Residence in Croatia: The Approval and Permit Pick Up Procedure

Lauren Simmonds



January the 12th, 2020 – I’ve written extensively on the process of gaining residence in Croatia, citizenship laws and processes, from gaining residence in Croatia to naturalising, to citizenship by marriage, descent, special interest, the latest amendments to the Law on Croatian Citizenship and much more, but what about when your residence application is actually approved? 

It’s surprising how often people find themselves in a bit of a pickle (for want of a better word) when their residence is approved and they’re given a little white sheet of paper with a government stamp on it and their name, address and other details on it from a kind, friendly and knowledgeable administrative clerk at MUP.

Many questions I see from expats in Croatia are about what exactly needs to be done when they’ve either been told, or they’ve managed to work out that their application for residence in Croatia has been approved.

Now that you’ve jumped through the administrative, bureaucratic hoops, provided every document you didn’t even know you had and been given the green light, just what do you do next?

Whether you’re applying for temporary residence for the first time or you’re a somewhat seasoned ”MUP goer” and you’re applying for your permanent residence status after five years of temporary residence, hearing of your approval and actually getting your hands on that little ID card is another hurdle.

I’m confused, am I applying for a visa or a residence permit?

In Croatia, residence permits are not visas. If you need a visa to enter Croatia as a tourist, then that is an entrance visa. If you want to reside in Croatia and apply to do so and are approved, you will receive a residence permit, or a stay and work permit, depending on the basis of your application. Visas and permits are not the same thing.

I left my phone number and/or my email address when I applied for temporary/permanent residence. Will I be contacted? 

If you’re a third country national (from outside of the EEA), you’ll be contacted when your application has been approved, if more documentation is required, or if MUP want you to come for an interview in person. If you’re an EEA citizen, you will more than likely be approved there and then, but it’s worth noting that this isn’t always the case. 

MUP have my address as I needed to register it when I applied for temporary/permanent residence in Croatia. Will MUP pay me a visit?

Maybe. There is no definitive answer to this and it varies from person to person, nationality to nationality and situation to situation. Non EEA nationals report being visited by MUP much more than EEA nationals do. These visits take place at random and are often done as part of a residence application before it is approved, however, it has been known to happen when the person already has an approval, it sometimes happens when they already have their residence cards in their hands. As said, there’s no definitive answer to this question, nor is there much apparent logic to it.

I applied for temporary/permanent residence weeks ago and have heard nothing from MUP, what should I do?

If you’re an EEA citizen, this scenario is much less likely as EU law states that you have a right to residence based on freedom of movement and are therefore usually approved either instantly or very quickly after. For third country nationals, however, things are a bit different as EU law doesn’t guarantee you a right to residence because you’re not an EU citizen. You’re governed by Croatian national law only. Your approval can therefore take a long time to receive, so it’s not abnormal if you get radio silence from MUP for weeks, sometimes even longer. If you’re concerned, you can always pay them a visit to ask about the progress of your application.

Rest assured, though, you will be contacted eventually.

My temporary/permanent residence was approved and I’ve been given a piece of white paper with my details and a stamp on it by MUP, what next?

This white piece of paper is your temporary ID while your actual biometric residence permit with your photo, OIB, address and card expiration date is being made. Don’t lose this piece of paper as you’ll need it when you go to pick up your ID card.

How long does it take for my ID card to be made?

Usually around 3-4 weeks.

Why did I have to provide my fingerprints upon approval?

The Republic of Croatia requires every person living there legally to provide their fingerprints to the state to be placed on a database. You will be asked when you’re first approved for temporary residence, and then again when you’re approved for permanent residence.

MUP have my phone number and my email address, I’ve been approved and they let me know, but when I went to provide my photo and fingerprints and collect my white sheet of paper/temporary ID, they didn’t tell me when to come back for my card…

The time for residence permits to be made is typically 3-4 weeks, as stated above, and you will likely not be told when yours is there and ready to pick up. Sometimes people are called or emailed to let them know it’s ready, but do not count on this, it isn’t the norm.

How long should I wait before going back to MUP to ask if my ID card is ready/go and pick it up?

Give it about a month or so before going back in person.

Do I need to go back in person to pick up my ID card or will MUP mail it to me?

MUP will never mail you an ID card. You need to go in person to pick it up with your little white piece of paper you were given upon approval, and sign another piece of paper to declare that you have come to collect your residence permit.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more information on residence in Croatia and much more.


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