Guide For Applying As EU/EEA Citizens For A Permanent Residence In Croatia

updated on
July 12, 2022
Guide For Applying As EU/EEA Citizens For A Permanent Residence In Croatia

You’ve been to Croatia as a tourist – and you’ve liked it. You decided to move to this beautiful country and now you like it even more, and are thinking about staying permanently?

Well, you are not the only one thinking about that and we cannot blame you. Beautiful landscapes, the Adriatic Sea, good climate, excellent geolocation, and plenty of business opportunities make Croatia a logical choice for your permanent stay.

But how do you get a permanent residency in Croatia?

Before doing that, you need to take a few other steps that we will cover in this article so stay tuned!

Types Of Residencies For EU/EEA Citizens In Croatia

Short-Term Stay

So, first of all, if you are an EU/EEA national you need to know that you can stay in Croatia for up to three months from the day you’ve entered the country if you possess a valid travel document or an identity card. Besides that, you are not required to register your short-term stay with the police department or any Ministry within Croatia.

If you are not traveling alone and you have a family member who is not a national of an EU/EEA Member State – they can stay up to three months if they have a valid travel document. Best of all is that they also don’t need to register their short-term stay at the local police department or station.

Temporary Residency

If you are a national of an EU/EEA Member State and you wish to stay in Croatia for more than three months you are in for a temporary residency. What are your next steps?

If your intentions are to stay longer than three months, you need to, no later than eight days after the expiry of your stay (meaning the three months we talk about here up!) register temporary residency with the local police department or station by place of stay.

If you fail to do so – you will be charged a 200 HRK fine! Make sure you register your temporary residency on time.

Of course, for staying longer than the short-term 3 months period, you need a valid purpose or reason, and here is the list of ones you can register for:

  1. Work
  2. study or professional training
  3. other purposes
  4. family reunion
  5. life partnership

When you register your temporary stay, you have to have a copy of a valid identity card or travel document which will be certified by an authorized officer upon comparing it with the original.

A temporary residency certificate is printed out of the information system free of charge.

This type of residency allows you to stay in the country for one year and can be renewed every year. Five years of renewing your temporary residency will gain you a permanent residency – but more on that a bit later.

Again, if you have a family member who is not a citizen of EU/EEA Member State they shall, no later than eight days after the expiry of the three months of his/her stay (the allowed short-term stay we’ve talked about) apply with the local police department or station by place of stay, for a residence card that proves his/her entitlement to a temporary stay.

Certainly, there are some rules that you must comply with in order to get a residence card for a family member of an EU/EEA citizen and a list of them can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Permanent Residency

As we mentioned above, any citizen of an EU/EEA country is granted a permanent residency after five years of continuous legal stay in the Republic of Croatia (More on that in the Article 173, paragraph 1 of the Aliens Act).

But, there are exceptions to this rule – EU/EEA nationals are entitled to permanent residency even if they have not had 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay – for these exceptions you should read Article 174 of the Aliens Act.

You can apply for a permanent residency card in your local police department or station according to your place of stay.

In matters of the family member who is not a national of EU/EEA county but who has continuously legally stayed in Croatia with a national of an EU/EEA Member State for at least five years, he or she is also entitled to permanent residence.

The police department or station will, upon the request of a family member who is not a national of an EEA Member State and who is entitled to permanent residence, issue him or her a residence card.

For full information regarding the status of EU/EEA Member States nationals and their family members you should visit the official site of the Ministry of International Affairs -

Where To Apply For Your Permanent Residency In Croatia

When applying for a permanent residence, you must visit the closest administrative police station to your address to start the process. All police stations are under the Ministry of Internal Affairs (or in Croatian “Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova”) - immigration and the police fall under this ministry.

How to apply? Head to your police administration/police station and register your permanent stay there (with Form 3b) – make sure you fulfil the Form 3b (application form) – for your convenience you can download it on the link HERE.

After that – you are issued a biometric residence card that is valid for a period of ten years!

Now you can enjoy your stay in Croatia to the fullest! For more advices on your life & business in Croatia make sure to follow our newest articles/newsletter.

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