If you're moving to Croatia, you'll need to know if you need a visa, what type of visa, how to apply for that visa, COVID-19 related entry requirements for Croatia, the health insurance requirement and more. The article is based on information from Croatia's Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, Croatia's Ministry of Interior, the Croatian Embassy in Sweden and the US Embassy in Zagreb. On February 25, 2021, we updated the article to include step-by-step instructions for applying to Croatia's much-anticipated Digital Nomad Visa which recently went into effect and the application process has begun.
Do I Need a Visa for Croatia?
While US Citizens and many others do not need a visa to spend up to 90 days in Croatia (in a 6-month period), travelers and global nomads from some countries do need a visa. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs's country by country visa requirements will give you that information that you need (look for the small drop-down county list on that page).
How Do I Apply for a Visa for Croatia?
Apply Online for Visa at Croatia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
If you check the country by country visa requirements and need a visa for a short-term stay in Croatia, you will need these documents to accompany your visa application:
- Valid Passport (Or Other Eligible Travel Document)
- Passport must be valid for at least 3 months longer than your planned departure date from Croatia
- Passport must have been issued within last 10 years
- Passport must have at least 2 empty pages for Visa
- A 35 x 45 mm color photo
- Evidence of Health Insurance (See Health Insurance Requirement Details Below)
- Evidence of Payment of Visa Fee
- Documents that Prove:
- The purpose of your stay in Croatia
- That you have accommodation
- That you have the financial means to stay in Croatia and return home (or to a third country)
- That you have the means of transport to return home (or to a third country)
Most Popular Types of Visas for Croatia
- Short-Term Stay (up to 90 days)
- Temporary Stay (up to a year)
- Permanent Stay
Specific Types of Short, Temporary and Permanent Residency
The Ministry of Interior's Stay and Work section provides specific information about the many different types of visas for short, temporary and permanent stay in Croatia based upon your nationality, family history, professional and educational credentials. These types of visas include:
Proof of health insurance is required for both the Short-Term Stay Visa and Long-Term Residency Visas (Temporary Stay).
As part of your visa application process, you will need to complete the Ministry of Foreign Affair's:
Health Insurance Declaration Form
In that form, you are attesting to the fact that you have international medical insurance or travel health insurance (for short stays). Specifics:
- Medical or travel medical insurance is valid for the Republic of Croatia
- Medical or travel medical insurance is valid during the entire period that I will be in the Republic of Croatia
- The cover is at least EUR 30.000
- Cover includes repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical care and/or emergency treatment in a hospital
- That you will carry proof of this medical or travel medical insurance with you, which can be presented to border control officers whenever you enter the Republic of Croatia.
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Short-Term Stay in Croatia (90 Days or Less)
For short trips for business or tourism, "A valid passport is required for travel to Croatia. EU regulations require that U.S. passport holders have no less than three months’ validity when they depart Croatia. U.S. passport holders with less than three months will be denied entry. The U.S. Embassy strongly suggests that you have at least six months of validity to avoid problems when you travel. A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders for temporary tourist and business trips up to 90 days (during a six-month period, starting from the day of the first entry). All foreign citizens must register with local police within 24 hours of arrival. Foreigners staying in hotels or other accommodations through a rental company are automatically registered by the hotelier or the rental company. Foreigners can also register at the local Ministry of Interior (Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova – MUP) office. In Zagreb, MUP office is located at Petrinjska Street 30, tel. +385 1 4563 111. Failure to register constitutes a misdemeanor and a violator can be fined. Note: Although Croatia became a member of the European Union (EU) on July 1, 2013, note that it is not yet a member of the Schengen area, and a passport is required for travel between Croatia and other European Union member states. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see the State Department’s Schengen Fact Sheet," wrote the US Embassy in Croatia.
While US Citizens and many others do not need a visa to spend up to 90 days in Croatia, travelers and global nomads from some countries do need a visa. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs's country by country visa requirements will give you that information (look for the small drop-down county list on that page). The Ministry also provides details on how to apply for a short-term stay visa in Croatia.
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Registering Your Short-Term Stay
"All foreign citizens must register with local police within 24 hours of arrival. Foreigners staying in hotels or other accommodations through a rental company are automatically registered by the hotelier or the rental company. Foreigners can also register at the local Ministry of Interior (Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova – MUP) office. In Zagreb, MUP office is located at Petrinjska Street 30, tel. +385 1 4563 111. Failure to register constitutes a misdemeanor and a violator can be fined," wrote the US Embassy in Zabreb. The Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs notes a slightly different deadline (of 2 days from entry), "Nationals of a Third State who is required to register for a short-term stay shall on his/her own register within 2 days from the date of entry i.e. from the change of accommodation. If not done by the foreign national in person, the short-term stay of a foreign national shall be registered by the accommodation provider (commercial accommodation providers - hotels, hostels, camping sites etc., and non-commercial accommodation providers – relatives, friends etc.) within 1 day od from the arrival of the foreign national.
A short-term stay shall be reported with the Police Department or police station in charge by the place of accommodation of the foreign national, and it may also be effected online. A foreign national who owns an apartment/vacation home may also register for a short-term stay with the Tourist Board and also include his/her friends/relatives."
Croatia's Digital Nomad Visa
Croatia's much-anticipated Digital Nomad Visa (aka Temporary Digital Nomad Stay) is here and the application process is finally in place, with both online and in-person application options. According to the Croatia's Ministry of Interior, "A DIGITAL NOMAD IS a third-country national who is employed or performs work through communication technology for a company or his own company that is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to employers in the Republic of Croatia." Temporary stay visas for digital nomads are granted for a period of up to 1 year and it cannot be extended. 6 months after your digital nomad visa expires, you may apply again for another digital nomad visa. In order to be eligible for Croatia's Digital Nomad Visa you must Work Remotely for Own Company or a Company Not Registered in Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to a Croatian employer.
In our article, Croatia's Digital Nomad Visa, we provide a step-by-step guide to applying for Croatia's Digital Nomad visa and cover the following topics:
Temporary Residence (or Temporary Stay) in Croatia
More Details & Information
"U.S. citizens, currently in Croatia, who are intending in staying in Croatia for longer than 90 days must apply for a temporary residence permit and should contact the Ministry of Interior minimum 30 days prior to the expiration of 90 days," stated the US Embassy.
Temporary stay visas are granted for a period of up to 1 year. They may be issued to third-country nationals who are planning to stay in Croatia for the following reasons:
- Work (This type of Temporary Stay Visa is called a "Stay and Work Permit")
- Life Partnership
- Scientific Research
- Secondary School Education and University Studies
- Family Reunification
Our article, Croatia's Temporary Stay Visa and Biometric Residence Permit offers an in-depth guide to applying for the Temporary Stay Visa, Stay and Work Permit and Biometric Residence Permit. Topics covered include:
Stay and Work Permit (A Type of Temporary Stay Visa)
"Temporary stay for the purpose of work is granted as a stay and work permit," states the Ministry of the Interior.
According to Croatia's Ministry of Interior, "Permanent stay may be granted to third-country nationals who have been legally staying in the Republic of Croatia for an uninterrupted period of five years before submitting their application, which includes temporary stay, asylum or subsidiary protection."
For more information, visit the Ministry of Interior's Permanent Stay Visa page.
COVID-19 Related Entry Requirements
Croatia's Official COVID-19 Government website provides up-to-date information about the current spread of Coronavirus in Croatia, hospitalization numbers and regional breakdowns.
All travelers (regardless of citizenship) who meet the entry conditions are advised to fill an arrival form at Enter Croatia in advance to facilitate their entry at the border.
Is a negative COVID-19 test required for entry? Yes
With limited exceptions, travelers must present a negative PCR test result for SARS-CoV-2 that is not older than 48 hours (counting from the time of taking the swab to arriving at the border crossing point) or have the PCR test done immediately upon arrival to Croatia and remain in self-isolation until they receive a negative test result. A local test cost ranges from $130 to $300 or more, depending upon the location, and the result can be expected between 24-48 hours. A test can be arranged at the following locations: COVID-19 Testing Locations in Croatia. After receiving a negative test locally, travelers will need to contact a local epidemiologist to clear them from self-isolation. Please direct questions regarding this requirement to the Croatian Ministry of Interior via the contact form at the bottom of the web page.
Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
The cost of the test is approximately 700HRK or around $110 payable in advance. The results are usually received between 24 48 hours.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 related entry requirements and restrictions and COVID-19 testing requirements, this English page on The Ministry of Interior's site provides that information and a form to contact the Ministry if you have questions.
How do I obtain a Personal Identification Number (OIB)
OIB is Croatia's Personal Identification number. This number is much like the American Social Security Number or NIN number in the UK. Normally, you would need to apply for an OIB number at the local offices of the tax administration. You would either get the OIB at that visit, or, the Tax Administration would contact you and tell you a exact day/time to come ot the local office to obtain your OIB.
Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will need to scan the documents below and e-mail them to this e-mail address: [email protected]. The OIB Office will respond (within 8 days) and tell you when to come get your Personal Identification Number.
Expat Health Insurance in Croatia
William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.