Croatia Residence Permit – How to become a Croatian Citizen

Croatia has always been a tourist destination, but now it’s also becoming a great place to live. The country offers many opportunities for ex-pats looking to settle down and start a new life. And Croatia residence permit is a must-have document for anyone who wants to settle as a citizen.

In addition, Croatia is a member of the EU and NATO, and its economy is growing at a steady pace. However, if you want to move to Croatia, you’ll have to apply for a residence permit. This article explains how to get a Croatian residence permit and become a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

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About Croatia 

Croatia is a “high-income economy” European country. Croatia is one of the countries that rank high on the Human development index. 

In terms of economy, production and manufacturing activities dominate the economy. That is to say that agricultural and industrial activities are the major contributors to its economic activities. Because of this, Croatia is a country where highly skilled individuals can develop their skills. Not just develop the skills but also utilize them for more significant growth.

Furthermore, Croatia houses many objects and great places for sightseeing. And as a result, it has become one of the most visited countries among the countries with coastlines on the Mediterranean sea. The unpolluted marine areas found in Croatia, nature reserves, and Blue Flag beaches located within the country are the prominent sensational places that attract tourists.

That said, it is safer to say that Croatia is a perfect country for business and tourism. And so, it is a good choice for people who wish to apply for citizenship.

However, this article aims to provide a guide on Croatia resident visas. It throws light on who can apply for it and how they can apply for it.

It also explains the necessary documents to keep handy. Finally, it also addresses other frequently asked questions about the Croatia residence permit.

What is a Croatia Residence Permit?

A Croatia Residence Permit is a document that allows a foreigner to reside in Croatia for a fixed period. The Croatian government issues this permit to foreigners who apply for it and are deserving. 

The Republic of Croatia belongs to the European Union. And like every other member country of the European Union, the Croatian government has the country’s visa policy put in place. That is to say, the Visa policy of the Republic of Croatia is no different from the other European Union member countries.

So, the Croatia residence permit unanimously allows foreign citizens access to almost every privilege a birthed citizen of Croatia enjoys.

In terms of the Croatian visa in general, many countries have entered into visa waiver agreements with Croatia. As a result, citizens of these countries can visit Croatia without a permit. However, this visa lasts just for 90 days. But for some other countries, you must have a valid visa before entering Croatia.

Why do you need a Croatia Residence Permit?

It’s simple! If you don’t have a Croatia Residence Permit, you cannot reside in Croatia. Even if you manage to sneak in, you risk going to jail, deportation, or being banned.

Also, the Croatia residence permit grants you access to most, if not all, of the country’s privileges.

Who can obtain a Croatia Residence Permit?

Croatia residence status is granted to a foreign citizen for several reasons. However, the criteria for acceptance as a resident change over time. 

A Croatia residence permit is issued to a foreign citizen who;

are non-EU citizens

  • Suppose you are not a member of any of the 22 countries that make up the European Union. But secured employment with a Croatian firm or a firm located in Croatia.

is a spouse to a citizen of Croatia

  •  Also, the license can be granted to a foreign citizen who is a family member of a Croatian national. However, they must have lived in Croatia for over one year. 

has had refugee status for over ten years

  •  And is ready to take up legal residency in Croatia. 

is a minor

  • And whose one parent at the time of birth has a resident permit in Croatia.

is a minor 

  • But was born in the Republic of Croatia. And also has been living within its territory for a long time.  

has a foreign nationality

  •  But wants to live in Croatia for a period exceeding 90 days.

applied for asylum in Croatia

  • and now wants to be a resident in Croatia 

is eligible for subsidiary protection

  • And is now interested in having a residence permit.

Before applying for a residence permit in Croatia, you must have a long-stay visa. This visa is issued to you from your home country. However, it only enables you to travel to Croatia to stay there for a longer time.

Who doesn’t need a Croatia Residence Permit?

If you are a foreign citizen who falls within any or all of the categories, you don’t need a Croatia Residence Permit, particularly a permanent resident permit.

  • A member of an actual family of a citizen of Croatia. 
  • Students or persons who secured admission to a Croatian University.
  • People who came to Croatia for research purposes and are under visiting contract. 
  • An immediate family member of a foreign researcher comes along with them.
  • People who came to Croatia for humanitarian service.
  • A family member of someone holding an EU Blue card. 

However, these people mentioned in the category can request a temporary stay permit. But it is possible if they are staying for more than 90 days. 

Types of Croatia Residence Permit

There are majorly two types of Croatia residence permits.

#1. Temporary Croatia residence permit:

This permit is designed for a short-term stay in a foreign country. This document empowers foreign citizens who have it for a more extended stay as long as it isn’t permanent.

Also, it is issued in some cases where a temporary resident or someone with a tourist visa has a need to extend their stay in. a foreign country.  

#2. Permanent Croatia residence permit:

A permanent Croatia residence permit is a legal residence status granted to a foreigner that empowers them to reside in a foreign country permanently. 

This document is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain. An individual with a permanent Croatia residence permit can live and work in Croatia for a long time.

There are two types of permanent Croatia residence permits that you can be entitled to. Although they have the same use, these documents are granted under different terms.

# Dugitranjo boravište (also called a long-term Croatia residence permit) and

#Stalni boravak (also known as permanent Croatia residence permit).

Both types of Croatia residence permit grant foreigners the same rights and privileges. However, Stalin boravak (permanent residence) is obtained on more favorable terms.

With a permanent Croatia residence permit, a foreign citizen has the right to;

  1. Work both as an employee or a self-employed
  2. professional development.
  3. undergo education and receive education scholarships from the government.
  4. social welfare and child allowance.
  5. receive tax relief
  6. and gain access to the market of goods and services.
  7. freedom of association. They can belong to any group or organization that represents workers and employees of a certain occupation.

For you to apply for a permanent Croatia residence permit, you must have lived in Croatia for at least five years.

How long can a Croatia Residence permit?

Resident permits in Croatia are of two types and don’t have the same duration interval. 

Temporary residency can last between six months (for visitors’ temporary residence) to four years (for normal temporary residency).

But a permanent residence permit is for life.

Notwithstanding the duration a permanent residence permit can last, it can be terminated as well. It is cutting short its duration.

A permanent residency is terminated on the following basis;

#1. Based on a request from the holder of a permanent residency.

#2. If a ban from entering Croatia is placed on the holder as a result of misconduct or a criminal case.

#3. Of residency outside of EEA (European Economic Area). If the foreign citizen stays outside of the territory of EEA for a continuous period of 12 months. 

#4. If the holder of the residency stays outside of Croatia for more than six consecutive years.

#5. Of termination of the foreign citizen’s asylum or subsidiary protection.

How much does it cost to acquire a Croatia Residence Permit?

When applying for a Croatian resident permit, you must pay all the fees stipulated by the embassy. Any delay in payment will also amount to a delay in processing your residency.

It costs about €10,000 to acquire a resident permit in Croatia. That is to say, you will pay an approximate fee of 75,164.19 Croatian Kuna to obtain a Croatian resident permit. 

Eligibility for obtaining a Residence Permit in Croatia.

An individual born in Croatia, married to a Croatian, or migrated to Croatia can apply for a resident permit. These individuals must indicate interest in residing in Croatia for some time.

Such individuals must accomplish the following eligibility criteria.

To become a resident of Croatia;

#1. The individual must have legally lived in Croatia for five consecutive years.

#2. They must not have any criminal record in Croatia and their country of origin.

#3. The foreign citizen must have at least a basic knowledge of the Croatian language.

#4. They must provide a valid means of sustenance (i.e., finance and insurance).

#5. All required documents must be provided and submitted to the embassy. The application form and proof of payment of specific fees must be included.

#6. They must qualify to take the official test and interview to become residents.

Once an individual satisfies all of these eligibility criteria, they should go ahead and apply for a residence ticket. Moreover, they can leave the country for an extended period and not lose their residency privileges. However, this is applicable only when they have received their residence card.

Documents required to process a Croatia residence permit?

Unlike the Croatia visa requirement, the Croatia residence permit requires some documents too. Below are the documents needed to apply for a ticket to reside in Croatia permanently.

#1. A copy of your international passport

Both the original and photocopied pages must capture the biodata.

#2. Three Copies of your civil passports

30×35 mm in size. The copies must be colored and clear. And the passport should be captured without black spectacles.

#3. Proof of financial means

To satisfy that, you can take care of yourself.

#4. Proof of health insurance

To confirm the insurance status of your health.

#5. A certification of the knowledge of the Croatian language.

To ensure that you can quickly adapt to the environment.

A passing grade of B1 level is what you need for you to scale through. You will not take the test if;

  • you are of preschool age
  • you completed your primary, secondary or higher education in a Croatian school.

#6. Certificate of educational and professional qualifications.

To prove that you can secure a job and help increase the county’s economic benefits.

#7. Marriage registration certificate.

A proof of your marital status.

#8. Birth certificates for children

For children seeking permanent residence.

#9. Certificate of no criminal record

To make sure you will not constitute a nuisance to the country.

#10. The rental document

Which the property owner issued to you.

How to apply for a ticket to reside in Croatia

These are the steps to follow when applying for a temporary residence or a permanent residence ticket.

Step #1. Visit the MUP administration office.

It would help if you visited the administration police office closest to you. Contact them beforehand and schedule an appointment. 

Explain to them the reason for your application. 

Step #2. Get your application ready

You must bear in mind all requirements necessary for the success of your application. Therefore, you prepare your application according to the requirements.

Persons without nationality and individuals under asylum or subsidiary protection do not need to enclose a valid travel document.

The MUP will give you an application start time.

Step #3 Submit your application

When you have all the documents handy, visit the police station and submit your application.

Once the embassy accepts you, you will wait until instructed to proceed to the next step.

Step #4 You will undergo interview(s)

Calling you for an interview signifies your application is likely thriving. Expect a lot of questions from the interviewer. But do not panic because they are asking you questions to find out why you want to stay in their country.

Step #4 Pick-up boravišna iskaznica (residence card)

Once your application has been approved, you will be issued a document called “Rješenje o odobrenju stalnog barakas” which is a decision on your approval of permanent residence. 

You will pay 630 Kuna, approximately €85, for this document. 

Within eight to fifteen days of your application approval, you must submit a request for boravišna iskaznica (residence card).

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Apply for a Croatian resident permit?

I recommend you apply for your resident permit at least one year earlier than before your long-stay visa and work permit become invalid.

Is Croatia part of Schengen?

No, It is not. However, Croatia is part of the European Union. However, it is yet to join the Schengen Area.  

How long does it take to process a Croatia permanent residence permit?

It takes up to 12 months to process. Sometimes it can exceed 12 months because all embassies don’t have the same working speed. Also, they may have so many applications to process.

Conclusion

Acquiring a Croatia resident permit is easier once you have all the requirements handy and the funds available.

It also affords you benefits that non-resident foreign citizens cannot have.

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