What are border checks?
Border checks consist of measures and actions taken by the border police in line with the State Border Control Act and other regulations, exclusively for the purpose of controlling intended crossings of the external border or immediately following crossings of the external border. The police carry out border checks during external border crossings (entry and exit). This includes checks of vehicles, persons and objects in their possession.
Border checks on the external borders
The Republic of Croatia started to fully apply the Schengen regime on 1 January 2023. This means that border checks on all internal land and sea borders of the Republic of Croatia were abolished. More specifically, there are no more border checks on the borders with the Republic of Slovenia, Hungary and the Italian Republic.
Border checks at airports will be abolished on 26 March 2023, for flights within the Schengen area.
Note: For the duration of the pandemic, special conditions for crossing the external border of the Republic of Croatia might be imposed by the Decisions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.
The amendments to the Schengen Borders Code that entered into force on 7 April 2017 changed the way that border checks are conducted. Accordingly, all passengers who are crossing the border of the Republic of Croatia are systematically checked on the external border upon entry and exit.
Checks of persons who enjoy the right of free movement under the Union law cover the following:
identity and citizenship
validity of their travel document
checks against relevant databases.
Third-country nationals are subject to thorough checks upon entry and exit. These, in addition to the above mentioned systematic checks, also entail additional checks, including the calculation of the time previously spent in the entire Schengen area, as of 1 January 2023. Third-country nationals on short-term stay cannot stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay. This means that, starting from 1 January 2023, the time spent by third-country nationals in the Schengen area within the previous 180-day period will also be calculated at the time of their entry in the Republic of Croatia.
In addition to the above, border checks of third-country nationals are carried out to check the following:
- whether they are in possession of a valid travel document entitling the holder to cross the border satisfying the following criteria:
- its validity extends at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States; in a justified case of emergency, this obligation may be waived;
- it has been issued within the previous 10 years;
- whether they are in possession of a valid visa, if required pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001, except where they hold a valid residence permit or a valid long-stay visa;
- that they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, and they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
- that they are not persons for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purposes of refusing entry;
- that they are not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where no alert has been issued in Member States’ national databases for the purposes of refusing entry on the same grounds;
- entry and exit stamp in the travel document;
- the point of departure and the destination;
- that the person, his or her means of transport and the objects he or she is transporting are not likely to jeopardise the public policy, internal security, public health or international relations of any of the Member States;
- when exiting, whether the person has exceeded the maximum duration of authorised stay in the Schengen area.
Within the meaning of the Schengen acquis, a third-country national is any person who is not a Union citizen within the meaning of Article 20(1) TFEU (a Union citizen is any person who holds the citizenship of a Member State), or who is not a family member of a Union citizen exercising his or her right to free movement, or who is not a third-country national or his or her family member, whatever their nationality, who, under agreements between the Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and those third countries, on the other hand, enjoys rights of free movement equivalent to those of Union citizens.
Third-country nationals may enter the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the conditions laid down by the visa system of the Republic of Croatia.
We also advise you to visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs for Travel Information.