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How to apply for temporary Croatian residence based on other purposes (druge svrhe): Guide for 2023

city of Zadar
City of Zadar

PUBLISHED: 3.4.2023.

Among different bases under which third-country (non-EU/EEA) nationals can apply for temporary residence in Croatia is one called druge svrhe or other purposes. This type of residence includes several sub-options and some caveats, which we cover in this article.

Residence based on other purposes is a suited choice if you can’t apply for the most common ones, such as residence based on family reunification, work permit, or digital nomad permit. It may be practical if you are retired or you frequently travel to different countries.

If you are curious about the details of granting residence based on other purposes, this post is for you. For other types of Croatian residence permits and visas, hop over to this post. If you reconsider applying for permanent residency in Croatia, view this post.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

Temporary Croatian residence based on other purposes

What the law says about residence based on other purposes?

The possibility to apply for temporary residence in Croatia on the basis of other purposes is defined by:

  • Zakon o strancima (Law on foreigners) – view it here
  • Pravilnik o boravku državljana trećih zemalja u Republici Hrvatskoj (Rulebook on the residence of citizens of third countries in the Republic of Croatia) – view it here

Article 57 of the Law on foreigners says:

(1) Privremeni boravak odobrava se državljaninu treće zemlje koji namjerava boraviti ili boravi u Republici Hrvatskoj u svrhu:

10. u druge svrhe

(4) Zahtjev za reguliranje privremenog boravka u druge svrhe ili svrhu boravka digitalnih nomada državljanin treće zemlje može podnijeti nakon isteka roka od šest mjeseci od isteka važenja privremenog boravka koji je bio odobren u druge svrhe ili svrhu boravka digitalnih nomada.

Which translates as:

(1) Temporary residence is granted to a citizen of a third country who intends to reside or resides in the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of:

10. for other purposes

(4) A citizen of a third country may submit an application for regulating temporary residence for other purposes or the purpose of digital nomads’ residence after the expiration of a period of six months from the expiration of the validity of the temporary residence that was approved for other purposes or the purpose of digital nomads’ residence.

What does “other purposes” mean?

Other purposes translates as druge svrhe in the Croatian language. Several situations based on which you can apply for temporary residence fall into what is called other purposes. Let’s review them.

Temporary stay based on prepayment of rent

Applying for residence based on prepayment of rent is a suitable option for retired people. Also, reconsider this option if you frequently travel and want the flexibility to move to another country for a limited amount of time.

This permit is tied to prepaying rent for the term you are here. It is not “merit” based or tied to work contracts. Before you apply for this type of residence, learn more about the catches.

[Read: How to apply for residence based on prepayment of rent]

Temporary stay based on language study

If you study the Croatian language at certain language schools, you can grant a residence permit on this basis. Not all language programs offer this possibility, but a good example of the ones that do is Croaticum.

You can view our guide on the biggest Croatian language schools here.

[Read: How to apply for temporary residence based on language study]

Temporary stay based on opening a Croatian business

If you launch your own Croatian business and hire yourself, you can get a temporary residence based on it. This is not for anyone, so take it seriously. Before you decide to open a company, familiarize yourself with all the catches because there is a lot to investigate.

For more details on opening a Croatian company, view this post and this post and this post. They include a lot of tips and information on this topic and can help you make a decision.

[Read: How to get residency in Croatia by opening a Croatian business]

Temporary stay based on ownership of real estate

Third-country nationals who purchase a residential property in Croatia may be granted temporary residence. If you are considering buying a Croatian property, view our guide on how to buy real estate in Croatia here.

[Read: How to get a residence permit based on the property]

Other purposes for EU/EEA permanent residents

If you are a third-country national, but a permanent resident of another EU/EEA member state other than Croatia, you can apply for other purposes on this basis. It is called boravak osobe s dugotrajnim boravištem u drugoj državi članici EGP-a (residence of a person with long-term residence in another EEA member state).

[Read: How EU/EEA permanent residents can get temporary residence in Croatia]

How long can you reside in Croatia based on other purposes

Once you are granted temporary residence based on other purposes, you can live in Croatia for up to a year. Keep in mind that time spent on temporary residence based on other purposes doesn’t count when applying for permanent residence in Croatia.

There is an exception for third-country nationals who have been granted permanent residence in another EU/EEA member state. In their case, time spent on temporary stay based on other purposes is included in the time required for the approval of a permanent residence permit in Croatia.

If your long-term goal is to get a permanent Croatian residence, you should consider other options of applying for temporary residence rather than other purposes. View our guide on available Croatian visas and residence permits to learn about all other options here.

How to apply for temporary Croatian residence based on other purposes

Let’s go through the process of applying for residence based on other purposes.

#1 Choose your basis

Before you start to collect documents, decide on which exact basis of other purposes you are going to apply. The documentation you need to apply varies according to the purpose of applying for temporary residence. In addition, the application may also vary according to your personal case and MUP could ask you for additional documents.

Possible ways of applying for temporary residence based on other purposes are mentioned in the previous section. Define your purpose and then specify it in your application.

#2 Prepare the application

The documentation will vary a bit depending on the exact purpose of applying on the other basis.

The residence application must contain:

  • Completed application form Obrazac 1a provided by MUP – view it here
  • Copy of a travel document, i.e., passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of financial means – view a guide here
  • Criminal background check (and occasionally a certificate of the length of stay in a foreign country) – view a guide here
  • 30×35 mm photo
  • Proof of paid application fee
  • Proof that justifies the other purpose
    • Title deed for real estate in Croatia
    • Proof of staying in a facility where accommodation services are provided in accordance with the regulation governing the hospitality industry
    • Certificate of enrollment in a course for learning the Croatian language of an authorized institution
    • Medical documentation
    • Other documentation

Researchers and students from third countries don’t have to provide a foreign background check when applying for a residence based on other purposes. They must provide proof of the completion of research activities or proof of the acquired qualification of a high level of education in Croatia.

Passport or a travel document

The validity period of your passport must be three months longer than the validity period of the intended stay on a temporary residence in Croatia. The MUP staff will copy your passport at the police station. In addition, bring your passport every time you visit MUP.

If your foreign passport is in another language than English, you must get a copy of it notarized and translated into Croatian.

[Read: How to get something notarized in Croatia]

Health insurance

In your residence application, you must prove that you have private health insurance. One option is to get Croatian travel insurance called putno zdravstveno osiguranje.

[Read: How to get travel insurance in Croatia (putno), which you can use to apply for residence]

After being granted a residence permit, you must sign up for a mandatory health insurance policy with HZZO.

[Read: How to sign up for state health insurance in Croatia]

#3 Submit the application

Before you submit your residence application, it is a good idea to contact the competent institution before visiting them. Their staff will provide you with the latest information on the working hours. You don’t want to poljubiti vrata (kiss the doors 🙂

Where you have to apply depends on whether you need or don’t need a visa to enter Croatia. This requirement depends on your nationality. Check out whether or not you need a visa to enter Croatia here. Let’s go through both scenarios.

You need a visa to enter Croatia

If you need a visa, you must submit your application at a Croatian diplomatic mission or consular office outside of Croatia. View a list of all Croatian diplomatic missions and consulates in the world here.

You don’t need a visa to enter Croatia

If you don’t need a visa, you can submit the residence application at:

  • MUP office according to your future Croatian address – view a list of MUP offices here
  • Croatian diplomatic mission or consular office abroad – view a list here

#4 Get a residence card

After being granted temporary residence based on other purposes, you must obtain boravišna iskaznica (residence card). It will be issued for a period of one year.

If you applied for residence outside of Croatia, visit MUP according to the address of your stay after entering Croatia. In addition, you must register a temporary address in Croatia within three days of entering Croatia.

If you applied for residence in Croatia, visit the same police station where you applied.

[Read: How to find administrative police stations in Croatia]

All administrative fees and payment information is available here.

The residence card will be ready to pick up within approximately three weeks.

Hooray! You’re legal! Enjoy your Croatian residence 🙂

How to get help with your Croatian residence application

We crafted this post to be as detailed as possible, but sometimes questions still arise because everyone’s situation is different. If you’d like personalized guidance based on your situation, we can help.

Save yourself the time and uncertainty of trying to navigate the ever-changing rules of living in Croatia by scheduling a private chat with me, Sara Dyson, the creator of Expat in Croatia.

I’ve lived in Croatia since 2012 (before the country entered the EU/EEA), opened and operated 2 companies, applied for 5 residence permits as a non-EU/EEA citizen, and written about Croatia and its bureaucracy extensively since 2013. I am well-versed in what it takes to make Croatia your home, which obstacles to look out for, and how to make a transition as seamless as possible.

During our chat, I will answer all of your questions about Croatia. You can tap into my expertise on anything you want; whether it be a residency, citizenship, healthcare, buying property, letting accommodation, operating a business, what it’s like to live here, personal experiences with bureaucracy, or cultural nuance. It’s all tailored to you.

To complete the package, I follow up after your session with additional information, links to relevant resources, and contact information for local experts personally vetted by me, like lawyers, real estate agents, tax advisors, accountants, and translators. All recommendations and resources will be specifically curated based on your individual needs discussed in the session. You can view our expat-vetted lawyer network here.

You can read reviews from people I’ve helped here or jump to see them below.

Consulting sessions cost 70 euros per half hour (including VAT), prepaid in advance. This cost includes:

  • Preparation time before our session
  • Duration of our session
  • Preparation of follow-up email after our session with resources and contacts

Meetings can be arranged over video chat or in person. I’m always happy to meet people in person in Split, but please note the minimum commitment for an in-person session is 1 hour or 140 euros. Additional time may be charged for intensive research.

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

  • I ask this as rules and requirements differ depending on nationality.
  • When would you like to chat?

    The cost is 70euros per 30 minutes.
  • If you’re unsure of the time difference, please check the current time in Croatia here.
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View other temporary residence articles

Zakon o strancima
Pravilnik o boravku državljana trećih zemalja u Republici Hrvatskoj
Državljani trećih zemalja by MUP

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.

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