Immigration. Travel. Living.

Croatia: living and residence permit obtaining

Benefits of a residence permit

Any foreigner planning to live in the country for more than three months is required to apply for a residence permit in Croatia. Which option is needed – here a person decides, based on his capabilities and desires. The number of people, who want to obtain a residence permit in Croatia increased sharply immediately after this state joined the European Union.

It gave its residents the opportunity to work in any country in the EU. Also, many of those who decide to apply for a permit to stay there do so in anticipation of the subsequent receipt of permanent residence, which gives a foreigner all the rights of a Croatian citizen, except for voting rights and the opportunity to run for local government.

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit

As in many countries, the grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Croatia are work, business, family reunification, work, study, granting political asylum, conducting scientific activities, as well as a long-term tourist trip. Usually, most residence permits for the first time in Croatia are issued for a period of one year with the subsequent possibility of extension, which must be started no later than 30 days before the expiration of the permit to stay.

If a foreigner decides to apply for the Croatian residence permit while still at home, then for this he needs to contact the local consulate of Croatia and provide the necessary documents confirming the grounds for obtaining a permit to stay. Usually, it is necessary to prove material security (at the rate of at least 70 Euros per day per person), as well as provide confirmation that the foreigner owns or leases real estate in the country.

white, red, and blue flag in the pole


The easiest way to obtain a residence permit in Croatia regarding the preparation of documents is to apply for a job in an ordinary local company and obtain a work permit (dozvola za boravak i rad). But a foreigner should understand that it is not easy for a foreign specialist to find a job there, but if we are talking about work in the IT field, engineering professions, research areas, then everything will be much easier here.

To obtain a working permit to stay, a foreign citizen must provide diplomas translated into Croatian, and the company must provide a justification for the need to attract a foreign citizen to work. Any person over 18 years of age can obtain a work permit without any upper age limit. 

A foreigner has a chance of getting a residence permit in Croatia based on the work if the employing company has a long business history, an active balance sheet, has a stable profitable business, pays taxes, and has hired local workers. It is best if it is full-fledged employment in an ordinary Croatian company. It is advisable that the foreigner does not hold key positions in the company, otherwise the rule on an increased amount of the authorized capital of the company and the presence of 3-5 Croats for each hired foreigner will apply to him.

Also, foreign citizens receive work permits within the framework of quotas set annually by the state, although they do not apply to university teachers, professional athletes, and some categories of persons.

Business immigration

It is a very popular way to obtain a residence permit in Croatia. According to the law, a foreign entrepreneur can register in Croatia a company of any organizational and legal form with an authorized capital of at least 200,000 Kuna (26,500 Euros). In this case, the cost of staying in the country can be attributed to the cost of maintaining your own company.

It should be noted that in this case, it is necessary to provide work within the company for at least three Croatian citizens with a salary not lower than the national average. Also, a permit to do business is issued to a foreigner who owns at least 51% of the shares of a Croatian company. If a foreigner moves with his family, then a good option may be to register a company with two founders (for example, husband and wife), where 51% of the authorized capital will belong to the spouse. True, when a family relocates, the option of getting a permit to stay in Croatia based on family reunification is still most often practiced.

The company is registered at the Croatian Commercial Court, and a business license can be obtained at any Croatian police station.

Required documents:

  • detailed business plan;
  • certificate of opening a bank account and depositing the authorized capital on it;
  • information about the name of the future company in Croatian.

The first permit obtained on this basis is issued for one year and then renewed annually for five years. In the first year of operation, the company should make a profit, that is, the balance should not be zero. It will also be necessary to make contributions to social funds and submit returns to the tax authorities. After five years of residence in the state with a permit obtained to do business, you can apply for permanent residence.

Family reunification

A foreigner who officially married a Croatian citizen receives a residence permit in Croatia, which is issued for one year and then extended. A similar algorithm applies to minor children of a foreign spouse. The option of unregistered cohabitation can also become the basis for obtaining a residence permit in Croatia if the partners have lived together for at least three years, and in the event of the birth of a child, this period is reduced. After five years of marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for citizenship.

A permit to stay can be obtained if a foreigner has close relatives in Croatia who: are citizens of the country, have permanent residence or a permit to stay as a researcher, journalist, manager of a Croatian company outside the work quota, as well as refugee status. Close relatives also include minor children, parents, brothers and sisters, spouses. After five years of residence in the country with a residence permit for family reunification and upon reaching the age of 18, they can apply for permanent residence.


In Croatia local universities, colleges, schools, and various courses are very popular among foreigners. Applying for the Croatian residence permit, for this reason, is very much in demand here, especially since this option is the most budgetary of all. Having successfully passed the exam and received an invitation from an educational institution in the state, a foreign student must apply for a student residence permit.

It is possible to do at the Croatian embassy in his country or through the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs upon arrival in the country. Typically, a student residence permit is valid for one year, and then it is extended for each year of study. If we are talking about studying on courses, then a permit to stay can be issued for a specific period of study.

Scientific research

This type of permit to stay in Croatia can be issued by employees of a research organization if their activity in Croatia lasts more than three months. The organization must submit to the Ministry of Science the relevant documents that will confirm this. Then the expert commission considers this application within 30 days. If it is approved, then such a scientific organization receives accreditation for five years, and a contract is concluded with its employees. They receive medical insurance and can get a residence permit in Croatia for conducting scientific research.


According to Croatian law, any foreign citizen can obtain refugee status if he meets the requirements of Article 65 of the Aliens Act. You can apply for political asylum directly at the border of the country at passport control, as well as at any police station or refugee center.

Contact us