How to get a residence permit in Croatia
There are quite a few ways to move to Croatia, and unlike a number of EU countries, the requirements for future immigrants here are not too strict.
First of all, we are talking about obtaining a residence permit when purchasing real estate in Croatia.
In some countries, representatives of the “middle class” of foreigners cannot count on such an opportunity, since the vast majority do not have the means to purchase expensive houses and apartments. Croatian legislation offers more freedom of choice regarding prices for the purchase of real estate by future residence permit holders.
Other options for obtaining a residence permit are family reunification with a citizen of Croatia, as well as the provision of political asylum. But these are not the most common ways to resolve the issue. The example of the famous chess player, world champion Garry Kasparov, who in March 2014, bypassing obtaining a residence permit, received citizenship immediately after purchasing residential real estate in Croatia, is not only an exception to the rule, but also an example of granting a passport “for special merits.”
Highly qualified specialists can count on being granted a Croatian residence permit, but this path is very difficult given the unemployment conditions in the country. A Croatian employer inviting such a specialist for a full contract will first have to prove the existence of a shortage of personnel in the relevant field and justify his choice in favor of a foreigner. The list of professionals who can benefit Croatia, in addition to scientists and university teachers, includes journalists and athletes. The same Kasparov achieved what he wanted thanks to his promise to develop chess in the country and open a whole network of specialized schools.
Residence permit in Croatia when purchasing real estate
The Croatian authorities decided a long time ago to attract additional funds to the country through the sale of local real estate – to begin with, only to legal entities. However, after joining the EU in 2013 and issuing permits to “private owners” from all over the world the following year, this procedure became significantly more complicated. Now, in order to acquire your own apartments in Croatia, you must first apply for permission to purchase them from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cost of housing is not of fundamental importance, and this is why Croatia compares favorably with a number of EU countries.
To submit your initial application to purchase real estate in Croatia, you only need a valid foreign passport. The main problem is the timing of obtaining a residence permit in Croatia for the purchase of real estate: the application can be processed for a year or more. When a positive response comes from the relevant department, it will be possible to begin the full execution of the purchase and sale transaction with the participation of both parties, a lawyer and a real estate agency.
If you successfully complete all the above procedures, in order to obtain a residence permit in Croatia, when purchasing real estate, you will only have to collect a standard set of documents. Basic:
- certificate of place of residence (usually a rental agreement, although it can also be a “registration” in a hotel);
- medical insurance;
- documents confirming financial solvency for at least two months in the form of a bank account statement or proof of a permanent source of income abroad in the amount of 70 euros per day.
A Croatian residence permit in the case of purchasing housing is issued for a period of one year, and the procedure for its renewal must begin no later than a month before its expiration date. Holders of a residence permit in Croatia can work only if they have an agreement with a local company and fall into the quota defined for local workers, and they receive full rights, with the exception of voting rights, only after five years of residence in the country, when they become holders of permanent residence permit.
After five years of having permanent residence status, you can apply for a Croatian passport, for which you must have knowledge of the language, history and knowledge of legislation.
However, one cannot count on the fact that Croatian housing itself will become a source of income in the future – in order to rent it out, it will be necessary to open a company.
Residence permit in Croatia for students and entrepreneurs
Quite simple ways to obtain a residence permit include enrolling in Croatian universities and business immigration. On average, the cost of studying at a Croatian university is 2,000 euros per year. Documents for residence permits are renewed annually.
In the case of business immigration, it is necessary to open a company of any type of ownership with an authorized capital, which at the end of 2018 amounted to almost 28,000 euros (converted from local kuna at the current exchange rate). In order to obtain a residence permit in Croatia in this way, the company must annually generate real profits, and at least three employees must have Croatian citizenship and decent (country average) wages.
The main condition for obtaining this type of residence permit in Croatia is the transparency of business, since reporting to the tax office and social security authorities must be submitted at the end of each year. Thus, every year it is necessary to prove that the company really operates and is engaged in exactly the type of activity that was specified during its registration.