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Croatia Immigration Information Work Permit


Employment of foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Croatia is strictly regulated by the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act.

All foreigners must obtain a work permit in order to seek or accept employment in Croatia. Work permits are generally issued to foreign nationals who meet one or all of the following criteria:

have obtained permission for permanent residency;
can provide proof that they will be involved in specific activities such as foreign investment, or other areas of business deemed beneficial by the government;
intend to conduct professional activities as set forth in technology transfer treaties or long-term production cooperation treaties

Even though the applicant may have completed the visa procedures (for a business or employment visa) and acquired an extended residency permit, he/she is not legally allowed to work in Croatia until she/he has received a work permit.

Types of Work Permit & Documentation

There are two types of work permit. The business permit is for foreign nationals who will be self-employed, the majority owner in a business, or a representative of a foreign company with a contract to provide services to a Croatian company and who will be paid by the foreign company. Business permits can be issued for two years duration and include permission to reside in Croatia as a temporary resident.

To receive a standard work permit, a Croatian corporation must apply on behalf of the foreign national. Once the permit is approved, the foreign national must then apply for a temporary residence permit. The penalty for foreign nationals who do not apply for the required residence or work permits in a timely manner can include fines and deportation.

Required documentation:

• two passport-style photographs;
• valid passport and photocopy of passport;
• birth certificate;
• proof of sufficient funds (€100/day or credit cards, bank statement etc.);
• criminal record check (no more than 6 months prior to application);
• proof of health insurance;
• letter from employer;
• proof of accommodation.

Processing Time

According to the Law on the Employment of Foreign Nationals, the Croatian Employment Institute must turn around applications within 30 days. Roughly 90% of applications are passed first time; the most common reason for rejection is “labour market conditions” (i.e. labour market tightness in certain skill areas). However, it is not possible to refuse a work permit to someone arriving as the director of a company.

Applications approved by the Institute of Employment are passed on to the Ministry of Labour, which issues the work permit.

Rejected applicants can appeal to the Governing Body of the Institute, which is composed of representatives of trades unions, employer organizations and government (Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Chamber of Economy and others, but all appointed by the Ministry of Labour).

Work permits are issued for a limited period of time only. After the expiration of your work permit you have to apply for renewal. Business visas have a maximum duration of one year. In case of specific activities or professional work the permit can be issued for a period of up to two years.

The final work permits are issued by the relevant local office of the Ministry of Labour and can take up to four weeks.





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