Moving to Croatia for permanent residency: terms, visa, citizenship

Residence permit


Moving to Croatia for permanent residency: terms, visa, citizenship

Croatia is an incredibly attractive destination for foreigners. Many come here to see the vibrant, sun-bathed beaches, bays, and alleyways of the Dalmatian coast or the picturesque towns in the hills of Istria. Others want to make money in the country, as the favorable tax system and the ability to access various international markets are one of the advantages of Croatia's wholesome business climate.

What do you need to do to move to Croatia?

The first step towards permanent residency in Croatia is a temporary residence permit. Once you have arrived, you must register in the Croatian embassy and apply for a residence permit. An important condition is to register no later than 30 days from the date of arrival.

This permit shows that you can stay in the country legally. The foreigner must provide information on the reason why the permit is necessary. According to Croatian immigration legislation, the purpose of obtaining a permit can be of several types:

1. for work and business: the work permit is linked to the employer. This means that if you leave your job or are dismissed, your work permit and residence permit will be canceled and you must leave Croatia.

2. for family reunification;

3. to carry out scientific activities;

4. for training;

5. to receive medical care.

Depending on the reason, the documents required may vary. However, there is a basic list of documents that will be needed regardless of the reason:

passport (valid for at least 1.3 years);

police clearance certificate;

certificate of income and financial situation;

marriage certificate (if married);

medical insurance;

receipt for payment of administrative fees.


It is better to clarify the formalities regarding residence permits at the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.

How to obtain a permanent residence permit?

If you have already lived in Croatia for 5 years without interruption, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. Besides a valid passport, the authorities will require information about your income.

How to obtain citizenship?

Foreigners can obtain Croatian citizenship through naturalization (acquisition) if they meet the requirements set out in the Croatian Citizenship Act:

they are at least 18 years old (the conditions for minors are below);

they have continuously lived in the Republic of Croatia for 8 years and have a permanent resident status;

they have passed a test on knowledge of the Croatian language and culture (if under 60 years of age).


In addition, it is necessary to give up the previous citizenship, as dual citizenship is prohibited in Croatia.

An application to acquire Croatian citizenship through naturalization is submitted in person at the local police office or police station, depending on the place of temporary or permanent residency.

Minor children may acquire Croatian citizenship through naturalization in the following cases:

if both parents acquire citizenship through naturalization;

if only one of the parents acquires citizenship by naturalization while the child is living in Croatia and has acquired permanent residence;

if one parent acquires citizenship through naturalization, the other parent is stateless or has unknown citizenship while the child lives abroad.


Application forms that must be submitted to acquire citizenship:

For an adult.

For an adult and child/children. 

For a child/children.

Necessary documents to obtain a passport:

Biography and cover letter;

Certified copy of passport or another identity document;

proof of permanent resident status;

statement from the birth register, issued on a standard form by international agreements and conventions;

statement from the register of marriages contracted within the last 6 months (for the married);

statement from the Register of Civil Partnerships (for civil partners);

certificate of no criminal record (in the original language with a certified copy with translation into Croatian, issued within the last 6 months);

written consent to verify the authenticity of foreign documents;

receipt for payment of an administrative fee (paid upon receipt of a decision to acquire Croatian citizenship or a decision to reject the application);

receipt for payment of a consular fee (payable upon submission of the application).