How EU/EEA citizens can apply for long-term residency in Croatia: Guide for 2023
Nationals of EU/EEA Member States have the right to residence in Croatia. Once they have temporary residence in Croatia for a continuous five years, they can apply for long-term residence.
While EU/EEA nationals have exactly the same rights as Croatian nationals according to the treaties of the European Union, there still are some perks that come with long-term residence. To better understand the rights that come with long-term residence, read this post.
In this post, we cover:
- Who qualifies to apply for long-term residence
- How EU/EEA nationals can apply for long-term residence
- Termination of long-term residence
The facts are these…
How EU/EEA citizens can apply for long-term residency in Croatia
EU/EEA citizens have the right to apply for long-term residence after five years of continuous legal temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia.
Below are the cases that do not break continuous residence:
- Up to six months of absence a year
- Up to six months of continuous absence due to justified reasons such as:
- Birth of a child
- Serious illness
- Vocational training
- Referral to work in another country
- Absence due to military service
There are some exceptions when EU/EEA citizens have the right to apply for long-term residence in Croatia under different conditions.
These exceptions include the following scenarios:
- Child who lives in Croatia whose parent has been granted long-term residence at the time of the child’s birth, with the consent of the other parent
- Child who lives in Croatia whose parent has been granted long-term residence in Croatia at the time of the child’s birth, and the other parent is unknown, died, was declared dead, deprived of parental care, or deprived of legal capacity in relation to parental care
- Worker or self-employed person who has ceased to work and who has the conditions for an old-age pension in Croatia or is retired early, has been employed in Croatia for at least the previous 12 months, and has resided in Croatia for more than three years
- Worker or self-employed person who has ceased to work in Croatia due to long-term incapacity for work and has resided continuously in Croatia for more than two years
- Worker or self-employed person who has ceased to work in Croatia due to long-term incapacity for work resulting from an injury at work or an occupational disease, on the basis of which they obtained a full or partial disability pension in Croatia, regardless of the length of stay in Croatia
- Worker or self-employed person who is employed in another EEA Member State after three years of continuous employment and residence in Croatia, retains residence in Croatia, and returns to Croatia every day or at least once a week.
The continuity of residence can be proved by any document that can be accepted in administrative proceedings in Croatia. The continuity ends with an executive decision on expulsion.
Step #1 Contact MUP administration office
To apply for long-term residence, you must visit the MUP administration office according to the address of your Croatian residence. [Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]
Our advice is to call them before the visit. Each MUP administrative office may have different rules and working hours. Some of them may require an appointment and others may even allow applying for long-term residence via email. If you call them and ask for a service desk for foreigners, they will give you the latest information on what to do.
Step #2 Collect the documentation
The most important thing to do is to prepare the application according to the requirements.
To apply for long-term residence, you must enclose:
- Filled in application form “Obrazac 3b” – It is available here
- Copy of an ID card or a passport (for EU/EEA nationals)
- You will also have to show the original ID card or a passport to MUP administrative worker. After inspecting the original, they will certify their copies.
If you need help during the process, contact us and we will connect you to a vetted immigration lawyer. If you are in Split, we can hook you up with our professional assistant who can accompany you to the police and translate on your behalf.
Step #3 Visit MUP to apply
After you are done with the preparation, visit the MUP administrative office according to the place of your Croatian temporary residence. [Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]
Submit your application to the police through the foreigner’s desk. They will let you know if you need to enclose additional documents. From now on, your only job is to wait for their answer.
Step #4 Order the residence card
Once you are granted long-term residence in Croatia, you’ll need a new residence card called “boravišna iskaznica”. To get the residence card, visit the same MUP administrative office. They will provide you with the official decision on your long-term residence, then you can submit a request for the residence card.
To apply for the residence card, you must enclose:
- Filled in application form Obrazac 5b
- 30×35 mm color photography
You will also have to show your ID card or a passport to the MUP administrative worker. They will confirm your identity. You’ll also need to provide your signature and fingerprints.
A payment slip can be paid at FINA, Hrvatska pošta, or Croatian bank. [Read: Croatia’s biggest banks: Comparison of fees and services]
Payment information is available here.
After you submit the request, MUP will provide you with a confirmation of the submitted request with a temporary residence permit (usually, a white card). Once your residence card is ready, you will have to pick it up in person at MUP in exchange for the white card.
EU/EEA citizens will get a residence card with a validity period of 10 years as proof of their long-term residence in Croatia.
Step #5 Enjoy your long-term residence
Hooray! After several years of temporary residence in Croatia, you are finally granted long-term residence. This means that you can now be gone from Croatia for longer periods and no longer have to apply for residence. It’s only a matter of keeping up to day on your card’s validity. [Read: Restrictions on travel while you have legal residence in Croatia]
There are not many cases when the long-term residence of third-country nationals is terminated.
Long-term residence will be terminated if:
- A person is forbidden to enter and stay in Croatia
- A person resides outside of Croatia for more than 2 years continuously
- A person cancels their long-term stay in Croatia
The decision on the termination of long-term residence is issued by the Ministry through the competent police administration/MUP station.
View other residency articles
- Available visas and residence permits for Croatia
- Difference between getting a visa and a residence permit in Croatia
- How EU citizens can get temporary residence in Croatia
- How non-EU family members of EU/EEA nationals can get temporary residence in Croatia
- How to transition from temporary to permanent residence
- Restrictions on travel while you have legal residence in Croatia
- Rights of permanent residents in Croatia
Residence and work of citizens of EEA member states and their family members
Law on citizens of member states of the European Economic Area and their family members
Rules on Entry and Stay in Croatia for citizens of European Economic Area Member States and members of their families
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.