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How Croatia’s digital nomad visa did during its first 6 months of use?

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč

06.07.2021.

digital nomad residence permit visual

The law that made Croatia’s digital nomad residence permit a reality came into effect on January 1st, 2021. So let’s take a look at the first 6 months of this permit being in active use and allowing numerous digital nomads a chance to enjoy all Croatia has to offer for a period of one year.

MUP publishes their guideline

By the end of February, The Ministry of the Interior (MUP) launched a guideline with all the information in a very concise form and with an online application form included, as well. The possibility of an online application was a really great addition considering it is still more advisable to start the application process for this permit in your own home country. It is, of course, possible to successfully apply and obtain the permit even once you’re already here in Croatia, but as we’ve seen from the application process one digital nomad so helpfully shared with us, doing it from your home country might be easier because of all the documents that you are required to submit.

Adaptations to Law on mandatory health insurance

The final big step forward when it comes to Croatia’s digital nomad residence permit came by the end of March 2021 in the form of the changes made to the mandatory health insurance law.

While the tax laws followed the changes made to the Aliens Act and were in effect in January, the changes to the law on mandatory health insurance were done a couple of months later.

Once in effect, this meant that all third-country nationals, who have applied and were successfully approved for the temporary residence permit in Croatia based on being a digital nomad, are not obliged to apply for mandatory health insurance with Croatia’s state health insurance provider (HZZO). This was a much-needed addition because the application process itself asked for proof of private health insurance, so having to also pay for Croatian health insurance made no sense. Therefore, we’re glad this last change in our laws was made.

“Croatia, your new office!” campaign

Another thing March brought to us is a new campaign by the Croatian National Tourist Board aimed at attracting digital nomads. The slogan “Croatia, your new office!” is something you might have stumbled upon on social media, but it is also followed by a helpful and informational webpage. And, as we well know, having information in English available about things in Croatia is of vital importance for understanding how life works here.

It offers anyone interested in applying for this residence permit more information to better prepare themselves for what awaits them during the process.

There are more and more applicants each day and more and more of them are being successfully approved and arriving in Croatia for a year to enjoy themselves and work remotely. Considering this whole process of setting up a digital nomad residence permit in Croatia and doing all the required changes in the country’s laws and regulations snowballed from a post on LinkedIn a year ago on July 11th, we’d say some impressive positive changes have been made, indeed!

Some things to improve

The most important thing still left to do is to unify the application process as much as possible and have a Rulebook for municipalities to use. This will possibly reduce the fluctuation of the duration of application processing which now goes from one month to two months because of the variety of different factors: the police station where it’s processed, epidemiologic circumstances, and rules at the municipality of the said police station at the time of application, and other factors.

While it is understandable that each digital nomad residence permit application is unique because every person applying for it is different and has their own life circumstances to handle, as well, the unification of the process with a set Rulebook in place would definitely make it more transparent and even less complicated for everyone involved.

Apply and come to Croatia for a year!

In any case, we hope to see more and more digital nomads here in Croatia because, aside from getting to enjoy the wonders of our country and enhancing our society in their unique way, they get to unknowingly improve this particular application process, too. Practice makes perfect (or we’d prefer to say “improved”) and the more digital nomads apply, the better this process becomes. But, aside from that, we can’t wait to welcome you to our wonderful country and our beloved hometown. So – get that application process started!

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About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I'm a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I'm not writing about Split's tech community, you will find me somewhere in nature, in the theatre, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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