There has been a lot of news for the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa program. The idea came from 36-year-old Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong in April 2020 as the country was struggling with the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. De Jong who had been living in Croatia for 14 years was a panel member of a conference about how to turn Croatia into a year-round destination. After an open letter was published on LinkedIn addressed to the Croatian Prime Minister, it started to gain attention and the process started as the minister of the interior contacted De Jong.
What started as a lot of news, hype and some info here and there, is now a solid process with forms, procedures and new legislation in place as of 1 January 2021. This article will outline in detail the requirements for the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa.
How Long is the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Valid For?
It is not a remote work visa by name but more a Residence Permit as it allows you to stay and reside in Croatia and work via remote working. This permit is issued for a maximum of 12 months. After leaving Croatia for 6 months you can reapply again and stay another 12 months.
Who Can Apply for the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa?
The requirements to get the residency permit are:
- Non-EU citizen. EU citizens have no need for a residency permit as being part of the EU automatically grants them the right to live. And yes Brits can apply for this due to Brexit.
- Proof of regular income of at least HRK 16,907.50 (€2,232 $2,629). If you intend to stay in the Republic of Croatia for 12 months, you need proof of sufficient funds of a minimum of HRK 202,890.00 (€26,790 $31,550) in a personal bank account. This is for one person it will go up an additional 10% for each partner and close family member.
- Work for a foreign company. – You can be an employee of a foreign company or you can be an employee of your own company, it can be from anywhere in the world. You just can not be unemployed or retired.
How To Apply And What Documentation Is Needed?
For those that need a Visa to enter the Republic of Croatia, you need to submit the application at the embassy or consulate of the Republic of Croatia.
For those that do not need a Visa to enter the Republic of Croatia, you can submit it at the embassy or consulate or at a competent police administration/police station in Croatia according to the temporary or permanent residency address you give with your application. Here is a list of police stations.
- Fill out the following form – Forma 1a bilingual form or you can do the application online. You need to enclose the following with the application.
- Copy of a valid travel document or passport with a validity of three months or longer than the period of your intended stay.
- Proof of health insurance – This can be travel or private health insurance and this must have coverage for the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
- Proof of purpose – This is a document showing you work for an employer or third-country national and that this work is done through communication technology. You also will need to show a contract of employment or service contract with a foreign employer. In the case of your own company, proof of registration and that tasks are performed through the company.
- Proof of means – Show the income requirements stated before through bank statements.
- Proof of no convictions of criminal offences – This documentation has to come from your home country or the last country for where you resided for more than one year before arriving in Croatia.
- Proof of a Croatian address – A PDF of your Airbnb, hotel, or hostel booking will be enough to start with as a temporary address. You can later change your address at the local MUP (police station).
What To Do After Being Granted Temporary Residence Permit?
If you need a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia you need to apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate or apply for a biometric residence card (ask the embassy or consulate if they can do this). You can also apply for the Visa online.
If you don’t need a Visa to enter the Republic of Croatia there are no more additional steps.
What to Do Upon Arrival?
Register your temporary residence address – at the local police station or police administration within 30 days of the temporary stay being granted or otherwise it will be revoked. You need to bring Form 8a and a lease contract or statement from the landlord or title deed if you own a property.
Issuance of a Biometric Residence Permit – at the police station you apply for a biometric card, you need to provide passport photos and biometric data.
What Are The Costs?
At the consulate:
- Temporary stay granting – HRK 420 (€55 $65)
- Visa – HRK 460 (€61 $72) This can be waived if you are able to apply for the biometric residence card at the embassy/consulate.
- Biometric residence card – HRK 310 (€41 $48)
At police station:
- Temporary stay granting – HRK 350 (€46 $54)
- Biometric residence card – HRK 310 (€41 $48)
What Taxes Do I Have To Pay in Croatia?
The Croatian Government has created special tax-exempt legislation for Digital Nomads with regards to taxation and updated its tax code in December 2020.
Here is the translation from Article 9:
(1) Income tax shall not be paid on:
- receipts of natural persons realized on the basis of performing non-independent work or activity for an employer who is not registered in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of the acquired status of digital nomad in accordance with a special regulation.
What this means is that income as a Digital Nomad is tax-exempt. It is not clear if other sources of income like passive income you may have, are exempt from taxation. This might become clearer as more digital nomads stay in Croatia and provide the necessary real-life information.
What About Taxes In My Home Country or Country of Citizenship?
It will be hard for your home country or country of Citizenship (unless you are a US citizen) to tax you if you stay more than 183 days in Croatia, you have the residence permit, a Croatian Tax Number (easy to apply for) and an address in Croatia.
Keep the rules in mind of other countries which might trigger taxation. For the UK you are a non-resident if you spent fewer than 91 days (of which no more than 30 were spent working) and you work full-time abroad.
At Nomad Girl we will put a lot more effort into the taxation aspect of Digital Nomad life.
What Other Benefits Are There?
You will have a foothold in an EU country and you can have access to a lot of services easier:
- You can easily apply for a Tax number – walk in with your passport into a tax office and within 10 minutes you will have the number.
- You can obtain utility bills in your name
- You can open a local bank account – you can have access to internet banking only companies like Revolut and N26. You can also open a Croatian Bank account.
- You will be considered an EU resident which can help an online business you may have with better rates on Visa and MasterCard transactions.
With the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa, Croatia has joined a growing list of countries that have Visas and Programs in place for Digital Nomads. Here you can find the full list.
Best Digital Nomad Destinations in Croatia
Zagreb the capital of Croatia with a population of 800,000 is fast becoming one of the hubs for digital nomads in Europe. While it lacks the coast as with some other Croatian cities it makes it up with the European charm of its cobblestoned streets, a vibrant nightlife and food scene. With a large international airport and a well-connected rail network, Zagreb makes for an interesting base to explore this part of Europe.
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