Travel to Croatia for work

This guide is for British citizens travelling for business or other work purposes. It explains what employers, employees, or the self-employed need to do if they need a visa or permit.

Entry requirements

If you’re going to Croatia to work (or any other EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) you must make sure you meet passport and other travel requirements.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you’re travelling for business for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some work-related things without needing a visa or work permit, such as attend business meetings. These are usually covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

Although Croatia isn’t in the Schengen area it still applies the 90-day rule, but it applies it differently.

If you’re going for other types of work you may need a visa, work permit or residence permit.

Croatia’s authorities are responsible for setting and enforcing entry rules. They decide which activities need a visa or permit, or which may be exempt.

You must always check with Croatia’s government before you travel, to make sure you meet their legal requirements.

If you’re working in more than one country you’ll need to check the entry rules of each country.

If you need a passport, visa or permit, you should apply well in advance of travel.

Visa and permit documents

This guide explains the general application process for some of the visa or permit types available in Croatia. It includes a checklist of documents that you’ll usually need to include when applying.

It may not cover all scenarios so you must always check the exact application process and document requirements with Croatia’s authorities or embassy.

You must also check what format the documents should be presented in, including if they must be:

  • translated
  • ‘legalised’ (apostillised) or notarised
  • originals, or if copies are acceptable
  • signed in ink (a wet signature), or if they can be signed electronically (an e-signature)
  • dated within a certain period of time, such as 30 days before you submit your application

Countries often use the terms visa, work permit and residence permit differently. For example, some may refer to a work permit as a visa. This guide uses the same terms used in Croatia, so you know which ones to use when speaking to Croatia’s authorities.

Check if you need a visa or permit

Croatia is not in the Schengen area.

The Schengen area countries apply the 90-day visa waiver rule as a group. This means if you visit one or more of the Schengen area countries within a 180 day-period, it all counts towards the Schengen 90-day limit.

Croatia applies a separate 90-day limit. It doesn’t apply the 90 days as a group within the Schengen area countries.

This means you can spend up to 90 days in a 180-day period in other European countries and it won’t affect how long you can spend in Croatia. You’ll still be able to stay in Croatia visa-free for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

You don’t need a visa or permit if you’re travelling to Croatia for up to 90 days in a 180-day period for:

  • running or attending job interviews
  • going to court as witness
  • attending trade fairs
  • attending conferences (not presenting)
  • attending board meetings
  • meeting clients or customers
  • meeting colleagues, contractors or sellers
  • touring a company facility
  • team building activities

These activities are covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

Border checks

At the border, you may be asked to show:

  • proof of return travel, such as plane or train tickets
  • health insurance that covers your entire stay
  • proof of accommodation for your entire stay
  • enough money for the duration of your trip
  • an invitation letter from your employer explaining your trip

Check Croatia’s exemptions

Certain types of work and activities do not require a visa or permit because they’re exempt.

All countries have their own exemptions. What may be exempt in one country may not be in another. You should always check with the country’s authorities.

The following may not require a visa or permit in Croatia for up to 90 days in a 180-day period:

  • those carrying out activities related to the incorporation and registration of a company or sole proprietorship (‘craft business’ (obrt))
  • those with an EU intra-company transfer (EU ICT) permit from another country – the Croatian company must send a posted worker declaration to the Ministry of Labour, by email or post

Exemptions are covered by the visa waiver.

Show proof of exemption

You need to be able to show proof that you’re exempt to the authorities on request. This could be your EU ICT permit if you have one.

Further checks

If you’re not sure if you need a visa or permit to travel you can get advice from Croatia’s embassy or immigration authorities.

Applying for a visa or permit

This guide outlines the steps required for each visa or permit to help you prepare, but you’ll need to check the exact rules and processes with Croatia’s embassy or immigration authorities.

Taking your family

If you have a family they won’t be able to get dependant visas if you’re working in Croatia short term. They may be able to join you for up to 90 days under the visa waiver.

Partners, and children under 18 may be able to join you if you have a long-term permit.

Registering short-term work and permits for long-term work

If you’re working temporarily in Croatia for up to 90 days you need to apply for a work registration certificate.

You must apply for a long-term permit if you’re in Croatia because you’re:

Long-term permits are valid for up to 1 year depending on which one you need.

Registering short-term work

You need either a 30-day or 90-day work registration certificate depending on what work you’re carrying out in Croatia.

30-day work registration certificate

You need a 30-day certificate if you’re:

  • taking part in fairs or exhibitions where your employer is exhibiting
  • a writer or performer in musicals, stage performances and dance, as well as accompanying reporters, organisational and technical staff
  • a filmmaker for fashion editorials or commercial campaigns
  • a reporter or organisational or technical crew at a sports event or competition
  • carrying out auditing or consulting services
  • a circus or amusement park worker
  • an intern working for the Croatian branch of a UK-based company
  • carrying out professional training or education for employees in Croatia
  • delivering, installing or servicing machinery and equipment as part of a contract or warranty
  • carrying out funeral activities in line with the Croatian regulations

90-day certificate

You need a 90-day certificate if you’re:

  • a service provider for tourism or a tourist agent
  • a tourist agent of non-Croatian tourist agencies providing services under an agreement with a Croatian tourist agency
  • a scientist on scientific and professional training, a scientific representative of an international organisation or a scientist who will be working on a scientific project that is of importance to Croatia
  • an expert, teacher, lecturer or admin staff from a non-Croatian cultural, educational and scientific institution working as part of a cultural and educational cooperation program, or whose employer is in the same group as the Croatian company
  • an accredited foreign correspondent or media reporter
  • supervising or inspecting shipbuilding or overhaul and the production and installation of equipment or machinery being exported
  • a registered crew member of a non-Croatian vessel
  • an expert in cultural heritage protection, library and archive science
  • lecturing at an organised professional seminar
  • artists, writers, performers and technical staff participating in opera, ballet, theatre, concerts or other cultural activities
  • artists, writers, performers and technical staff involved in the film and television industry
  • artists, writers, technical crew members or other staff involved in high budget filmmaking
  • implementing international agreements

To qualify you must:

  • keep your UK employment contract and be on UK payroll, or have a service agreement or offer with a client in Croatia
  • have relevant professional experience

A temporary stay and work registration certificate can take 3 to 5 days to get. It’s valid for up to 30 or 90 days and you can’t extend it.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or the Croatian company submit a work registration certificate application to the local police station (MUP).

  2. You or the Croatian company collect your work registration certificate from the local police station in Croatia.

  3. You register with the local police (MUP) within 48 hours of arriving in Croatia.

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • diploma or qualification certificate, if applicable
  • work contract or service agreement for an independent and temporary work activity, if applicable
  • statement issued by the regulator if you’re working in a regulated profession
  • employment contract or offer, service agreement or offer, if you’re working in academic teaching, or a highly qualified activity
  • document issued by a sports federation certifying the practice of your referred sport, if applicable

Transferring long term from a UK-based company to a Croatian branch

You need an intra-corporate transfer (ICT) permit if your UK-based company moves you to a branch in Croatia to work for:

  • up to 3 years
  • 1 year if you’re a trainee

To qualify you must:

  • be a manager, specialist or trainee
  • have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience if you’re a manager or specialist
  • have a bachelor’s level degree or specialist knowledge in the field if you’re a trainee
  • have worked for the UK company for at least 9 months if you’re a manager or a specialist, or at least 6 months if you’re a trainee prior to starting work in Croatia
  • receive a salary that’s at least Croatia’s minimum wage in line with Croatian laws and collective agreements
  • keep your UK employment contract
  • stay on UK payroll

An ICT permit can take 8 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year. You can extend it for another 2 years if you’re a manager or specialist.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer submit an ICT work and residence permit application to the local police station (MUP), Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police station (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photo
  • degree or qualification certificate
  • proof of relevant work experience
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • UK employment contract
  • assignment letter from the Croatian company
  • excerpt from the trade court register for the company in Croatia
  • proof that the UK and Croatian companies are part of the same group or are connected
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Working for a Croatian company on a long-term Croatian contract

You can apply for one of these work permits if you’ve been offered employment with a company in Croatia:

EU Blue Card

To qualify for an EU Blue Card you must:

  • have an employment offer from a Croatian company for at least 1 year
  • be on Croatian payroll
  • earn at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary
  • have at least a 3 year bachelor’s degree level education

An EU Blue Card can take 10 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it for up to 5 years.

This permit type may lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer apply online for an EU Blue Card, or submit an application form to the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police station (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport standard photo
  • degree or qualification certificate
  • employment contract with a Croatian employer
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • excerpt from the trade court registry for the company in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Work and residence permit for local hires

If you don’t qualify for an EU Blue Card you can apply for a work and residence permit for local hires.

To qualify you must:

  • have an employment offer from a company in Croatia
  • be on Croatian payroll
  • have relevant education or professional experience

A work and residence permit for local hires can take 10 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it for up to 5 years. This permit type may lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. Your employer applies for a labour market test from the Croatian Employment Service (CES). The CES check if there are any suitable candidates in Croatia. A labour market test is not required if your job is exempt

  2. You or your employer apply online for a work and residence permit. You can submit an application form at the Croatian embassy or consulate, but only if a labour market test is not required.

  3. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit biometrics and apply for the residence card.

  4. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photo
  • degree or qualification certificate
  • employment contract with a Croatian employer
  • detailed job description
  • confirmation of labour market test result
  • proof that the labour market testing and job criteria have been met
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • excerpt from the trade court register for the company in Croatia
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Providing long-term services to a client in Croatia

You can apply for a work placement permit to provide services if your UK employer has a contract or work order with a company in Croatia.

To qualify you must:

  • have relevant work experience
  • provide services to a Croatian company in technology
  • keep your UK employment contract with your UK employer
  • stay on UK payroll

A work placement permit can take 10 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it.

If you have a family they won’t be able to get dependant permits with this permit type. They may be able to visit you under the Schengen visa waiver.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer apply online for a work and residence permit, or submit an application form at the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photo
  • police clearance certificate
  • UK employment contract
  • support letter from the UK employer giving the employment details
  • invitation letter from the company in Croatia confirming details of the services to be provided
  • proof that the service to be carried out meets technology requirements
  • excerpt from the trade court register for the company in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia

Self-employed (freelance) work

You need a self-employed residence permit to carry out self-employed work or set up a business in Croatia.

To qualify you must:

Your company must:

A self-employed work and residence permit can take 8 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it. This permit type may lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer apply online for a work and residence permit, or submit an application form to the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photo
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • excerpt from the trade court register for the company in Croatia
  • employment agreement for at least 3 Croatian nationals
  • proof you’ve enrolled the Croatian employees with the Croatian Health and Pension Insurance Fund
  • employment agreement for yourself
  • incorporation deed for your company or trade certificate (obrtnica) for a sole proprietorship (‘craft business’ (obrt))
  • proof you have no tax debt and have paid the relevant contributions in Croatia
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Investing in or donating money to Croatia

To qualify for a residence permit as an investor you must:

An investor permit can take 8 to 16 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it. This permit type may lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer apply online for a work and residence permit, or submit an application form to the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form, if not submitted online
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photos taken within 6 months of applying
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • excerpt from the trade court register for your company in Croatia
  • employment agreement for at least 3 Croatian nationals
  • proof you’ve enrolled the Croatian employees with the Croatian Health and Pension Insurance Fund
  • employment agreement for yourself
  • incorporation deed for company or trade certificate (obrtnica) for sole proprietorship (‘craft business’ (obrt))
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Research work

To qualify for a residence permit for scientific research you must have a hosting agreement with a Croatian accredited research organisation to work on a research project.

A researcher residence permit can take 10 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can extend it. This permit type may lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You or your employer apply online for a residence permit, or submit an application form to the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form, if not submitted online
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months after your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photo taken within 6 months of applying
  • hosting agreement with an accredited research organisation
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia
  • health insurance
  • letter from the research organisation in Croatia
  • police clearance certificate
  • marriage certificate, if applying with family
  • birth certificate for any children, if applying with family
  • school enrolment confirmation, if applying with family

Digital nomad (technology work)

To qualify for a digital nomad residence permit you must:

You cannot work for, or provide services to a company in Croatia with this permit type.

A digital nomad residence permit can take 8 to 15 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year. You can’t extend it.
If you have a partner, or children under 18 they can join you once you get your permit.

How it works

You need to check with Croatia’s authorities on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

  1. You apply online for a residence permit or submit an application form to the Croatian embassy or consulate.

  2. You register with the local police (MUP) when you get to Croatia. At the same time you submit your biometrics and apply for a residence card.

  3. You collect your residence card once issued from the local police station (MUP).

Application documents

Croatia’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Usually, they need:

  • completed application form, if not submitted online
  • UK passport, valid for 3 months beyond your intended departure date
  • passport-standard photos taken within 6 months of applying
  • proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a tenancy agreement verified by a notary in Croatia, or a hotel or hostel reservation
  • health insurance
  • proof you have enough money to support yourself, such as a bank statement or proof of regular income
  • police clearance certificate
  • employment agreement or other document proving that you work in technology for a UK employer, or your own company

Croatian government guidance

Read official Croatian government information on visas and working in Croatia.

Check for travel changes

European governments may update or change their rules without notice.

You should always check foreign travel advice for Croatia, for updates on issues such as safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings before travelling, or planning to travel.

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