is impossible to obtain a residence permit for investments.
It is also impossible to obtain a residence permit when buying real estate, but this may have a positive effect on the issuance of a Croatian passport in the future.
When applying for a residence permit in Croatia, it is necessary to meet certain criteria and requirements, which can delay the issuance process for a long time. 

There are several types of residence permits in Croatia (based on which):
Family reunion;
Obtaining secondary and higher education;
Scientific research or humanitarian causes;
Self-employment or work.
A residence permit is issued for a period of 1 year with the right to extend.

A residence permit through family reunification.
This type is provided to those foreigners who are family members of the following category of persons:

  • Croatian citizens;
  • Foreigners with a residence permit who have lived in the country for more than a year; 
  • Immigrants with permanent residence;
  • Persons who are in the country in the status of temporary protection.   

Upon receipt of this residence permit, the applicant does not provide information on the availability of funds for the maintenance of the family. He only needs to provide documents confirming the relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.). However, this type is not suitable for those whose relatives are in Croatia for seasonal work, training or on a long business trip.

Residence permit through education
It is divided into 2 categories: secondary school education and student education.

The following requirements are required for secondary school education:

  • age under 18;
  • written permission and parental consent for the child's education in Croatia;
  • written responsibility on the part of the institution for the maintenance of the student for the duration of training;
  • confirmation of the place of residence 

The following points are highlighted for students:

  • participation in a state-recognized student exchange program;
  • data on the availability of funds in the account for returning home;
  • an order or other document confirming admission to the course of study. 

Residence permit through scientific research or humanitarian reasons
Due to the fact that Croatia closely cooperates with many international organizations, foreigners are given the opportunity to obtain residency in the country for a period of one year in order to conduct various studies. If necessary, family members of the researcher can also obtain a residence permit upon family reunification.
Humanitarian purposes involve the issuance of a residence permit to a certain category of persons: orphans left without care; refugees who have been in this status for about 10 years; persons who have been included in the program of assistance and protection of human trafficking.

Residence permit through employment
Employees transferred from other branches to Croatian firms, as well as a number of entrepreneurs who will provide data on the need to do business in the country, can also apply for an annual residence permit. The important point is that if the employee was accepted into the company (indicated in the documents)  for a certain position, the work of this employee cannot be used for other purposes and in another position. According to this category, a foreigner can submit a request for a residence permit himself or through a representative of the company where he will work. The contract must specify a monthly income that is either equal to or exceeds the current minimum wage (about 700 euros). The applicant is also required to provide documents that confirm his work experience and level of education.

For businessmen and entrepreneurs
Despite the fact that in Croatia there is no direct receipt of a residence permit through investments, owners of companies with a controlling stake can obtain a residence permit according to the required conditions:

  • if you invest at least 27 thousand euros in your own business;
  • when applying for a job, at least three local Croats with a salary set for them that exceeds the average state salary;
  • with an income exceeding 1.5 times the average salary in Croatia.

Entrepreneurs provide data on the law firm, the number of local employees employed; information on monthly wages and tax reports.
Self-employed or digital nomads can also apply for Croatian residency. To do this, you need to confirm an income of 2.5 average salaries or have the full annual amount in your account. Having received such a residence permit, a foreigner can make a request for his entire family, increasing the amount by 10% for each member.
It should be noted that holders of citizenship of another EU country (having an EU passport) can stay in Croatia for a long time without obtaining a residence permit, as well as, on an equal basis with Croatian citizens, get a job without special permission, receive medical and social services, etc. To do this, an EU citizen must go through the registration procedure and obtain an indefinite certificate. 

For those who plan to apply for a residence permit in Croatia, the following documents are required:

1/ template-filled application 1a (it can be downloaded on the official website of the Croatian Interior Ministry)
2/ a citizen's passport for entry into the territory of another state, its validity period must be 3 months longer than the period of the requested residence permit, otherwise the application will be rejected
3/ availability of medical insurance (not required for a residence permit for employment, research and humanitarian reasons)
4/ documents confirming financial viability for living in the country (bank statement, work certificate)
5/ details of the applicant's place of residence: rental agreement, reservation of a place in a hotel or apartment, certificate of ownership of real estate in Croatia or a written invitation from a citizen (resident of the country) with the specified actual address
6/ certificate of no criminal record
7/ receipt for payment of state duty (on a general basis is 88 euros)
8/ no threat to the national security of the country
9/ absence of an official ban on entry into the country 

All documents are submitted in the original and copies, the period of issue of which should not exceed 6 months. It is necessary that the documents be translated into Croatian. The exception is freelancers, they are allowed to provide documents in English. 

The reasons why a residence permit will be refused or canceled:

  • The reason for the issuance of a residence permit is incorrectly indicated;
  • The validity period of the passport is less than 1 year and 3 months
  • There is no permit to enter Croatia;
  • After obtaining a residence permit, the foreigner did not provide data on registration at the place of residence;
  • Financial insolvency;
  • Spouses or family reunification partners are not married;
  • Detection of forgery or deception in the information provided;
  • The resident left the country for more than 90 days in total, or for 30 days at a time over the last year on a residence permit 

These are the main reasons, but it happens that the refusal comes due to an incomplete package of documents provided. Therefore, it is important to get advice from competent experts on this issue. 
As most clients note, legal advice and support from the company's employees significantly speeds up the paperwork process. It does not allow mistakes that can lead to delays, failures or unforeseen costs.

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