Getting Residence: What to Bring to Croatia

You’ve decided to move to Croatia. That’s awesome.

Now you’ve got some work to do to ensure there will be no problems gaining residency. There are a number of items you should prepare BEFORE leaving your home country as being without them will only delay your residence application.

There are several documents you should bring with you to Croatia. Depending on who you talk to and when, what the authorities will actually require for your residence permit application may vary. To prepare for all contingencies, you should bring:

  • An apostilled original of your birth certificate
  • An apostilled original of your marriage certificate (if applicable). If you’ve been married more than a couple years, I recommend getting a new copy for this purpose.
  • A certified copy of your high school or college transcripts, whichever is latest
  • Your passport that is at least 1 year out from its expiration date
  • A drivers license at least 1 year out from its expiration date (if you plan to drive)

Once you get to Croatia, you may need to have any or all of these documents translated into Croatian by a certified translator. The Republic of Croatia and their consulates are very clear on their web sites that you must have all documents translated in advance of arrival.

However, wait until the police in Croatia tell you what they need translated first or you’ll likely waste a bunch of money.

If you are an EU national, you’ll need a lot less than a third-country national. For example, EU nationals will not need to provide their college transcript or birth certificate.

If you are in need of a certified English to Croatian translator, email us for a recommendation.

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13 thoughts on “Getting Residence: What to Bring to Croatia

  1. GUEST POST: Sara from Expat in Croatia | Chasing the Donkey
    August 10, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

    […] situation is different. Every police station is different.  And these rules are for renewals. If you are applying for residency for the first time, there are likely additional documents you need to provide. So make sure you double-check your […]


  2. Jo Dukaric
    July 26, 2016 @ 4:35 pm

    My husband is Croatian, resides in Zagreb. I am Australian. Yesterday we went to sort out the health insurance stuff (went to policija last week to register and enquire about visa process. I have all documents apostilled, they just need to be translated to Croatian). At the policija the administrator said that I must have travel insurance before I hand in my forms, and to go to HZZO to organise. HZZO don't do travel insurance and told me to go to insurance company here in Zagreb to get it. In this case, I went to Croatia Osiguranje, which is almost 1,000kn for 3 months coverage. First tremor of Croatian bureaucracy! 


  3. travis
    July 16, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

    i from africa(cameroon) precisely, how do i get an employment visa in any company in croatia dealing with agriculture and farming/


    • Expat in Croatia
      August 24, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

      Hi Travis,

      It is extremely hard (nearly impossible) to get an employment offer within Croatia for non-EU nationals as unemployment is high here. Your best bet is to travel to Croatia as a tourist and physically go to companies with a CV to apply.




  4. Bob
    September 23, 2018 @ 1:52 pm

    I’m Moroccan. spouse of eu wife live and work in France I’m living and working in Morocco we plan to visit that beautiful country of caroatia.
    We need some advice for visa document ?
    We have marrocan mariage certificate.


    • Expat in Croatia
      September 24, 2018 @ 7:10 am

      Hi Bob,

      Are you planning to visit Croatia as a tourist or do you want to live here long term?




  5. Tati
    October 29, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

    Dear Sara,

    I’ve been reading your web sites for days now and all the experiences from different people wanting to move Croatia.

    I was hoping you could enlighten me a little as I want to do the same , my life partner is Croatian.

    Our situation is a little particular so I will give you all the details so you can give me your honest opinion on how to proceed. I am from Ecuador and as I said he is Croatian. We are both seamen, we work on cruise ships so we are not in the country all the time, but I want to get the residency so I can stay in Croatia and leave ships. Currently, I have to go home every time to get the schengen visa up to 3 months, it is a real pain… and of course it costs money, needless to say the flight tickets.

    From what I’ve been reading, I do fall under the category of family reunification it seems, my concern is, we are not married, what do we need to present as valid document for the informal union, is that something they would accept ?

    for the health insurance – in my case, do I need to get health insurance in Ecuador for the whole year I intend to stay – is this something that can be done in Croatia ?

    I read something about living arrangements – do we need to present proof of owning some real state ?

    If I enter with the regular schengen visa can I then apply for the temporary permit directly from Croatia ?

    Sara, any information you can help me with , will be deeply appreciated, we have only a couples of months to get it sorted out as I am planning on doing this in January.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


  6. Bob
    October 6, 2019 @ 2:21 am

    Hi sara
    My EU wife and I we are in Croatia now. And we want to apply for residenc permit for me as spouse of eu citizen.but we don’t know if we can do it.becaus I’m visa required. And I entered illegally to Croatia.and I can’t go back to Morocco to apply for Visa.
    Can you advise us please.what to do next .


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 9, 2019 @ 2:43 pm

      Hi Bob,

      My recommendation would be to leave Croatia and re-enter with the proper visa. If you can’t go back to Morocco then find an embassy or consulate outside Croatia where you can get a visa. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of jeopardizing your ability to get a residence permit. I’ve spoken to people who also require a visa and are married to a Croatian. The government is strict about this. You must enter on a valid visa and you must start your residency permit immediately so that your visa period doesn’t run out.




  7. Bob
    October 9, 2019 @ 4:15 pm

    Hi sara
    Thank very much. For your advice.


    • Expat in Croatia
      October 14, 2019 @ 10:38 am

      Thanks so much for following Bob!


  8. mirza
    October 26, 2019 @ 11:52 am

    Hi I am from India and looks ok. educated , skilled. I’m looking for a beautiful wife from your country.


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