Visa Process: New Renewal Requirements for EU Citizens and Spouses

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Nothing strikes fear within me like a visit to a foreign police station.

No matter the purpose of my visit, I always walk through the doors of the Croatian Policija shrouded in my scarlet letter of foreigner shame. The chances of accomplishing what I need to get done are typically low. The one lady who speaks English and doesn’t look like she’s ready to bite off my face might be out that day.

The rules may have changed the day before requiring a wild goose chase for just one more document from an obscure government agency.  The requirements can change depending on the person and their mood. Getting what you need is all about talking to the right person at the right time.

split-policija

It’s just about time for my husband and I to renew our visas for the first time, so a policija visit was inevitable. I trembled in fear all the way there. There was no telling what rules changed after Croatia’s entry into the European Union on July 1st. In a country where the laws can change daily and retroactively, it was entirely possible that the new visa requirements had not even been written yet.

My husband is an EU citizen, but I am an American. Our hope was that our renewal would be made easier by his EU citizenship. Luckily, we got the right person at the right time. On top of it, the main policija station in Split had all the new forms for EU citizens (and their spouses) seeking residency.

The new rules are as such. EU citizens and their spouses can get automatic 5-year residency per the below application requirements.

Now, everyone’s situation is different. Every police station is different.  And these rules are for renewals. If you are applying for residency for the first time, there are likely additional documents you need to provide. So make sure you double-check your situation with your local station to confirm your requirements.

Croatia Visa Stamp Example

For my EU citizen husband, he is required to provide:

  • A Croatian work contract with a 5-year or unlimited term (which he gets from the Croatian firma he owns)
  • (1) passport photo
  • A completed and signed Registration of Temporary Stay of EEA Citizens form (Obrazac 1b)
  • Proof of Croatia state health insurance through HZZO (a copy of your insurance card will suffice)
  • A copy of EU passport
  • 240,00 kuna application fee

Application for visa renewal for EU citizens can be done on or before the day of visa expiration.

For me as an American spouse of an EU citizen, I am required to provide:

  • Marriage certificate (with certified Croatian translation)
  • (1) passport photo
  • A completed and signed Residence Card for a Non-EEA Family Member of an EEA Citizen form (Obrazac 2b)
  • Proof of income (We will use paystubs from my EU spouse’s job. Make sure you check with your local station for other options to show income. )
  • Proof of Croatia state health insurance through HZZO (a copy of your insurance card will suffice)
  • A copy of passport
  • 240,00 kuna application fee

Application for visa renewal for spouses of EU citizens must be done 30 days prior to visa expiration (and can be done before your EU spouse renews).

The first page of the forms you'll need look like this. Each form is 4 pages. You'll need to get an original from your Policija station.

 


 

Once approved, we’ll be provided with official Croatian ID cards instead of getting the same paper stamp in our passport as last year. All in all, the most positive experience I’ve had at the police station.

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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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