Croatia is a member of the European Union (EU) and enjoys a stable economy and growth. The country is considered one of the most pleasant places for employers and workers alike. A number of aspiring individuals enter Croatia every year with dreams of a prosperous future. Similarly, foreign companies wishing to expand their business footprint eye Croatia as an emerging and promising destination.
Needless to say, visiting Croatia to conduct business or engage in employment will require proper documentation; primarily an appropriate visa.
Types of work visas
People planning to work in Croatia need a valid work permit as well as a temporary residence permit. Both documents are obtained independently and subject to different requirements. Citizens of EU states are not required visas or permits to work and stay in Croatia. A Croatian visa can be obtained from a diplomatic mission or embassy nearest to the applicant.
Although most type of work and residence permits are valid for one year from the time of entry. However, the state allows the holder to get the validity extended provided it is applied at least 60 days before the expiry date. Note that Croatia also happens to be a member of the European Union’s Blue Card network. The validity of a Blue Card is 24 months!
Usually, the combination of a visa and work permit is sufficient for employees to engage in work but in some cases, individuals may qualify for work registration certificates. Professionals such as medical/technical/engineering consultants, performers, journalists, members of a registered and well-known religious mission, etc. are a few occupations that qualify for work registration certificates.
Requirements for a Croatian work visa
Croatia has shifted from a quota system for work permits to merit since 2021. The quota system permitted a fixed number of people to enter the country on work visas without considering the need. Under the new system, all applications are moved from the employer to the state employment service (HZZ). The HZZ then assesses whether the applicants can be utilized in the desired sectors without disturbing the local unemployment balance.
At the time of application, applicants are required to submit the below-mentioned documents:
- Copy of a valid passport (at least 6 months validity at the time of arrival
- 2 passport sized recent photographs (not older than 60 days)
- Proof to maintain decent subsistence while in the country
- Employment contract (appointment letter stating terms and conditions of employment)
- Academic record
- Company registration (where employment is sought)
Non-EU citizens can apply for an EU Blue Card provided they have graduated from a reputable institute, have at least 5 years of work experience, and must fall in the category of qualified for the Blue Card.
Depending on the visa type and the local embassy where the visa is applied, minor changes in process may occur. For instance, some embassy serves applicants on a first come basis while others prefer an appointment.
The employer may initiate the process by visiting his/her nearest police station for character verification. The next step is to submit all the said documents related to the foreign employee as well as the company registration. For one employee the fee is around 870 Kuna or US$ 120. The employee can collect the work permit along with the biometric residence certificate within 21 days after arrival.
Additional information for EU Blue cardholders
Family members such as spouses, children, etc. can accompany the EU Blue card holder only for visitation purposes. However, if the holder is engaged in a full-time occupation, then he/she will be required to apply for visas for the family members. The said process can be initiated from the local embassy of the applicant, unlike the work visa process which takes place at the embassy in Croatia by the employer.
The applicants need to establish their relationship with the family member working in Croatia, provide proof of income, and satisfy the embassy that they can maintain a decent living during their stay.