How to get a seasonal work permit in Croatia: Guide for 2024

construction work
Construction work

PUBLISHED: 13.6.2023.

Croatian businesses employ thousands of short-term workers during the summer season, mostly in tourism and agriculture, as well as other understaffed industries. It is possible for a foreigner to get a seasonal job for up to 6 months and live in Croatia.

The easiest way to get a seasonal job is to apply for one considered deficient in Croatia. Bakers, masons, house painters, civil engineers, and truck drivers are all in high demand. Tourist jobs are also in demand during the summer season.

In addition to the job, employers usually provide accommodation to their seasonal workers, which is not deducted from their salary.

A seasonal work permit can’t be used for work for a different employer other than for which the permit was granted, or you will lose it and have to leave Croatia. To apply for a standard long-term work permit, jump to this guide.

In this article, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to get a seasonal work permit in Croatia

Who is considered a seasonal worker in Croatia?

The definition of the seasonal worker and seasonal activities are defined by Zakon o strancima (Law on foreigners), which is available here.

The law says:

12) sezonski radnik je državljanin treće zemlje koji zadržava svoje prebivalište u trećoj zemlji te zakonito i privremeno boravi u Republici Hrvatskoj kako bi obavljao posao koji ovisi o izmjeni godišnjih doba u okviru jednog ili više ugovora o radu na određeno vrijeme koje je izravno sklopio s poslodavcem s poslovnim nastanom u Republici Hrvatskoj

13) djelatnost koja ovisi o izmjeni godišnjih doba je djelatnost koja je vezana uz određeno doba godine određenim ponavljajućim događajem ili nizom događaja koji su povezani sa sezonskim uvjetima, tijekom kojih razina potrebne radne snage znatno nadilazi razinu radne snage potrebne za uobičajeno tekuće poslovanje, a djelatnosti u kojima je dozvoljeno zapošljavanje sezonskih radnika su poljoprivreda i šumarstvo te turizam i ugostiteljstvo

Which translates to:

12) a seasonal worker is a citizen of a third country who maintains their residence in a third country and legally and temporarily reside in the Republic of Croatia in order to perform work that depends on the change of seasons within the framework of one or more fixed-term employment contracts concluded directly with the employer with a place of business in the Republic of Croatia

13) an activity that depends on the change of seasons is an activity that is linked to a certain time of the year by a certain recurring event or a series of events that are connected to seasonal conditions, during which the level of the required workforce significantly exceeds the level of the workforce required for normal current business, and activities in which the employment of seasonal workers is allowed are agriculture and forestry as well as tourism and catering

You can apply for a seasonal work permit for:

  • Work up to 90 days
  • Work up to 6 months for deficit occupations
  • Work up to 6 months for non-deficit occupations
  • Extension of a seasonal work permit

Who is exempt from a Croatian labor market test?

Sometimes, an employer must perform a labor market test before applying for a seasonal work permit. This is usually the case with non-deficit occupations.

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What is a labor market test?

HZZ (Croatian employment office) performs a labor market test called test tržišta rada to determine if they will permit a company to hire a foreigner. They check if any unemployed person in their database meets the requirements for the role. If there are no such candidates, an employer can submit the application for a work permit. Read about the labor market test here.

A labor market test is not needed for:

  • Deficient occupations
  • Extension of the work permit for the same employer and the same third-country national
  • Seasonal employment of third-country nationals in agriculture, forestry, catering, and tourism for up to 90 days during one calendar year
  • Groups from the Article 110 of the Law on foreigners – key staff in companies, EU blue card, people transferred within the company, etc.

[Read: How to get an EU Blue Card in Croatia]

Which occupations are deficient in Croatia?

Seasonal work permits are most often requested for deficient occupations – the ones that have worker shortages. There is an increased and sustained demand for them in the Croatian labor market. Some of them lack throughout Croatia, and others only in certain counties.

Deficient occupations in the whole of Croatia are:

  • Auto mechanics (automehaničar)
  • Baker (pekar)
  • Building worker (radnik visokogradnje)
  • Butcher (mesar)
  • Auto body worker (autolimar)
  • Auto paint worker (autolakirer)
  • Carpenter (tesar)
  • Chef of national cuisine (kuhar nacionalne kuhinje)
  • Civil engineering worker (radnik niskogradnje)
  • Concrete mixer (betonirač)
  • Confectioner (pastry chef)
  • Construction operator (rukovatelj građevinskim strojevima)
  • Crane operator (rukovatelj kranom)
  • Electrician (elektroinstalater)
  • Electrician (elektromonter)
  • Fitter of steel ropes – cranes and elevators (monter čelične užadi – dizalica i liftova)
  • Fur and leather cutter (krojitelj krzna i kože)
  • Heating and air conditioning (instalater grijanja i klimatizacije)
  • House painter (soboslikar i ličilac)
  • Installer of building elements (monter građevinskih elemenata)
  • Installer of metal structures (monter metalnih konstrukcija)
  • Insulators (izolater)
  • Joiner (stolar)
  • Layer of ceramic tiles (polagač keramičkih pločica)
  • Leather worker (kožarski radnik)
  • Locksmith (bravar)
  • Maintenance electrician (električar održavanja)
  • Mason (zidar)
  • Pastry chef (slastičar)
  • Pipeline fitter (monter cjevovoda)
  • Plasterer (fasader)
  • Plumber (vodoinstalater)
  • Programmer (programer)
  • Reinforcer (armirač)
  • Roofer (krovopokrivač)
  • Stonemason (klesar)
  • System administrator (sistemski administrator)
  • Tinsmith (limar)
  • Truck driver (vozač teretnog vozila)
  • Truck driver with trailer (vozač teretnog vozila s prikolicom)
  • Underlayer (podopolagač)
  • User interface designer (dizajner korisničkog sučelja)
  • Waterproofing (hidroizolater)
  • Welder (zavarivač)

A full list of deficient occupations throughout Croatia and certain Croatian counties is available here. This list may vary depending on the needs of the Croatian labor market.

How to get a seasonal job in Croatia

Before applying for a work permit, look for a job in Croatia. We have a detailed guide on finding a job in Croatia which you can view here.

You can view a database of seasonal job ads on HZZ pages available here. All jobs published are checked by HZZ. Anyone can apply for these job offers if they meet the requirements, including foreigners and retired people. You don’t have to be registered within the HZZ to apply.

Once you find your new Croatian employer, you can apply for a seasonal work permit. The employer will do it on your behalf.

How to get a seasonal work permit in Croatia

Below is a step-by-step guide on applying for a seasonal work permit in Croatia. If you want to apply for a usual work permit, view this guide.

#1 Perform a labor market test

Employers must perform a labor market test if their scenario is not exempt from a labor market test.

The employer must send the request for the labor market test to HZZ via online service called Test tržišta rada (Labor market test) available here. You will communicate with HZZ through this service. Occasionally, they may call you to get additional information. If you need to fix something within the application, they will also call you.

The full list of HZZ administration offices is available here. Click on “Ispostave” under regionalni ured (regional office) to find the office you belong to.

To learn more details about the process of labor market testing, view this post.

If you are exempt from a labor market test, skip this step entirely and start with the next one.

#2 Collect the documentation

To apply for a seasonal work permit, employers must deliver the required documents to MUP, including the ones provided by their future employees.

The documentation includes:

  • Application form
    • Obrazac 2a – view it here OR
    • Obrazac 9a – view it here
  • Copy of employee’s passport valid 3 months longer than the intended stay
  • Employment contract signed by the employer and employee, which will also serve as proof of health insurance and financial means
  • Background check if an employee will reside in Croatia for the first time – view a guide here
  • Proof of acquired educational qualification translated in Croatian if the original is not in English or Croatian related language and Latin script
    • Educational certificates
    • Diplomas
    • Certificates of competence
    • Confirmation of work experience, e.i. recommendations from a former employer or extracts from official records
  • Decision on the recognition of a foreign professional qualification if an employee will perform a regulated profession according to the list of regulated professions in Croatia
  • Proof of adequate accommodation provided – lease agreement or equivalent document with a specified amount of rent, data on the area, and the number of people using it

A database of regulated professions in Croatia is available here.

All foreign documents must be apostilled/legalized and officially translated into Croatian. Learn how to prepare foreign documents for use in Croatia here.

#3 Apply for a seasonal work permit

If you applied for a labor market test and you got a positive result from the HZZ, you can apply for a seasonal work permit. You must apply within 90 days after the receipt of the green light from HZZ. Apply via an online service called Radne dozvole (Work permits) available here.

If you are not required to perform a labor market test, you can apply for a seasonal work permit immediately after finding a desired worker. In this case, you must apply to MUP by email according to the place of the employee’s future residence. All documentation must be emailed in .pdf format, and the attachment can’t be larger than 20 Mb.

View MUP’s locations and emails in this guide.

#4 Wait for the solution

After you apply, MUP will check the future employee. They check whether they represent a danger to public order, national security, and health and if they have a ban on entering and staying in Croatia.

MUP will contact you soon upon applying if they need additional information or documentation. If the application meets all requirements, MUP will issue a seasonal work and stay permit. They will notify you about the solution by phone or email.

#5 Pay the administration fee

You must pay the administration fee for issuing a seasonal work permit. All possible administrative costs for this procedure are available here. Payment information is available here. Deliver proof of payment to MUP when obtaining a seasonal work permit.

#6 Apply an employee to HZZO

After you get a seasonal work permit for your employee, you must sign them up for mandatory health insurance at HZZO.

View our guide on how to sign up for state health insurance in Croatia here.

Seasonal workers may also be interested in other insurances:

What is considered an adequate accommodation for seasonal workers?

Adequate accommodation provides seasonal workers with an adequate standard of living during their work in Croatia. Adequate accommodation is a space in a solid object.

The living space must have a sanitary facility physically separated from the living and sleeping rooms. The accommodation must have provided water, electricity, and heating. If a worker resides there during summer, it does not have to provide heating. The space must meet health and hygienic conditions for housing according to special regulations.

Up to 6 workers can stay in the space for living, sleeping, and preparing food. The smallest square footage for housing must be at least 14 m2 per person, including a sleeping area, food preparation, and sanitary facilities. Sleeping areas for women and men must be separated unless a family lives there.

If the employer provides the accommodation or they are intermediaries, they must respect some rules. The cost must be appropriate to the salary and not exceed 30% of the neto salary. In addition, the cost must not be automatically deducted from the salary. If the employer ensures free accommodation, they must give the worker a document with the listed accommodation conditions.

[Read: Minimum wage salaries in Croatia]

When applying for a seasonal work permit, an applicant must sign an accommodation statement. If a worker changes their accommodation, the police must be notified within 8 days. You can view a guide on how to register or change your address in Croatia here.

A seasonal worker who has been granted a seasonal work permit at least once during the previous five years does not need to provide proof of accommodation when applying.

[Read: Your rights as a worker in Croatia]

How to extend a seasonal work permit

A seasonal worker can extend their seasonal work permit once in 6 months to work for the same employer or another employer. You must provide proof of financial means – calculations of paid salaries in proportion to the validity of the previously issued seasonal work permit.

The application for an extension of a seasonal work permit must be submitted at least 15 days before the previous one expires. The police will make a decision within 3 days.

If you want to extend the permit to work for the same employer, you must submit the extension request according to your place of residence. If you want to work for another employer, you must submit the request online, as explained above.

View our other work posts

Radne dozvole by MUP
Zakon o strancima
Dozvole za boravak i rad za državljane trećih zemalja by HZZ

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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