Croatian Visas: Rules, Borders, Digital Nomads, Forms & Schengen

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Looking for information on Croatian visas? How and where to get one, how about the Schengen zone, and getting visas on the border.

Visa requirements for Croatia

Croatian visas are not required by citizens of other EU countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Nationals of these countries are allowed to freely enter Croatia for a maximum 90-day stay over 180 days. After that, things are much simpler for citizens of EU countries than they are for third-country citizens.

For the individual visa requirements of other countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides information on a country by country basis through a searchable website.

To find out details of the closest Croatian diplomatic mission to your country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also provides this information, including where to go if there is no Croatian embassy in your country.

2021 Reality: Epidemiological measures for border crossings

Of course, the pandemic reality of 2020 is what makes crossing the Croatian (or any other) border difficult. The rules and regulations in Croatia change frequently, reflecting the situation with the number of infected people in Croatia and around it, and you can follow those changes in our Croatia Travel Update. There you’ll be able to find the most recent measures and what it takes to cross the Croatian borders.

Schengen, the EU and Croatian visas

I have noticed a lot of confusion about Croatia’s official status with tourists over the years. Is it in the EU or Schengen zone? Both have a major effect on visa requirements, of course.

Croatia joined the EU on July 1, 2013, and it became the 28th member of the bloc that day. Regarding the Schengen zone, however, Croatia has still not joined. Tourists coming from Slovenia and Hungary to Croatia will be exiting the Schengen zone.

Croatia has, however, for a while been very close to joining, but always one step too short. Currently, it’s reasonable to expect that the entry date will happen before 2024. We will update this article as things progress, but currently having a Schengen visa does NOT mean automatic entrance into Croatia.

HOWEVER, if you have a dual or multi-entry Schengen visa, you may enter Croatia without an additional Croatian tourist visa IF you have at least one unused entry upon entering Croatia. The same is also true for foreigners who have a residence permit in a Schengen.

In any case, you are strongly encouraged to check with the Ministry website for the latest news before you travel.

How to apply for Croatian visas?

You can apply for Croatian visas online and also check on the progress of your application.

After you complete entering the data, you must print out a copy of the application and submit it, along with the necessary documents, to the competent Croatian Embassy or Consulate, visa centre or accredited travel agency.

Visa applications must also come with a letter of guarantee from a private person or business.

Here is a list of all the documents and procedures you need to apply for a visa to Croatia.

Looking to extend your visa? Here are the guidelines from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Croatia welcomes digital nomads

As of the beginning of 2021, Croatia has become a destination which welcomes digital nomads. What is a digital nomad, you might ask? It’s a person who does most (if not all) of their work on their electronic devices, laptops, tablets, phones, and can do their job from anywhere in the world. They can be employed in any company, a freelancer or self-employed, as long as they’re able to do what they need to do without coming to “an office”. And if 2020 has taught us anything (and 2021 continues to teach the same lesson) it’s that a lot of jobs are like that.

To be a digital nomad your lifestyle needs to include mobility, the desire to not spend all of your time at the same place, but to move around the world in shorter and longer stints, enjoying the lifestyle of those diverse destinations. And what a lifestyle Croatia is offering!

Find out more about the program, how to apply and what it will mean to you and to the community in our article.

Can you get Croatian visas at the border?

It is possible to get a short-term visa at the border (cost 60 euro), but only in cases where the foreigner was not able to submit an a visa application via the normal procedure. More information here, but with my experience of Croatia, I would not rely on this route if at all possible.

Passport or ID entering Croatia

If you are an EU citizen, you can enter Croatia with just an ID card, rather than a passport. Similarly, Croatian citizens can travel throughout the EU with just an ID card, as well as neighbouring countries such as Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Please note that if you are a foreigner with permanent residency, your ID card is NOT sufficient to cross the border. I learned this from painful experience. You must present your passport.


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