Croatia Quick Facts
Croatia is becoming a very popular European destination for vacationers and digital nomads. The country is situated in Southeastern Europe and shares borders with five other countries - Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro. It also borders the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea.
If you are a lover of beautiful beaches with white sands and warm sunshine, then Croatia is a great spot to base yourself as a digital nomad.
Living in Croatia as a digital nomad
Croatia has a lot to offer digital nomads. It has many gorgeous beaches along the Adriatic coastline, historic towns and scenic villages, ancient Roman buildings, and national parks waiting for you to visit. There really is something for everyone.
Croatia is also home to many iconic pop-culture sites. As a Game of Thrones fan, what’s better than being able to walk on the beautiful coast of Croatia in Split and Dubrovnik, where the uber-popular HBO series was filmed?
Croatia has a unique, ancient culture. In fact, the culture is one of the most attractive things for tourists, with the country having 14 UNESCO Intangible Goods, including architecture, crafts, a host of festivals, music customs, delicious cuisine, and the highest goods when compared to other European countries.
Attractions and best places to visit
The best thing about Croatia is how many towns, villages, and historic sites are available for you to visit.
Dubrovnik is Croatia’s most glamorous destination, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can explore the magnificent Old Town area within breathtaking medieval defensive walls. You can also see the famous Pile Gate. It was built in 1537 and is one of the most impressive structures in the city. Dubrovnik has many lookout points, which offer stunning views of the Old Town rooftops and the glistening Adriatic Sea.
Many tourists enjoy visiting the Dalmatian islands. The most popular one is Hvar. This trendy city is home to the country’s best hotels and seafood restaurants. Hvar is a car-free Old Town, made up of a spacious main square. There’s also a stunning 16th-century cathedral, a fishing harbor, and a hilltop fortress.
If you enjoy spending time in nature and exploring natural wonders, then the Plitvice Lakes National Park is the perfect place. Located in central Croatia, this National Park is formed by steep forested hillsides and 16 emerald-blue lakes that are connected by a succession of waterfalls. This park is a haven for many wild animals. You’ll definitely see owls, eagles, and falcons and may even glimpse wolves and bears if you’re lucky.
If you’re a history enthusiast, then definitely head towards Pula. Pula is famous for its well-preserved Roman architecture. While there, you can visit the Pula Arena, also known as the Polska Arena. It was built around the 1st century by Emperor Vespasian, and it’s one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheaters in the world.
Digital nomad hotspots
Croatia is one of the best countries for digital nomads. It is an up-and-coming hotspot for remote workers, especially those looking to taste the European lifestyle while living on a budget.
Many places in Croatia are perfect for digital nomads and remote workers. Split is a popular location. This city is located along the Dalmatian coast. You’ll find many cafes, restaurants, boutiques, markets, and more!
Another popular city among digital nomads is Zadar. Here you’ll find ancient ruins from the Romans and Venetians. The landscape of Zadar is breathtaking, and you’ll quickly fall in love with the city. Plus, Zadar is home to the very first digital nomad village in Croatia!
Of course, Zagreb is the most popular city in Croatia for digital nomads. Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia, and it is a colorful city with stunning architecture and plenty of green spaces and parks for relaxing and enjoying the nice weather. Zagreb has a big community of traveling remote workers, so you’ll definitely find other digital nomads!
Cost of Living
Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Croatia is considerably more affordable. Therefore, you can easily find groceries, meals, and accommodation at a budget-friendly price.
Croatia uses the Croatia Kuna (KN) as its currency. 1USD = 7.14KN
You can rent a furnished studio apartment in the city center for $459/month. A bigger apartment costs $805/month. A basic lunch menu costs $12.
Although the country’s official currency is Kuna, not Euro, you still can convert money at any bank, bureaux de change, post office, and practically all travel agencies or hotels in the country. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted in most restaurants and ATMs.
Digital nomad essentials
Croatia has great internet coverage all over the country. You’ll rarely find yourself without reliable internet during your time there. In 2020, the average speed for mobile connections was 65Mbps.
Regarding public transport, the bus is the preferred option for the locals. Bus routes cover big towns as well as smaller and more remote villages. Big cities like Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka also have a train system that is inexpensive and comfortable.
There are many coworking spaces in Croatia, especially in the big cities. We recommend you check out these places:
There are also many coffee shops that offer free wifi. We recommend you visit these places:
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Croatia has entered the growing list of countries that have opened to digital nomads and remote workers. The Croatia Digital Nomad Residence Permit is a digital nomad visa for Croatia that will allow you to live and work in Croatia as a digital nomad.
After months of rumors about allowing digital nomads to reside in Croatia, the government finally introduced the Croatia digital nomad visa program in January 2021.
However, the digital nomad visa for Croatia is more like a temporary residence permit than a visa. As a digital nomad, this visa allows you to stay in Croatia from six months to a year, with the option to reapply after it expires.
You must leave the country for 90 days once the visa validity ends. After this period, you can start a new application for another digital nomad visa.
Croatia is not yet a part of the Schengen Area, so you will not have free travel access to other European countries in the Schengen zone as you would with digital nomad visas for Estonia, Portugal, or Malta.
Staying in Croatia with a digital nomad visa, the Croatian government will not charge you any income tax. So you just need to pay your taxes wherever you have tax residency.
Stay up to date with the current COVID entry requirements here!
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Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Croatia
To be eligible for the digital nomad visa for Croatia, you must be a salaried employee, freelancer, or self-employed working for/with non-Croatian clients.
Here are the requirements to apply for the digital nomad visa for Croatia
Non-EU citizens – EU citizens do not need a residency permit as being part of the EU automatically grants them the right to live in the country.
Valid Passport – You must ensure that your passport is valid at least 3 months after the visa term.
Proof of Regular Income – You must work for employers or clients outside Croatia and make a monthly income of at least 16,907 HRK ($2,658). If you don’t have the monthly income, you can show proof of funds instead of 202,890 HRK (~$31,892.92).
Work for a foreign company. – You must work for a foreign company or be self-employed in a foreign country. You must show an employment or service contract with a foreign employer. If you own a company, you will need proof of registration.
Health Insurance – This can be travel or private health insurance, and it must provide coverage in Croatia. The health insurance must be valid in Croatia during your stay.
Criminal Background Check – A certified background check from your home country or the last country where you resided for more than one year before arriving in Croatia. You’ll need to get a federal background check through the FBI if you come from the U.S.
Temporary Address in Croatia – A lease agreement or booking confirmation of your address in Croatia. You can use a hotel or hostel as a temporary address and change it later at the local MUP (police station).
Completed Application – Fill out the application online here.
Your family members can also get a digital nomad visa for Croatia. In addition to proving your income above, you’ll need to produce a marriage certificate or proof that you are in a common-law marriage. If you have children, you will need to attach their birth certificates.
All required documents need to be translated and notarized.
How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Croatia
There are three options for submitting your application for the digital nomad visa for Croatia.
You can complete the application online from abroad or in Croatia.
You can submit it to a Croatian embassy or consulate abroad.
Or you can apply in person at the local police station near your temporary residence in Croatia.
The digital nomad visa for Croatia is valid for up to one year. There is no extension option, but you can make a new application after your previous residence permit has expired.
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa for Croatia
The application requires the following documents:
Copy of Passport
Proof of Purpose (Remote Work Contracts/Employment)
Proof of Income
Bank Statement from Previous 3 Months
Criminal Background Check
Temporary Residence Address in Croatia
Completed Application (online or in-person)
How much does it cost?
If you apply at a Croatian embassy or consulate, you will pay the visa and administration fees as follows:
Temporary Residence – 420 HRK ($66 USD)
Visa – 460 HRK ($73 USD)
Residence Card – 310 HRK ($49 USD)
If you apply in person at the local police in Croatia, you’ll pay the below fees once your application is approved.
Temporary Residence – 350 HRK (~ $55 USD)
A Biometric Residence Card – 240 HRK (~ $38 USD)
Administration Fees – 70 HRK (~$11 USD)
Timeline for Applying
After you submit your application via the steps above and it’s approved, you will need to register your temporary Croatian address within 30 days. If you enter the country immediately, you must register the address within 3 days.
To do this, you’ll need to go to the police station closest to your residence and submit an Obrazac 8a form, a rental contract, a letter from your landlord, a title deed, or a hotel/hostel confirmation. Once all these steps are completed, you must return to the police station to obtain your biometric residence card.
You’ll need to provide a Croatian-sized passport photo (30x35mm) and payment receipt for the administrative fees to the police station, where they’ll take your fingerprints and signature. You can get these printed in Croatia for about 100 HRK to ensure they are the correct size.
Then, the police will give you a white temporary residence card to use while you wait to pick up your new residence card. When it’s ready, you can pick up your residence card at the police station and return the white card while also bringing your passport.
Finally, you can start enjoying your time in Croatia as a digital nomad!
FAQs About the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa
What Is the History of the Croatian Digital Nomad Visa?
It was the Dutch entrepreneur and digital nomad Jan de Jong who proposed granting digital nomads longer periods of residence in Croatia. He visited the country in April 2020 and saw how the economy was struggling due to the downturn in tourism resulting from the pandemic. He proposed a digital nomad visa to local ministers. The new residence laws for digital nomads in Croatia were introduced in January 2021 as part of a broader redrafting of residence laws.
What Are the Benefits of the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa?
The Croatian digital nomad residence permit allows you to live in Croatia for up to a year while working remotely for a business outside Croatia (including your own business).
Since Croatia is part of the EU, the visa also permits you to travel around the rest of the Schengen Area.
Croatia exempts foreigners from double taxation, so you will not need to pay local taxes on your income earned from third-party countries.
Croatia enjoys an excellent Mediterranean climate and offers a significantly more affordable cost of living than other EU countries. For example, the cost of living in Croatia is calculated to be 35-40% less than the cost of living in France.
Can I Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa Directly from Croatia?
You can apply for the Croatia digital nomad residency permit online from anywhere in the world. If you are in Croatia, you can also apply in person at a local administrative police station. A full list of the administrative police stations in Croatia can be found here.
However, if you are living in Croatia on another temporary residence permit, you must leave the country for at least six months before applying for a new residency permit. If you are in Croatia on a tourist visa, you are not restricted in your ability to apply.
Can I Get Permanent Residency in Croatia with a Digital Nomad Visa?
The digital nomad temporary residence permit is unlikely to offer a gateway to permanent residence, which usually requires five years of continuous residency. The permit is granted for a maximum of 12 months and is not renewable. You must leave Croatia for at least six months before applying for a different type of residency permit. This requirement makes it very difficult to transition from this temporary residence permit to permanent residency.
Can I Work for a Company Registered in Croatia with a Digital Nomad Visa?
The requirements for the digital nomad residency permit specifically state that you must work for a company in a third-party country, or have your own business, also registered in a third-party country. This means that you cannot be employed by a Croatian company. However, if you have your own business, it is allowed to take on Croatian clients.
Can Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Be Extended?
The digital nomad residency permit is granted for up to one year and cannot be extended. You also must leave Croatian for at least 90 days before returning on a tourist visa. You must leave Croatia for at least six months before applying for any other type of Croatian residency.
Can My Family Members Join on My Croatia Digital Nomad Visa?
If you travel to Croatia on a digital nomad residency permit, close family members can travel with you on a family reunion residency permit. You will have to show evidence of your close relationship (e.g., marriage license or birth certificate), and bringing a dependent adds 10% to the minimum income requirements for the digital nomad residency permit.
What Are the Cons of the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa?
The major con of the Croatian digital nomad residency permit is that it is for a maximum period of one year and is not renewable, placing a firm limit on the amount of time you can spend in Croatia. The country’s immigration laws also mean that you must leave the country when your permit expires, and you cannot immediately transfer to a different type of residency permit or tourist visa. You can also not work for local Croatian companies while living in the country on a digital nomad residency permit.
Is Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Easy to Get?
The Croatian digital nomad residency permit is relatively easy to get since it only requires a minimum monthly income of 2.5 times the net average salary in Croatia in the previous year. In 2022, this is HRK17,822.50, which is the equivalent of €2,300. This compares favorably with other European countries, such as Greece, which requires €3,500 per month, and Portugal, which requires €2,800 per month.
The application cost is also relatively low, totaling just under €150 for the entry visa, residency permit, and residency card.
However, statistics suggest that around 30% of applications have been suspended or rejected.
When Is the Best Time to Get a Croatia Digital Nomad Visa?
If you intend to stay in Croatia for less than 12 months, the best time to visit is in the summer months, between May and October. The weather is sunny and warm, and most of the country’s major festivals and activities are planned for this peak tourist season. Croatia is more expensive in the summer, especially during July and August, but if you are negotiating long-term accommodation, you should still have access to affordable options.