What you need to do if you’re stuck in Croatia because of COVID-19

This post has been verified with an immigration lawyer and the ministry handling immigration.

Greetings to all of our temporary neighbors in Croatia!

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Sara and I’ve helped foreigners move to and live in this lovely country since 2013 through this site you just found, Expat in Croatia. We specialize in Croatian immigration requirements and assisting foreigners with gaining residency and citizenship.

All of our information is thoroughly well-researched as well as directly confirmed with both practicing immigration attorneys, the immigration department (both local and national) and with the law that governs foreigners. If people have experiences that conflict with the law, we note that in our resources too. I’ve helped thousands of people over the years, because I adore Croatia and am happy to help anyone wants to be here and love this country the way I do. It’s what I do everyday. 🙂

With that in mind, we want to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information as it concerns your stay here while on holiday so that you know step-by-step exactly what to do and what is needed, just like the resources we provide to the long-term residents.

If you were traveling here temporarily and had to cancel your trip home because of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, there is a chance you may overstay your tourist visa. Croatia allows tourists to stay in the country up to 30, 60, or 90 days depending on your nationality. If you’re unsure how long you can be in Croatia as a tourist, you can check here.

Both EU and non-EU nationals in this situation must notify the police of their stay just like they would under any other circumstances. It is an obligation that is confirmed by the below official letter we received from the ministry that governs immigration, called “MUP” for short. We provide a translation below the letter.

Here is the translation of this letter:

“If foreigner who is in Croatia on short term visit, regarding the situation with pandemic of virus Covid-19, is not able to leave Croatia promptly, meaning their tourist visa is expired, they will not be sanctioned by the Foreigners Act.

We urge that foreigner to contact local police department where police officer will take their data, address, phone number etc., and inform them to call the police station before leaving Croatia, so that they will not get in trouble on the border.

We recommend not to come to Police station personally, instead to use available phone numbers (or e-mails), which the foreigner can get all the information concerning [their situation].”

During this time, it is even more crucial that Croatia knows who is here for the safety of all of us. We are now going to tell you exactly what you need to do and how to do it.

If you want to contact your closest consulate or embassy, here is the full list of foreign embassies and consulates in Croatia along with their contact information.

First, make sure you are registered with the police

When staying in accommodation, the owner is supposed to register you with the police, either in person or using a system called eVisitor. If you are at risk of overstaying your tourist visa, it is recommended that you check with the accommodation owner to confirm that you were registered.

Keep in mind, it is the legal obligation of whomever owns the property where you are staying to register you with the police. Tourists cannot register themselves. If you are staying with a friend or family member, it is their legal obligation to register you with the police too.

What to do if you’re an EU national

EU nationals have a right to stay in Croatia as long as they like.

However, if you are an EU national and intend to stay past 90 days, then you need to apply for and receive a residence permit. You may read about that process here. You should start your application as soon as possible, which is the same advice given to any new person moving here. If you need help with your application, contact us for an attorney referral who can handle it all for you.

If you are temporarily here on holiday, then the police (whom handle immigration) need to be notified of your presence. If you have already been registered in the eVisitor system, then your accommodation host can use this same system to update your travel dates.

If you are a tourist stuck in Croatia due to the pandemic because you cannot travel back to your own country for any reason, you need to personally contact the police to let them know that you plan to overstay and why. This is important and critical to avoid issues when you eventually leave Croatia.

For your reference, the police are under the Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova, called “MUP” for short. Please note that MUP has been known to communicate in the Croatian language so you may need to find someone to help you. Croatians are wonderful hosts and I’m sure they would do anything to help. They’ve been better about speaking in English since the pandemic began though.

When contacting MUP by phone or email, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your nationality
  • Your contact number
  • Where you live in your home country so they know where you need to get back to
  • Address of where you are staying currently and address where you’ll stay until you leave Croatia
  • Why you can’t leave Croatia

To let MUP know of your potential overstay, you can visit or contact one of their police stations using the information here. You can also notify the state police using this email address: [email protected]

If you need someone to help you notify MUP of your presence in Croatia, we can help! Jump to the last section on this page to find out how to contact us. If you’ve got it covered, great! Browse our entire library of posts about living in Croatia here and follow our Facebook page for the latest updates here.

What to do if you’re a non-EU national

If you are a non-EU national, the amount of time you can be in Croatia is limited depending on your nationality. It is imperative that you notify the police (whom handle immigration) if you plan to overstay your visa. If you don’t know how long you can be here, you can check the requirements for your nationality here.

Police stations are now recommending to all non-EU nationals who are stuck here due to COVID-19 to apply for a residence permit. Specifically, this residence permit. This will give you some breathing room so you can stay in Croatia for up to 1 year as this pandemic plays out.

If were already planning to apply for long-term residency, then take a look at this post to find out your options. You should start your application as soon as possible. If you need help with your application, contact us and we can refer you to an immigration attorney who can handle it all for you.

If you do not wish to apply for residency and are a tourist that may risk overstaying your visa due to the pandemic because you cannot travel back to your own country for any reason, you need to personally contact the police to let them know that you plan to overstay and why. This is important and critical to avoid issues when you eventually leave Croatia.

For your reference, the police are under the Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova, called “MUP” for short. Please note that MUP has been known to communicate in the Croatian language so you may need to find someone to help you. Croatians are wonderful hosts and I’m sure they would do anything to help. They’ve been better about speaking in English since the pandemic began though.

When contacting MUP by phone or email, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your nationality
  • Your contact number
  • Where you live in your home country so they know where you need to get back to
  • Address of where you are staying currently and address where you’ll stay until you leave Croatia
  • Why you can’t leave Croatia

To let MUP know of your potential overstay, you can visit or contact one of the police stations using the information here. You can also notify the state police using this email address: [email protected]

If you need someone to help you notify MUP of your presence in Croatia, we can help! Jump to the next section to contact us. If you’ve got it covered, great! Browse our entire library of posts about living in Croatia here and follow our Facebook page for the latest updates here.

Can I get help?

Yes, of course! We can connect you with local English-speaking immigration attorneys who can take care of all of this for you so that you are protected during your extended and unexpected stay in Croatia.

This service includes:

  • Consulting on your specific situation
  • Confirming immigration’s requirements for your particular situation
  • Written notification to the police on your behalf
  • Following up with police on your behalf to confirm registration
  • Preparing your residency application if you plan to stay longer
  • Representing you with police for the duration of your stay in Croatia
  • Providing legal aid until the travel bans are lifted

It’s best to have a local expert who has your back to ensure peace of mind and security. We have relationships with immigration, know the ins and outs of the law, and can communicate with the government on your behalf.

We will be there with you until you’re able to travel safely home. With all the uncertainty, it’s best to make sure you can stay isolated and safe right where you are.

To get help now, please complete and submit the below form:

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4 thoughts on “What you need to do if you’re stuck in Croatia because of COVID-19

  1. Connor VlaKancic
    March 31, 2020 @ 6:49 pm

    “Stuck” in Croatia! Consider yourself LUCKY.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 2, 2020 @ 2:22 pm

      Hi Connor,

      I most definitely do, everyday. 🙂

      Stay safe and healthy!

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Paola
    April 20, 2020 @ 3:13 pm

    How is situation if you are stuck outside Croatia with this Covid-19 crisis, and you can’t return because in the country you are stuck in they canceled all flights to Croatia and you have temporary residence. You will lose your status or is there any place you can write to advice on this situation?

    {reply}

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