All types of available visas for entry into Croatia: Guide for 2021

How to get Croatia visa
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PUBLISHED: 11/6/2021

When entering Croatia as a non-resident, some nationalities can enter without a visa, and some nationalities require a visa. For those that require a visa to enter Croatia, it must be obtained abroad before entry. Croatia does not have a visa-on-arrival program.

If you’re unsure if a visa is required for you to enter Croatia, you can check the latest rules for your nationality here.

Depending on the purpose of your stay in Croatia, the type of visa may vary. In addition to possession of the right visa, you must also meet other required conditions to enter Croatia. For example, there are additional rules in place due to the pandemic. View those rules here.

Starting July 1, 2021, Croatia applies the common visa policy of the European Union. The validity of a visa depends on the circumstances of the travel, but it can’t be longer than 5 years.

This post is strictly for third-country citizens who require a visa to enter Croatia. If you are interested in a long-term residence permit, find those options here.

In this post, we’ve covered:

The facts are these…

What is a visa

In Croatia, a visa serves as permission for:

  • Intended stay in Croatia for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days
  • Transit through Croatia for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days
  • Transit through the international transit area of airports in Croatia

The approved visa will be added to a valid travel document. If using a passport, a sticker will be placed on one of the pages. In exceptional cases due to humanitarian reasons or national interest, or if a passport isn’t valid, a visa is issued on paper.

A visa is NOT the same as a residence permit. A residence permit is strictly for a long-term stay past 30 to 90 days, depending on the term of your entry visa. [Read: Difference between getting a visa and a residence permit in Croatia and Types of residence permits]

Types of Croatian visas

Croatia issues these types of visas:

  • Short-stay visas called “kratkotrajna viza”
    • Air-transit visa – A visa
    • Short-stay visa – C visa
  • Long-stay visas called “dugotrajna viza” – D visa

#1 Air-transit visa (A visa)

An air-transit visa (A visa) is called “zrakoplovno-tranzitna viza” or “viza A” in Croatian.

The A visa is issued to third-country citizens for one or more passes through the international transit area of an airport in Croatia.

Foreigners who don’t leave the international transit area or plane during their intermediate landings at the airport in Croatia usually don’t need a visa. However, citizens of certain countries are required to possess an A visa.

The validity period of an A visa is up to 6 months, plus an additional period of 15 days.

#2 Short-stay visa (C visa)

A short-stay visa (C visa) is called “kratkotrajna viza” or “viza C” in Croatian.

C visa is issued for:

  • One, two, or more transits with the length of the approved stay required for the transit
  • One, two, or more entries into Croatia for the purpose of:
    • Tourist stay
    • Business stay
    • Personal stay
    • Other types of stay

The validity period of a C visa is up to 5 years. It depends on the circumstances of your travel to Croatia. The validity period includes an additional period of 15 days.

The total duration of your consecutive stays in Croatia cannot exceed 3 months in any 6-month period from the date of your first entry.

#3 Long-stay visa (D visa)

A long-stay visa (D visa) is called “dugotrajna viza” or “viza D” in Croatian.

If you are a third-country citizen who was granted a temporary stay or a work permit before arriving in Croatia and you need a short-term visa to enter Croatia, you will get a D visa. It is issued for one or more entries into Croatia.

The validity period of a D visa is up to 6 months. The start date of the validity period cannot be earlier than the start date of the validity period of a granted temporary stay or work permit. D visa allows you to stay in Croatia for up to 30 days.

[Read: How to apply for a work permit: Guide for 2021]

Third-country citizens who don’t need a Croatian visa

Visa-Free Travel

There are some third-country nationalities that can travel visa-free to Croatia, regardless of their purpose of travel. Examples of countries that can travel visa-free to Croatia include:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • European Union member states
  • Israel
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • United States

However, some nationalities require a visa to enter Croatia. Examples are:

  • China
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Thailand

If you’re unsure if a visa is required for your nationality, check the latest rules here.

Visa Exemptions

Some third-country citizens are exempt from having to get a Croatian visa to enter Croatia, even if their nationality is one that requires a visa to enter Croatia. Those who possess certain valid documents issued by a Schengen member state, as well as visas or residence permits from Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania do not need a Croatian visa.

Valid documents include:

  • Unique visa (C visa) valid for the territory of all Schengen member states for two or more entries
  • Visas with limited territorial validity (LTV visa) in certain Schengen member states (but not all Schengen states) for two or more entries
  • Long-term visas (D visa) for a stay longer than 90 days, issued by a Schengen member state
  • Residence permits issued by one of the Schengen member states
  • Bulgarian visas valid for two or more entries and residence permits listed in Annex I to Decision no. 565/2014/EU
  • Cypriot visas valid for two or more entries and residence permits listed in Annex III to Decision no. 565/2014/EU
  • Romanian visas valid for two or more entries and residence permits listed in Annex IV to Decision no. 565/2014/EU

Foreigners who possess one of the above-mentioned documents don’t need a Croatian visa for a stay that does not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period. Essentially, these documents serve as an equivalent to a Croatian visa. Their validity period must cover the duration of transit or stay in Croatia.

Decision no. 565/2014/EU of the European Parliament and Council is available here.

Family members of EU citizens

If you are a third-country citizen who requires a visa to enter Croatia AND are a family member of a citizen of an EU member state, you can get a visa at the Croatian border or border of another EU member state.

At the border, you must show:

  • Passport
  • Proof that you are a family member of an EU citizen
    • Wedding certificate
    • Birth certificate
  • Proof that you are joining or accompanying an EU citizen
    • For example, proof that the EU citizen lives in the country you are trying to enter

How to apply for a Croatian short-stay visa

If you need a short-stay visa, you should submit the request no earlier than 6 months before, and no later than 15 days before intended travel to Croatia. Seafarers should submit their request no earlier than 9 months before their travel.

Your application for a Croatian visa will be solved within 15 days from the day of submitting the request. This deadline may be prolonged up to 45 days due to justified reasons.

Which documents are required to apply for a Croatian short-stay visa

When applying, you must enclose this documentation:

  • Valid travel document/passport
    • Validity period must be at least 3 months longer than the validity period of the visa
    • It must be issued in the last 10 years
    • It must contain at least 2 blank pages where the visa can be placed
  • 35×45 mm photo
  • Proof of valid travel medical insurance – View more details here
  • Proof of paid visa fee – View more details here
  • Documents that prove purpose of stay
    • Letter of guarantee for private visits – View more details here
      • Form for natural persons (i.e. people) is available here
      • Form for legal entities (i.e. organizations, institutions, businesses, etc.) is available here
  • Booked accommodation
  • Means of subsistence during your stay in Croatia and for the return to your home country or travel to another third country
  • Means of travel and intention to return to your home country or entry into another third country (non-EU)
  • Application form – It is available in different languages:

When applying online, you will complete the application form via an online app.

Visa application to enter Croatia
English application for Croatian visa to enter Croatia

Where to apply for a Croatian short-stay visa

#1 At a Croatian embassy/consulate/VFS visa center

You can apply for a Croatian visa at:

  • Competent Croatian embassy or consulate, or VFS Global visa center in your home country
  • Nearest Croatian embassy or consulate, or VFS Global visa center if Croatia doesn’t have one in your foreign country
  • Embassy or consulate of another state with which Croatia has an agreement on the issuance of visa

If you are prevented from coming in person, someone else can submit the request instead of you. However, you will have to show up in person to pick up your visa. Legal representatives can submit requests for minor persons or persons without legal capacity.

If you apply for a Croatian visa for the first time, your fingerprints will be taken.

A list of all Croatian embassies and consulates abroad is available here.

Below is a list of all VFS visa centers:

#2 Online

It is also possible to submit a request for a Croatian visa online here.

The online application form is available in Croatian, English, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and Albanian.

After submission, you must provide the Croatian embassy/consulate/VFS visa center with a printed version of your completed application form along with the required documentation. This is also possible to do through an accredited travel agency.

In addition to applying for a Croatian visa, you can also check your application status on this page.

#3 EXCEPTION: At the Croatian border

In extraordinary and justified cases when you cannot apply for a Croatian visa in advance, but you have documents proving urgent reasons for entering Croatia, the police at the Croatian border may issue you a short-term visa. Justified cases include unforeseen and immediate urgent reasons for entering Croatia.

At Croatian borders, it is possible to get only a visa for:

  • One entry of up to 15 days
  • Transit
  • Transit to seafarers

To get this visa, you must meet these requirements:

  • You have a valid travel document, i.e. a passport
  • You have justified the purpose of your urgent travel
  • You have enough means of subsistence during your stay in Croatia and return to your home country or for travel to another third country
  • Your return to the country of origin or residence or transit is declared safe
  • You are not banned from entering and staying in Croatia
  • You are not a threat to Croatian public order, national security, or public health
  • You paid a visa fee in the amount of 60€ in kuna equivalent.

Croatian visas can be issued at border crossings with:

  • Slovenia
    • Bregana
    • Dubrava Križovljanska
    • Jurovski Brod
    • Kaštel
    • Macelj
    • Pasjak
    • Rupa
  • Hungary
    • Donji Miholjac
    • Goričan
    • Terezino Polje
  • Serbia
    • Bajakovo
    • Erdut
  • Montenegro
    • Karasovići
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Hrvatska Kostajnica
    • Jasenovac
    • Kamensko
    • Ličko Petrovo Selo
    • Maljevac
    • Metković
    • Nova Sela
    • Slavonski Brod
    • Stara Gradiška
    • Vinjani Donji
    • Županja
  • At all border crossings for maritime and air transport
  • At all border crossings for river traffic
    • Osijek
    • Slavonski Brod
    • Vukovar

Administrative fees

Below are all possible costs:

  • Short-stay visa fee charged at the time of application – 460 kuna OR 60€ OR 69 USD
  • Storing of the original Letter of Guarantee at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – 140 kuna OR 19€ or 21 USD
  • Complaint against a decision declining the application, annulling, or abolishing a visa – 320 kuna OR 43 kuna OR 48 kuna
  • Complaint against declining extension and/or duration of the stay granted on the basis of the visa issued – 320 kuna OR 43 kuna OR 48 kuna

The following groups are exempt from paying administrative costs:

  • Family members of Croatian citizens (spouses and children)
  • Family members of citizens of EU/EEA Member States
  • Children up to 12 years of age
  • Owners of diplomatic and service passports on official travel
  • Students, postgraduate students, and accompanying teachers who come for the purpose of schooling, study, and professional training [Read: How to obtain residence for study in Croatia]
  • Visiting teachers and associates at higher education institutions who participate in study programs
  • Researchers coming to research according to the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005
  • Foreign researchers who are guests at scientific organizations, work on scientific research and participate in study programs
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations up to the age of 25, who attend seminars, conferences, sport, cultural, or educational events organized by non-profit organizations

How to apply for a Croatian long-stay D visa

If you need a long-stay visa, you should submit the request 2 months before the start date of the validity period of your granted temporary stay or work permit.

What are the requirements to apply for a Croatian long-stay D visa

When applying, you must meet these requirements:

  • You have a granted temporary stay or work permit in Croatia [Read: Types of residence permits]
  • You possess a valid travel document/passport
  • You enclosed a 35×45 mm photo
  • You paid an administrative fee
  • You enclosed an application form
  • The embassy/consulate has taken your fingerprints
  • You have valid travel health insurance
  • You are not banned from entering and staying in Croatia or SIS hasn’t issued a warning to ban your entry
  • You are not a threat to Croatian public order, national security, or public health

Where to apply for a Croatian long-stay D visa

You can apply for a Croatian long-stay visa at the Croatian embassy or consulate outside of Croatia. You must show up in person. After you get your visa, you will pick it up at the same embassy/consulate.

A list of all Croatian embassies and consulates abroad is available here.

Penalties for overstaying a tourist visa

According to the Law on Foreigners, third-country citizens who illegally stay in Croatia may be fined with a penalty between 500 kuna and 7.000 kuna. This includes third-country citizens who don’t have a valid permit for temporary stay, long-term stay, or permanent stay.

However, for seriously egregious overstays (like, years), jail time is on the table.

If you have any questions about the Croatian visa system, you can send an e-mail to [email protected].

Note: We’ve explained all available types of visas for third-country citizens in this post. However, before you apply for a visa, it is recommended to contact the competent Croatian embassy or consulate abroad. They will provide you with additional information and the latest changes if any.


Sources:
https://gov.hr/hr/vize/1216
http://www.mvep.hr/hr/predstavnistva/izdavanje-viza/
https://mup.gov.hr/gradjani-281562/moji-dokumenti-281563/stranci-333/treba-li-vam-viza/281933
http://www.mvep.hr/hr/konzularne-informacije/vize/pregled-viznog-sustava0/
http://www.mvep.hr/hr/konzularne-informacije/vize/postupak-izdavanja-viza/dokumentacija-uz-zahtjev/
https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2013_01_7_117.html
https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2020_12_133_2520.html
https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/index_hr.htm
http://www.mvep.hr/en/consular-information/visas/visa-requirements-overview/
https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2020_12_133_2520.html

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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4 thoughts on “All types of available visas for entry into Croatia: Guide for 2021

  1. Carlos Kuhlenthal
    July 7, 2021 @ 1:42 pm

    Hi Sara

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice on the following

    I am holding a Chilean Passport and entered Croatia by boat on June 10th 2021 where I am living and would like to stay 30 more days pass the 90 days of my tourist visa. Any chance, alternative?

    Thanks in advance

    Carlos

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 7, 2021 @ 4:13 pm

      Hi Carlos,

      If you got a tourist visa, the total duration of your consecutive stays in Croatia cannot exceed 3 months in any 6-month period from the date of your first entry. However, you can try to contact MUP if you have an urgent situation.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  2. Naveen Pothakamuri
    August 21, 2021 @ 2:12 pm

    Hi

    How can i get a job in croatia & what about the processing charges, work permit approval charges! Are these expenses can be barable by company & how much we need to pay if not by them?

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      August 23, 2021 @ 4:36 pm

      Hi Naveen,

      You can learn how to get a job in Croatia here: https://www.expatincroatia.com/find-a-job/

      Fees are listed in this article (560 kuna for issuing, 240 kuna for a biometric residence permit, 70 kuna for an administration cost). If the company is asking for a work permit, they may pay the costs.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

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