Foreigners intending to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days and who do not have to have a visa must apply for a temporary residence permit.
This permit is valid for 1 year and can be extended for a further year.
The permit is entered into your passport, which has to be valid for at least 3 months longer than the period the permit is issued for. If you wish to apply for an extension of any residence permit, then this must be done at least 1 month before the current one expires. Once you are issued with a temporary residence permit, you have to register with the police within 3 days of your entry into Croatia. This is also the case if you change your address. The same conditions are required for a business permit holders. Even a foreigner with the right of permanent residence must register their address and inform the police of any change within 8 days.
Finally whether you have temporary or permanent residence status, you must inform the police should you decide to leave the country for good.
Temporary residence permits
This permit can be issued for the purpose of:
- work (issued for the period of validity, stated on the work permit/ business permit)
- studying (can be extended for up to 2 years after the last year of lectures)
- joining family (can be extended for up to 3 years)
- other justified reasons recognised by law or international agreements (there is no specific list as such)
Working in Croatia without a work or business permit (the latter being issued when a person is self-employed) is illegal and if you are found guilty of this, then in the best case you will have to pay a fine, the amount of which can vary from case to case. Deportation from Croatia is also an option in such cases. However there is a list of professions for which foreigners do not require work permits, and this information can be obtained from the police. (Ministry of Interior, department for foreigners.)
Permanent residence permits
Premanent residence will be given to:
- a foreigner who has held temporary residence status in Croatia for 5 continuous years.
- a foreigner who has temporary residence status in Croatia and has been married to a Croatian citizen or a foreigner with permanent residence for at least 3 years.
- to a child with temporary residence status if one of the parents has permanent residence status in Croatia and the other parent gives their consent.