Brits (and their families) living in Croatia prior to 2021 must request new residence permits

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 request a new residence permit card.

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 requesting a new permit. We’ll go over in great detail below what this all means.

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 request a new residence permit in Croatia

Every UK citizen who had legal residence in Croatia on December 31, 2020 must request a new residence permit. 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 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

Once re-approved, 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.

You should receive a permit with a brand new term (5 years for temporary, 10 years for permanent). We requested an official decision from MUP on this to confirm. You can see their response and a translation below:

MUP decision on term of new residence permits for Brits post-Brexit.

This email translates too…

We would like to inform you that residence permits will be issued to citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who are beneficiaries of the withdrawal agreement for a period of 5/10 years, regardless of the period of previously issued residence cards.

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 requesting a new permit

Brits must request a new residence permit 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.

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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17 thoughts on “Brits (and their families) living in Croatia prior to 2021 must request new residence permits

  1. Stephen O'Mullane
    January 20, 2021 @ 1:42 am

    Am living in an apartment I own in Trogir. I have dual UK and Ireland citizenship. I first got Temporary Residency status (Boravišna Iskaznica) in 2015, renewing last year (August 2020).
    The unfortunate thing is this. I could have applied with either passport but, for no particular reason, used my UK passport on the initial application in 2015 and again with the renewal last year. As your article mentions, I now need to renew (UK) – or – reapply with Ireland passport. Switching to Irish passport would, on the surface at least, seem to be the better option. At least I would be secure in the knowledge that regardless of any further downstream degradation in UK citizens status, the Irish citizen status will remain unchanged (EU member-state).
    The real worry is that MUP in Trogir is so incredibly unhelpful, always looking for the slightest reason not to engage. My worry is, will my putting “my second passport” on the counter be deemed as the perfect excuse not to issue replacement. Will I be considered as a passport forger?
    Do I reapply with UK passport or do I switch to Irish? I can see upsides and downsides with both alternatives. Not that there should be, apart from the MUP factor.
    Let the games begin! Oh God!! Not again! I thought last August that I would not have to re-engage with MUP for another 5 years!

    Watch this space 🙁

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 28, 2021 @ 11:50 am

      Hi Stephen,

      If you have already been here 5 years, you should apply for permanent residence. First trying using your UK passport. If they try to hold you to third-country rules, then use your Irish passport.

      Here are instructions: https://www.expatincroatia.com/apply-permanent-residency-permit-croatia/

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Daniela Pugh
        February 13, 2021 @ 6:29 am

        Thank you for your detailed information .
        Our temporary residence card (5 years ) is expiring at the end of July when we intend to apply for permanent residence .
        If we receive new temporary residence card with new expiring date 5 years from now , can we still apply for permanent residence in July ?

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          February 16, 2021 @ 12:16 pm

          Hi Daniela,

          Great question! And yes you can! You won’t lose the time you’ve already accrued.

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

    • Christine Cupic
      April 8, 2021 @ 12:36 pm

      Hi Stephen, I have been living here in Croatia since 1978!! I fully understand your frustration with MUP, I know it can be very frustrating, but approach them with a smile, but be firm! At the end of the day, we live in a beautiful country and it is so easy to go ” home” at any time!

      {reply}

  2. Katica Jukica
    January 22, 2021 @ 8:26 pm

    hi Sara. My name is Katica and I am the Consular policy officer at the British Embassy Zagreb.
    Great work you have been doing for info for Brits in Croatia!
    I would like us to be in touch, so drop me an email please and we can chat.
    Few things I just wanted to mention regarding UK Nationals resident in Croatia who are protected by the Withdrawal agreement and some general info.
    Look forward to being in touch.
    Katica

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 28, 2021 @ 11:45 am

      Hi Katica,

      Great to hear from you! I sent you an email. Please let me know if you did not receive it. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Mr&Mrs Carter
    January 27, 2021 @ 5:10 pm

    Hi! I am UK citizen with Residence card for “privremeni boravak in Croatia” issued on 23/10/2020 valid for a year.
    After reading your post I have contacted local PP (Makarska) asking them about reapplying. They told me that they did not get any rulebook how to apply new law about UK citizens after Brexit yet – and to call them in couple of months time. But the deadline that you mention in your post is 30/6/21. This does not leave me plenty of time to reapply.
    Any advice?

    Many Thanks,

    Mr&Mrs Carter

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 28, 2021 @ 11:26 am

      Hi Mr and Mrs Carter,

      If you go back in March, that still leaves you plenty of time to reapply. It’s a simple procedure to reapply, so do not worry yet. It’s taking time for all of the MUP stations to get up to speed on the 2021 changes.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Michael Lord M Smith
    March 15, 2021 @ 2:37 am

    I’m a British citizen and I applied for temporary stay in January 2019 and I have my temporary permit already. Now we’re required to reapply again under the withdrawal agreement rule book. And we’ll be given new 5yrs permit.

    Now my question is, since rules for permanent residency is 5yrs and I’ve already stayed for 1yr and 2 months already. Do I apply for permanent residency after 3yrs and 10 months I’ve had the new permit?

    I’ll be applying for new permit this March 2021.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 26, 2021 @ 12:02 am

      Hi Michael,

      You won’t lose any accrued time. You can apply for permanent 5 years from the date of your first permit.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Lim Warner
    April 19, 2021 @ 12:27 pm

    Thank you very much for this informative information! I ( UK) and my husband (USA) had our permanent resident for a couple of year. I own a property in Croatia. I don’t have any Croatian insurance, my husband has the Croatian insurance. I understand that we need to exchange our ID cards by 30th June. I would really like to know what we will need to apply for new IDs before going to MUP. I would really not going to MUP for multiple trips because of the CoVid situation. Can you tell me what do we need to apply for new IDs and if possible if there are forms that we can download. Thank you very much for your help!!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 28, 2021 @ 9:31 am

      Hi Lim,

      The answers to your questions are in the above post.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. Ryan
    May 4, 2021 @ 1:04 am

    Hi Sara

    Great site and very helpful info.

    My wife is Croatian and although we married in Croatia 10 years ago we have lived in the UK since 2013. We are now thinking of moving back to Croatia and from what I understand I will need to apply for temporary residence via family reunification.

    I really want to keep my job in the UK which allows me to work remotely but not sure the digital nomad permit is right for our situation I’m hoping I can be a digital nomad on a family reunification visa which will allow longer stay.

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      May 6, 2021 @ 4:32 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      Digital nomad permit is a standalone permit and it can be issued for up to one year. See more in this post: https://www.expatincroatia.com/digital-nomad-visa-croatia/

      Family reunification is another type of permit and it seems that it may be a better option in your case. You can read more about it here (see section “Marrying a Croatian or EU national”): https://www.expatincroatia.com/uk-citizens/

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

      • Ryan
        May 8, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

        Thankyou for your reply Marija!

        Yeah I agree the family visa will be better for me I’m just concerned about what this means for my working situation which is Perfectly described in the digital nomad description.

        {reply}

        • Marija Tkalec
          May 10, 2021 @ 11:14 am

          Hi Ryan,

          I’m so glad that I helped! Good luck with everything and keep tracking us (:

          Warm regards,
          Marija

          {reply}

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