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 Eurpoean 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.
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 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.
- Croatia Student Visa which is issued to foreign nationals who want to pursue their studies in a Croation 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.
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:
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, such as:
- A Croatian Visa Application Form.
- Your valid passport, whose validity exceeds the duration of the visa.
- Two passport-size pictures.
- Travel itinerary and proof of return flight ticket.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of your stay.
- Proof of travel health insurance for the entire time you will be in Croatia.
- Proof of accommodation in Croatia, such as a hotel reservation.
- Any additional documents which support the purpose of your trip.
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 which 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.
Last Updated on