Brits (and their families) living in Croatia prior to 2021 must reapply for residence

This post has been verified with the ministry governing immigration (MUP).
Brexit in Croatia
Image by FT.com

Brexit is here and the curtain is now closed to Brits who wish to move to Croatia with EU privileges. If you are one of the lucky UK citizens who managed to get residence before the end of 2020, congratulations. For those of you who were already living in Croatia with temporary or permanent residence, regardless of how long, you will need to apply for residence again.

In response to Brexit and the associated withdrawal agreement, Croatia has updated their law and rulebook that governs the long-term stay of UK citizens. These updates define the guidelines for reapplying for residence. We’ll go over in great detail below what this all means and how you must reapply for residence in Croatia.

In this post, we will cover:

What the Croatian law and rulebook say about Brits post-Brexit

In Croatia, there are laws and then there are rulebooks. Rulebooks are a set of guidelines that explain how the law should be applied. In this case, we are talking about the law that governs the long-term residence of EEA/EU citizens and the rulebook that governs the long-term residence of third-country nationals on the territory of the Republic of Croatia

We’ve translated all of the new law and rulebook into English for your reference. Normally we would provide the relevant excerpts, but there is simply too much to include in this post. So instead, we created a new post with the English translations.

View the English versions of the law and rulebook governing UK citizens in Croatia here.

What Brits need to do to reapply for temporary or permanent residence in Croatia

Every UK citizen who had legal residence in Croatia on December 31, 2020 must reapply for residence. This also includes all of the Brits who were approved for residence for the first time during December.

Croatia wants to reaffirm that you are actually living in Croatia for 6 months or more per year. As part of this process, you will need to prove that you are.

The amendments to the law regulating EEA members and their families put in place to protect UK citizens and their families went into effect on January 1, 2021, which is why everyone needs to do it now. The good part is that you’ll get a new permit with a new term. This essentially kicks the can down the road.

The application process will be a little different than the ones you’ve done in the past. We’ll go over all the details now.

Basic requirements

  • Copy of your UK passport
  • Copy of your existing Croatian residence permit
  • Proof of financial means
  • Completed form
    • Download the form for temporary residence here, if you are a UK national or an UK/EEA family member of a UK national
    • Download the form for temporary residence here, if you are a non-UK/EEA family member of a UK national
    • Download the form for permanent residence here, if you are a UK national or family member of a UK national
  • Administrative fee for a new permit

Procedure

Step #1 Contact your local MUP station

Go to the closest MUP station to your address. This should be the same place where you registered your latest address. On email or in person, provide them with the completed form, passport and residence permit.

If you don’t yet have a physical permit, the Rješenje stating you were approved for residence should do the trick.

Step #2 MUP may ask for more documents

Stated in the law, MUP may request additional proof that you are living in Croatia with “uninterrupted residence”. This may include:

  • Employment contract or other appropriate contract
  • Employer’s certificate showing the period of employment
  • OIB
  • Registered office employer – name, surname and signature of the responsible person
  • Proof that they are self-employed persons
  • Proof that they were educated or studied in the Republic of Croatia
  • Title deed
  • Lease agreement
  • Proof of paid utilities or other relevant evidence
  • Bank statement according to the account in the Republic of Croatia
  • Proof of exercising the right to health insurance
  • Proof of payment of monthly installments for health insurance

Step #3 Approval

If approved for a new permit, then you will need to pay an administrative fee of 79,50 kuna to get a new residence permit identification card. If you are a border worker, then the fee is 225 kuna.

Those getting a new temporary residence permit will be granted a new term of 5 years. Those getting a new permanent residence permit will be granted a new term of 10 years.

Step #4 Pick up your card

After 3 weeks, you can pick up your new dozvola boravka (residence permit) at the same MUP station. Below are mockups of the new permit straight from the ministry’s rulebook.

New residence permit for Brits in Croatia
Front of new dozvola boravka for UK citizens – Image from Narodne novine
New residence permit for Brits in Croatia
Back of new dozvola boravka for UK citizens – Image from Narodne novine

Deadline for re-application

Brits must re-apply before June 30, 2021. If you do not apply before the deadline, then you will be subject to fines and potentially lose your benefits.

Health insurance for Brits in Croatia

The situation with healthcare for Brits in the EU is a bit complex, so we will break it down into 2 buckets to make it as clear as possible (or as clear as Brexit can possibly be).

State healthcare (S1)

IF you have a registered S1 form AND lived in Croatia prior to January 1, 2021 AND meet one of these criteria:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Croatia and commutes to work in the UK

THEN your rights to healthcare access will remain unchanged.

EHIC

The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) issued by the NHS gave UK citizens access to urgent care within the EU prior to January 1, 2021. Now that has changed.

IF you are on a temporary stay within the EU, THEN you can use your EHIC card until its expiration for urgent care.

IF you were living in Croatia prior to January 1, 2021 AND you meet one of the below criteria:

  • a UK student in Croatia
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

THEN you may qualify to apply for the new UK EHIC card.

Read more here and here.

Croatian health insurance

IF you are living in Croatia, THEN you need to sign up for Croatia’s state health insurance fund HZZO.

To sign up, visit the closest HZZO office to your address. Here is a list of locations. View costs of this insurance here.

Use the Brexit Checker to determine exactly what you need to do

To find out exactly what you need to do in your situation, try the Brexit Checker. Brexit Checker is a tool published by the UK government that provides resources, based on your answers to a few simple questions.

Resources include:

  • Visiting the EU
  • Living in the EU
  • Working in the EU
  • Rights in the Common Travel Area
  • Operating a business in the UK or EU

Visit the Brexit Checker here.

What else?

If you do not yet hold residence in Croatia, but wish to, check out our residence guide specifically for UK citizens. It has been updated to reflect the new rules.

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