Croatian Government Introducing New ID Cards, Regulating Digital Nomads

Daniela Rogulj



August 28, 2020 – On Thursday, the government accepted and sent to the parliamentary procedure amendments to the Law on Identity Cards and the Law on Foreigners, which should also regulate the temporary stay of digital nomads.

Novi List reports that according to the draft proposal for amendments to the Identity Card Act, which will be applied from August next year, in accordance with the European Parliament regulation on strengthening the security of Union citizens, the new identity cards will contain biometric identifiers in the form of faces and two fingerprints in interoperable digital formats.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic reported that the age limit for issuing permanent identity cards has also been changed. It has been raised from the age of 65 to 70, while the identity card for citizens from the age of 70 will be issued with a validity period of five years.

Amendments to the law also prescribe the obligation to withdraw from the use of identity cards issued without a validity period that do not meet the minimum security standards. In addition, the new ID card will contain a two-letter Croatian mark printed on the front in a blue rectangle surrounded by 12 yellow stars.

“Apart from the amendments made to harmonize with the Regulation, the proposed amendments to the law would enable the use of electronic ID cards on mobile devices, and not only on personal computers as before. Citizens are given the opportunity to access electronic services and validly electronically sign documents using mobile phones or tablets. Citizens will not pay extra for the use of the appropriate software solution for mobile devices,” specified Bozinovic.

The Minister added that these amendments stipulate the obligation for persons who have reached the age of 16 and who have been allowed by a court in a non-contentious procedure to marry in accordance with the provisions of the Family Law and have entered into marriage, to obtain an identity card if they reside in Croatia.

On Thursday, Bozinovic also presented a proposal for the Law on Foreigners, which stipulates that the Government no longer makes a decision on determining the annual quota of permits for employment of foreigners, but employers are already obliged to request the Croatian Employment Service to conduct a labor market test before applying for a residence and work permit for foreigners.

“If it is determined that there are no unemployed persons in the Republic of Croatia who meet the requirements of employers, employers should submit a request for a residence and work permit to the Ministry of Interior, which will ex officio ask the Croatian Employment Service for an opinion on the employment of a foreigner with a Croatian employer. The procedure for issuing residence and work permits, including the implementation of the labor market test, can take a maximum of 30 days,” explained Bozinovic.

The Minister added that the bill prescribes exceptions to the implementation of the labor market test related to occupations such as carpenters, masons, waiters, butchers, and in the case of seasonal work up to 90 days in agriculture, forestry, catering, and tourism.

In order for the Government not to be obliged to re-issue the Decision on determining the annual quota of permits for the employment of foreigners, it is prescribed that the Law on Foreigners enters into force on 1 January 2021.

According to the proposal of the new law, a new institute of long-term visa is introduced, the so-called D visa, in case a third-country national is granted temporary residence due to work, family reunification, study, research, and secondary education.

Furthermore, the novelty is the prescribing and more favorable regulation of temporary and permanent residence for members of the Croatian people with foreign citizenship or statelessness, who have a certificate from the Central State Office for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia.

In addition, under more favorable conditions, family members of a Croatian citizen can acquire permanent residence, as well as foreign minor children who have been granted temporary residence for three years, and one of the parents has been granted permanent residence or long-term residence.

Bozinovic also announced a novelty which prescribes the possibility of regulating the temporary residence of digital nomads, i.e., foreigners who perform jobs digitally for foreign employers.

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