Planning a trip to see King’s Landing (aka Dubrovnik, Croatia) may find you in need of having to apply for a Croatia visa beforehand.

Croatia is a European country located between Central and Southeast Europe and is known as one of the most visited Mediterranean tourist destinations. It receives millions of tourists every year, due to its rich cultural and historical heritage and natural beauty, but mostly because of its coastline.

Croatia is a member of the European Union, and as such, the Croatian visa policy is largely similar to that of other EU member states.

Several countries have reached a visa waiver agreement with Croatia, allowing their nationals to be able to visit Croatia without a visa for up to 90 days. Others, however, still have to hold a valid visa to travel to Croatia.

This article is a guide on Croatian visas: who needs it, how to apply for one, the requirements, and other frequently asked questions.

Who Needs a Croatia Visa?

Because Croatia is part of the EU, nationals of other EU member states are allowed to travel to Croatia without any visa requirements.

Additionally, Croatia intends to join the Schengen agreement soon, and as such, a lot of the same visa requirements and exemptions for Schengen apply to Croatia as well.

Nationals of the following countries do not have to apply for a Croatia visa if they are traveling for short-term purposes (up to 90 days):

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  •  Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • North Macedonia
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

If you are a Croatia visa-exempt national, you can travel to Croatia with simply your passport. However, your passport must be valid for at least three more months from the date you intend to leave the country and must have at least one blank page for the entry stamp.

Unless you are from the EU/EFTA or Switzerland, however, you cannot stay in Croatia without a visa for longer than 90 days.

Croatia Visa Exemptions for Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania

Croatia, along with Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania are EU member states which are yet to officially join the Schengen Area. As such, if you have a short-stay visa with at least two entries or a residence permit for Bulgaria, Cyprus, or Romania, then you can enter Croatia without having to apply for a separate Croatian visa.

Reciprocally, Croatian visa or residence permit holders can also enter Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania without a separate visa for either of those countries.

Do I Need a Long-Stay Visa for Croatia?

Yes, every non-EU/EFTA foreign national who wants to stay in Croatia for a period longer than 90 days has to apply for a Croatia long-stay visa. This also includes foreigners who are exempt from short-stay visas.

The Croatian long-stay visas are usually issued for employment, studying, or family reunification purposes. A long-stay visa allows the holder to enter Croatia with the purpose of applying for a Croatian Residence Permit.

Only citizens of EU/EFTA enjoy the right to travel, live, study and work in Croatia without a visa, long or short-term, due to the EU Right of Free Movement.

What are the Croatia Visa Types?

The types of visas that Croatia offers to its foreign nationals depend on the duration and purpose of their stay:

Croatia Tourist Visa

Short-stay visas for Croatia, also known as Croatia tourist visas, are offered for tourism, medical treatment, business, or other short-term travelling purposes.

They allow the holder to stay in Croatia for a maximum duration of 90 days within a 180-day period.

Croatia short-stay visas are offered for single-, double-, or multiple-entries, which dictates the number of times you can enter, leave and re-enter Croatia.

Several non-EU countries are exempt from holding a Croatian visa for short-term purposes.

Because Croatia aims to join Schengen, its short-stay visa policy is pretty similar to that of Schengen countries.

Croatia Business Visa

The Croatia business visa is a short-stay visa, allowing the holder to travel for business-related purposes for up to 90 days. It does not allow you to work.

Croatia long-stay visas

Foreign nationals who want to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days, will have to get a combination of the Croatia long-stay visa and a temporary residence permit. The most common Croatian long-stay visas are:

  • Croatia Work Visa, which allows you to live and work in Croatia. You must already have a Croatian employer before you apply for a visa as well as a work permit, which your employer has to obtain for you in Croatia. You cannot get a temporary residence permit in Croatia if you do not have a valid work permit.
  • Croatia Student Visa which is issued to foreign nationals who want to pursue their studies in a Croatian educational institution. Before you get a Croatia Student Visa, you must be enrolled in a Croatian educational institution.
  • Croatia Family Visa is for non-EU family members of Croatian citizens or legal residents who wish to join their family members in Croatia.

Croatia Visa Requirements

To apply for a visa to Croatia you must compile a document file that must contain the following documents:

  • A completed and signed Croatia Visa Application Form. For minors, their parent or legal guardian has to sign.
  • Your passport or travel document. It must have at least three blank pages and be valid for at least three months from the time you intend to depart Croatia.
  • A photocopy of your passport/travel document. Include all used pages as well as all visas, present or expired.
  • Two passport-size pictures, with the following specifications:
    • Dimensions: 35mm x 45mm
    • Professionally taken in a white background
    • You must be centered in the picture, staring ahead with a neutral facial expression
    • Glasses are not recommended. If you have to wear them, they cannot cover your eyes or face. Tinted glasses are not allowed.
    • Headgear is only allowed if it’s for religious purposes. Even so, it cannot cover your face.
  • Proof of travel health insurance for the entire time you will be in Croatia. It must cover the duration of your stay and at least €30,000 for sudden illness, accidents, and repatriation.
  • Proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a hotel reservation.
  • Copy of the return flight ticket or proof of ticket booking.
    • Alternatively, other proof you intend to leave Croatia after the duration of your stay, such as a bus/train ticket to your country or a third country.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay in Croatia.
    • Bank statements for the past three months
    • Letter from employer, stating your salary and position
  • Any additional documents which support the purpose of your trip.

Additional Requirements for Croatia Tourist Visa

When applying for a Croatia tourist visa, you must submit the following documents:

  • Letter of Guarantee (if you are visiting friends/family in Croatia). The letter must be certified by a Public Notary in Croatia. Your host also has to inclose proof of funds (pay slips, pension, savings) via bank statements from the past three months. They must also include a copy of their Croatian passport or residence permit, whichever is applicable.
    • If you are traveling simply for tourism purposes, the Letter of Guarantee is not required.
  • Proof of employment status.
    • If employed: Letter from your employer stating your position in the company, your salary, and the intended time you will be absent from work.
    • If self-employed: Company’s registration papers and a visa request letter which is written on a paper with the company’s official letterhead.
    • For students: Proof of enrollment in an educational institution.
  • For minors:
    • Birth certificate
    • A letter of consent from the parent/s or legal guardian/s allowing the minor to travel
    • Copies of the parent/s’ or legal guardian/s’ passports
  • Depending on the country, the following documents may also be required:

Additional Requirements for Business Visa

The requirements for a Croatia business visa are:

  • Letter of Guarantee Form, filled in and signed from the Croatian legal person/legal entity inviting you to Croatia. The letter has to be authenticated with the official seal and the signature of the company’s authorized representative. Your Guarantor must also submit proof of sufficient financial funds.
  • Letter of Invitation from the company inviting you in Croatia, which states the purpose and duration of your trip.
  • Letter from your employer stating your position in the company, your salary, and the intended time you will be absent from work and that you are taking this trip for business (if applicable)
  • Cover letter, written by you which explains the purpose and duration of your trip.
  • If self-employed: Your company’s registration papers and a business visa request letter which is written on a paper with the company’s official letterhead.
  • Proof of financial funds. Either in the form of your own personal bank statements or an alternate method if someone else if funding your trip (such as your employer/the inviting company).

Additional Requirements for Croatia Work Visa

The requirements for a Croatia work visa change depending on the specific type of work, but include:

  • Proof of health insurance, such as:
    • A European Health Insurance Card
    • A certificate of health insurance issued by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund
    • A certificate of health insurance from a health insurance provider in your country, which states that you have access to healthcare in accordance to EU regulations
    • Other private/travel health insurance if your country does not have a social security contract with Croatia.
  • Copy of an existing work contract.
  • Copy of your employer’s company registration.
  • Proof that a Croatian/EU citizen could not have been better suited for the job.
  • Proof you have the required financial means to sustain yourself for the duration of your stay.
  • Proof of your educational background, qualifications, and skills.

Additional Requirements for Croatia Student Visa

The requirements for a Croatia student visa are:

  • Proof of enrollment in a Croatian educational institution.
  • Proof of accommodation in Croatia.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to sustain yourself while in Croatia. You must have private funds or a scholarship.
  • Proof of health insurance, such as:
    • A European Health Insurance Card
    • A certificate of health insurance issued by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund
    • A certificate of health insurance from a health insurance provider in your country, which states that you have access to healthcare in accordance to EU regulations
    • Private/travel health insurance if your country does not have a social security contract with Croatia.
  • Cover letter stating why you are applying for a Croatian student visa.
  • If the student is a minor:
    • Birth certificate
    • A letter of consent from the parent/s or legal guardian/s allowing the minor to live in Croatia for the purpose of studying
    • Copies of the parent/s’ or legal guardian/s’ passports

Foreign students who want to pursue studies in a Croatian educational institution have to apply for a Croatia student visa as well as a temporary residence permit. You can apply for both at a Croatian embassy/consulate before you travel or apply for the student visa in your country and then get the residence permit at a local police department or police station after you enter Croatia.

Additional Requirements for Croatia Family Reunification Visa

To get a Croatia family visa, you must submit the following documents:

  • Proof of health insurance in Croatia.
  • Cover letter stating the reason behind your application.
  • Proof of family relationship the Croatian citizen/residence permit holder.

Only the following family members of Croatian citizens or legal residents can apply for family reunification:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law partner
  • Minor children (including adopted children)
  • Parents (including adoptive parents) of minors

Additional Requirements for Croatia Transit Visa

The documents needed for a Croatia transit visa application are:

  • Proof of onward travel, such as a visa for the next destination, a valid travel ticket etc.
  • For minors:
    • Birth certificate
    • A letter of consent from the parent/s or legal guardian/s allowing the minor to travel.

A Croatia transit visa can be issued for a single- or double-entry into Croatian territory, and in some cases, even for multiple entries. It can be issued for a maximum validity of six months.

Keep in mind

The documents you submit have to be either in English or Croatian. If they are not they must be translated by an official translator.

Several of your documents may have to be certified (apostilled) or otherwise legalized for use in Croatia.

The Croatian authorities may ask you to submit additional documents as they see fit at any point during the application process.

When Should I Apply for a Croatian Visa?

It is recommended that you apply for a Croatian visa as early as you can from the intended date of travel, but no earlier than three months. So, apply for a Croatian visa within 15-90 days from the time you intend to travel.

If you submit an application within the 15 days from the time you plan to travel, the Croatian embassy/consulate or visa application center may not accept your submission, or alternatively, your visa fee will be higher.

Where Can I Submit a Croatia Visa Application?

You can submit a visa application for Croatia at one of the following:

  • A Croatian Diplomatic Mission, such as an embassy or consulate (one in your country or nearest to you)
  • An authorized Visa Application Center
  • An authorized travel agency in your country

To find out where exactly you can submit your application for a Croatian visa, check the requirements on the website of the Croatian Embassy or Consulate responsible for your region. There is not a Croatian Embassy or Consulate in every country, so sometimes you may have to go to a neighboring country’s Croatian consulate website, or whichever one is nearest to you.

How to Apply for a Croatia visa?

The application process for getting a visa for Croatia is as follows:

  1. Complete and print the application form.
  2. Gather the required documents.
  3. Book an appointment.
  4. Pay the fees.
  5. Submit the application.
  6. Wait for processing.

Complete and print the application form

Complete the Croatia Online Visa Application Form here. After you complete the first set of questions, you will receive a PIN and serial number. Save them because you may need them to resume your application if you cannot finish it in one sitting. Then you will have to print the application form.

Gather the required documents

When submitting a Croatia visa application, you must have several supporting documents, depending on the type of visa that you want to apply for, as explained above.

Book an appointment

Make an appointment to submit the application form along with the required documents at the Croatian embassy/consulate, visa application center, or accredited travel agency

Pay the fees

Pay the Croatia visa fee as per the requirements of the specific consulate/application center.

Submit the application

Submit the application form and documents in person on the date of your appointment. If for some reason you cannot send the documents yourself, you may send an authorized representative.

Wait for processing

Wait for the visa to be processed. The visa officers will start processing your application once you have submitted all the required documents.

If your Croatia visa application is approved, you will be notified when you can pick up your passport with the visa attached to it. You are allowed to travel to Croatia.

What are the Croatia Visa Fees?

When you apply for a Croatian visa, you have to pay the Croatia visa fee as it is required from the embassy or consulate through which you are applying.

If you apply through a visa application center or accredited travel agency, the fee will be higher because you also have to pay the service fee in addition to the visa fee itself.

Follow the payment instructions as specified by the agency or office where you are submitting your application.

Children under 12 years of age do not have to pay a Croatia visa fee but will be required to pay the service fee if not applying at an embassy or consulate.

How Long Does it Take to Process a Croatia Visa?

It may take anywhere between fifteen days to a month or longer to process a Croatian short-stay visa. Whereas the minimum amount of time it takes to process a long-stay visa for Croatia is four weeks.

The Croatia visa processing time depends on several factors, such as the specific embassy or consulate handling your application, the time of year, and whether you have all the required documents or not.

If you have any missing or incorrect documents, the Croatian visa officers will ask you to provide them, which delays the processing time.

Additionally, some consulates or embassies may work slower than others, or it may be the time of year that has a larger number of applications.

How Long Can I Stay in Croatia With a Valid Visa?

A Croatia visa is valid for a maximum duration of 90 within a period of 180 days. When you receive your visa, you will have a predetermined amount of days you are allowed to stay in the country, duly decided by the Croatian authorities. Just because the maximum amount you can receive is 90 days, it does not mean that is necessarily how many you will get.

If you have a multiple-entry visa, the total amount of days you stay in Croatia in all entries (when added together) cannot exceed the days you were assigned when you received the visa.

If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you have to apply for a long-stay visa and a Croatian residence permit.

Can you Extend a Croatia Visa?

Technically, yes, you can extend a Croatian tourist visa but an extension is only issued if you have a serious and valid reason for it, such as:

  • If something happened in your home country during your stay in Croatia which puts you in danger if you return.
  • Humanitarian reasons.
  • Another serious personal reason which is deemed valid.

Documents required to extend a Croatia Visa

If you think you meet the requirements to receive a Croatia visa extension, you have to apply for one at the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs before your current visa expires. You must have the following documents with you:

  • Croatia Visa Application Form.
  • A valid passport/travel document.
  • Proof of health insurance covering the duration of the visa extension.
  • Proof of sufficient means to cover your stay.
  • Any documents which support your Croatia visa extension request.

Whether your request is approved or not is to the discretion of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who review every application on a case-to-case basis.

Is Croatia part of Schengen?

No, even though Croatia is part of the European Union, it has still has not joined the Schengen Area. It is expected that it will join Schengen soon, as it “met all technical criteria”, but as of now, it is not a Schengen country.

Can you Travel to the Schengen Area with a Croatia visa?

No, since Croatia is not yet part of Schengen, Croatian visas do not give you the right to enter a Schengen country.

If you have a Croatian visa, you can only visit Croatia as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania under the conditions of Decision No 565/2014/EU of the European Parliament.

Do I Need a Croatian Visa if I Already Have a Schengen Visa?

No, if you already have a valid Schengen visa you do not need to get an additional Croatian visa if you want to visit Croatia as well.

You can enter Croatia with your Schengen visa, provided the visa still has valid entries left as well as remaining days of stay. This also applies to holders of residence permits for a Schengen country.

Additionally, you can also enter Croatia with a visa or residence permit issued by Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania under the conditions of Decision No 565/2014/EU of the European Parliament.

Do I Need a Visa to Transit Through Croatia?

If you’re going to change planes in a Croatian airport, and you won’t leave the transit area, you do not have to get a Croatian transit visa.

However, if you are a visa-required national and you have to leave the transit area and clear immigration to change flights, then you must apply for a Croatian transit visa because it counts as if you’re entering the country.

The application procedure for a Croatian transit visa is the same as for a regular Croatian visa. You must show proof that you have made plans to travel to another destination.

Who Needs a Croatia Residence Permit?

Every foreign national who wants to live in Croatia for longer than 90 days needs a Croatian Residence Permit.

After receiving a long-stay visa, you can travel to Croatia where you have to apply for your Croatia Temporary Residence Permit at a local police department. The Residence Permit is what actually allows you to live in Croatia legally – the long-stay visa only enables you to travel to Croatia with the purpose of residence there. You cannot apply for residence if you have entered the country with a short-stay visa.

EU nationals are not required to have a long-stay visa for Croatia or to apply for a Residence Permit. If they intend to stay longer than 90 days, they have to register their presence at the local police department in Croatia.

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