Background checks for third-country nationals (non-EU/EEA citizens)

Background check for Croatia
Image by TheDigitalArtist

The new Law on Foreigners (called “Zakon o strancima”) valid from 2021 includes changes to the application process for temporary residence of third-country nationals. One of these changes is a criminal background check, which is a brand new requirement.

From 2021, third-country nationals (meaning non-EU/EEA citizens) must provide a criminal background check when applying for temporary residence for the first time. In Croatian, this proof is called “Uvjerenje da se ne vodi kazneni postupak”.

This document will serve as proof that you haven’t been convicted of criminal (felony) offenses.

This is stated in Article 59 of the Law:

(1) Državljaninu treće zemlje odobrit će se privremeni boravak ako:
5. uz zahtjev za odobrenje prvog privremenog boravka priloži dokaz da nije pravomoćno osuđen za kaznena djela iz matične države ili države u kojoj je boravio duže od godine dana neposredno prije dolaska u Republiku Hrvatsku, osim ako je upućeni radnik odnosno student, istraživač ili osoba premještena unutar društva koja se koristi mobilnošću iz druge države članice EGP-a.

Which translates as:

(1) A third-country national shall be granted temporary residence if:
5. together with the request for approval of the first temporary residence encloses a proof that they have not been convicted of criminal offenses from their home country or the country where they resided for more than one year before arriving in the Republic of Croatia, unless if the person is a worker or student, researcher or person transferred within a company using mobility from another EEA Member State.

The new Law on Foreigners is available here.

In this post, we will cover:

Who must have a background check

The background check is MANDATORY for every adult person who is a third-country national and wants to apply for temporary residence in Croatia for the first time. This means that even students and family members of Croatian/EU/EEA citizens who are third-country nationals must enclose a background check to get their first temporary residence in Croatia.

However, background checks are NOT MANDATORY for children under the age of 18.

Where to get a criminal background check

You must provide a background check from your country of nationality. If you lived in another country for at least 1 year prior to coming to Croatia, then it should be issued by your last country of residence.

If you are not sure where you can get this document, check with the competent state institution in your country. You can probably ask the police for help and they will provide you with information on where to go.

In most countries, background checks can be provided by both government and private institutions. We made a list of the government and private institutions which are in charge of the issuance of the background checks in the top 10 countries that traffic our site.

For each institution, we’ve provided:

  • Name of the institution
  • Whether it is private or government
  • Application method (in person or online)
  • Processing time after the submission of the request
  • Whether fingerprints are required or not
  • Background check costs
  • Link to official page

We hope that this information will help you save your time. Jump to your country at the links below:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. Malaysia
  4. North Macedonia
  5. Philippines
  6. Russia
  7. Serbia
  8. South Africa
  9. United Kingdom
  10. United States of America

#1 Australia

Australian Federal Police – government institution
Application method: Via post or online
Processing time: 1-15 days
Fingerprints: Depending on the type
Costs: 42-139 AUD
Web site

Checked – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 1-15 business day
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 49-69 AUD
Web site

Veritas Check – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 15-20 days
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 98 AUD
Web site

#2 Canada

Royal Canadian Mounted Police – government institution
Application method: In person or online (if you live abroad)
Processing time: 3/120 business days
Fingerprints: Yes (circumstantial)
Costs: 25 CAD + local fees
Web site

C5 ID – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: Within hours
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 39.90 CAD
Web site

Canadian Fingerprint Agency – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3-120 business days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 226 CAD
Web site

Commissionaires – private institution
Application method: In person or online
Processing time: 15 minutes
Fingerprints: Depending on the type of document
Costs: 55 CAD + taxes
Web site

National Pardon Centre – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3-10 business days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 25 CAD
Web site

Triton – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 1 hour
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 59 CAD
Web site

Verifications Canada – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3-120 days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 25 CAD
Web site

VFS.GLOBAL – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3 business days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 25 CAD
Web site

#3 Malaysia

Royal Malaysian Police – government institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: Not available
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 20 RM
Web site

Angel Checks – private institution
Application method:
Processing time:
Fingerprints:
Costs:
Web site

#4 North Macedonia

Municipal court – government institution
Application method: In person
Processing time: 7 days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: Not available
Web site

Orion Support Incorporated – private institution
Application method:
Processing time:
Fingerprints:
Costs:
Web site

#5 Philippines

National Police Clearance – government institution
Application method: In person
Processing time: 1 day
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 160 PHP
Web site

#6 Russia

Information Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – government institution
Application method: In person or online
Processing time: 3-5 weeks
Fingerprints: No
Costs: Varies
Web site

#7 Serbia

Ministry of Internal Affairs – government institution
Application method: In person
Processing time: One week
Fingerprints: No
Costs: Varies
Web site

#8 South Africa

South African Police service – government institution
Application method: In person or online
Processing time: 10-15 working days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 150 ZAR
Web site

Apostil.co.za – private institution
Application method: Courier service
Processing time: 5-30 days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 2.775-6.350 ZAR
Web site

South African Police Clearance – private institution
Application method: In person
Processing time: 5-7 working days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 150 RAND
Web site

Visa Logistics – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 5-7 days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 2.500 ZAR
Web site

#9 United Kingdom

Acro Criminal Records office – government institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 12 business days/4 business days (delivery depends on cost)
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 55/95 GBP
Web site

GOV.UK – government institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: Up to 14 days
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 23 GBP
Web site

CRB direct – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 7-14 days
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 65 GBP
Web site

DBS check online – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 2-7 days
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 89 GBP
Web site

Disclosure services – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3-5 working days
Fingerprints: No
Costs: 42,20 GBP
Web site

#10 United States of America

FBI – government institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 3-5 business days
Fingerprints required: Yes
Costs: 18 USD
Web site

Accurate Biometrics – private institution
Application method: In person or online
Processing time: Within 24 hours
Fingerprints required: Yes
Costs: –
Web site

Biometrics4All – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: Within hours
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 47 USD
Web site

IDVetting – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 2-5 business days
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 80 USD
Web site

National Background Check inc. – private institution
Application method: Online
Processing time: 2-3 days/24 hours
Fingerprints: Yes
Costs: 50-100 USD
Web site

What to do after you obtain your background check

After you get your background check, you must prepare it for use within Croatia. This involves two steps.

#1 Apostille/Legalization

All documents issued by foreign governments must be apostilled or legalized for use within Croatia. This is a method of verifying a document by the issuing government, so it can be used outside of the country.

If you’re not familiar with this process, read our article about apostille and legalization here.

#2 Translation and notarization

Once you have the apostilled/legalized background check, it needs to be officially notarized and translated in Croatia. This can be done by any official translator within Croatia. They will translate both the apostille and the background check itself. If you need a recommendation, contact us.

You’re done!

After finishing all of these steps, you can submit your background check to the Croatian government as part of your residence application.

More resources on temporary residence in Croatia

Sharing is Caring:

6 thoughts on “Background checks for third-country nationals (non-EU/EEA citizens)

  1. Shabi
    March 21, 2021 @ 10:49 am

    Madam, is bank statement need for applying employment work visa.

    {reply}

  2. Anthony
    March 24, 2021 @ 7:57 pm

    What is the turn-around-time for receiving a FBI Background Check back after fingerprints are received?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 25, 2021 @ 11:44 pm

      HI Anthony,

      With Covid, it’s a little less predictable. They have been estimating 3-5 weeks. You can use a private service to expedite it.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Chad Pringle
    March 30, 2021 @ 11:32 am

    Great resource of information, thanks. My family and I have lived in Croatia since September of 2019 and we are now applying for our second temporary residency. I will be applying for residency by signing a work contract today with a Croatian company.

    Will I need a background check? Will my wife need one as well? And if so, does it need to be a FBI background check or one from my home state or county back in Texas?

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      April 6, 2021 @ 3:32 pm

      Hi Chad,

      thank you for your comment! Since you and your family are applying for your second temporary residency, you won’t need a background check. Background check is mandatory for third-country nationals who apply for temporary residence in Croatia for the first time.

      Regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

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