Do you need a visa?

As of 1 July 2013, the Republic of Croatia, as an EU Member State, has been applying the common visa policy of the Union relating to the common visa regime, which implies the direct application of the following legal instruments:
 
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (OJ L 81, 21 March 2001)
  • Article 3 and Annex IV to the Visa Code (Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code); OJ L 243, 15 September 2009)

Visa serves as an approval for:
 
  • transit through the territory of the Republic of Croatia or stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period,
  • transit through the international area of an airport.

Types of visas are:
 
  • airport transit visa (A visa);
  • short-term visa (C visa).
A visa does not grant a third-country national the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

The Regulation on the Visa System (Croatian Official Gazette 55/15) stipulates the required amount of money an alien needs to have to support oneself during his/her short-term stay in the Republic of Croatia and to return to the country he/she came from or to travel to a third-country.

Visas are issued by diplomatic missions or consular posts of the Republic of Croatia located abroad, or diplomatic missions/consular posts of another country with which the Republic of Croatia has concluded an agreement on representation for the purposes of the issuance of visas.

Visa applications are submitted by filling in the required form, no more than 3 months before the start of the intended visit. 

A third-country national included in the applicant’s travel document must submit a separate application form.

Third-country nationals visiting a natural or legal person in the Republic of Croatia for private or business reasons may be requested to attach a letter of guarantee and/or other kind of proof that this natural or legal person will bear the costs of their stay in the Republic of Croatia, including the costs of accommodation and subsistence as well as the costs of departure from the Republic of Croatia.

Third-country nationals applying for a single or double-entry short-term visa should be able to prove that they have valid TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE covering the costs that might arise during their stay in the Republic of Croatia due to:
 
  • urgent medical assistance and/or urgent hospital treatment, or
  • return to their country of permanent stay for health reasons, or transport costs in case of death.

Third-country nationals applying for a MULTIPLE-entry short-term visa should be able to prove that they have valid travel medical insurance covering the duration of their FIRST intended visit. They should also SIGN A DECLARATION REGARDING TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR SUBSEQUENT VISITS.

The visa application form and a template letter of guarantee to be completed by a natural or legal person can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior.  The said forms as well as the Declaration regarding travel medical insurance for subsequent visits can also be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

In exceptional cases, visas may be issued by a police station responsible for cross-border checks in cases when third-country nationals are not able to apply for visas in advance at a Croatian diplomatic mission or a consular post. In such cases, third-country nationals have to provide supporting documents together with their application, proving the unexpected and imperative reasons for their entry into the Republic of Croatia.

The validity period of a visa and/or the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa may be extended if the Ministry considers that the visa holder has delivered proof of:
 
  • force majeure or humanitarian reasons that have prevented him or her from leaving the territory of the Republic of Croatia prior to the visa expiry or the expiry of the duration of stay granted on the basis of the said visa;
  • serious personal reasons that justify the extension of the visa validity period or the duration of stay.

The applicant for the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay must:

1. fill in and personally sign the visa application form;

2. provide a valid travel document pursuant to Article 24 of the Aliens Act;

3. enclose the documents proving the existence of the above-stated reasons for the visa extension;

4. provide proof of sufficient means to support oneself for an extended period of stay;

5. provide proof of travel medical insurance for an extended period of stay.
 
NOTE: Regardless of the visa extension, aliens CANNOT stay in the Republic of Croatia for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. 

PAYMENT OF FEES: A fee in the amount of EUR 30 – countervalue in HRK according to the middle exchange rate of the Croatian National Bank on the day of the payment – shall be charged for applications for the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa, for serious personal reasons. The fee for the visa extension may also be paid via Internet banking, to the state budget account, IBAN HR1210010051863000160, model HR64, reference number: 5002-713-410. The said fee shall not be charged for applications for the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa, for force majeure or humanitarian reasons.

An application for the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay can be submitted at a police administration/police station, prior to the date of expiry of the current visa and/or the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa. The extended visa will be issued by a police administration/police station. Prior to extending the issued visa, the police administration/police station shall request approval from the Ministry.

Third-country nationals may stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia until the decision on the visa extension has been reached. The visa shall be extended in the form of a new visa sticker.

The decision on the refusal of the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay or the cancellation or revocation of a visa shall be delivered to a third-country national on a prescribed form, together with the reasons thereof. A third-country national has the right to appeal against the decision within 15 days from the delivery of the decision, through a competent diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Croatia. The visa may also be revoked upon request by a third-country national who was issued with the visa in question. In such a case the decision IS NOT APPEALABLE. Appeals are decided upon by the ministry responsible for foreign affairs. If the concerned party withdraws the application for the extension of the visa validity period and/or the duration of stay, a police administration/police station will issue a decision on the suspension of the procedure.

At its session on 10 July 2014, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a Decision on the unilateral recognition of certain documents as equivalent to the Croatian visa for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the Republic of Croatia not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period (Croatian Official Gazette 84/14). The said Decision entered into force on 22 July 2014 and shall cease to have effect as of the day of the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia.

The Decision was adopted pursuant to Articles 2 and 3 of the Decision No 565/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 introducing a simplified regime for the control of persons at the external borders based on the unilateral recognition by Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania of certain documents as equivalent to their national visas for transit through or intended stays in their territories not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.

On the basis of the said Decision, the following documents, issued by the European Union Member States and associated countries fully implementing the Schengen acquis, are recognised as equivalent to the Croatian visa for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the Republic of Croatia not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period, irrespective of the nationality of a holder of the said documents:
 
  • uniform visa valid for two or multiple entries in the whole Schengen Area
  • visa with limited territorial validity issued to a holder of a travel document recognised by one or more, but not all Schengen states, valid for the territory of those states which recognise the said travel document; it is valid for two or multiple entries
  • long-stay visa for staying longer than 90 days, which was issued by one of the Schengen states
  • residence permit  issued by one of the Schengen states
  • visa and residence permit of the Republic of Bulgaria, as listed in item III of the Decision
  • visa and residence permit of the Republic of Cyprus, as listed in item IV of the Decision
  • visa and residence permit of Romania, as listed in item V of the Decision.
The period of validity of the documents listed in items II, III, IV and V of the Decision has to cover the duration of transit or stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Visas may be issued exceptionally at certain border crossing points intended for international traffic:

1. with Slovenia: Kaštel, Rupa, Pasjak, Jurovski Brod, Bregana, Macelj and Dubrava Križovljanska;
2. with Hungary: Goričan, Terezino Polje and Donji Miholjac;
3. with Serbia: Erdut and Bajakovo;
4. with Montenegro: Karasovići;
5. with Bosnia and Herzegovina: Županja, Slavonski Brod, Stara Gradiška, Maljevac, Jasenovac, Hrvatska Kostajnica, Ličko Petrovo Selo, Kamensko, Vinjani Donji,  Metković and Nova Sela; and
6. at all international border crossing points intended for sea and air traffic;
7. at border crossing points intended for river traffic: Osijek, Vukovar and Slavonski Brod.

Only single-entry and single-transit visas are issued at border crossing points. The application fee is charged in the amount of EUR 60 - countervalue in HRK according to the middle exchange rate of the Croatian National Bank on the day of payment (in line with Article 5 of the Act on the amendment of the Administrative Fees Act, Croatian Official Gazette 80/13).