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Work Permit in Croatia: How to Get a Work Permit in Croatia?

Last updated on December 19, 2023

Getting a work permit in Croatia allows you to legally work in the country, either for a Croatian company or as a remote worker or freelancer.

The process involves applying to the local police department for either a residence and work permit or just a work registration certificate. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a work permit in Croatia.

Types of Work Permits

There are two main types of work permits available in Croatia:

Residence and Work Permit: This allows both residence and legal employment in Croatia. It is suitable for those planning to work for a Croatian company on local employment terms.

Work Registration Certificate: This only allows legal employment. It does not provide residence rights. It is ideal for digital nomads and remote workers who want to legally work while in Croatia.

The type of permit you need depends primarily on your work situation in Croatia. Use the comparison table below to help decide which one suits you:

Residence & Work PermitWork Registration Certificate
Valid For1 year, renewableUp to 1 year
Allows ResidenceYesNo
Gives Access to Public ServicesYesNo
Needed ForWorking for Croatian companyRemote work & freelancing
Minimum StayNone90 days per year

As you can see, the Residence and Work Permit is best for longer term work that pays into the Croatian system. The Work Registration Certificate gives basic work legality without long stay or public service access.

Requirements for a Croatia Work Permit

The requirements are somewhat different depending on whether you apply for the Residence & Work Permit or just the Work Registration Certificate.

Shared Requirements

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of work or employment offer
  • Croatia address registration

Additional Requirements for Residence & Work Permit

  • Croatian employment contract
  • Sufficient income
  • Health insurance
  • Extract from police record

Additional Requirements for Work Registration

So in short, the Residence & Work Permit has extra requirements related to integrating into the Croatian system. The Work Registration is simpler with just the basics needed for legal remote work.

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How to Apply for a Croatia Work Permit

The application process involves submitting documents to the local police administration office closest to where you reside in Croatia. Here is the step-by-step application process:

1. Determine the Right Permit Type

Decide if you need the Residence & Work Permit or just the Work Registration using the information above.

2. Gather the Required Documents

Collect all the required documents. Use certified translations if they are not in Croatian.

3. Submit the Application In-Person

Book an appointment and visit the police administration office to submit the application and documents.

4. Get a Decision on the Application

The authorities will review and make a final decision. The standard processing time is 30 days.

5. Receive the Work Permit

If approved, you will receive an official work permit document or certificate. The police keep a copy in their records.

And that is the standard process for getting a work permit in Croatia! Overall it takes around 30 days from submitting the application.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit in Croatia?

The standard time for reviewing and making a decision on Croatia work permit applications is 30 days. Here is a breakdown of the timeline:

  • 1-5 Days – Time to prepare and submit complete application pack.
  • 1-14 Days – Appointment and submission at local police administration office.
  • 30 Days – Standard application review process time.
  • 1-5 Days – Receive permit document if approved.

So within 5-6 weeks from starting the application, you should have a final decision and (if approved) receive an official Croatia work permit.

Some applications may take longer if further documents/evidence needs to be provided during the review process.

Having correct and complete documents from the start helps speed up the processing and decision.

How to Check the Status of a Croatia Work Permit Application

There are a couple options to check what stage your work permit application is at:

1. Email or Call the Processing Office

Using the contact details provided in your application receipt, get in touch with the office handling your application.

2. Visit in-person

For a status update in-person, visit the police administration office and request information on your application. Bring your application receipt.

3. Check online

Some local police offices have an e-Citizens portal where you can login and view application status updates and decisions.

Following up no sooner than 30 days from submission is best, to allow enough processing time.

If approved, remember to verify all the details once you receive the permit document or certificate.

Croatia Work Permit Renewal Process

To continue working legally in Croatia after your permit expires, you need to renew it on time. Here are some tips:

  • Residence & Work Permits can only be renewed from within Croatia
  • Start the renewal process 2 months before expiry of the permit
  • Use the same application process as the initial permit
  • Provide updated required documents (e.g. new employment contract)

As long as you still meet the eligibility criteria for your permit type, renewal is usually more straightforward compared to the initial application. But don’t leave it too late!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I work in Croatia while my work permit application is processing?

No, you must receive the permit before starting work. Beginning employment before approval is illegal.

Do I need a Croatia work visa?

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not require a Croatia work visa. Other foreign nationals normally need a visa first.

Can I get Croatia health insurance as a remote worker?

The Work Registration does not qualify you for access to Croatia’s public health system. Private travel/health insurance will be needed instead.

What self-employment options exist in Croatia?

Self-employed residence permits are available in Croatia for freelancers able to meet income and contribution payment requirements. More flexibility is also given to digital nomads.

Can my family join me on a Work Registration?

No, the Work Registration Certificate is for your remote work only. Family members cannot reside in Croatia on this basis.

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Getting a work permit takes a bit of time and administration, but gives you legal certainty for working in Croatia. Hopefully this article has provided a helpful guide to successfully apply for and receive your preferred Croatia work permit or work registration.

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