Schengen work permit of Croatia: process and requirements - Visa Guru (2023)

As of 1 January 2023, Schengen visas (visas type A and C) and national long-term visas (visa type D) are issued in Croatian diplomatic missions and consular offices.

To improve the economy and fill all the vacant seats of workers in the labor market, Croatia is in search of a huge number of new workers. The good reason behind this demand is that the young and talented inhabitants of Croatia are shifting towards the EU countries for work, leaving a shortage of employees behind them in Croatia. As a result, there are vacant posts in various industries like Transport, Healthcare, construction, agriculture, tourism, and construction in Croatia, which need to be filled immediately by foreigners.

According to the assistant director of the Croatian Employment Service, Ruzica Hrga, last year till August. the highest number of work permits was issued for the construction sector, followed by the hospitality and tourism sector and transport and communications, and the most workers come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Nepal, said

Official nameRepublic of Croatia Republika Hrvatska
Capital and largest cityZagreb
Official languagesCroatian
EU Member StateYes
Schengen member stateYes (since 1 January 2023)

Important conditions for a work permit

If it is a new job, before submitting the application for a residence and work permit, it is necessary to ask the Croatian Employment Service to conduct a labor market test (abbreviated as TTR). If it is determined that there are no unemployed persons of the required profile in the records, the Institute will inform you about this and direct you to submit an application for the issuance of a residence and work permit for a citizen of a third country. The application for the permit can be submitted within 90 days from the date of issuance of the notice on the labor market test. Requests are submitted online.

When it comes to employment in occupations from the LIST OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL of the CES, it is not necessary to carry out the TTR, but one must immediately submit an application for a residence and work permit online.

EXCEPTIONS: in the following cases, requests are submitted to the competent police administrations/stations:

  • extension of residence and work permit: same employer and same citizen of a third country;
  • employment of a seasonal worker in agriculture, forestry, catering, and tourism in the territory of the Republic of Croatia for up to 90 days during the calendar year;
  • categories from Article 110 of the Aliens Act (e.g. key personnel in commercial companies, self-employment in a commercial company/trade in which he owns at least 51%, EU Blue Card, persons transferred within the company, service providers, volunteers, trainees, vessel crews, etc.)

Qualification requirements

When applying for a residence and work permit after completing the TTR, and depending on the conditions required in the TTR, a translation of a certificate, diploma, certificate of qualification or certificate of work experience (e.g. recommendations from a former employer, extracts from official records) must be submitted or other evidence), translated into Croatian if the original is not in a Croatian related language and in the Latin script or in English.

Exceptionally, the Employer’s Statement (in free form) on the employee’s qualifications to perform the duties of the specified position can be recognized as proof of work experience, if it is not a regulated profession and if the TTR did not require an educational qualification. For example, if the TTR is looking for a cook with a chef’s qualification obtained through high school education, a certificate of qualification must be submitted for a citizen of a third country, but if it is not stated in the TTR that an educational qualification is required for a cook, then the foreign worker does not have to have educational qualification, but competence acquired through experience or in another way.

When it comes to a regulated profession, regardless of the type of request (with TTR or without TTR), it is necessary to submit evidence that the qualification is recognized in the Republic of Croatia, as this is a condition for performing the duties of a regulated profession. The exception is regulated professions in the field of related trades, given that foreigners are employed by an employer and do not come to open their own trade.

In order to get the Croatia work permit issued by the government, the first and basic thing is the applicant must not be a citizen of EU or EEA states. Then there comes the further procedure.

We are going to discuss the following different aspects step by step in detail for the Croatia work permit:

  • How to attain an opportunity for a job in Croatia?
  • The conditions must need to be fulfilled for a Croatian work permit;
  • Details about Work permit quotas and labor market tests;
  • The process to get a work permit for an employee by Croatian companies;
  • Work positioning.

How to find a job in Croatia?

Work permit comes later, the first thing is to get a job in Croatia. Without this opportunity, the applicant will be disqualified for a work permit.

There are many ways to seek a job in Croatia and apply them according to your skills and capabilities, some of the basics ways are,

  • The help of someone, like your family member or your friend, may randomly tell you about any job opportunity in Croatia.
  • Find via Facebook groups and pages.
  • Find via any of the recruitment agencies.
  • Find via searching the companies of Croatia directly.

There are some traditional ways you can find a job in Croatia which are as follows:

Through government employment agencies

Hrvatski zavod za zapošljavanje, HZZ or burza rada (Croatian Employment Service) is a state institution that implements employment programs on the basis of public authority. It may not register you directly but you can use its job vacancies database to connect with the different approved employers in Croatia. You can click here to reach the agencies.

Through jobs websites

Through recruitment agencies

When you are successfully selected for the job in Croatia, two things will be needed for the job verification, to get a Croatia work permit:

  • The first one is an offer that an employee has sent to the company for a job;
  • The second one is proof of an agreement with the company which will clearly reveal that you got the job and are assigned by the Croatian company.

What is the average salary in Croatia?

The salary in Croatia is not as high as in other developed and rich EU countries but the average salary in Croatia is 204,431 HRK per year. The most typical earning is 106,013 HRK. The difference is more when it comes to men and women. The men earn an average salary of 206,446 HRK whereas the women could reach up to 190,912 HRK annually.

The most paid careers are Management & Business with an average income of 338,146 HRK and Finance & Banking with an income of 315,047 HRK. Based on education, the highest salaries received by people with a Master’s Degree with a salary of 221,038 HRK. The second most paid education level is a Doctorate Degree with a salary of 218,899 HRK.

Experience counts as well which means people with 12-16 Years of experience receive a salary of 284,522 HRK. Employees with 20+ Years of experience receive 262,041 HRK.

Conditions must need to be fulfilled for a Croatian work permit

Once you are all done with the job verification things, you can apply for the work permit and residence permit.

There are two basic requirements ( discussed above but we are summarizing them here) that must be fulfilled to get a Croatia work permit.

  • The citizenship of the third country ( non-EU)
  • Must be assigned by the Croatian company for the job.

Details about Work permit quotas and labor market test

As there is a shortage of workers in various industries in Croatia, there is no limit to the hiring of foreign workers in Croatia, according to the new strategy of the government of Croatia implemented in January 2021. This a positive thing, But they make unique criteria for the foreign applicants, which labor market test.

There is an employment agency in Croatia named HZZ, without the permission of this company the Croatian employer cannot request to issue the work and residence permit for the foreigner they want to hire in their company.

The employer of the Croatian company will first request the HZZ company to allow permission. Then HZZ will execute the labor market test. The purpose of this test will be to resolve whether they are going to give permission to that company to hire the foreigner or not.

When an employer requests permission from HZZ, the time duration for completion of the test is 15 days. After receiving the permission request, HZZ will search for the unemployed catalogs of Croatians to check whether there is anyone in the state who can fulfill all the requirements like education, skills, and experience, of this post rather than a foreigner.

If there will be anyone in the catalog, they will suggest the company employer hire them instead of the foreigner. HZZ will give the catalog of all such persons meeting the criteria for the prospective job post to the company.

Then the company will have to do a thorough search of the persons on the list. Then they will provide all the feedback from employers and workers on referred persons to the HZZ. Then HZZ will take a decision on the basis of a performed test to the employer of the company, keeping in mind the feedback.

If the referred persons will prove to disqualify for the post, then HZZ will give the results in form of giving permission to hire the foreigner within 3 months. The employers of the company can simply email their nearby HZZ office, in order to apply for the labor market test.

Which situations do not require “A Labor Market Test”

There are some conditions for which the labor market test is not required:

  • Insufficient occupations;
  • Applying for the extension of the work permit of the employer belonging from a third country;
  • For the employers who work on the season base in Croatia in tourism, agriculture, and forestry, whose main residence is the third country.

Which jobs do not require “A Labor Market Test”

There are some occupations that are not required a labor market test for hiring foreigners. These are those occupations that are an extreme lack of workers.

  • Reinforcers
  • Roofer
  • Stonemason
  • Tinsmith
  • Truck drivers
  • Truck drivers with trailers.
  • Underlayer
  • User interface designer
  • Waterproofing
  • Welder.

Inn the activities of agriculture and forestry, as well as tourism and hospitality, the employers can obtain a permit for a citizen of a third country for up to 90 days without a labor market test and without an opinion from the CES. Can said permit be extended for an additional 90 days for the same person?You can use this type of permit for several workers during the season, but for an individual worker this type of permit can only be approved for a maximum of 90 days (it cannot be obtained for an additional 90 days without a TTR and without an opinion).

The process to get a work permit for an employee by Croatian companies

After the positive results from the HZZ, the employer of the Croatian company will send a request to MUP to issue the work permit for the foreigner via this page.

The employer will have to submit the following documents.

  • An agreement of employment;
  • Verifications for the fulfillment of the requirements, like education, skills, and experience of the foreigner for that perspective post.

There are also criteria for employers to hire foreigners to the Croatian company. The criteria are:

  • The company for which they are hiring a foreigner must be registered;
  • The employer is paying all the income taxes;
  • The employer, who is hiring a foreigner, must be a citizen of Croatia or EEA states or he/she must have a permanent or long-term residence and Croatia work permit;
  • The employer must not have any culprit history.

Fee structure for the Croatia work permit.

  • To issue the work permit, the charges are 560 kunas.
  • For the residence permit, the charges are 240 kunas.
  • The authority fee is 70 kuna.

Once the approval comes with a positive response, the employer will send all the approval letters to the applicant in his country of origin. The applicant can then apply for a visa in the Croatian embassy or consulate in his country of origin. Once here/she receives the 90 days visa, they can travel to Croatia. After reaching there, they must apply for a residence permit by doing the following:

An application for a residence and work permit may be submitted by:

  • third-country national (see the part relating to where to apply for the approval of temporary stay); or
  • employer, with the local police department or station according to the place of intended residence or work of the third-country national or the seat of the employer; or
  • temporary employment agency.

A residence and work permit is a combined approval of temporary stay and works in the Republic of Croatia.

The decision on issuing a residence and work permit is made by the police department or station regardless of the place where the application was submitted.

Work positioning

A foreign employee can work in Croatia on the basis of the following requirements:

  • On the basis of an authentic agreement between both parties, the company, and the foreign employer;
  • If the employer of the company is not permanent, then he can give work to the foreigner to the end-user in Croatia;
  • The foreigner can be transferred from the same company in the third country to the same company in Croatia.

There is a tip for foreigners if they have an A1 certificate granted by their own government, they work in Croatia maximum of 3 months without any work permit.

The administrative police station will grant with following things if the work position of the foreigner needs to be altered after the 3 months.

  • A short-term residence;
  • A certificate for giving non-permanent permission for the work in Croatia to the inhabitant of any of EEA state.

Residence and work permits without a labor market test

Pursuant to Article 97, Paragraph 5 and Article 110 of the Aliens Act, it is expressly prescribed in which cases the Ministry through the police department or police station can independently issue residence and work permits, i.e. when a labor market test and an opinion of the Croatian Employment Service are NOT required.

Requests for the issuance of a residence and work permit for which it is not necessary to conduct a labor market test or obtain an opinion from the Croatian Employment Service refer to:

  • extension of residence and work permit for the same employer and the same citizen of a third country,
  • seasonal employment of third-country nationals in agriculture, forestry, catering and tourism for up to 90 days during the calendar year,
  • residence and work permits in accordance with Article 110 of the Act (key personnel in companies, EU blue card, persons transferred within the company, etc.)

For the above categories of permits, a request for a residence and work permit can be submitted by a citizen of a third country or an employer, directly or by e-mail at the competent police department or police station according to:

  • place of intended stay
  • work of a citizen of a third country or
  • employer’s headquarters.

The request is decided by the police administration or police station according to the place of residence or intended residence of the citizen of a third country.

Extension of residence and work permit

The request is submitted no later than 30 days before the expiration of the residence and work permit.

If an extension of the residence and work permit is requested for the same employer and the same citizen of a third country, the request is submitted to the police department or police station according to the place of residence of the citizen of the third country, which decides on the extension.

If an extension of the residence and work permit is requested for another employer and/or another citizen of a third country, the request is submitted via the HZZ/MUP platform.

The police administration or the police station must decide on the request for the extension of the residence and work permit before the expiration of the valid residence and work permit.

The request for the extension of the residence and work permit for seasonal work must be submitted no later than 15 days before the expiration date of the said permit, and the request will be decided within three days from the date of submission of the proper request.

List of foreign embassies of Croatia

Here you can find Croatian embassies and consulates all around the world.

General work visa requirements of Croatia in a nutshell

According to the newly implemented immigration rules of the Republic of Croatia, you may apply for a work permit with the following documents:

  • A valid job offer by a Croatian employer;
  • A contract of employment, or written confirmation that a contract of employment or any other relevant contract has been concluded;
  • Proof of educational background and qualifications. Such as diplomas, certificates, and/or degrees;
  • Proof of language proficiency in either English or Croatian (optional).
  • Colored photograph, sized 35x45mm;
  • Proof of health insurance;
  • A copy of a valid travel document, your machine-readable passport.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support oneself. Ideally, a personal bank account where you have some amount to cover up the expenses of your initial days in Croatia;
  • Proof of the registration of a company, branch office, representative office, sole trade, family-run farm, association, or institution in the Republic of Croatia (extracts from the relevant registers should not be dated more than six months);
  • HZZ approval report;
  • Visa confirmation letter from Croatian Government.
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