Due to the growing interest of citizens of third countries for real estate on our coast and the increased number of inquiries about the possibilities of acquiring property and residence in Croatia, we decided to contact the lawyer, Mr. Dino Pivac, who prepared a short guide for citizens of third countries with basic instructions which we present below.
Third-Country Nationals – in the sense of the relevant regulations of the Republic of Croatia – are persons who are not citizens of member states of the European Economic Area (the European Union, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Iceland) or the Swiss Confederation, and who have the citizenship of a third country or are stateless.
Citizens of third countries cannot acquire ownership of agricultural and forest land in the Republic of Croatia, but they can buy real estate within the boundaries of the construction area – apartments, houses, etc. or undeveloped construction land – and this under the assumption of reciprocity between the Republic of Croatia and the country in question, and the obtained consent of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia.
Regarding the presumption of reciprocity, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia publishes on its official website a list of countries with which there is reciprocity when acquiring property rights: https://mpu.gov.hr/informacije-o-uzajamnosti-u-scecanju-prava-vlasnistva-nekretnina-izmedju-republike-hrvatske-i-drzava-izvan-europske-unije-republike-island-knezevine-lichtenstein- kingdoms-of-norway-and-the-swiss-confederation/6186
Villa Aura – island of Brač
Citizens of third countries can stay in Croatia:
- on a short-term (also called tourist) stay – up to 90 days in any period of 180 days, with the fact that 90 days of stay can be used once or multiple times;
- on temporary residence – up to one year;
- on permanent residence – unlimited.
The time spent in other member states of the European Economic Area is not included in the short-term stay. During a short-term stay, a citizen of a third country must have registered accommodation. The accommodation must be reported by the legal or natural person who provided accommodation to the citizen of a third country within one day of the arrival of the third country citizen for accommodation via the eVisitor website or by reporting to the competent police department/station. If the accommodation provider cannot register, the citizen of a third country has an obligation to register within two days of entering the Republic of Croatia or changing accommodation.
In order for a citizen of a third country to be granted temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia, it is necessary for him to submit an application on a prescribed form available online. Where the application must be submitted depends on whether a visa is required to enter the Republic of Croatia or not, which depends on each individual country and can be seen at: https://mvep.gov.hr/informacije-za-gradjane-244593/consular-information-22730/visas-22733/review-visasystem/22853
Villa Adriatic Oasis – island of Hvar
For example, citizens of the visa country (e.g., Russia) submit requests in diplomatic and consular missions. The police department or station, based on the place of intended stay/residence, decides on the request, informs the consular representation where the request was submitted, and they issue a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia. On the other hand, citizens of a country (e.g. Ukraine) where a visa is not required can submit a request at the police department or station at their place of residence.
Among other things, temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia can be granted to a citizen of a third country based on the fact of ownership of real estate in the Republic of Croatia.
The following shall be attached to the request for a temporary residence permit:
- color photo of size 3×3.5 cm;
- a copy of a valid foreign passport or other travel document (the validity period of the foreign travel document must be three months longer than the period of validity of the temporary residence);
- proof of insured funds for maintenance – funds needed for maintenance on a monthly basis in the amount of at least 50% of the average monthly net salary paid in the last year in Croatia (currently HRK 3,560.00 x 12 months), and the proof can be a bank certificate, pension extract, employment contract, etc.;
- proof of health insurance – private or travel health insurance, employment contract, etc.;
- proof that he has not been legally convicted of criminal offenses from his home country or the country where he resided for more than a year immediately before arriving in the Republic of Croatia;
- proof that justifies the purpose of a residence in the Republic of Croatia – in this particular case, a title deed for real estate in the Republic of Croatia that proves ownership of the same.
The documents attached to the request must be in the original or in a certified copy, and foreign documents in a certified translation in Croatian (exceptionally in English) and certified in accordance with special regulations, which again depends on which country it is, because the documents are for use in the Republic of Croatia for some countries a notarization-apostille is required (eg Ukraine), while for some countries no special certification is required (eg Russia). The list of countries can be seen at: https://mpu.gov.hr/nadovjera-legalizacija-isprava/25282
Most importantly, the request for re-approval of temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia based on the fact of ownership of real estate in the Republic of Croatia can be submitted again after the expiration of six months from the expiration of the previously approved temporary residence.
We hope that this blog has dispelled at least some of the doubts that you, as citizens of third countries, had when inquiring about buying real estate in Croatia or changing your residence. For all additional information and advice, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to connect you with experienced experts in this field.