Consulting FAQ

Our Consulting Service is Changing Horizontal

Since 2013, we’ve guided thousands of people on how to move to Croatia, applying for citizenship, and how to live in Croatia like a local.

You can speak with us directly over Zoom and get your questions answered during a session that is completely customized to you. Below, you can read frequently asked questions about our consulting service so you know exactly what to expect.

Ready to book now? Click here.

Use the below links to navigate the FAQ.

Who we are


Who is Expat in Croatia?

Expat in Croatia is a full-service company that guides people on living in Croatia with as much simplicity as possible. We specialize in bureaucracy, but also provide guidance on culture, language, and everything else one needs to assimilate into the Croatian community through free guides and personalized services.
 
EIC was founded in 2013 by Sara Dyson, an American who showed up in Croatia without knowing anything and without any connections. After 6 months, she fell in love with the country and launched expatincroatia.com as a free resource for anyone who wished to move to Croatia.
 
In 2018, EIC was registered as a Croatian company. In 2019, we hired our first employee. As of 2023, we have a team of 8 full-time employees scattered across Croatia, most of whom are Croatian citizens.


How can I trust you?

Over the last 10 years, we have built a strong reputation for honesty, transparency, love for Croatia and a desire to help anyone who crosses our path.

For the first 7 years, Sara personally responded to thousands of emails, comments, and direct messages at no cost – simply because she wanted to help others love Croatia as much as she does.

You can learn more about our history here.

We are not a faceless company. We are real humans whose sole mission is to help others love Croatia because we LOVE Croatia. You can meet our team here.

Many of our clients have shared their experiences on our review page here.

Here are a few to give you a taste:

Sara’s knowledge of Croatia is nothing short of encyclopaedic. I achieved so much more clarity in just a single session, and I would not hesitate to another if needed. Invaluable. – Todd, United Kingdom, June 2023

My experience to date with Expat in Croatia has been terrific. The website contains a wealth of information which is vetted and updated regularly. After reviewing the website, I scheduled a consultation with Sara Dyson to discuss the process of obtaining citizenship by descent for myself and my siblings. In less than an hour Sara provided a comprehensive, detailed explanation of the process. She answered all my questions about housing, healthcare, and life in Croatia; and the references provided in a follow-up email were extremely helpful. – Bernadette, United States, August 2023

Always so prompt to come up with a solution to a problem and always completely up-to-date with regulations. And the website of weekly information and goings-on in Croatia is a joy. We should all be contributing to this wonderful supply of knowledge for ex-pats who are in Croatia. – Anthony, United Kingdom, March 2023


Who are the Expat in Croatia consultants?

Expat in Croatia has two consultants: Sara Dyson and Carol Anne Škorvaga.

Sara Dyson is the founder of Expat in Croatia. She has lived in Split, Croatia as a US citizen since 2012 and experienced first-hand applying for temporary residence, long-term residence and Croatian citizenship. She’s also operated 2 companies, purchased a home, and written about Croatia and its bureaucracy extensively since 2013. Her application is citizenship is based on her work through Expat in Croatia. Read Sara’s full biography here.

Carol Anne Škorvaga, known to us as “CAM”, is a first-generation Croatian-Canadian living in Jastrebarsko with her family. She grew up entrenched in the Croatian community surrounded by culture and folklore, attended Croatian school in Canada and then returned to Zagreb to attend Filozofski Fakultet. CAM is fluent in Croatian and has firsthand knowledge of being both a Canadian expat and a Croatian returnee, building a home in Croatia and being a parent with children in local schools.


How long have you been consulting about Croatia?

Technically, Expat in Croatia has been consulting since the very beginning in 2013 as a free service. In 2020, we began offering paid consulting sessions. Since then, we’ve spoken with people from more than 120 countries.


Can I speak with other clients?

We keep our consulting clients private, but we do have many clients who have shared their experience with our consulting service on our reviews page here.
 
Here is a small handful, in case you don’t want to leave this page:

My consult with Sara was great. She was very informative and helpful. She is very knowledgeable on many things which made me less nervous about moving halfway around the world. After the consult she emailed through a range of resources for me that could be helpful. – Tara, New Zealand, May 2023

“We chose CAM (Carol Anne) to be our consultant and found her to be the perfect “fit” for us. She has experienced everything that we will be dealing with as she moved from Canada to Croatia. We found her to be thorough, professional, personable, and smart. She is also funny and charming. We love CAM!” – Barbara, United States

My family and I recently considered part-time residency in Croatia but found ourselves a bit lost in the complexity of the process. Luckily, we discovered Expat in Croatia and scheduled a call with Sara Dyson. In just one conversation, Sara provided us with a wealth of knowledge and insight that greatly helped us understand the intricacies of establishing residency in Croatia. During our call, Sara showcased her professionalism and passion for helping people navigate the Croatian system. – Derek, United States, May 2023

My husband and I had a consultation meeting with Sara in relation to our immigration status and real estate. Her staff are very responsive and attentive, and so our experience pre and post consultation was great. We found Sara to be very knowledgeable and helpful. She followed up with a ton of references and additional info. Like she said in her video – there is no question you can’t ask, which she won’t do her best to find an answer for. I’m sure this is not the last time we’ve used Sara’s services and there will be more chats to come! – Sywia, Poland, April 2023


How our consulting service works


How do I book a session?

You may book a session using this form.
 
We typically respond within 24 hours, except for holidays and weekends. In our first contact, we will let you know how we can help in your particular situation and also give you our next available time slot.
 
Once you confirm the time, you will be sent a payment link to pay by credit card. You may request an R1 invoice and pay by bank transfer, if you prefer.
 
After payment is received, your time and date will be confirmed and you’ll be provided with a Zoom meeting invite.
 
We will send a reminder of your appointment by email 24 to 48 hours before your scheduled time slot.


Why don’t you have an automatic scheduler?

Everything we do at Expat in Croatia is personal, and automatic scheduling is incredibly impersonal. We prefer a hands-on approach to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the process. This is why a real human living in Croatia will communicate with you one-on-one to book your session.
 
We want you to have complete confidence in booking a session with us, which is just not possible when booking through a robot.
 
After 4 years of consulting, we haven’t received a single complaint about this hands-on process.


What do I get?

If you are booking a session with us for the first time, you will get:
 
– 30-minute session over Zoom with CAM or Sara
– Follow up email after the call with additional resources based on our conversation
– Personal introductions to vetted Croatian professionals as needed at no additional cost
 
-PLUS-
 
– 30-minute session with a vetted lawyer from our network (that you can use at any time) to go over legal advice.  When you’re ready, we’ll connect you.
 
If you are a repeat client, then you will get the same service as you had before, which includes:
 
– 30-minute session over Zoom with CAM or Sara
– Follow up email after the call with additional resources based on our conversation
– Personal introductions to vetted Croatian professionals as needed at no additional cost


What is the cost?

The price varies depending on whether you are a first-time or repeat client, and with whom you prefer to meet.

The rate for first-time clients is higher because it includes 30 minutes of consulting with Expat in Croatia PLUS 30 minutes of consulting with a vetted, English-speaking lawyer from our network.

Sara has been consulting for 10 years and is the owner of the company, so her rates are higher.

All rates are per 30 minutes and include VAT (25% sales tax mandated by the Croatian government).
 
Carol Anne Škorvaga
– First-time clients  |  150 euros
– Repeat clients  |  75 euros

Sara Dyson
– First-time clients  |  250 euros
– Repeat clients  |  150 euros


Do you offer retainers?

Yes! You can purchase blocks of consulting time in advance, then use it for consulting over Zoom or email, as you need without expiration.
 
To use prepaid time over Zoom, a minimum of 30 minutes is required. Additional time past 30 minutes will be deducted in ¼ hour increments. The Zoom session will be scheduled in advance for our next available time slot.
 
To use prepaid time over email, time will be deducted in ¼ hour increments. Questions can be submitted over email, and we will respond within 48 hours if additional research is not required, excluding holidays and weekends.

You will be updated of how much time you have remaining in your retainer after each usage.


How do we meet?

Consulting sessions with Expat in Croatia consultants are done over Zoom. You’ll be provided a Zoom meeting link once your session is paid and confirmed.
 
Consulting sessions with lawyers are done over WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom – whichever you prefer.


Which topics can I discuss with Expat in Croatia?

All legal advice must be handled by lawyers. If you need tax advice, we can recommend a vetted tax advisor or accountant after your session.

Everything else can be discussed with an Expat in Croatia consultant including, but not limited to:

–        Culture
–        Places to live
–        Housing
–        Language
–        Healthcare
–        Operating a business
–        Experience of buying a property
–        Experience of applying for residence
–        Experience of applying for citizenship


Can I meet the Expat in Croatia consultant in person?

At this time, we are not offering in-person consultations due to Sara’s demanding travel schedule for the remainder of 2023. We may resume in-person sessions in 2024.


How quickly can I get a session?

It depends on the demand. Based on our average volume, we can usually schedule your session within 1 to 2 weeks with CAM. To obtain a session with Sara, there may be a wait time of 2 to 3 weeks.

Please note that our office is closed from December 24 to January 6. Here is the full holiday schedule for Croatia, during which our office is closed as mandated by the Croatian government. We also close for 3 US holidays: 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and the day after Thanksgiving.


Who do I meet with first, Expat in Croatia or the lawyer?

You will meet with Expat in Croatia first. After your session, we will connect you with the lawyer to set up your session with them.


Cost


What is the cost?

The price varies depending on whether you are a first-time or repeat client, and with whom you prefer to meet.

The rate for first-time clients is higher because it includes 30 minutes of consulting with Expat in Croatia PLUS 30 minutes of consulting with a vetted, English-speaking lawyer from our network.

Sara has been consulting for 10 years and is the owner of the company, so her rates are higher.

All rates are per 30 minutes and include VAT (25% sales tax mandated by the Croatian government).
 
Carol Anne Škorvaga
– First-time clients  |  150 euros
– Repeat clients  |  75 euros

Sara Dyson
– First-time clients  |  250 euros
– Repeat clients  |  150 euros


Does the cost include VAT (value-added tax)?

Yes, all of our consulting fees including the 25% VAT mandated by the Croatian government.


Do I pay before or after the session?

All consulting sessions are prepaid and confirmed once payment is received. Payments can be made by bank transfer or credit card.


What does the consulting fee cover?

If you are booking a session with us for the first time, you will get:
 
– 30-minute session over Zoom with CAM or Sara.
– Follow up email after the call with additional resources based on our conversation.
– Personal introductions to vetted Croatian professionals as needed at no additional cost.
 
-PLUS-
 
– 30-minute session with a vetted lawyer from our network (that you can use at any time) to go over legal advice.  When you’re ready, we’ll connect you.
 
If you are a repeat client, then you will get the same service as you had before, which includes:
 
– 30-minute session over Zoom with CAM/Sara.
– Follow up email after the call with additional resources based on our conversation.
– Personal introductions to vetted Croatian professionals as needed at no additional cost.
 
It takes a tremendous amount of hands-on, human work to research and vet our information that we provide during sessions. This process includes extensive web research, phone calls to the government, collaboration with licensed Croatian professionals, and visits to government offices.

It’s not something that ChatGPT can do. We must employ skilled, full-time employees who live in Croatia and that comes with a cost.


Meeting with a lawyer


I’ve already met with Expat in Croatia for a consulting session. Can I still get a session with a lawyer?

Absolutely! You can be introduced to a lawyer from our network at any time. You can request a session during a consulting session, over email after your session, or through this form.

You may consult with a lawyer as a standalone service. If you contract with them for a service after the session, such as preparation of your citizenship application, then the consulting cost is deducted from the total cost of the service.

When you work with one of our lawyers, you will receive:

  • An introduction FAQ packet about working with our network of Croatian lawyers that covers just about everything you may need to know about the process including cultural insights, working hours, and process so you know exactly what to expect.
  • A dedicated Expat in Croatia caseworker who will follow up with you periodically throughout the process and will serve as your advocate
  • The full weight, knowledge and experience of our entire legal network across Croatia. Our network is made up of 15 independent law practices, but they all work together as colleagues to share and collaborate for the benefit of our clients.

Why do I need the lawyer session?

Legal advice must be provided by a licensed legal professional.


Can I forgo the lawyer session?

If you are booking with us for the first time, you will automatically get a 30-minute session with a lawyer, which you can use at any time. You do not have to use it, but it will be available to you whenever you need it.

Trust us when we say that everybody living in Croatia should have a legal advocate.


Do the lawyers speak English?

Yes, all of our vetted lawyers speak English as well as Croatian. They work with foreigners from all over the globe.


Do I have to pay the lawyer anything?

Once you pay the fee for an Expat in Croatia session as a first-time client, you automatically get 30 minutes with the lawyer at no additional cost.

You only need to pay the lawyer if you contract with them for a new service such as:

  • Applying for residence
  • Applying for citizenship
  • Purchasing or selling a property
  • Opening a business
  • Preparing a contract
  • Preparing a will
  • Handling a divorce
  • Registering a foreign marriage, birth or divorce

This list is not comprehensive. Our network has specialists in immigration, property, civil, family, divorce, criminal, probate, intellectual property, and corporate law. They can handle just about anything you throw at them.


How are the lawyers vetted?

Every lawyer has been recommended through personal referrals from people we trust implicitly.

Next, they are vetted by the head of our legal network as well as by Sara Dyson, founder of Expat in Croatia, during multiple discussions and in-person meetings. Foreigners have different needs than Croatians, so we discuss those differences to gauge if they are well-suited to the task. We evaluate their level of English as well.

Through this process, we also learn about their specialties, experience and personality, so we can match people to the lawyer best suited to handle their case.

After that process is finished, we sparsely refer people to them over months as a test. During this time, we keep extra close contact with the clients to ensure they are getting exactly what they need, while also periodically checking in with the lawyer to get their perspective.

Once they have shown a reputation for providing consistent, exceptionally professional services, they join the network in an official capacity. If at any time a lawyer shows that they cannot consistently and professionally serve our clients, they are removed from the network.


Which topics can I discuss with the lawyer?

You may discuss anything that is law-related with our lawyer network. Our lawyers are skilled in:

  • Immigration (incl. residence and citizenship)
  • Real estate
  • Probate and inheritance
  • Family law
  • Divorce
  • Criminal law
  • Corporate law

If you wish to discuss any of the following topics, then it is best suited for your conversation with an Expat in Croatia consultant:

  • Culture
  • Places to live
  • Housing
  • Language
  • Healthcare
  • Operating a business
  • Experience of buying a property
  • Experience of applying for residence
  • Experience of applying for citizenship

Where are the lawyers located?

Our network consists of 15 vetted law practices in the following locations:

  • Dubrovnik
  • Island Vis
  • Pula
  • Rijeka
  • Šibenik
  • Split
  • Zadar
  • Zagreb

The lawyers in these locations also serve areas near them. For example, our Zagreb lawyers serve eastern Croatia, our Zadar lawyers serve the Lika region, our Rijeka lawyers serve Kvarner islands, our Split lawyers serve the Dalmatian islands and our Dubrovnik lawyers serve their respective islands.


Can I meet the lawyer in person?

Yes, absolutely! When booking a session, please let us know your location preference and we’ll match you with someone local to you.


Will I have attorney-client privilege?

Yes, of course. All discussions with the lawyer are protected under attorney-client privilege under Croatian law.


Ready to get started?

Save yourself the time and uncertainty of trying to navigate the ever-changing rules for living in Croatia by scheduling a private chat with us.

To schedule a 1-on-1 consulting session, complete the below form.

You can view all our reviews here or jump to this section to view the last 20 reviews.

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