How To Get A Work Permit In Croatia

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Different countries, different rules. Basically, if you are EU citizen, it should not be a big problem, but for others, there is a different procedure.

It is usually the other way around, with many Croatian people seeking jobs abroad, but as there are those from abroad who want to work in Croatia, there is a process too. If You are a top class football player like Eduardo, one of the most popular foreign workers in Croatia ever, you will have no trouble to get your work permit, but if you want to work something more simple in Croatia, there are different rules, depending on the country of your origin. Here is an overview of the rules and documents to help you trough the process.

Rules For EU citizens and European Economic Area citizens

The free movement of workers is a fundamental right in the Member Countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). This permits nationals of one EEA country to work in another EEA country on the same conditions as that Member State’s own citizens. During a transitional period of up to seven years after the accession of Croatia to the European Union on 1 July 2013, certain conditions may be applied that restrict the free movement of workers from and to Croatia. These restrictions only concern the freedom of movement for the purpose of taking up a job. For the second phase, until 30 June 2018, five countries have decided that Croatian workers will have to obtain a work permit to work there, so Croatia is applying reciprocal measures to workers from these countries, listed below:

Austria, Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia and United Kingdom

If you are a national of one of these EU Member States, you can regulate your legal work status in Croatia as follows:

You can work up to 90 days a year on the basis of a work registration certificate
You can work for more than 90 days but you have to apply for a residence and work permit
Restrictive measures do not apply if you want to start your own business in Croatia or provide services, for example, in construction or personal services. There are no restrictions for entrepreneurs/companies/traders from other countries who want to carry out their activities in Croatia.

Therefore, if you are a national of an EEA/EU Member State and are:
self-employed with your own company, or in a trade in which you provide services, or you have been posted to Croatia by your employer for a limited time (posted worker), you may work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence or work permit, or work registration certificate.

The criteria for getting a work permit

You must have an offer of employment as the employer is obliged to request the issuance of a work permit outside the annual quota from the relevant authorities, namely police station/police administration. You cannot request a work permit without having a job offer from an employer.

An application for a residence and work permit must be accompanied by a contract of employment or a written confirmation that a contract of employment has been signed. Prior to the issuance of residence and work permits outside the annual quota, no explanation of the employer on the need of employing a particular employee shall be required nor will the situation on the labor market be checked.

How to register as a job seeker?

Pursuant to the Act on Job Placement and Unemployment Insurance Croatian Employment Service will register as job seekers nationals of Member States of the EU / EEA in order to seek employment (employment mediation) and some of them for the right to compensation, as well as to retain rights to compensation earned in another Member State of the EU / EEA.

Nationals of Member States of the European Economic Area are equal to Croatian nationals in the rights and duties established by this Act.
In order to be registered as a job seeker with the Croatian Employment Service, you will need a personal identification number (OIB), an address in Croatia and a valid identification document from your home country (an ID card or a passport). If you want to transfer unemployment benefits from your home country, speak to your employment office prior to departure in order to get all necessary information about your rights and obligations, as well as to collect portable document U2, which you will need in order to continue receiving your benefits.


how to obtain an OIB in Croatia
registration of permanent stay of an EEA citizen and his/her family members

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Temporary residence is granted to citizens of a third, i.e. non-EU country who intend to stay, or are staying, in the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of:

family reunification,
secondary education and studying,
scientific research,
humanitarian reasons,
work as deployed workers.

You must submit an application for a temporary residence permit to the Croatian diplomatic mission abroad. The application can also be submitted to the police authority/station near your intended place of residence or work, or the place where your employer is based.

Highly skilled workers from third countries can submit their applications for a residence and work permit to a Croatian diplomatic mission abroad or to the police authority/station in their place of work/residence. A residence and work permit (“EU Blue Card”) is issued for a period of up to two years.

application for issuance of stay and work permit


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