Expert Answers Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Questions

Expert Answers Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Questions

Digital nomads have a new opportunity to live and work remotely in Croatia for up to one year. With the Croatia digital nomad visa, you can experience the wonderful benefits this beautiful country has to offer.

Now, applying for a visa is complicated, especially if you’ve never gone through this kind of bureaucratic process before. From gathering the right documents to scheduling appointments and meeting certain requirements to finding a place to live in Croatia, many digital nomads find it stressful and overwhelming.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though! Nomads Embassy has partnered with Karlo Novosel, a lawyer in Croatia who helps digital nomads apply for the digital nomad visa and experience a smooth and seamless process.

To answer some of your most burning questions about the Croatia digital nomad visa, we had the opportunity to interview Mr. Novosel.

Please introduce yourself: how many years has your firm been in business and what do you love about your job?

I am a founder and an owner of a Croatian full-service Law firm with the address in Croatian Capital of Zagreb. Our Law office was incorporated 14 years ago and throughout the years we have provided legal services to a range of Croatian and international Clients.

As per fact that Croatia is a touristic country recently we targeted this sector as the most prodigious generator of possibilities for our business activities and we entered into a partnership with one of our clients from the hospitality industry to offer packages of competitive service and by this be a pioneer of a kind.

Our job has, by this, become more adventurous and has, in a way, merged with another industry which is our countryโ€™s trademark.

By this, we have also lifted the veil covering our profession and shadowing it as a mammoth of old ways and old habits which cannot adapt to the everyday changing world.

I heard your family name โ€œNovoselโ€ has an amazing historical relevance in Croatia. Do you belong to that royal family? 

Actually, this is the first time I am hearing about the nobility in our genetics. Maybe this is because this family name is widespread in Croatia, it is one of the most often surnames in our country and does not have a particular region from which the Novosels are coming from so there are a load of Novosels from very much every part of Croatia, every segment of the society and every given profession.

However, I could say that, at this moment, except me, there is no other Novosel practicing law in Croatia!

Today we’re talking about Croatia’s digital nomad visa. So I have to ask, is being a digital nomad legal?

Being a digital nomad in Croatia has been legal since January 1, 2021. This was one of the most interesting innovations in our legislative system regulating the status of foreigners since a long time ago. By this, we have shown to digital nomad society that we are ready and that you can really count on us.

How long can people stay with a tourist visa? 

Up to 90 days

Can you briefly explain what a digital nomad visa is?

A digital nomad visa is a type of residence permit which allows the applicant to reside in Croatian for a period of 6 months up to one year without a need of fulfilling strict conditions and rules regulating the regular residence permit for foreigners. It is meant to cover the third country (non-EU) citizens who work remotely for foreign employers or are self-employed.

What do I have to do to apply for the Croatian digital nomad visa? 

You can submit the application online. It will be forwarded to the competent police administration/station according to the location of your intended stay in the Republic of Croatia.

The application can also be submitted to the competent authority depending on whether a third-country national is or isnโ€™t required to hold a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia.

IF YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HOLD A VISA TO ENTER THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA:

If you are submitting your application in person, you can submit it abroad at the embassy or consulate of the Republic of Croatia.

We advise you to contact the competent embassy or consulate in advance for more information on potential restrictions in the work of diplomatic missions/consular posts due to the epidemiological measures in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IF YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HOLD A VISA TO ENTER THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA:

If you are submitting your application in person, you can submit it at the embassy or consulate of the Republic of Croatia or at the competent police administration/police station according to your temporary residence address. 

What documents are required to apply for the visa?

Copies of documents should be submitted in Croatian or English language.

1. If you are submitting your application in person, you have to fill in the form (bilingual form), or you can submit your application online.

The following should be enclosed to the application:

2. copy of a valid travel document (period of validity of a travel document must be three months longer than the period of validity of intended stay)

3. proof of health insurance (travel or private health insurance must cover the territory of the Republic of Croatia)

4. proof of purpose (contract of employment or other document proving that the person performs work through communication technology for a foreign employer or his own company which is not registered in the Republic of Croatia), that is

  • statement from the employer or third-country national (as proof that the person performs work through communication technology), and          
  • contract of employment or service contract with a foreign employer, or
  • copy of the registration of his own company and proof that he performs the said tasks through his own company          

5. proof of means of subsistence during his stay in the Republic of Croatia,

You can submit a bank statement or proof of regular income. Pursuant to the Regulation on the manner of calculating and the amount of means of subsistence for third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette no. 14/21), which entered into force on 13 February 2021, third-country nationals who are regulating their temporary stay as digital nomads are required to have the amount corresponding to at least 2.5 average monthly net salaries paid for the previous year, in accordance with the official data published by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. This amount is increased by 10% of the average monthly net salary for each additional family member or life partner or an informal life partner. Currently, the amount required on a monthly basis is a minimum of HRK 16,907.50. More precisely, if you intend to stay in the Republic of Croatia for 12 months, you need to prove that you have a minimum of HRK 202,890.00 available.

6. proof that he/she has not been convicted of criminal offenses from his/her home country or a country in which he/she resided for more than one year immediately before arriving in the Republic of Croatia.

7. provide an address in the Republic of Croatia

When submitting your application and filling in your form, you will be required to provide your address of stay or of intended stay in the Republic of Croatia. This is important for determining the police administration/police station which is locally competent for processing your application. If this is the first time you are applying and you do not have an address in the Republic of Croatia, you can provide a temporary address as the address of your intended stay (hostel/hotel if you have a reservation/confirmed reservation of accommodation).

What benefits come with getting the Croatia digital nomad visa?

In general: you benefit from a life in a beautiful country and stressless surroundings.

In fact: there is an income tax exemption that prescribes that the tax shall not be paid on:

โ€œ…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 a digital nomad in accordance with a special regulationโ€ฆโ€

However, this exemption regulates only the Croatian tax which means that a digital nomadโ€™s country of citizenship might charge its own tax according to the rules of its own tax system. These issues are usually regulated by the bilateral agreements so every specific case might generate a different outcome.

Legal stuff is delicate and complicated, what if I waste time filing documents in the wrong way?

Our law office provides the services of preparing legal documents and attachments to the applications. We are also checking if everything is prepared as it should be. Also, we follow the case up to the moment until the digital nomad visa is given so if anything was previously done in the wrong way we communicate the issue with the authority and resolve the problem.

Can you tell us what are the most common mistakes people make when applying for a visa? 

The most common mistakes are of technical nature: the documents are not properly legalized or translated by a sworn-in-court interpreter.

How long does it take to do the application on their own? 

The most challenging part of applying is to gather all needed documents, check their validity and prepare them for the application. The duration and difficulty of the validation process depend and vary on the internal rules of the applicant’s country of citizenship and bilateral agreements between the state of the applicant’s citizenship and Croatia.

This period can vary between a few days and a few weeks. However, the very filling of the application form is simple. After the application is filed it can take up to a month until the visa is granted.

What happens if you overstay without a visa? 

The Ministry of internal affairs renders a decision by which the foreigner is being expelled and forced out of the country. Bottom line, if the foreigner does not leave the country in an amicable way within the term given by this decision, the Police escorts the foreigner to the border. 

Can someone apply for the visa without the help of lawyers? Are there issues or downfalls to this? 

Yes, this is possible. However, the representation by a lawyer gives certainty that everything will be done according to law, that there will be no time lost or consumed on mistakes, and that, finally, the visa will be given.

What are the main reasons an application would be rejected?

Those of merit: applicants do not fulfill legal requirements and legally prescribed conditions: purpose, insurance, and incomes.

Can any type of lawyer help me apply for the digital nomad visa or should I work with a specific kind? How do I choose the right professionals? 

Lawyers in Croatia cannot formally be specialized for a branch of law. However, in practice, we find different law firms mainly dealing with specific legal issues. As per fact that there are restrictions in advertising of lawyers in Croatia the best possible way to pick the professional is by referral.

Usually in how many days is the application approved when digital nomads work with you? 

3 weeks

How does the service work? 

1) We prepare a list of documents that need to be gathered for the application 

2) We explain the specific requests for every document 

3) We can prepare the statement of the employer confirming that the foreigner performs work through communication technology 

4) We prepare the proof related to the accommodation (if the nomad decides to take our legal-accommodation package) 

5) We check all acquired documents and confirm that the documents are acceptable for the application 

6) We can organize the translation of the documents and also represent them in the proceedings of legalization (if applicable) 

7) We file the application as nomadโ€™s representatives and/or follow the application in front of the Police 

8) We pick up the visa and/or provide needed support with communication with the Police

How many hours of my time will it take and how many hours are you going to work on my case? 

We usually fill our timetable with up to 15 hours of legal services. With regards to the client’s time, her/his involvement is mainly required in the first phase of gathering documents (the gathering time mainly depends on the client’s citizenship and may vary between 1 to 6 hours).

If I decide to use your help, do I have a 100% guarantee that my application is approved?

In general – yes. However, there are some legal obstacles for granting visas on which we cannot have influence (for example if the applicant might pose a threat to our country, terrorism, money laundering, etc.)

Apply for the Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Now

If you have more questions about Croatia’s digital nomad visa or would like assistance from Mr. Novosel to apply for it, please fill out the form above or contact us directly.


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