According to Forbes, the Croatia digital nomad visa has opened up the doors of the country to digital nomads from all over the world.
Introduced in January 2021, Croatia has recognized that it is fast becoming one of the best digital nomad destinations. Essentially, the Croatia digital nomad visa allows you to stay in the country for up to a year while traveling around the country as you work remotely.
So, if you are thinking about making your way to Croatia to immerse yourself in the beauty of the country’s natural attractions and islands, read on!
Here, among other things, we take a look at:
- Why Croatia is a digital nomad favorite
- The types of visas that are offered by Croatia
- The Croatia digital nomad visa
- The Croatia digital nomad visa requirements
- How to apply for the Croatia digital nomad visa
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What Is A Digital Nomad?
According to the latest law which introduces the Croatia digital nomad visa, Croatia defines digital nomad as follows:
“A digital nomad is a third-country national who is employed or performs work through communication technology for a company or his own company that is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to employers in the Republic of Croatia.”
Essentially, a digital nomad is one who travels while they work remotely. As a remote worker, one can be employed full-time by a company or carry on remote work as a freelancer.
In the context of the Croatia digital nomad visa, however, it is important to note that you are not allowed to work or perform any services to any entity that is registered in Croatia.
Types Of Croatia Visas
It is comforting to note that the visa process in Croatia is relatively straightforward.
Unlike other countries such as Portugal, there are no specific visas such as a Croatia golden visa, Croatia investor visa, or a Croatia business visa.
That being said, the available visas can be used for any one of these purposes.
The primary factor that determines the kind of visa you should apply for is the duration of your stay in the country.
The types of visa that are offered by Croatia to national of foreign countries are:
- Short-term Stay Visa
These are granted to those who intend to stay in Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Temporary Stay Visa
This is granted to those who intend to stay in Croatia for a period that exceeds the duration that is allowed by the short-term stay visa. It is also a pathway to obtain a residence permit to stay in the country.
- Long-term stay visa
This is also sometimes referred to as the Croatia long stay visa and is granted to those who have stayed in Croatia for a continuous period of 5 years.
Do You Need A Visa To Be A Digital Nomad in Croatia?
Whether you require a visa to be a digital nomad in Croatia will depend on your nationality as well as your intended duration of stay in the country.
The Republic of Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website has a helpful tool to determine whether you require a visa for entry into Croatia.
Generally, the following people do not require a Croatia visa for transit or intended stays for up to 90 days in any 180-day period:
- All third country national who are holders of valid Schengen Area documents
- National visas and residence permits of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania
You can get more information on this on the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ website.
The Croatia Digital Nomad Visa
It must be noted at this point that the visa that is granted to digital nomads is not explicitly called a ‘Croatia digital nomad visa’.
Rather, it is a temporary stay visa or temporary residence visa that is granted to a wide range of people, with digital nomads being one of them.
However, for ease of reference, this temporary stay visa is called the Croatia digital nomad visa.
How To Apply For The Croatia Digital Nomad Visa
When applying for the Croatia digital nomad visa, certain requirements must be satisfied.
Additionally, the application requires you to attach a range of documents to support your application for temporary stay as a digital nomad.
Step 1: Determine Where You Need To Submit Your Application To
If you are required to have a visa to enter Croatia, then you can submit your application for temporary stay in person at the embassy that is located in your country of origin.
If you do not require a visa to enter Croatia but you intend to stay in the country for more than 90 days, then you can submit your temporary stay visa application in person to the embassy or at a competent police administration or police station that is located in the vicinity of the address of your temporary residence.
Alternatively, all applicants can submit the application online by filling up this form.
If you submit your application online, it will be forwarded to the competent police administration/station in accordance with your location of intended stay within the country.
Step 2: Fill Up The Application Form
If you are submitting your application in person, then you have to fill up Form 1a.
If you are submitting your application online, you can use this form.
Step 3: Attach The Required Documentation With Your Application Form
The documents that must be annexed to your temporary stay application are:
- A copy of your valid travel document
- Valid health insurance that covers Croatia
- Proof of purpose
This requires you to show some proof of the work that you do as a digital nomad. This can be in the form of a contract with an employer or a copy of the registration of your company and proof that you do work via this company
- Proof of means of subsistence
You must be able to show that you have enough or can earn enough to cover your expenses for the duration of your stay in Croatia. This can be done by way of submitting bank statements from the past 3 months or proof of regular income.
As a guide, you need to show that you have or are capable of earning USD2,698 (16,907.50 Croatian Kuna or kn) per month.
If you do not earn a regular monthly income, then you have to show that you have enough to cover your expenses for at least 12 months, which is the maximum duration of a temporary stay visa in Croatia. This comes up to roughly USD32,372 (202,890kn).
- Proof that you have not been convicted of any criminal offenses
This must be by way of a background check that was carried out in the country where you were staying for one year immediately before your arrival in Croatia
- Your address in Croatia
If you aren’t sure where you are going to be staying, you can provide the address of the hotel or hostel, together with your confirmation of reservation of the same
Step 4: Submit Your Application
Once you submit your application, you will need to wait to receive notification of whether your application has been granted or not.
The relevant authorities may also need to contact you in case they require further information or documentation so make sure you are contactable at all times.
Step 5: Apply for Entry Visa
This step is only applicable if you require a visa to enter Croatia. This can be done online and can be said to be a Croatia e-visa although it is not explicitly called that.
If you do not require a visa to enter the country then you can proceed directly to Step 6.
Step 6: Register Your Temporary Residence Address Upon Arrival in Croatia
You must enter Croatia and register your address within 30 days of the date on which your application for temporary stay was granted. If this is not done, your temporary stay visa can be revoked.
You must register your temporary residence address within 3 days of entry into Croatia.
This is done by filling up Form 8a, together with proof that you will be staying at that address, and submitting these documents at the competent police administration or police station in the vicinity of your address.
Step 7: Obtain Your Biometric Residence Permit/Card
Once you have done this, you will need to submit passport sized-photos and your fingerprints at the police station so that your residence card can be issued.
You will first be issued a temporary proof of residence. Upon confirmation, you will receive your Residence Card.
How Much Does The Croatia Digital Nomad Visa Cost?
The cost of the Croatia nomad visa will depend on whether you are applying for the temporary stay visa at an embassy or via a police administration or police station as set out above.
If you are applying for the temporary stay visa at an embassy, then the estimated cost is USD295 (1850kn).
If you are applying for the temporary stay visa at the police station, then the estimated cost is USD161 (1010kn).
These costs include administrative fees as well as fees for the issuance of the biometric residence card. You can find out more details of the cost of the Croatia digital nomad visa here.
Why Become A Digital Nomad In Croatia?
The Republic of Croatia is a central European and Mediterranean country. As such, it enjoys the best of both worlds. Located along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, there are thousands of beautiful islands that you can choose as your digital nomad location.
Here are just some of the reasons to be a digital nomad in Croatia
- It’s natural beauty in the form of clear blue skies and stunning lakes and waterfalls. Croatia is home to plenty of natural wonders such as the Piltvice Lakes National Park.
- Croatia also boasts a rich historical and architectural landscape. There are plenty of castles and buildings that date back to the 13th century for you to explore.
- Croatia is also considered to be relatively more affordable than other central European digital nomad destinations. This is a huge plus point as a digital nomad in Croatia
- Croatia has a well-established tourist industry. As such, digital nomads will find it easy to get around, communicate with people, and find digital nomad accommodation.
- English is widely spoken in Croatia with more than 80% of the population speaking the language.
- Ease of travel to other European destinations. This makes Croatia a great digital nomad base while you explore other areas in the region.
A year in Croatia may not be enough for you to truly take it all in!
Cost Of Living In Croatia
As mentioned above, the cost of living in Croatia is relatively cheaper and more affordable than other countries in the region.
According to Numbeo, the world’s largest cost of living database, it is estimated that the monthly cost for a single person’s expenses is about USD832 (5218.15kn), excluding rent.
A meal at a decent but inexpensive restaurant is likely to cost you USD 11 (70kn) whereas a monthly local transport pass may cost you about USD55 (350kn).
Additionally, basic groceries can range between USD1.30 (8kn) to USD 17 (108kn).You can get a detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Croatia here.
Best Digital Nomad Cities in Croatia
Croatia has plenty of beautiful destinations to explore and work in. You can choose a single city to be your digital nomad base or travel around and explore Croatia’s many islands.
Here are just some of the best digital nomad cities and towns in Croatia:
This stunning seaport town needs no introduction. It is also affectionately referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic and the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a digital nomad, you will be pleased to know that the Dubrovnik cost of living is affordable at about USD2,457 per month. Additionally, it is a safe place to be and the beautiful Dubrovnik weather may make you never want to leave!
Dubrovnik also has plenty of churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains that you can explore when you take a break from your digital nomad work!
Zagreb has a metropolitan and vibrant city feel that uniquely blends with the traditional architecture that is found all over.
More importantly, this city has free WiFi almost everywhere. This is perfect for digital nomads!
Zagreb is also home to 2 popular lakes known as Jarun and Bundek. There are plenty of sports shows, activities, and festivals that are frequently held at these destinations.
If you are a museum buff, Zagreb has plenty of them for you to explore. Its charming cobbled streets will make you want to keep walking around to discover its little hidden treasures.
Yes, you read that right. There is a city called Split in Croatia!
Split is one of the bigger coastal towns in Croatia and has plenty of modern facilities and amenities. There are plenty of things to do and see in Split that reflect its ancient Roman origins. These include museums and cathedrals.
If you are more of an adventurous digital nomad, then there are activities like sea kayaking, sailing, and rock climbing available.
Accommodation For Digital Nomads in Croatia
The concept of coliving is becoming increasingly common among digital nomads in Croatia.
Essentially, coliving involves sharing a common space like an apartment or condominium unit with like-minded people while having the privacy of your own room.
Alternatively, there are also plenty of hostels available as digital nomad accommodation. However, do take note that most of them require a minimum stay of at least 30 nights.
Additionally, there are plenty of hotels in Croatia that offer long-term or extended stays which are quite affordable for digital nomads.
Some popular accommodation for digital nomads in Croatia are:
- Speeka Hostel
- Design Hostel 101 Dalmatinac
- Swanky Mint Hostel
- TimeOUT Heritage Hotel
- Boutique Hostel Kings n’ Queens
Unique Tips For Digital Nomads in Croatia
- Croatia has one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe while you may find that the country as a whole has a continental climate with hot summers and cold snowy winters. It enjoys a total of 2715 hours of sunshine a year.
- Croatia is home to 10 UNESCO Heritage Sites.
- Croatia has a total of 1246 islands, islets, and reefs. That is plenty of sunny beautiful beaches for you to sit at and do your digital nomad work!
- King’s Landing, which is the fictional city in Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik and you can go visit these sites on a variety of special Game of Thrones Tours!
Which Countries Have Digital Nomad Visas?
With more countries welcoming digital nomads into their fold, there has been the emergence of digital nomad visas and visas that are akin to digital nomad visas that allow for long-term stays.
If you are keen to explore other countries that have such visas, some of the more interesting and unique digital nomad destinations include:
How Much Money Do You Need To Be A Digital Nomad?
Well, this will depend very much on the kind of digital nomad you want to be.
Some digital nomads choose to stay for an extended period at a specific location.However, there are other digital nomads who are never in the same place for more than one week!
Generally and to be safe, you would need at least USD1000 to USD2000 a month if you are a digital nomad in Europe. For cheaper destinations, especially those located in Asia, you are likely to be able to get by with USD500 to USD1000 a month.
These amounts are estimates for a comfortable life as a digital nomad.
At the end of the day, however, it cannot be denied that there are various factors that go into how much money you need to be a digital nomad.
If you are ready to explore Croatia while you work remotely, then getting a Croatia digital nomad visa is a crucial first step.
While it may seem a little tedious and the number of steps may come across as intimidating, you can rest assured that it is absolutely worth it.
Do take note that since Croatia has just commenced its digital nomad visa, there may be some teething problems that you have to be prepared for. However, once you get your application approved, it is likely to be smooth sailing!