How to Apply for a Croatia Long Stay Visa and Exemptions

As one of the Balkans’ countries, Croatia is not currently part of the travel-famous Schengen zone. So does that make traveling to Croatia any different from other European countries? Why, then, does Croatia have a Long-stay visa like most European countries in the Schengen Zone?

The Republic of Croatia is a country somewhere between Southern and Eastern Europe. It is a member state of several European conglomerates, including NATO and the European Union. Here, we intend to explore what that poses to foreign nationals who wish to enter Croatia. We will explore what it means to possess a Croatian visa, what sorts of visas are available, and provide adequate information on how to get it.

About Croatia Long-Stay Visa

A Croatian visa is a form of travel certification that allows foreign nationals to enter the Republic of Croatia legally. You can usually find it affixed to the back of the foreigner’s passport as a sticker or a stamp. The visa you have as a foreign national in Croatia will determine how long you can stay there and what you can do while there.

Based on duration, the major kinds of Croatia visas are short- and long-stay. For the sake of this article, however, our focus is on the latter.

As the name implies, the Croatian long-stay visa allows foreign nationals to stay in Croatia for an extended period; more prolonged than the short-stay visa permits. The long-stay visa allows its holder to enter and leave Croatia for as long as it remains valid, possessing none of its short-stay counterpart’s restrictions. Most long-stay visas are valid for six months to a year, but it generally depends on your reason for applying.

Who is Exempt from Croatia Long-Stay Visa?

Other names for the Croatia Long-stay visa are; Croatian Type-D visa or Viza-D. Generally, anyone who intends to travel to Croatia and stay beyond three months must apply for a Croatian visa. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Croatia is a member-state in the European Union; hence, it exercises visa-free travel agreements. This means citizens of EU/EEA countries don’t need to get a visa to visit Croatia.

Furthermore, Croatia has visa-free travel agreements with the following countries;

  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • The United States of America
  • The United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New Zealand, etc.

This agreement goes both ways. For instance, if you want to study in Canada as a Croatian, you don’t need a visa. The same goes for all the other countries they have agreements with.

Types of Croatia Long-Stay Visa

There are several types of Croatian long-stay visas. These different visas’ validity depends on your purpose of coming to Croatia. A long-stay visa usually goes with a temporary residency permit in Croatia to allow the person to live and (possibly) work in the country.

Because Croatia has tried to elevate its travel standards to match Schengen and the EU, you will find that most of their visas are similar to those of other central EU and Schengen countries. The most popular Croatia long-stay visas include;

#1. Student Visa

The Croatia student visa is a visa for foreign nationals who wish to come and study in Croatia. It covers those in tertiary institutions; undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate, etc. To get this visa, you have to show proof that you’ve gained admission to study a course in one of Croatia’s tertiary institutions. Upon reaching there, you will also need a residency permit that you’ll have to renew yearly for the length of your program.

#2. Family Visa

For those who have relatives living in Croatia and would wish to come and join them here, a Croatia family visa is just what you need. This long-stay visa is for direct relatives of long-term legal residents of Croatia, where those residents or their relatives are not EU or Schengen area citizens. The visa is usually valid for six months or one year, but no longer.

#3. Work Visa

For non-EU foreign nationals who wish to work in Croatia, this visa is for you. You must first gain employment with a registered company in Croatia to obtain it. Then, your employer will request a work permit on your behalf. This document, along with an employment offer letter, will enable you to secure the Croatian long-stay visa, which is the work visa. In addition, you will need them to get a residency permit once you get there.

#4. Digital Nomad Visa

A digital nomad visa is a long-stay visa for remote workers who want to live in Croatia while working. Some remote jobs require you to be eligible in a particular region or time zone. Hence, it makes sense that one might need to relocate to work remotely. However, you must prove that the company you’re working for is not a registered Croatian company but exists in some other country.

Required Documents for Croatia Long-Stay Visa

Like any visa at all, before applying for the Croatian long-stay visa, there are certain documents you need to have handy with you. These documents will help the Croatian embassy verify your identity, intent, travel plans, and credibility before letting you enter their country.

Some of the required documents for applying for a Croatia long-stay visa include;

#1. Application Form

The essential item in any application list is, of course, the application form. Hence, when applying for this visa, you must first get the application form and enter all the required details. It would help if you wrote in block letters to help it be more legible. If the applicant is a minor, a parent or guardian must sign and accompany them to submit the form. You can print out the form here.

#2. Passport-Sized Photographs

Another primary requirement for your application process would be two identical passport-sized photographs. These photos must meet the necessary specifications for Croatian visa application in terms of size, color, background color, etc.

#3. National Passport

Your national passport is an identity document that marks you as a citizen of your country no matter where you are. Therefore, you must hold this document when applying for a Croatian visa. Furthermore, since it is on this passport that the “visa approved” sticker will be attached, you will also need to submit it during the procedure.

For your national passport to be valid, it must be no older than ten years. It must also have at least two blank pages, one of which will hold the visa stamp or sticker. Finally, it must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Croatia.

#4. Proof of Health Insurance

Health insurance is taken very seriously in Europe. Therefore, you must purchase a Croatian health insurance plan large enough to cover your stay in the country before traveling. An average worth of 30,000 EUR is acceptable by the embassy. The plan will cover any medical emergencies you may have during your journey and stay there.

#5. Itinerary

Your itinerary is proof that you have a reason for wanting to visit Croatia. It tells them what you intend to do there, how long you plan to be there, and when you hope to return. Sometimes, you may even need to present return travel tickets and show precisely how you plan to make it back.

#6. Proof of Accommodation

When going to Croatia, you must show proof that you have a roof over your head. This could be in the form of a relative, a willing friend, a hotel booking, Airbnb, or even a place you’ve bought for yourself.

For the first two, you will need to present a signed statement from the host saying they’re willing to take you in for the period of your stay. After that, you will need to present booking tickets to show validity for the next two. However, if it’s a place you’ve bought, you will show proof of ownership of said property.

#7. Proof of Funds

The next thing you need to present is proof that you have enough funds to support your stay in Croatia. Usually, this could be in the form of a bank statement, a scholarship (for student visa applicants), a salary statement from your employer (for work visa applicants), or an account statement from a willing sponsor who has the means to fund your stay in Croatia.

#8. Other Purpose-specific Requirements

Purpose-specific requirements here refer to the conditions that depend on the type of Croatia long-stay visa you apply for. This could be a letter of admission (for a student visa) and offer letter (for a work visa), a marriage or birth certificate (for a family visa), etc. Ensure you find out which documents you need for your specific visa application.

How to Apply for Croatia Long-Stay Visa

The application process for the Croatia long-stay visa isn’t too complex once you have the documents ready. Let’s go through the steps, then.

  1. Gather all the required documents and get the application form.
  2. Contact the Croatian embassy in your country by telephone, email, or in person. Please book an appointment with them.
  3. Pay the application fees and submit your application. This should include all the documents and proof of payment as well.
  4. Attend the interview on the agreed date and be punctual. Try to look sharp and dress smart.
  5. Wait for the verdict.

Long-stay visas sometimes take a long time to process. Therefore, you must apply about three months before your proposed travel date so you don’t get sabotaged by any delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How long can foreigners stay in Croatia without a visa?

EU/EEA citizens and those whose countries have a visa-free travel agreement with Croatia can stay in the country without a visa for up to 90 days out of every 180 days. For this to happen, however, they must carry their national ID.

#2. How do I get a residence permit in Croatia?

Suppose you’re a non-EU/EEA citizen just arriving in Croatia. In that case, you can get a temporary residence permit at the nearest police station to your home or place of work. To qualify for permanent residence, however, you need to have renewed your temporary residence annually for about five years. In addition, you must have been physically present in Croatia for at least half that time.

#3. What is a type-C visa in Croatia?

A type-C visa, or viza-C, is a Croatian short-stay visa that permits non-EU/EEA citizens to legally enter Croatia and stay for up to 90 days out of 180. The shorter version of the Croatian long-stay visa (also known as type-D visa or viza-D) allows you to stay much longer.

#4. Can I enter Croatia with an EU-issued residence permit?

As a third-country national, if you have a residence permit from any Schengen/EU member state, you do not need a visa to enter Croatia.

#5. Who is a Third-Country national?

A third-country national is a person who isn’t a citizen of the EU/EEA/Schengen member-states and thus, has no visa-free travel agreement with them.

Conclusion

The Croatia long-stay visa is essential for a lot of reasons. Not your journeys can have issues resolved in 3 months or less, which means the short-stay visa will not do. This visa also helps you transition from a country visit to a country resident in the long run. If you have long-term plans to stay in Croatia, this is the visa you need.

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