Asylum and subsidiary protection
Asylum or subsidiary protection is granted to persons whose life would be in danger if they returned to their country of originAsylum will be granted to an applicant who is outside the country of their citizenship or habitual residence and has a well-founded fear of persecution owing to their race, religion, nationality, affiliation to a certain social group or political belief, as a result of which they are not able to or do not wish to accept the protection of that country.
Subsidiary protection will be granted to an applicant who does not meet the conditions to be granted asylum in cases where justified reasons exist to indicate that, if returned to their country of origin, the applicant would face a real risk of suffering serious harm and who is unable, or, owing to such risk, unwilling to accept the protection of that country.
Serious harm refers to the threat of death by penalty or execution, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment as well as serious and individual threat to the life of the civil population due to arbitrary generalised violence in situations of international or internal armed conflicts.
Rights and obligations of asylees or foreign nationals under subsidiary protectionWhen a foreign national is granted asylum or subsidiary protection, they are entitled to stay in Croatia and are can be provided with accommodation, paid for from the state budget, for a maximum of two years following the date on which the decision on granting them asylum or subsidiary protection becomes enforceable.
In addition, they are entitled to:
- Work (without a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate)
- Freedom of religion
- Free legal aid (for preparation of an action and representation before a first-instance administrative court in case of approval of the application with respect to granting subsidiary protection and in case of cessation or revocation of asylum or subsidiary protection)
- Social welfare
- Assistance with integration into the society and with family reunification
- Ownership of real estate under the 1951 Convention
- Acquire Croatian citizenship in accordance with the Croatian Citizenship Act.
Asylees and foreign nationals under subsidiary protection have to apply for residence permits, which are issued to them for a period of five years and three years, respectively. Asylees can also apply for issuance of an asylee passport to them, which is issued for a period of five years provided that certain legal requirements have been met. Foreign nationals under subsidiary protection can also apply for issuance of a special passport for foreign nationals to them, which is issued for a period of two years provided that certain legal requirements have been met.
A family member of an asylum seeker or foreigner under subsidiary protection, who is legally resident in Croatia, has the same rights as an asylum seeker/foreigner under subsidiary protection, except for the right to documents as an asylum/foreigner under subsidiary protection.
Asylum seeker and foreigner under subsidiary protection are obliged to comply with the Constitution, laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Republic of Croatia and to register their permanent residence within 15 days, as well as change of residence and address within 15 days from the date of change, have a residence permit with them and to give it to legally authorised persons as well as to take a course in Croatian language, history and culture. They are also obliged to notify the Ministry of the Interior if they move out of the Republic of Croatia or permanently reside abroad for more than 90 days in a 180-day period, within 15 days from the date of the aforementioned circumstances.
Furthermore, the asylum seeker and the foreign national under subsidiary protection shall, within 15 days of the date of knowledge, report the loss, disappearance or theft of the residence permit or travel document for the asylum to the police administration/police station according to the place of the event or knowledge. If they lose or otherwise lose their residence permit or travel document for an asylum seeker abroad, they shall report the loss to the nearest diplomatic mission/consular post of the Republic of Croatia within 15 days of the date of their knowledge.