Residence and work permit

The new Aliens Act (OG 133/20), regulating entry conditions, residence and work by third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia, entered into force on 1 January 2021.

Residence and work permits based on the opinion of the Croatian Employment Service

Employers wishing to employ third-country nationals must first contact the Croatian Employment Service to conduct a labour market test (finding labour in the domestic labour market) before applying for a residence and work permit to the Ministry of the Interior through the competent police department or police stations.

In case of not finding a domestic workforce, the Croatian Employment Service will notify the employer on the result of the labour market test. The employer may submit a request for a residence and work permit to the Ministry of the Interior, through the police department or police station, within 90 days of receiving the notification on the result of the labour market test.

Employers are not required to request a labour market test before submitting a request for a residence and work permit if:
-it is an extension of the residence and work permit for the same employer and the same third-country national,
-employment is foreseen in deficit occupations enumerated in the Decision of the Management Board of the Croatian Employment Service,
-third-country nationals are employed in agriculture, forestry, catering and tourism for up to 90 days during a calendar year.
After receiving the request, the Ministry of the Interior will ask the Croatian Employment Service for an opinion on the issuance of a residence and work permit for a specific third-country national who will be working for a Croatian employer, i.e. whether the employer meets the conditions stipulated by law. Likewise, the Ministry of the Interior, through the competent police department or police station, will verify whether a third-country national meets the conditions stipulated by law.

The Ministry of the Interior, through the police department /police station, may issue a residence and work permit to a third-country national who meets the conditions for granting temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia, based on a positive opinion of the Croatian Employment Service. A residence and work permit shall be issued to a third-country national for the time required to perform the work, i.e. for the time for which the employment contract has been concluded, and for a maximum of one year.

Residence and work permits without a labour market test and the opinion of the Croatian Employment Service

The Ministry of the Interior, through the police department /police station, may issue residence and work permits without a labour market test and the opinion of the Croatian Employment Service, may issue residence and work permits at the request of a third-country national or employer to, inter alia:
-key personnel in companies, branches and representative offices,
– a third-country national for the purpose of self-employment in a company in which he has an ownership share of at least 51% or in a trade in which he has an ownership share of at least 51%,
-a highly qualified third-country national who qualifies for an EU Blue Card,
-scientific researchers who are employed in scientific, scientific-teaching or other research positions in scientific legal entities,
-a third-country national who is a manager, expert or trainee transferred within the company,
– a third-country national transferred within the company for the purpose of long-term mobility,
-a third-country nationals who come for a certain period to perform certain tasks in accordance with agreements concluded by the Croatian Government with third countries,
-a third-country national who comes to implement strategic investment projects or is the holder of incentive measures under the legislation on investment incentives,
-and other necessary persons, except for persons which have been transferred within the companies, as defined by the Protocol of Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the Marrakesh Treaty establishing the World Trade Organization.

The requests for issuance of residence and work permit for which it is not necessary to conduct a labour market test or obtain the opinion of the Croatian Employment Service also relates to:
-the extension of the residence and work permit for the same employer and the same third-country national, and
-employment of third-country nationals in agriculture, forestry, catering and tourism for up to 90 days during a calendar year.

The Ministry of the Interior shall decide on the request for the issuance of a residence and work permit through the police department or police station according to the place of residence or intended residence of the third-country national. A residence and work permit shall be issued to a third-country national for the time required to perform the work, i.e. for the time for which the employment contract has been concluded, and for a maximum of one year.

Renewal of residence and work permit

The application for renewal of a residence and work permit shall be submitted no later than 30 days before the expiration of the residence and work permit in the police department or police station (which decides on the extension), according to the place of residence of the third-country national. The police department or police station is obliged to decide on the request for extension of the residence and work permit before the expiry of the valid residence and work permit.

Nationals of EEA Member States and members of their families

Nationals of a European Economic Area (EEA) and members of their families (irrespective of their nationality), as well as the nationals of the Swiss Confederation who have the right to stay in Croatia, have equal rights as Croatian citizens under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. They may work and provide services without a residence and work permit or certificate of work registration.