No Deal Brexit? What Croatia’s British Residents Need to Know

Lauren Simmonds

August the 8th, 2019 – I’ve written a series of articles on what Brexit means for British citizens in Croatia, but with Boris Johnson now resident at Number 10 (for now), the threat of a no deal Brexit might tragically become a reality if parliament doesn’t find a way to block it.

Political views and basic sanity aside, let’s have a look at what this unwanted outcome will look like, and what effects it will have on Croatia’s British residents.

As I wrote in my last article on the matter, Croatia has vowed to protect its British residents regardless of the outcome of the UK’s exit from the bloc, and MUP issued some guidelines which you can read here. Now that Croatia has made its very generous plans for its resident Brits official, let’s remind ourselves of them, with thanks to the EU’s website.

In the unfortunate case of a no-deal scenario, what should you do as a British national do to keep your residence rights after the Brexit date? When should you do it?

The Republic of Croatia will protect your residence rights through transitional measures that will have no end date as long as you as a UK nationals and/or your family members already have registered temporary or permanent stay before the UK leaves the European Union.

For this to be valid for you, you need to be in possession of a registration certificate and/or have been issued with a residence card pursuant to applicable legislation on European Economic Area nationals, which is the right to free movement within the territory of the EU.

You will need to have your temporary or permanent stay registered at the administrative police station which is responsible for the area in which you live before a no deal Brexit date. You will then be issued with a registration certificate, and then a residence card (after it is made) under EU law, which will be a clear proof of you having been resident before the UK’s departure from the EU.

If you’ve already registered your temporary/permanent residence and have a residence document (registration certificate and/or residence card) issued under EU law (freedom of movement) this will be considered as your temporary residence permit up to one year from the no deal Brexit date (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter). During this transitional period, you will have to obtain a new residence document (residence permit) which will be issued in the format laid down by Regulation 1030/2002.

If you did not register your residence prior to the no deal Brexit date, you will have to apply for a residence status and residence permit in line with legislation for third country nationals.

I would strongly advise any British national who is living in Croatia without a residence permit to go and register now, the process for EU/British citizens is typically streamline and simple, it is not so for third country nationals. Do not wait around and leave this up to fate.

What your rights will be:   

With your temporary residence permit (later exchanged residence permit in line with Regulation 1030/2002), you will keep your right of legal residence and your right to work without the need to be issued with any sort of additional work permit. You will be able to continue to reside in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and work just as you did before the UK left the EU.

How you can travel to other Member States or cross the EU’s external borders:   

You will have to carry your passport and your residence permit with you.

If you have resided in the Republic of Croatia for more than five years, how can you obtain EU long-term residence status?         

After Brexit date, providing you are properly and legally registered and in the possession of a registration certificate and/or a residence permit, you will keep your residence rights indefinitely, but you can already apply in parallel for an EU long-term residence permit (please note that EU long term residence require prior residence of 5 years along with a few other requirements).

This permit will grant you permanent status, and allow you to enjoy the same treatment as nationals regarding access to employment, education, and core social benefits. This will also allow you, under certain conditions, to acquire the right to reside in another EU Member State.

After 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay in the Republic of Croatia, you will also be able to apply for national permanent residence.

If your family members (spouse, children) are citizens of a third country (neither EU nor UK), what should they do to keep their residence rights?

If they already have a residence card issued under EU free movement law, this will be considered as their temporary residence permit up to one year from the no deal Brexit date (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter). After one year they will have to apply for a new residence document (residence permit), in line with Regulation 1030/2002.

If they do not have a residence card, they will have to apply for a residence status also under new specific rules that will be in place. Applications are possible as of the date of a no deal Brexit with the competent police station/police administration.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.


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