Do I need to open a bank account in Croatia?

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Well, do you need a bank account?

Yes and no.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Everyone who is in the visa process needs to have a bank account in Croatia. The Policija ask everyone, for the most part, to prove they have enough funds to support themselves. This amount varies by situation. It can be as much as 30.000kn and as little as 2.000kn.

For example, if you have a dependent, you’ll need to show you have more than if you were a single person. If you are renewing a visa, you may need to show much less as you were already initially vetted.

If you are an individual without a business or a job in Croatia

If you are financially independent or employed outside of Croatia, then you only need a bank account temporarily.

Once the Policija have given you the amount you need to have, deposit that amount into the bank. Then ask the bank to provide you with proof of this balance for use with the Policija.

After you show this document to the Policija, you can withdraw the amount from the bank if you don’t want to keep it there. Then, once you have your visa, you may close this bank account.

Really?

Really. If you are financially-based outside Croatia, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay a monthly fee to have a bank account in Croatia if you aren’t going to use it. Bank accounts are used primarily for bill payment. As an alternative, you can pay bills at Posta for a fee of 5-6kn per bill. For invoices associated with your health insurance, a small percentage is charged to pay the bill instead of a flat amount, which is negligible.

If you are an individual that owns a business

Yes, you most definitely, unequivocally need a bank account. This is where your salary will be deposited as long as you own the business.

If you are individual with a job

Yep, you need a bank account too. This is where you’ll receive your salary.

How to open a Croatian bank account

To open a bank account, you’ll need to be registered at an address (with proof from the Policija or an ID card) and have an OIB identification number.

If you plan to pay bills from this account, best to sign up for internet banking. You’ll be charged a small fee, less than 10kuna usually, per month for this service.

What else should I know?

If you have any debt in Croatia whatsoever, the government will take it out of your bank account without warning.

Haven’t paid your national health insurance fee? First they freeze the money, then they take it, and you will not get it back. I would avoid a situation where the government must resort to freezing your bank account as it is a laborious and extremely stressful process to get it unfrozen. To be clear, getting your account “unfrozen” does not mean that you get your money back. It only means that you have proved that you’ve satisfied the debt in full, at which point your account will be unlocked and usable again.

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Expat in Croatia

Sara is an American expat based in Split. After globetrotting between New York, Amsterdam and California, she moved to Croatia in 2012. Sara's blog Expat in Croatia is a guide for foreigners living and traveling in Croatia.

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