A third country national is entitled to the following in the Republic of Croatia:
- short-term stay (up to 90 days in any 180-day period);
- temporary stay (up to one year);
- long-term residence (unlimited);
- permanent stay (unlimited).
A citizen of a third country, i.e. a country that is not a Member State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, who intends to reside or resides in the Republic of Croatia may be granted temporary residence on the grounds of:
- family reunification,
- secondary education,
- humanitarian reasons,
- a life partnership,
- a secondment,
- the residence of a long-term resident of another EEA Member State,
- other purposes,
- the residence of digital nomads.
Temporary residence for the purpose of work shall be granted as a residence and work permit. Notwithstanding certain exceptions provided by the Non-nationals Act, the employment of a non-national may be approved if there are not enough workers in the domestic labour market to fill vacancies and if the employer meets the stipulated conditions.
A highly qualified worker from a third country may submit an application for a residence and work permit to the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Croatia abroad, or to the local police in their place of work/residence. The residence and work permit (the EU Blue Card) is issued for a period of two years.
Registering as unemployed with the Croatian Employment Service
A third country national who may work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence and work permit in accordance with special regulations, and meets the legal requirements for registering on the register for Croatian nationals, may register with the Employment Service. These may be persons who, for example, have been granted international protection, or are non-nationals with temporary residence on humanitarian grounds or for the purpose of family reunification or a life partnership with a Croatian national, or may be an EU national or a non-national with permanent residence. A note on the right to work without a residence and work permit is entered on the biometric residence permit required for registration on the unemployment register. It records the person’s citizenship, the grounds for their residence, the date until the residence is valid, their OIB and address in the Republic of Croatia. A certificate or diploma attesting the person’s highest level of education should be presented also, if possible.
A third country citizen who resides in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a residence and work permit and whose employment relationship in the Republic of Croatia has ended (without fault or consent on their part, and who is unemployed and has been granted temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia) may register with the Croatian Employment Service to exercise the right to unemployment benefits.
They can register at the relevant office in their authorised place of temporary residence. Once the benefits have been used or the temporary residence has expired, the person shall cease to be registered on the records of the Employment Service.