Asylum and subsidiary protection
Subsidiary protection is granted to an applicant who does not meet the conditions to
be granted asylum in cases where justified reasons exist to indicate that, if returned to his or her country of origin, he or she would face a real risk of suffering serious harm and who is unable, or, owing to such risk, unwilling to accept the protection of that country.
Serious harm refers to the threat of death by penalty or execution, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment as well as serious and individual threat to the life of the civil population due to arbitrary generalised violence in situations of international or internal armed conflicts.
Rights and obligations of asylees or foreign nationals under subsidiary protection
When a foreign national is granted asylum or subsidiary protection, he or she is entitled to stay in Croatia and is provided with accommodation, paid for from the state budget, for a maximum of 2 years following the date on which the decision granting asylum or subsidiary protection to him or her becomes enforceable.
In addition, he or she is entitled to:
- work (without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate)
- health care
- freedom of religion
- free legal aid (in drawing up a claim and a representation before an administrative court of first instance in case of cessation or revocation of asylum or subsidiary protection)
- social care
- assistance with integration into society and family reunification
- ownership of property under the Convention of 1951
- acquiring Croatian citizenship in line with the Croatian Citizenship Act.
Family reunification of asylees implies reunification with a spouse or non-marital partner, life partner or informal life partner, with underage children who have not started their own families, with adult non-married children who cannot provide for themselves due to a medical condition, with parents or other legal representative if the asylee is a minor, and with a first-degree lineal descendant whom they have lived with in a joint household and who has taken care of them.
Asylees are entitled to stay permits and asylee passports, which are issued for a period of five years, while foreign nationals under subsidiary protection are entitled to stay permits, issued for a period of three years as well as to special passports for foreign nationals, issued for a period of two years.
Family members of asylees or foreign nationals under subsidiary protection, legally staying in the Republic of Croatia, have the same rights as asylees or foreign nationals under subsidiary protection.
Asylees and foreign nationals under subsidiary protection are obliged to abide by the Constitution, laws and other regulations of the Republic of Croatia. They are also obliged to register permanent residence within 15 days and carry their stay permit with them as well as provide it for inspection to legally authorised persons. In addition, they are obliged to attend a course on the Croatian language, history and culture.