Now part of the EU, visa requirements for Croatia have fallen into line with the rest of the union. Read on below for the current visa regulations, as well as some relatively recent changes.
General Visa Requirements for Croatia
Even prior to EU entry, foreign visitors did not normally require visas to enter Croatia. Citizens of the U.K., EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand did not (and do not) need visas to visit Croatia. Visitors can visit Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
For other countries, please check the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs‘ website for visa requirements for Croatia. If you do need a visa, please contact the Croatian Embassy in your country for more information.
There is a list of Embassies on on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. This list will also tell you which Embassy to contact if there is no Croatian Embassy in your home country. UK residents may like to take a look at the Croatian Embassy in London’s website.
It is possible to start the process of applying for a Croatian visa online at crovisa.mvep.hr; however, the application form needs to be printed off and submitted at an Embassy/Consulate or visa centre.
Visa Requirements for Croatia for Holders of Schengen Visas
On joining the EU, Croatia extended a ruling for holders of Schengen visas that was first introduced in 2012. This regulation allows holders of valid dual or multiple entry Schengen visas to enter, stay and transit in or through Croatia WITHOUT the need for an additional visa (for tourist purposes).
Travellers holding a dual entry Schengen visa must have one unused entry if travelling to Croatia.
Holders of a residence permit, or certain other types of visa issued by a Schengen Area country, can also visit Croatia without requiring an additional visa.
For more details, do see the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please pay special attention to the bold text!
Is Croatia in the Schengen Zone?
Despite being part of the EU, Croatia IS NOT part of the Schengen Zone. The country officially applied to join on 1st July 2015 (the two year anniversary of joining the EU), but it is still not yet part of the Zone. In October 2019, the European Commission stated that Croatia is ready to join the Zone – so the country would only join the Schengen Zone in 2020, at the earliest.
However, this means that if you are in possession of a Schengen visa, you will not use up any days of the time limit (90 days in a 180 day period) that you are allowed to be in the Schengen zone if you visit Croatia. That is, until Croatia joins the Schengen Zone, of course!
This is useful if you’re travelling in Europe and need to be careful with the Schengen days you use up. If you come to Croatia you’ll still be in Europe, but won’t use up any “Schengen visa” days. And, of course, spending some time travelling in Croatia isn’t exactly a hardship!
Entering Croatia with an ID card
Citizens of EU countries may enter Croatia using their national identity cards (if these exist) instead of a passport. Otherwise, passports are required to enter Croatia.
Visa Requirements after Brexit
British citizens would not need a visa to visit Croatia after Britain leaves the EU. However, a new visa waiver scheme – ETIAS – is to be introduced in 2021. British travellers would be required to obtain this visa waiver authorisation prior to travel to Croatia and the EU. This is expected to cost €7 and can be applied for online. Each approval will last for three years.
More info on the effects of Brexit for British travellers can be found here: Visiting Croatia after Brexit.