- Published: 08.12.2020.
Information concerning the future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union
Residence, driving licences and border checks on persons at the EU externalPhoto: illustration
Rights related to stay and residence permits
On 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ceased to be a Member of the European Union in an orderly manner upon the entry into force of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (hereinafter referred to as the Withdrawal Agreement).
The Withdrawal Agreement determines a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time UK nationals and their family members are subject to European Union law.
The Act on the amendments to the Act on EEA nationals and their family members (Official Gazette, No 144/20), which has been adopted by the Croatian Parliament and can be found here, lays down the implementation of the part of the Withdrawal Agreement related to regulating the residence status of UK nationals and their family members after the transition period which ends on 31 December 2020.
The Act lays down clear rules of procedure when it comes to applying for temporary or permanent stay and the issuance of residence permits, as well as the issuance of documents to frontier workers.
Amendments to the Ordinance on EEA nationals and their family members (Official Gazette, No 143/20) were also made in order to provide full implementation of Withdrawal Agreement. It can be found here.
WHO IS PROTECTED BY THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT
- UK nationals and their family members residing in the Republic of Croatia at the end of the transition period.
- family members (such as current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children) to join their family member in the future.
- children born after the transition period will also be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, wherever they are born.
The residence status of UK nationals and their family members will be regulated pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 4 of the Agreement (“declaratory scheme”). Accordingly, UK nationals and their family members who are subject to the Agreement will not be obligated to apply for a new residence status as a requirement for their legal stay in the Republic of Croatia. Rather, a declaratory system will be applied on the basis of which UK nationals and their family members will have a residence status on the basis of the very fact that they meet the conditions laid down in the Agreement and will continue to have the said status for as long as they meet these conditions. This means that their residence status is not subject to the constitutive decision of the competent authority.
The substantive conditions of residence are, and will remain, the same as those under current EU law on free movement.
In essence, UK nationals meet these conditions if they:
- are workers or self-employed; or
- are enrolled at a private or public establishment, for the principal purpose of following a course of study, including vocational training; and have health insurance and sufficient resources for themselves and their family members, or
- have sufficient resources and health insurance; or
- are family members of another person who meets these conditions; or
- have already acquired the right of permanent residence and are therefore no longer subject to any conditions.
Registering the new residence status and new residence permits
All the beneficiaries of the Agreement (Articles 9 and 10 of the Agreement) will have the possibility of registering their residence status. After the procedure is concluded, they will be issued with residence permits confirming that status. The registration procedure will apply to all persons regardless of whether they have regulated their residence status in the past, on the basis of their right to the freedom of movement at a competent police administration or police station before 31 December 2020.
In addition to the relevant documents submitted with their application (depending on whether the UK nationals and their family members had registered temporary or permanent stay in the Republic of Croatia until 31 December 2020), the continuity of residence (Articles 11 and 15(2) of the Agreement) and the condition of further stay in the Republic of Croatia will need to be determined as well.
The procedure for the registration of a new residence status will be simpler for the beneficiaries of the Agreement who apply for temporary or permanent stay by 31 December 2020, as opposed to those persons who fail to do so by the said date.
Submission of application and deadlines
Applications can be submitted at the competent police administrations or police stations according to the location of stay starting from 1 January 2021.
If you are not sure which police administration or police station is a competent one, please check here: https://policija.gov.hr/policijske-uprave/104
You can contact directly competent police administrations for more information and assistance via phone or e-mail below:
Policijska uprava brodsko-posavska
Policijska uprava bjelovarsko-bilogorska
Policijska uprava osječko – baranjska
Phone: 031/237 292
Policijska uprava koprivničko – križevačka
Policijska uprava požeško – slavonska
Policijska uprava primorsko – goranska
Policijska uprava zadarska
Policijska uprava krapinsko – zagorska
Policijska uprava šibensko – kninska
Policijska uprava vukovarsko – srijemska
Policijska uprava splitsko – dalmatinska
Policijska uprava međimurska
Policijska uprava dubrovačko – neretvanska
Policijska uprava sisačko – moslavačka
Policijska uprava varaždinska
Policijska uprava istarska
Policijska uprava virovitičko – podravska
Policijska uprava karlovačka
Policijska uprava ličko-senjska
Policijska uprava zagrebačka
In addition, you can also contact directly Ministry of the Interior via phone or e-mail below:
- Where a UK national and their family member who are Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries have been continuously resident in the Republic of Croatia less than five years, application for temporary residence is to be submitted on Form 7b and accompanied with copy of valid travel or national identity document.
Family members who are not UK nationals nor EEA nationals submit an application on Form 8b and enclose copy of valid travel document.
- UK nationals and their family members who lived in line with free movement rules in the Republic of Croatia and continue to do so, but never registered their residence status and are not holders of registration certificates or residence cards issued under free movement rules; will need to submit documentary evidence of their residence in the Republic of Croatia.
Documentary evidence include the following documents, such as:
- work contract, certificate of employment issued by the employer (clearly stating employment period, OIB, seat of the company), proof of self-employment;
- Proof of enrollment at an establishment for following a study, including vocational training;
- Rental agreement or property sale contract, or title deed,
- Utility bills, bank statement covering certain period,
- Proof of covering health insurance costs/using health insurance,
- Documents proving family ties.
List of documents can be also found here.
- Where a UK national and their family member who are Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries have been continuously resident in the Republic of Croatia for five years they will be eligible for permanent residence and a subsequent residence document evidencing this. Once acquired, the right of permanent residence shall be lost only through absence for a period exceeding five consecutive years.
Application for permanent residence is to be submitted on Form 9b and accompanied with copy of valid travel or national identity document.
- UK nationals and their family members who lived in line with free movement rules in the Republic of Croatia and continue to do so, but never registered their residence status and are not holders of registration certificates or residence cards issued under free movement rules; will need to submit documentary evidence of their residence in the Republic of Croatia (for details on evidence please see above; kindly note that documents need to cover period of 5 years).
Continuity of residence
Continuity of residence is not affected by:
- temporary absences not exceeding a total of six months a year, or
- by absences of a longer duration for compulsory military service, or
- by one absence of a maximum of twelve consecutive months for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training, or a posting.
Continuity of residence is broken by any expulsion decision duly enforced against the person concerned.
Support for vulnerable UK nationals
All UK nationals, including vulnerable persons, will be assisted by local immigration staff (in police administrations or police stations) either by phone or e-mail (available above) in order to correctly submit their applications.
Vulnerable UK nationals who cannot visit the competent authorities in person due to medical reasons, will be able to submit their applications via third parties (e.g. lawyers, family members of the same household or officials of elderly homes) or by post. As regards the collection of biometric data for issuing of resident permit, these persons will be assisted, and when needed, home visits can be envisaged, upon previous appointment (please contact competent police administration/police station by e-mail or phone).
Instructive deadlines by which all beneficiaries of the Agreement will be able to apply is 30 June 2021, that is, 6 months from the date of entry into the Republic of Croatia. It will still be possible to submit applications after this deadline, however, the beneficiaries of the Agreement who do so might be fined for an administrative offence.
During the technical issuance of a new residence permit, all beneficiaries of the Agreement will have to provide their biometric data and enclose a color photo 3x3,5 cm.
Previously issued residence permits will cease to be valid on 1 January 2021.
For the purposes of the Agreement, a frontier worker is a UK national who has pursued an economic activity as a frontier worker in one or several Member States in which he does not reside, and who continues to pursue this economic activity even after 31 December 2020.
Frontier workers will be able to apply for the issuance of a document confirming their right of a frontier worker on Form 10b to the police administration or police station according to the location of work (for lists of police administrations of police stations, please check lists above) and accompanied with copy of valid travel or national identity document.
Documentary evidence to be enclosed with application include following:
- Work contract
- Certificate of employment issued by the employer (clearly stating employment period, OIB, seat of the company)
- Proof of self-employment and an evidence on pursuing economic activity in the Republic of Croatia
It will be possible to submit applications at the competent police administrations or police stations starting from 1 January 2021.
Cost of residence permit and document identifying frontier workers status
Residence permit - 79,50 HRK
Frontier worker document - 225,00 HRK
UK driving licences will be valid in the Republic of Croatia for up to one year from the day on which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. After that, they will have to be replaced with Croatian driving licences and the applicant will have to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.
UK nationals and nationals of other countries who are holders of UK driving licences are advised to apply for the replacement of their driving licences with a Croatian driving licence as soon as possible.
Applicants who submit their application prior to the date on which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union will be able to replace their UK driving licences under the conditions stipulated for the replacement of EEA driving licences in which case it is not necessary to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.
Both the EU format driving licences and the former paper driving licences are equally valid.
UK driving licences are replaced with Croatian driving licences without the obligation to pass a driving exam, regardless of the category of the vehicle listed on the UK driving licence.
Border checks on persons at the EU external border
When subjected to controls upon entry to and exit from the Schengen Area as well as to and from Member States for which the decision on lifting border controls at internal borders has not been adopted yet, but which apply Schengen rules at their external borders, UK nationals will enjoy the same rights as before 31 January 2020. These rights will apply during the whole transitional period, i.e. until the end of 2020.
As of 1 January 2021, when entering the Republic of Croatia, nationals of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and their family members will be subject to the same border check rules as if they were third-country nationals.