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How to get Croatia Long-term visa?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 08 June 2021
34 view 6 min. read

A temporary stay in Croatia is something that more and more people consider lately as the popularity and recognizability of this Mediterranean country rise day by day. Laidback lifestyle, culture to enjoy non-stop, and a relatively cheap cost of living. All of that on a backdrop of perfect beaches and proximity to Italy and the Balkans. Surely, anyone considering to move there for a long-term period would usually have more profound reasons for doing so. Still, everything I mentioned just contributes to the willingness to consider this European coastal beauty to become your next residence.

If you are here, reading these words now, then it is very likely your mind is set on moving there, or you are doing your research to make sure that no Croatia visa requirements will stand in the way of your exciting plan. Well, good job on that, as you are in the right place! In this article, you will find all the basic information about the Croatia visa policy. Let's not beat around the bush - it is NOT the place that will reveal much on how to get long term Schengen visa. I will try to present some tips to make sure you are prepared enough when the time for a Croatia visa appointment comes, and the process of application for Croatia visa runs as smoothly as possible. But first things first…You are probably dying to find out if you are on the list of nationals of Croatia visa free countries.

Which nationals are exempt from visas to Croatia?

flag of croatia

Before we move on, I will turn my attention to the elephant in the room. Many would consider Croatia when looking for ways how to get long term Schenge n visa, but please do not get carried away with this idea. Even if this country is in the EU, it currently does not belong to the Schengen zone. Let me point out even more clearly - there is no such thing as a Croatia Schengen visa. However, if your passport is on the list of Croatia visa free countries, you can enter Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180 days. It does apply to all Schengen countries and many more.

On the other hand, according to Croatia visa policy, the holders of 104 countries WILL need a visa to enter this country, though. But even if you are among the former ones, don't get too excited too soon. Residing in Croatia for a longer time (meaning - obtaining a long-term visa or residency permit), will require some bureaucracy and particular actions to be done. Just check which category fits your case best and expect more details to be revealed in the following paragraphs.

What are Croatia visa types?

croatian visa

Generally, there are three types of visas one might encounter travelling to Croatia. It is a transit, short-term and long-term visa. Considering your intentions in reading this article, I will tell you more about the latter one. It might be subcategorized for two different cases. If you wish to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days you will get a temporary residence visa. Your reasons for it might be family reunification, secondary school education, studies, research, humanitarian reason, life partnership, work (including secondment), stay of digital nomads, and other purposes. And then, after five years of continuous legal stay in the country, you will be eligible for the permanent residence visa. This one is officially considered a "long-term visa" but, let's consider that you already know your way around the regional laws and processes if you have stayed in Croatia for 5 or more years. Which means that you probably know more than me. So from this point on, I will continue to explain everything about the temporary residence kind.

How to get a long-term Croatia visa?

croatian schengen visa

Let's take it step-by-step. First, you would need an intention to stay there temporarily. I already mentioned the potential purposes in the previous paragraph. Then you would need to understand which group of countries you belong to - are you exempt from obtaining the visa or not. Then the process goes two ways.

If you are from one of the EEA countries, then permission for a temporary residence can be obtained after your arrival to Croatia, but no later than 8 days after your 90-day period ends. You can do it by visiting the local police department or station by place of stay, and register your reasons for residence. Of course, you can also apply for it in a diplomatic mission/consular post in your current country of residence. A relatively simple procedure if you have behaved well.

For most other potential residents who need a long-term visa, the process would get a little more complicated. You will apply to a diplomatic mission, and in very few cases of exception, you might do it in the police station on the spot. You will hand in the application for Croatia visa along with all the required information to prove your stay, as well as the Croatia visa fee proof. You will find out how much is Croatia visa fee a few paragraphs from here. Then the waiting, and you are, hopefully, good to go!

After the answer is received, there are a few other minor details to keep in mind about obtaining this visa. For first-time applicants, whenever your request is approved, you will have to visit the visa issuing authority (the place where you initially applied) in person to attach the temporary residence permit to your passport.

Irrespective of your nationality, if you do get a temporary residency permit and only then travel to Croatia, you will be required to present yourself in the police office nearest to the exact place of residence to register your arrival. Remember that you should do it no later than three days after you have arrived in this country!

What are Croatia visa requirements for a long-term stay?

filling application form

If you are familiar with the visa application process in any other country, the requirements for a long-term stay in Croatia will unlikely surprise you. They might differ slightly, depending on your nationality, the purpose of residence, as well as the place of application. If you are an EU/EEA national, usually you won't be asked much more than the purpose of the stay and a passport valid for the intended duration of the residency. For everyone else, the requirements mostly fit within the frames of the following list: a passport that is valid for three months after the intended stay, two photos in size 3 x 3.5 cm, proof of the purpose of the stay, proof of the financial means to sustain oneself, health insurance, proof of no criminal record in home state, no travel ban to Croatia, as well as proof that the person is not a threat to national security or public health. Particular details might be specified upon contacting the diplomatic mission about your case. But if you are moving for a legitimate reason, there should be little concern about the positive outcome of the application.

What is the processing time of Croatia's long-term visa?

croatia stamp

The process varies greatly depending on your nationality and the information stated in your application for Croatia visa. Usually, it should take around 8-12 weeks, but please don't focus on these numbers too much as each case differs slightly. All you have to keep in mind is that obtaining this visa will take several months, and you wouldn't want to mess up your plans by not appearing on time. Plan your stay well ahead, and be prepared to wait. Especially, if you entered the country on a short-term visa, don't leave the extension process for the last moment.

How much is Croatia visa fee?

money

Considering that you will be staying there for a longer period, the Croatia visa fee can be considered quite moderate. You can expect to pay 113 USD altogether - the visa fee of 95 USD and 18 USD bank fee.

I don't know which one of Croatia visa types are you considering, really, but whichever they are - kudos for the brave decision! In any case, moving to another country is a big step. And why not to a piece of land as beautiful and unique as Croatia, right? Just remember that there is no such thing as a Croatia Schengen visa, but they are expected to join the zone in 2024. Plan ahead, be prepared, and do whatever is required to make sure the envisioned plan comes to life. With that said, I genuinely keep my fingers crossed that your Croatia visa appointment is due very soon, and wish you all the best with a potential start of living somewhere new!

* Before booking any travel, please research the restrictions currently existing in your destination country. As of this moment, entry without quarantining is allowed for anyone from the EU, EEA, and the US who can provide a negative COVID-19 test result, a vaccine certificate, or proof that they have recovered from the virus. Nevertheless, the situation can change quickly, and you should always consult the official websites to find out the particular restrictions you might be subject to when traveling in these times.

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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