Like many of the other EU member countries, it is fairly easy to get a Croatia visa for US citizens. As an American with a valid passport, you do not need a visa to enter the country if you are staying for less than 90 days within a six-month time range. However, if you are planning to stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa in order to legally remain in the country.
Other countries that do not require visas for a visit less than 90 days:
- E.U. countries
Obtaining a Croatian Tourist Visa
In order to get a visa you will have to contact the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia (Washington D.C.) and make a Croatia visa appointment. You can also contact the Consulate General’s office located in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to apply for your Croatian consulate visa. You will be able to complete the visa applications online, by mail, or in person. However, you will need to mail in a hard copy or present on site that will finalize the visa process.
Once you have your travel visa, there are a few things you will want to prepare for:
1. Be sure that your passport has at least 2 blank visa pages for international travel. If you don’t have room for visa stamps, this can create problems when you pass through international customs.
2. Check your travel itinerary to see what other countries you will be passing through on your way to Croatia. A separate transit visa may be required in some of these places.
3. Take pictures of your passport on your phone just in case something happens to your passport. You can’t enter the country without your physical passport. However, if you have a picture on your phone, you can more easily begin the process of obtaining a valid copy during your travel.
Types of Visas
As a non-resident of Croatia, you must have a valid reason for wanting a visa to stay in the country for longer than the allotted 90 days. Here is a list of some of the reasons that you can have for requiring a visa:
- Family Reunion (Proof of relation required.)
- Study Abroad (Proof of enrollment required.)
- Scientific Research (Proof of research work required.)
- Humanitarian and Volunteer Work
There are some exceptions beyond these reasons that can be approved. It is best to discuss this during your visa appointment or contact the Croatian police (MUP) for more information.
Obtaining Residency in Croatia
For those who want a much longer stay in Croatia (up to a year or more), becoming a temporary resident is the smartest way to plan your visit. You can get Croatian residency for the same reasons mentioned above (family reunion, work, school, etc). This kind of temporary residence will give foreign visitors the same political rights as a Croatian resident. Typically, this kind of temporary residence is only good for one year with the potential for renewal. This process of renewal is approved by the Croatian police (MUP).
You can apply for a temporary residence permit at the nearest Croatian consulate in your country (New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago for U.S. citizens). They will provide you with a list of required documents and information on processing fees. Proof of your income source and living accommodations in Croatia will be required for the application.
It is possible to get permanent residency in Croatia without being a Croatian citizen. Once you approve for five years of temporary residency permits, you can apply for permanent residency. In order to obtain permanent residency, you will need to have:
- Valid passport
- Proof of long-term income
- Health insurance
- Social security
- Fluency in Croatian language
Become a Croatian Citizen
Having Croatian citizenship can open up new opportunities for work, investment, and personal enrichment. Although it isn’t always easy, you can obtain Croatia citizenship if you have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years. Your application for citizenship will be processed by the Croatian police (MUP).
Here is a list of some of the documents required for your citizenship application:
- Documents proving identity
- Education or work permits
- Proof of Croatian address
- Marital status documents
- Identification documents for parents and/or children
Expect to give more information on why you are applying for citizenship and your knowledge of Croatian culture and customs. If you live in Croatia and immerse yourself in the culture (e.g. joining sports clubs, participating in cultural traditions), you are more likely to have your citizenship approved. Providing a general statement about your interest and intentions for citizenship will be a rule for the application process.
Croatia’s Investor Citizenship
Entrepreneurs seeking citizenship should prepare for the same kind of application process. If you can prove that your business investment is creating jobs for Croatian citizens, you have a better chance of approval for your own citizenship. Expect the need to provide detailed documents on your business growth and projected development. The application process requires an interview where you will need to expand on your business plans.
Citizenship is possible, but not guaranteed for investors. If you are rejected for citizenship, you may be able to apply again after a designated period of time.