Visas

A short-stay visa (C-visa) is a permit to transit through, or stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia for a maximum of 90 days in any period 180 day-period. It is issued for one, two, or multiple entries for the purpose of transit, tourism, business, private or other purposes. Its validity period depends on the circumstances of the visitors' travel to Croatia and may not exceed five years. The visa alone shall not entitle a visitor to enter or work in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Important notes and warnings:

  • Submitting a visa application, including all the required documents, does not automatically mean that the visa will be issued.
  • An issued visa is not a guarantee that a foreign citizen will be permitted to enter the Republic of Croatia. On every crossing of the border, the police may require the foreign citizen to present a photocopy of the Letter of Guarantee in case of both private and business visits, and it is therefore recommendable to carry the Letter of Guarantee, as well as the proof of having sufficient funds, in hand baggage.
  • please note that any change in accommodation reservations after the issue of visa can lead to the revocation of visa and refusal of entry to Croatia
  • The visa application fee is non-refundable once the application has been accepted at the Embassy.
  • An Embassy/Consular Post may invite the applicant to an interview; require him/her to submit further documents and/or certified translation as well as the international certification (apostille) of the documents.
  • Any falsification of the documents and the use of such documents may be subject to criminal prosecution.
  • It is not possible to drive in Croatia without the international driving license, so please make sure to arrange the travel through Croatia accordingly (check available public transportation connections, or hire a driver)

Visa Regime of the Republic of Croatia is regulated by:

  • Council Regulation (EC) 539/2001
  • Aliens Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia 130/11, 74/13)
  • Ordinance on Visa System (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia 54/12, 38/13)
  • Ordinance on Visas (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia 7/13)

The Government of the Republic of Croatia decided to apply Decision No. 565/2014/EU starting from 22 July 2014. All visitors who are holders of valid Schengen documents, as well as of the national visas and residence permits of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania do not require an additional (Croatian) visa to enter Croatia.
Visitors who are holders of:

  • Uniform  (C) visa for two or multiple entries, valid for all Schengen Area Member States;
  • Visa with limited territorial validity (LTV visa) for two or multiple entries, issued to a holder of a travel document that is not recognized by one or more but not all of the Schengen Area Member States and which is valid for the territory of the Member States recognizing the travel document;
  • Long-stay visa (D) for stays exceeding three months, issued by one of the Schengen Area Member State;
  • Residence permit issued by one of the Schengen Area Member State;
  • National visas for two or multiple entries and residence permits of Bulgaria, listed in Annex I of Decision No. 565/2014/EU;
  • National visas for two or multiple entries and residence permits of Cyprus, listed in Annex III of  Decision No. 565/2014/EU;
  • National visas for two or multiple entries and residence permits of Romania, listed in Annex IV of Decision No. 565/2014/EU;

do not require a visa for transit or intended stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia that does not exceed 90 days in any period of 180 day-period.

Decision No. 565/2014/EU is available at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/HR/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2014:157:FULL&from=EN

NOTIFICATION FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF CITIZENS OF EUROPEAN UNION OR THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA, WHO ARE NATIONALS OF THIRD COUNTRIES
Family members of citizens of European Union or European Economic Area Member States, who are nationals of third countries, are entitled to free movement in accordance with Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004, which the Republic of Croatia transferred into her national legislation.
A family member of citizen of European Union or European Economic Area Member States can travel without a visa to Croatia if he has a valid passport and a valid identification card called "Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen", and if he travels with or joins the family member who is citizen of European Union or EEA Member State.
If a family member of EU or EEA Member State citizen does not have such card, he needs a Croatian visa.
For family members of EU or EEA Member State citizens, who apply for visa applications are processed in fast procedure and without charging visa fees, with presentation of the minimum documentation: a visa application form, valid passport, photo and proof of family relationship with EU or EEA Member State citizen.
The text of Directive 2004/38/EC is available here:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/HR/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32004L0038&qid=1444653422237&from=HR
For family members of EU or EEA Member State citizens, who apply for visa a priority appointment for submission of applications directly to the Embassy will be given. Their requests are processed in fast procedure and without charging visa fees, with presentation of the minimum documentation: a visa application form, valid passport, photo and proof of family relationship with EU or EEA Member State citizen.
Please keep in mind that as proof of family relationship the applicant should provide birth or marriage certificate or other documents proving family relationship from Croatia, or if not from Croatia, legalized in the accordance with the international laws. If the family relationship should be recognized in a different EU or EEA Member State, the document proving it should be issued in that EU/EEA MS.

 

VISA ISSUANCE PROCEDURE

Application: to be submitted no earlier than 3 months prior to the beginning of the planned journey.
Applicant's presence: a visitor is to file an application in person. Exceptionally, for justified reasons, a visitor may not have to file an application in person, but shall be required to personally appear at the possible request of the Embassy/Consulate.
Visa application can also be submitted in person in the Croatian visa application centers.
Processing: the application will be decided on within 15 days from the date of submission of the application, and this period may be extended to 30 or 60 days for justified reasons. If the application is submitted less than 15 days prior to the planned journey, the Embassy/Consulate shall not be liable for the duration of the processing procedure.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

1. Visa application form (available in Croatian, English, Albanian, Arabic, French, German, Moldavian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian): to be filled out and signed by the applicant, or a parent or legal guardian on behalf of minors. Visa application form has to be signed in 2 places. Here is an example of the properly filled in application.

The application form can also be filled out online at https://crovisa.mvep.hr/. Once filled out, the form is to be printed, signed, and submitted with other required documents to the competent Diplomatic Mission/Consular Post.

2. Applicant's passport: issued within the last 10 years, with expiry date exceeding the expiry date of the requested visa by a minimum of three months, and containing at least two empty pages.

3. Face photograph: in colour, 35x45 mm; the person is to be captured with neutral facial expression, with his/her eyes open and mouth closed. The photograph of a person, who for religious or medical reasons is wearing a head cover, must show the person's cheeks, chin and forehead.

4. Valid travel health insurance to cover any expenses which might arise during his residence in the Republic of Croatia due to:

  • urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment, and/or
  • return to the country of permanent residence for medical reasons or
  • transportation in the case of death.

The applicant for a multiple-entry visa must have travel health-insurance policy that covers the period of the first visit to Croatia;

5. Proof of residence: visitors staying temporarily in another state should submit a photocopy of the stay permit;

6. Means of transportation and intention to return to the country of residence: return travel ticket for airplane, bus, or boat; registration card and driver's license if travelling by car; If the person is travelling to a third country, then proof of itinerary (travel ticket, etc.).

7. Visa fee: payable when applying for a visa – 67 USD (in RMB) - in accordance with Section 78, sub-section 2 of the Law on Administrative Fees.

Visa fee can be paid to the bank account of the Embassy:

Account Name: Embassy of the Republic of Croatia
Account Number, USD: 778350025660
Account Number, RMB: 778350020355
Bank Name: Bank of China, Beijing
SWIFT: BKCHCNBJXXX
Add: No 1 FuXingMenNeiDaJie, XiCheng District, Beijing, 100818 China

Persons exempt from visa fee:

  • Members of the immediate family of a Croatian citizen (spouse and children),
  • Members of families of citizens of EU Member States and EEA,
  • Children up to the age of 12,
  • Holders of diplomatic and service passports travelling in official capacity,
  • Pupils, students, postgraduate students and teachers accompanying them when traveling to school, university and professional training,
  • Researchers travelling to do research as noted in Recommendation 2005/761/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 28 September 2005,
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations up to the age of 25 travelling to attend seminars, conferences, sport, culture or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.

 8.   Proof of the purpose of stay in Croatia:

  • Tourist visit: certificate of a paid tourist package, booking of a hotel or other accommodation, travel program etc. please note that any change in accommodation reservations after the issue of visa can lead to the revocation of visa and refusal of entry to Croatia
  • Private or business visit: original Letter of Guarantee (12);
  • Visitors travelling on an invitation of a Croatian state authority, or to an international event of public interest, or to attend an event organized under the sponsorship of the Croatian Parliament, the President of the Republic of Croatia or the Government of the Republic of Croatia: Letter of Invitation (13);
  • Members of the immediate family of a Croatian citizen and a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA): Certificate from the Register of Births or Marriages (Croatian,  EEA Countries - international certificate) or if it is a Chinese document, certified copy of the birth or marriage certificate with the legalization of the Chinese MFA and a photocopy of the ID card of the Croatian citizen or the EEA citizen;
  • For any other stays, other proofs are required.

9.  Funds available to support oneself during the stay in Croatia and to return to the state of residence or to travel to a third state: equivalent of EUR 70 per day of the planned stay in Croatia.
If a visitor has a certified Letter of Guarantee from a natural or legal person from Croatia, (s)he shall present the proof of a paid tourist package or similar document, the proof that (s)he carries funds equivalent to EUR 30 per day of the planned stay in Croatia.
Exceptionally, if a visitor has a certified Letter of Guarantee from a natural or legal person from Croatia showing that the guarantor is fully accepting all the expenses related to visiting and departing from Croatia, (s)he shall be exempt from the requirement to present the proof of having sufficient funds available.
The supporting documents may include: pay slip and/or bank account statements about the balance and transactions on your bank account in the last three months, a pension slip, proof of scholarship received etc.

No matter what is stated in the guarantee letter, the applicant needs to provide bank statements for the last 3 months.

The applicant shall also submit an appropriate certificate of his/her social and professional status: certificate of employment, certificate of school attendance, certificate from the companies register for tradesmen etc.

The letter from the employer has to be in English, or in Chinese with an English translation, on official company paper with stamp, signature, date and has to clearly mention:

  • address, telephone and fax numbers of the employing company
  • the name and position in the employing company of the countersigning officer
  • the name of the applicant, position, salary and years of service
  • the purpose of the visit
  • confirmation of position after the return
  • the person or the entity who will bear the applicant's travel and living costs

For minors and persons without their own resources, an authenticated certificate shall be submitted stating that a parent or other person shall cover the expenses, with a proof of the social and professional status of the person offering to cover the expenses and a proof that such a person has the resources.

For unemployed persons:

  • If married: Letter of employment and income of the spouse and the Notary certificate of marriage, legalized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • If single/divorced/widow/widower: any other proof of regular income

10. Availability of accommodation: booking hotel, private or other accommodation, real estate title deed or lease, proof of ownership or lease of a boat etc. Accommodation can be provided by the guarantor or the inviting party if so indicated in the Letter of Guarantee or the Letter of Invitation. Again, please note that any change in accommodation reservations after the issue of visa can lead to the revocation of visa and refusal of entry to Croatia

11.For minors, a legal guardian shall submit the student card and original letter of the school, mentioning:

  • full address, telephone number of the school
  • permission for absence
  • name and function of the person giving the permission

along with the notary certificate of family relation or proof of guardianship, legalised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
as well as if the minor is travelling alone or only with one parent: notary certificate of permission to travel from both parents or legal guardians), containing personal information of the legal guardian and the purpose, the period and length of stay in Croatia, the period for which the consent is issued, and the signature of the legal guardian legalised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and when not in China, attested by the relevant authorities in the country of residence

12. for all purposes of travel except business or attending cultural or sporting events, Chinese citizens have to file a copy of the Hukou (all pages, no translations)
For larger groups to participate in cultural, educational, or sporting events, or for humanitarian reasons, visa application may be filed by an authorized accompanying person submitting appropriate documentation.

The documents attached shall not be older than three months.

 

LETTERS OF GUARANTEE AND INVITATION

TRAVEL PURPOSE: PRIVATE VISIT
If a foreign citizen is coming for a private visit, upon submitting a visa application, (s)he shall submit, as a proof of the purpose of the stay, the original completed form of the Letter of Guarantee by Natural Person. The guarantor – a natural person from Croatia - shall have his/her signature on the form authenticated by public notary in Croatia or at a Croatian Embassy/Consular Post, if the guarantor is a Croatian citizen, or by a Notary Public if the guarantor is a foreign citizen with a stay permit in Croatia.
The guarantor may be a Croatian citizen or a foreigner with a residence permit in Croatia, who earns income or has assets in Croatia.
With the Letter of Guarantee, the guarantor shall also enclose a proof of permanent source of income (pay slip, pension slip) in the last three months or adequate proof of having funds in a bank.
For visiting family, the applicant needs to file a notarial certificate of family relationship legalized by the MFA.
The applicant shall be handed a photocopy of the Letter of Guarantee.
The procedure can be initiated with a copy of the Letter of Guarantee, however, the visa will not be issued until the original of the Letter of Guarantee is not either filed before the Embassy or before the Section for Visas of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Zagreb.

Please keep in mind that the guarantee letter has to be filled in clearly and properly. Special consideration should be made with regards to indicating the person covering the costs of the visit in which it has to be clearly indicated which costs are covered by the inviting person and which costs are covered by the invited person.

TRAVEL PURPOSE: BUSINESS VISIT
If a foreign citizen is coming for a business visit, upon submitting a visa application, (s)he shall submit, as a proof of the purpose of the stay, the original filled out form of the Letter of Guarantee by Legal Person. The guarantor – a legal entity from Croatia - shall authenticate the form by attaching the official seal and the signature of its authorized representative.

With the Letter of Guarantee, the guarantor shall enclose a proof of solvency (BON 1 or BON 2 Forms, or a confirmation of the Commercial Court that it is not in liquidation etc.).
The applicant shall be handed a photocopy of the Letter of Guarantee.

The procedure can be initiated with a copy of the Letter of Guarantee, however, the visa will not be issued until the original of the Letter of Guarantee is not either filed before the Embassy or before the Section for Visas of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Zagreb.

Please keep in mind that the guarantee letter has to be filled in clearly and properly. Special consideration should be made with regards to indicating the person covering the costs of the visit in which it has to be clearly indicated which costs are covered by the inviting person and which costs are covered by the invited person.

FILING THE GUARANTEE LETTER IN THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

The guarantor can in person or via mail file the original guarantee letter in the Section for visas of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Petretićev trg 2, 10 000 Zagreb.  The follwing should be attached:

  1. proof of payment of fee in the amount of 200,00 HRK, in accordance to Tariff No.  78.a Administrative fees Act:
    Receiver:                         DRŽAVNI PRORAČUN REPUBLIKE HRVATSKE
    Account number:             IBAN HR1210010051863000160
    Model:                             HR64
    Reference no.:                 5002-721-OIB jamca
    reason of payment:          POHRANA JAMSTVENOG PISMA (Tar.br. 78.)
  2. the original of the signed and certified guarantee letter
  3. proof of solvency of the guarantor,
  4. indication of the Embassy/Consulate the application will be submitted to.

LETTER OF INVITATION
A foreign citizen coming to Croatia at the invitation of a Croatian national authority to attend an international conference of public interest or to participate in an event held under the auspices of the Croatian Parliament, the Croatian President and the Croatian Government, shall submit a Letter of Invitation of the Croatian national authority or the organizer of the international event with the visa application.
The Letter of Invitation shall include:

  • Information about the foreign citizen: name, date and place of birth, citizenship, passport number, place of issue and expiry date,
  • Purpose of the visit, period in which the foreign national will be staying in the Republic of Croatia, and information about his/her accommodation,
  • Information about who is covering the expenses of the foreign citizen's stay in the Republic of Croatia,
  • First name, family name, title (position, job), address and telephone number of the contact person who can provide relevant information about the foreign citizen.

 

VISA FACILITATION AGREEMENTS

The EU has Visa Facilitation Agreements in place with:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Moldova (only applicable to holders of non-biometrical passports)
  • Russian Federation
  • Ukraine

These agreements facilitate and make it cheaper for the citizens from the mentioned states (wherever they may actually live) to obtain short-stay visas, particularly for frequent travels.

The agreements can be downloaded at:
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/index_en.htm.

 

APPEAL AGAINST REFUSAL, ANNULMENT OR REVOCATION OF VISA
Respecting the Article 47 of the EU Charter on the Fundamental Rights http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:12007P&from=HR and the Croatian law if the visa has been refused or already issued visa has been annulled or revoked, applicants receive a notification on refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa as prescribed by the Ordinance on Visas (Official Gazette No. 7/13), in person, or according to the notification procedure stipulated in the General Administrative Procedure Act  (Official Gazette No. 47/09).
Pursuant to Article 31 of the Aliens Act (Official Gazette Nos. 130/11 and 74/13), applicants may appeal against the Decision on refusal, annulment or revocation of visa  through the responsible Embassy/Consulate of the Republic of Croatia, within the period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the decision.
The appeal is submitted to the responsible Embassy/Consulate within 15 days from the date of receipt of the decision. The appeal shall be submitted in written, in Croatian language. If the applicant lodges the appeal in another language he/she must submit an official translation thereof. Exceptionally, if there is no certified court interpreter for Croatian language in the country, written appeal in English language may be accepted. Applicant should state the reason why he/she thinks that decision is unfounded.
Division for Visas of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs decides on the appeals within 60 days from the date of receipt.
The fee of the appeal procedure is 260 KN, or 34 EUR or 38 USD.
Court protection:
Applicant who is not satisfied with the decision done by the Division for Visas may lodge the law suite at the Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia within 30 days from the date of receipt of the decision on appeal.
Address:
Avenija Dubrovnik 6, 10020 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 1 6011 326 or + 385 1 6011 336
Fax: +385 1 6011 300
E-mail: kontakt@uszg.pravosudje.hr
http://sudovi.pravosudje.hr/upszg/

 

VISA EXTENSION
The validity period of the visa and/or the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa may be extended when the Ministry considers that the visa holder has delivered the proof of:

  • a force majeure or humanitarian reasons that have prevented an alien to leave the territory of the Republic of Croatia before the end of the validity period or the duration of stay granted by the visa (free of charge);
  • serious personal reasons that justify the extension of the validity period or the duration of stay (fee 30 EUR).

The applicant for the extension of the validity period of the visa and/or the duration of stay shall:

  • fill in the Visa Application Form and sign it manu propria;
  • produce a valid travel document;
  • enclose the documents proving the existence of the mentioned reasons for the visa extension;
  • produce the proof of sufficient means of subsistence for the extra period of stay;
  • produce the proof of the travel health insurance for the extra period of stay.

Note: Despite the extension of the validity period of the visa, aliens MAY NOT stay in the Republic of Croatia for longer than three month in each six-months period counting from the date of the first entry into the Republic of Croatia territory.
The Request for the extension of the validity period and/or the period of stay shall be filed at a police administration/station, before the date of expiry of the current visa and/or of the duration of stay granted on the basis of the issued visa. The extended visa shall be issued by the police administration/station. Before the extension of the issued visa takes place, the police administration/station shall require a preliminary approval by the Ministry.

Aliens may stay in the territory of the Republic of Croatia until the moment of the reaching of the decision upon the Request. The visa shall be extended in a form of a new visa sticker.
The decision on the refusal of the extension of a visa validity period and/or the duration of stay, or of the cancellation or the revocation of a visa, shall be served to an alien on a proper form, together with the reasons thereof. An alien has the right to appeal against the decision within 15 days from the service of the decision, through a competent diplomatic mission or a consular post of the Republic of Croatia. The visa may be also revoked upon the request by an alien who was issued the visa in question. In such a case the decision IS NOT APPEALABLE. The appeal shall be decided upon by the Ministry responsible for foreign affairs. Where a concerned party withdraws the request for the visa extension and/or duration of stay, a police administration/station shall decide that the procedure has been discontinued.