Digital Nomad in Croatia: How to Obtain the Status

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Obtaining Digital Nomad status in Croatia offers an enticing opportunity for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking to work from anywhere in the world. This status not only unlocks numerous promising opportunities but also provides a unique chance to reside in EU countries based on the digital nomad visa.

  • What is a digital nomad, and how does one become one?
  • What exactly is a Nomad visa?
  • How can you apply for a Digital Nomad visa?
  • What is the cost of the Digital Nomad visa in Croatia?

In this article, we will provide detailed answers to these questions. Additionally, drawing on our own practical experience, our lawyers will offer clear guidance on the conditions to meet and the steps to take to obtain the 'digital nomad' status. Furthermore, we will delve into the tax and legal aspects in Croatia for digital nomads, as we have extensively researched the intricacies of this jurisdiction while assisting our clients in successfully relocating their businesses abroad for many years. So, if you're interested in the topic of obtaining a visa for freelancers, read on.

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Who is a Digital Nomad?

A Digital Nomad is an individual from a third country (a non-EU/EFTA/Switzerland resident) who works for a company or their own business using communication technologies remotely, and is not registered in Croatia or providing services to employers in this country.

It's important to note that such individuals aren't employed in Croatia or own a business there; they earn income from another country. These individuals are granted a digital nomad permit - a temporary residence permit for up to a year. After this period, it cannot be extended immediately. A new application for a digital nomad visa can be submitted no earlier than 6 months later. Now, let's delve into the advantages provided by the Digital Nomad status.

Advantages of the Digital Nomad visa

The Digital Nomad visa in Croatia offers a wide range of benefits, making it an appealing choice for remote workers looking to settle in this country. Here are some key advantages:

  • The opportunity to reside in Croatia for up to a year while working remotely for companies based outside of Croatia, including their own business.
  • Exemption from corporate income tax for companies with a base outside of Croatia, providing additional economic benefits.
  • The convenience of Croatia's membership in the Schengen Zone, facilitating easy travel between countries for leisure and tourism.
  • Lower cost of living compared to many other European countries.
  • Relatively low income requirements and visa fees for obtaining the digital visa, making the process more accessible and less complex.
  • Opportunity to join the rapidly growing community of digital nomads in Croatia, opening up possibilities for exchanging experiences and collaboration.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in Croatia?

Any individual who is not a citizen of the European Union, European Economic Area, or Switzerland can apply for a digital nomad visa in Croatia. However, there are specific eligibility criteria that must be met:

  • Proof of remote work: You must demonstrate that you work for companies or clients located outside of Croatia. This means your income is legally earned. Evidence could include contracts, offer letters, or financial records from your own business. Please note that this document must contain information indicating that you work remotely.
  • Stable monthly income: You must have a monthly income of at least €2,300. Additionally, for each accompanying family member, your income must be an additional 90 euros per month if you are arriving with your entire family. This must be verified through bank statements or other financial documents showing consistent income exceeding €2,300 per month.
  • Valid health insurance: You must possess medical insurance covering the period of your stay in Croatia, preferably for a duration of 2-3 months.
  • Clear criminal record: You must provide a certificate of no criminal record from your home country. This document can be downloaded from Diia and should be an original copy with an apostille and a notarized translation.
  • Valid travel documents: Your passport must be valid for international travel for at least one year from the date of application.

Additionally, you need to have a temporary address in Croatia, such as a confirmed accommodation booking or a lease agreement for at least 1 year. This document must be notarized, or you must visit the police station with the landlord and present the original documents.

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How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa

Let's take an example of one of our clients whom we assisted in obtaining a digital nomad visa:

1.      Document Preparation: In the initial stage, we prepared all the necessary documents, including originals, copies, and required translations. All documents issued in Ukraine were apostilled and translated. It's worth noting that documents in English are accepted in Croatia.

2.      Application Submission: We submitted the application, in our case online, and uploaded all the required documents. During the verification process, it's common to make some changes to documents and provide additional ones, which is a regular procedure in Croatia.

Our lawyers, with their experience working with authorities from various regions of Croatia, precisely know what needs to be done to minimize the risks of rejection and document return. In general, there are several methods for applying for a digital nomad visa in Croatia:

  • Fill out the application online. This is convenient as you can apply for the visa remotely, regardless of your location.
  • Submit the application to a Croatian embassy or consulate abroad.
  • Apply for the digital nomad visa at a local police station in Croatia.

For the application for a Digital Nomad visa in Croatia, we prepared the following documents:

  • Copy of passport.
  • Photographs.
  • Proof of purpose of stay (contracts/employment relationships for remote work).
  • Proof of income.
  • Bank account statements for the last 3 months.
  • Certificate of no criminal record.
  • Temporary address in Croatia.
  • Completed application form (online or printed).
  • Payment of visa fee.

If you opt to submit your documents at the police station, be prepared for multiple visits and a slow processing time—typically 2-3 months, and sometimes even longer. This isn't due to any mistreatment of Ukrainians by Croatians; rather, it's because the pace of life there tends to be slow, which is normal for their work culture.

3.      Next, we moved on to the application processing stage. We monitored the status of our application online, which can also be done by contacting the embassy. After receiving a positive decision, we received a corresponding email. Since our visa application was approved, our client was granted permission for temporary residence for up to 12 months.

4.      Following that, we registered a temporary address in Croatia, as required within 30 days of receiving the approved visa or within 3 days of arriving in Croatia. To register, it's necessary to visit the nearest police station to your place of residence and submit Form Obrazac 8a, along with a lease agreement or confirmation of a hotel/Airbnb booking.

5.      Lastly, our client obtained a biometric residence card at the police station.

How Much Does the Digital Nomad Visa Cost in Croatia?

The cost of the digital nomad visa in Croatia depends on where you submit your application and specific fees. Here's a detailed breakdown of expenses:

If you apply for the visa at a Croatian embassy or consulate, you can pay the visa fee and administrative fees when submitting the application:

  • €55.74 for temporary residence.
  • €93 for the visa fee for a long-term type D visa.
  • €41.14 for the residence card.

If you apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in person at a local police station in Croatia, you'll need to pay the following fees after your application is approved:

  • €46.45 for temporary residence.
  • €31.85 for the biometric residence card.
  • €9.29 for administrative fees.

It's also important to note that obtaining a certificate of no criminal record may be more convenient in your country of residence.

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Are Digital Nomads Subject to Double Taxation?

In Croatia, digital nomads can enjoy a range of benefits, making it somewhat of a "tax haven." Salaries or compensation for independent work received from non-residents of Croatia are not taxed. However, to take advantage of these tax benefits, it's not only necessary to be a digital nomad in practice but also to obtain the corresponding status on paper. For example, a Ukrainian sole proprietor in the IT field, obtaining a digital nomad visa in Croatia, can reside in accordance with this visa and legally pay taxes only in Ukraine (e.g., at a flat rate of 5%). Other income of a digital nomad unrelated to their professional activities will be subject to taxation under the general regime, including taxation in Croatia as income of a tax resident of the respective country.

As you can see, the procedure for obtaining a digital nomad visa in Croatia is quite straightforward but requires meticulous attention to some formalities and confirmations. Our company is ready to support you at all stages of this process, starting from preparing the necessary documents and providing subsequent assistance in obtaining this status. Additionally, we are ready to assist you in opening a bank account abroad. Our experts can choose the optimal option considering your financial status, needs, and goals.

Call us today to learn more about the opportunity to become a digital nomad in Croatia and enjoy all its benefits. Contact us through our toll-free hotline at 0800201826 or use the "Request a Callback" button to schedule a consultation.


Publication date: 29/02/2024

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