Work of foreign nationals

Third-country nationals may work in the Republic of Croatia based on a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate

Third-country nationals may work in the Republic of Croatia only on those jobs for which they have been granted a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate and only with those employers with which they have entered into employment.
 
Residence and work permits or work registration certificates may be issued based on a favourable opinion of the Croatian Employment Service or without one, when the competent police administration or station may issue residence and work permits to specifically prescribed categories of persons, for specifically prescribed jobs.

Residence and work permits issued based on a favourable opinion of the Croatian Employment Service 

Labour market test—a procedure of the Croatian Employment Service
 
Before submitting an application for a residence and work permit, the employer has to request that the Croatian Employment Service or its regional office conduct a labour market test.
 
In case of a lack of workforce on the labour market of the Republic of Croatia, the employer may—having received a notification on the result of the labour market test—apply for a residence and work permit. 

Submission of an application for and issuance of a residence and work permit

A police administration/station may issue a residence and work permit to a third-country national who meets the general requirements for temporary residence, based on a favourable opinion of the Croatian Employment Service.

An application for a residence and work permit may be submitted to the competent police administration or police station at the place of the third-country national’s intended stay, work or employer’s registered office by the third-country national or the employer.  

There is no need to conduct a labour market test and obtain an opinion of the Croatian Employment Service for seasonal employment in agriculture, forestry, catering and tourism for up to 90 days during one calendar year or if it is an extension of the residence and work permit for the same employer and the same third-country national.

Opinion of the Croatian Employment Service

An employer may obtain a favourable opinion of the Croatian Employment Service if: 
  • They carry out an economic activity registered in the Republic of Croatia
  • Their liabilities for public charges—for which the Ministry of Finance keeps official records— have been met (they have no income tax debt or debt for mandatory insurance contributions)
  • In the last six months, they have had at least one full-time employee who is a national of the Republic of Croatia, EEA or Swiss Confederation employed for an indefinite period of time in the Republic of Croatia and
  • They have not been finally convicted of criminal offences in the field of labour relations and social insurance.

Exemption from the labour market test

The Managing Board of the Croatian Employment Service will take a decision on the professions for which employers are not required to request that a labour market test be conducted, which professions will be published on the website of the Croatian Employment Service.
Proof of having health insurance does not need to be enclosed with the application for temporary residence for the purpose of work based on a concluded employment agreement with an employer in the Republic of Croatia.
 
The application form can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

Application for a residence and work permit—Form 9a.

Work without a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate

Third-country nationals may work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate if they have been granted: 
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of family reunification with a Croatian citizen, third-country national with long-term residence, permanent residence, an asylee or a person under subsidiary protection in accordance with the regulation governing international protection
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of life partnership with a Croatian citizen, third-country national with long-term residence, permanent residence, an asylee or a person under subsidiary protection in accordance with the regulation governing international protection
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of family reunification with a third-country national who is a holder of an EU Blue Card or a residence and work permit for an intra-corporate transfer
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of family reunification or life partnership with a third-country national with long-term residence in another EEA member state
  • Temporary residence for humanitarian reasons
  • Autonomous residence
  • Temporary residence as a posted worker
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of research under a visiting contract
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of family reunification or life partnership with a researcher with a visiting contract
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of studying, if they are being employed or becoming self-employed for a maximum of 20 hours a week, except when the work placement is an integral part of the study programme
  • Status of a full-time student doing jobs via an authorised agent, for a maximum of 20 hours a week, without conclusion of an employment agreement
  • Temporary residence for the purpose of residence of a person with long-term residence in another EEA member state
  • Asylum or subsidiary protection or are an applicant for international protection in accordance with the regulation governing international protection
  • Long-term residence
  • Permanent residence.
The Foreigners Act and the related subordinate legislation—which can be found under additional information—stipulate in more detail for which jobs a residence and work permit may be issued without a labour market test and an opinion of the Croatian Employment Service; that is, for which jobs a work registration certificate may be issued for 90, 60 or 30 days. 

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a residence and work permit for highly-qualified third-country nationals. It is only valid for the jobs for which it has been issued and the employer with whom the holder has entered into employment.

A highly-qualified employee should apply for its issuance at a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Croatia or at a police administration/police station in their place of temporary residence, and the employer of the highly-qualified third-country national should apply for its issuance in the police station in the place of the employer’s registered office or in the place of work of third-country national. The application form can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

Application for a residence and work permit—Form 1.

To obtain an EU Blue Card, the highly-qualified employee has to meet certain legal requirements and should enclose with the application: their employment agreement (for a term of at least one year) with an employer whose registered office is in the Republic of Croatia, proof of higher education and proof of meeting the requirements under the special regulations on professional qualifications to practice the regulated profession from the employment agreement.
The gross annual salary in the amount of at least 1.5 average gross annual salaries according to the official information published by the competent statistics authority should be stated in the enclosed employment agreement.

Applications to extend an EU Blue Card should be submitted no later than 30 days before the expiry of the currently valid one at the police administration or station in the holder’s place of temporary residence. A holder of an EU Blue Card may stay in Croatia until the decision on their application becomes enforceable.