How to apply for a work permit

If you are a third-country national (e.g. non-EU), you may apply for a work permit in Croatia. Before you get too excited, it’s not super easy. In this post, we’ll go over all the requirements for applying for a permit to work and reside in Croatia.

You must be a third-country national to qualify for a work permit because EU nationals can reside and work in Croatia on a residence permit. They do not need to apply for a permit based on employment.

The residence permit based on employment is a unique permit, which provides temporary residence and allows one to work for a Croatian company in Croatia.

Get a Job

Your very first step, BEFORE you can apply for a work permit, is to get a job in Croatia. You cannot apply for a work permit before you have a job.

You’ll need to:

  • Have an offer of employment with a Croatian company in an industry covered by the quota (You can check the latest number of work permits left in the quota here)
  • Have a valid employment contract or other proof of employment

Once you have a job and can prove it, you can start your work permit application.

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Newtown grafitti

How to Apply for a Work Permit

To start your application, go to the administrative police station closest to your residence in Croatia or the embassy/consulate in your home country.

You will need to provide one of the following:

  • Employment contract, or a written confirmation that you signed such contract or some other appropriate proof of employment
  • Proof of registration of a company, or a branch office, representative office, crafts trade, association or a institution in Croatia.

In addition, you’ll also need to provide:

A third-country national who has applied for a residence and work permit based on a work contract with a Croatian employer doesn’t have to enclose proof of health insurance, as health insurance will be provided by the employer.

The Aliens Act and Related By-Laws stipulates in detail the type of residence and work permits not included in the annual work permit quota, who must have a job application certificate, all required documentation and other types of work permits.

Once the work permit is approved, the following fees will be due:

  • 560 kuna for issuing
  • 240 kuna for a biometric residence permit
  • 70 kuna for an administration cost

After the fees are paid, your residence permit will be ordered. After 21 days, you can pick it up the police station.

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Jorge Franganillo

Work Placement

An employee on a work placement can work in Croatia based on following conditions:

  • There is a valid contract between the end user of the service and the worker’s employer
  • The employer is a temporary employment agency that can assign the worker to the end user in Croatia
  • The foreign company sends their worker to work in an office or a branch set up in Croatia

A third-country national or EEA citizen can be sent by their native (foreign) company to work in Croatia for a temporary or periodic duration.

If the worker holds an A1 certificate (issued by the parent country of the worker), he or she can work in Croatia for up to 90 days without a certificate of employment or a residence or work permit.

If the placement of the worker needs to be extended beyond the 90 days, the administrative police station may:

  • Grant temporary residence and issue a residence permit to the third-country national
  • Grant a citizen of the EEA a certificate of temporary admission for work

Have you been granted a work permit under the above program? If so, please share your experience.

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Expat in Croatia

Sara is an American expat based in Split. After globetrotting between New York, Amsterdam and California, she moved to Croatia in 2012. Sara's blog Expat in Croatia is a guide for foreigners living and traveling in Croatia.