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Visa for Digital Nomads in Croatia: How to apply?

Don’t wait any longer and find out what the requirements are and how you can get the Visa for Digital Nomads in Croatia this 2023.

Carolina S.

December 12, 2023

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Recently, Croatia has joined the long list of countries with special visas available for Digital Nomads who want to develop their professional careers in this wonderful country. In addition to having impressive beautiful scenery, you can also appreciate an advanced technological infrastructure. In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know to get your digital nomad visa in Croatia, including the requirements of this visa.

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What is a Croatian digital nomad visa?

Although the concept of digital nomad is used quite frequently nowadays, it is to be expected that you need a general idea, as it has only been coined for a short time. The digital nomads are a group of tech-savvy people who work remotely and make the most of their free time to travel and explore different parts of the world.

You can live legally in Croatia as a digital nomad.
You can live legally in Croatia as a digital nomad. Source: Pexels.

This term became famous in 2019-2020 because of the pandemic. Still, today, Croatia’s program for remote workers has changed from a Croatia digital nomad visa to a residence permit for temporary stay, specifically for digital nomads. In addition to the name change, some of the requirements were updated, and now among the benefits is more flexibility for extended stays in the country.

Who can apply for Croatia’s digital nomad visa?

  • You must not be a citizen of an EU or EEA country.
  • You must show proof of no criminal convictions.
  • You can work as a freelancer or own a private business, generating income outside of Croatia.

How does the visa for digital nomads in Croatia work?

Once you meet all the requirements, you’ll be in for a world of opportunities and advantages. With a vibrant online work world and a strong community of travelers and remote workers, Croatia offers you a unique and stimulating environment to develop your career and explore the country. Since October 2023, what was previously called a visa is now a residence permit for temporary stay for digital nomads. Here’s how it works:

Advantages of the Croatia digital nomad visa

  • Live and work remotely in Croatia: You can legally stay and work for up to one year, enjoying the beautiful scenery, vibrant culture, and affordable living while earning income outside Croatia.
  • Long-term residency: Compared to a tourist visa, this permit allows you to stay longer and build a more stable life in Croatia. However, it is still a temporary residence permit
  • Legal work: You can work freely as a freelancer or own a private business, eliminating concerns about working illegally.
  • Low cost of living: you can be exempt from paying taxes during your stay here.
  • You can travel with your family.
  • Excellent technological infrastructure: Croatia is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world with impressive growth.
  • Biometric residence card in Croatia: Once approved, you will have this physical document as official proof of your Permit to Stay.

Disadvantages of the Croatia digital nomad visa

  • This visa can’t be renewed continuously. You have to wait six months after getting the visa to reapply.

Requirements to apply for the digital nomad residency permit

If you’ve decided to become a digital nomad in Croatia, consider that there are two options to apply. You can go to the country directly or use the Croatian embassy services in your home country. However, it’s essential to remember that the visa requirements will be the same, regardless of your choice.

  • Non-EU/EEA citizen: You cannot be a citizen of any European Union or European Economic Area country. But you must have a valid passport or valid travel document for the process.
  • Sufficient income: Prove a minimum monthly income of around €2,300, enough to live in Croatia. This can be requested as a bank statement showing your income. 
  • Health insurance: Have valid health insurance covering you in Croatia. This can be a private health insurance
  • Clean criminal record: Provide proof of no criminal convictions.
  • Proof of purpose: This refers to the justification of the application for this type of permit. Documents such as employment or service contract may be required.
  • Temporary residence address in Croatia: At the time of application, you will be asked to provide a temporary address where you will be once you arrive in Croatia. It is important to note that you must register this address at your local police station within three days of your arrival. 
  • Additional documents: Bank statements, work contracts, and other documents may be required.
  • Croatian or English language: This is not a direct requirement, but since many of the processes are handled in these languages, it will be indispensable for you to handle them.

Remote application process for Croatian digital nomad visa

  1. Online application: Apply through the Ministry of Internal Affairs website of the Croatian government.
  2. Administrative fees: Pay visa (€55), biometric residence permit (€60), and residence card (€310) fees. Please note that you may have more digital nomad visa cost if other documents are requested.
  3. Application within Croatia: If you’re already in Croatia on a visa-free tourist stay (applicable to some nationalities), you can apply for a permit to extend your stay.

Duration of the visa for digital nomads in Croatia

As we said, Croatia is a highly valued destination for digital nomads looking for a beautiful country to explore. Meeting the above requirements, Croatia gives you a permit to stay for up to a year. This cannot be extended, and to apply for a new one, six months must pass after the last temporary stay of digital nomads has expired. Although this permit allows you to live in the country, it does not allow you to apply for subsequent Croatian citizenship.

Can I apply for permanent residence as a digital nomad in Croatia?

Unfortunately, directly applying for permanent residence in Croatia as a digital nomad isn’t currently possible. There are two key things to keep in mind:

  1. The Croatian digital nomad program offers a temporary stay permit, not a path to permanent residency. This digital nomad residence permit, valid for up to one year, allows you to live and work remotely in Croatia as a third-country national but doesn’t grant automatic access to permanent residency.
  2. Time spent under the digital nomad permit doesn’t count towards the five-year residency requirement for permanent residency. Even after renewing your permit and residing in Croatia for several years, you wouldn’t automatically qualify for permanent residency based solely on your digital nomad status.

Why is Croatia one of the best destinations for remote work?

why croatia

There are many reasons why Croatia is considered one of the best destinations to work remotely or be a digital nomad. It starts with its low cost of living and technological infrastructure, allowing internet coverage in almost any part of Croatian territory. This is an excellent advantage if you want to live and work in small cities such as towns or villages far from the main cities.

In addition to these advantages, getting a digital nomad visa in this country also has additional perks. We will discuss below:

You can travel with your family members

One of the main advantages of the visa for digital nomads in Croatia is that, in addition to allowing you to enter the country, it will also allow you to travel and live with your relatives. This is ideal if you want to live an unbeatable experience with your loved ones while working there.

You can travel with your family
You can travel with your family. Source: Pexels.

Of course, additional requirements such as your partner’s marriage certificate or your children’s birth certificates will be requested at the time of processing for them. Upon approval, a temporary stay for your close family members is guaranteed.

Exempt from paying taxes

In addition to being able to live with your family in Croatia through this visa, If your time in Croatia is less than 183 days, you can be exempt from paying taxes for having a foreign employer, which is perfect if you’re looking to save money while working in this beautiful country.

If, on the contrary, your stay lasts more than 183 days, you shouldn’t worry either because this nation offers an exemption for digital nomads that allows them to pay only 20% taxes instead of the 25% that Croatians usually pay.

How do digital nomads in Croatia connect to the internet?

Indeed, Croatia is an oasis for digital nomads looking for a whole and balanced work-travel life. With its unique combination of natural beauty and technological connectivity, this Scandinavian country is the ideal home for remote workers looking to escape the monotony and experience something new.

But to fully enjoy all Croatia has to offer, it’s crucial to have access to a fast and reliable internet connection. Otherwise, you may encounter issues and headaches during work meetings or when connecting to your projects in the cloud. Additionally, with a stable signal, you can enjoy the wonders of the landscape. To avoid any inconvenience, we recommend you explore the internet connection options used by other digital travelers in Croatia.

Data eSIM to have internet in Croatia

Among the alternatives currently to get internet in Croatia for Digital Nomads, the option that stands out above all the others is the eSIM with data for Croatia. Thanks to the fact that it is a digital product, you won’t have to pay for shipping fees, nor will you have to wait for the product to arrive since it will be delivered to you instantly once you make your purchase through email. This a great option for digital nomads in other locations who need an eSIM for Portugal, Italy, or Germany!

tele2 coverage map croatia
Source: Nperf

So, if this option catches your eye, we invite you to look at the eSIMs with data for Croatia that we offer at Holafly. With these digital cards, you can have plans throughout your stay in this country at a reasonably affordable price. Stay connected to the Orange cellular network, one of the best carriers in the country.

You will enjoy good coverage and 4G/5G speed in Croatia cities such as Dubrovnik, Rovinj, and Split. Stay connected thanks to unlimited data plans, 500 MB per day to share via hotspot, 24/7 customer service every day, and many other benefits with Holafly’s eSIM for Croatia.

SIM card to have internet in Croatia

One of the most conventional solutions when digital nomads want the internet in Croatia is to use SIM cards. However, you must remember that to buy one of these SIM cards in Croatia, you need to visit an operator branch in person, such as Orange, and ask for a prepaid or postpaid data plan.

Although this alternative will give you access to data and other cellular services such as making calls and sending text messages, it also has a somewhat more tedious purchase process flow than other alternatives such as eSIM. Therefore, you should try to dedicate part of your day to carrying out all the necessary procedures. Remember to present your passport and other documents in case you need them to activate your plan and, afterward, your SIM.

Pocket WiFi to have internet in Croatia

In addition to SIM and eSIM cards, another alternative is Pocket WiFi. This small cellular device will allow you to have an internet connection through a private and secure WiFi network to which only you and the devices you want can connect.

Despite being an exciting option, the truth is that it’s one of the most expensive, so it’s only sometimes recommended. So, if you travel alone or with a small group of people, the main feature of sharing data needs to be recovered.

Other countries that also have a visa for digital nomads

Croatia, a country that has opened to a new world of possibilities, has joined the growing list of ideal destinations for Digital Nomads. With a special visa that allows remote workers to explore and experience its culture and natural beauties, Croatia is the perfect place for those looking to combine work and adventure. Do you want to know more about destinations that offer a similar approach? Here is a list of some of the other players in the Digital Nomad visa game.

List of countries with visas for digital nomads

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Thailand

FAQs about the visa for digital nomads in Croatia

Can I work in a local Croatian company?

No. One of the main requirements that you must meet to hold and maintain your visa as a digital nomad in Croatia is to work in a corporation that is not local or even Croatian.

Does Croatia have a digital nomad visa?

Digital nomads can live in Croatia up to one year in a remote job for businesses outside Croatia, even your own business. Because Croatia is in the EU, this visa also allows travel throughout the Schengen Region.

How long does it take to process a Croatian visa for digital nomads?

Official sources estimate the processing time to be around 3-4 weeks. However, reports from applicants suggest actual processing times can often be more prolonged, ranging from 3 months to 6 months or even longer in some cases.

How can I receive medical assistance in Croatia?

It’s important that before applying for your digital nomad visa for Croatia, you get international health insurance that can cover you from any medical incident. 

How much does it cost to get a digital nomad visa?

The process is broken into three parts with a fee. Initially, the granting of a temporary stay, the cost of living, and the issuance of the biometric residency card. All these three parts have an approximate value of $160.