Guidance

Living in Croatia

Information on pensions, driving licences, healthcare and other information for British nationals living in Croatia.

Overview

A valid British passport must be held for entry to and exit from Croatia. There is no minimum passport validity requirement but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit.

Carry your passport at all times. It’s the only officially recognised form of identification. Keep a photocopy of the biographical details page (the page where your photograph is) in a safe place, including details of your next of kin.

British passport holders do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days. Please visit the travel advice for Croatia for more information.

Drug related offences are punished with fines and jail sentences.

Residence procedures

British citizens do not need a visa for Croatia for tourist stays of up to 90 days.

British citizens need to register their presence in Croatia with the local police within 48 hours of arrival. Failure to do so is an offence which may result in paying a fine at both the local court and the local police.

We have been informed by the Ministry of Interior that in the course of the initial 6 months British citizens can go in and out of Croatia as long as they have days left out of the 90 days (you should register and deregister with the local police each time you enter/ leave the country). British citizens intending to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days must apply for temporary residence permit before the 90 days are up.

The Aliens Act (in English), application forms for residence as well as detailed information regarding different types of residence can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Interior. As the authority for issuing residence permits for Croatia is the Ministry of Interior, i.e. the police, please check with the local police department for foreigners or the nearest Croatian embassy if you are outside of Croatia what documents will be required in your case since all applications are considered individually according to the applicants’ circumstances.

The main police department for foreigners in Zagreb

Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova
Odjel za strance
Petrinjska 30
10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Telephone +385 (0)1 4563 111 (switchboard)

Croatian Embassy in London

Croatian Embassy
21 Conway Street
W1T 6BN

Telephone 020 7387 1144
Fax 020 7387 0936

If you need more information about residence in Croatia or are having problems with your application and wish to contact the authorities, you might wish to contact the Ministry of Interior at pitanja@mup.hr or javnost@mup.hr or the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at stranci@mvep.hr.

Health insurance and social security

Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.

If you’re visiting Croatia you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as for Croatian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

The EHIC does not cover repatriation to the UK or any additional costs so we highly recommend taking an adequate travel health insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

UK Pensions

For detailed information on how to claim your state pension, please check the Pension Service or the Department for Social Development.

If you spend time in both the UK and another country, and are unsure about how this affects your UK pension, benefit and healthcare rights, always consult the relevant UK authority.

If you have received a life certificate from the UK Pension Service it is important that you reply as quickly as possible otherwise your benefit may be stopped. We provide the service of signing your life certificates without any charge.

If you are in receipt of a UK old age state pension, request an S1 form (previously E121) from the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999. If you are in receipt of an exportable DWP benefit you can request an S1 form the office which pays your exportable benefit. It is your responsibility to keep the Overseas Healthcare Team or office which pays your exportable DWP benefit up to date with any changes in circumstances which may affect your entitlement to an S1 (E121). When received, register the S1 form with your local social security office, before you register with your local GP surgery and obtain a medical card.

Driving in Croatia

The British Embassy cannot issue or renew a UK driving licence. Contact the DVLA for information about renewing a licence or applying for a new licence.

The embassy is aware of the current policy by the Croatian authorities to retain British driver’s licences when applying for a Croatian driver’s licence.

Please note that UK driving licences seized by the Croatian authorities are returned to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK.

Bringing goods into and out of Croatia

For customs information please visit the Croatian Customs Directorate website.

Sending money overseas

Money can be transferred by Western Union or MoneyGram in an emergency. Western Union and MoneyGram locations are available in Croatia.

Earthquakes in Croatia

Small tremors are recorded several times a month throughout the year without consequences. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the earthquake advice from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

We recommend that you make preparations at home and at the office to help you survive an earthquake.

Forest fires

Forest fires are very common during Croatia’s hot and dry summers. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland and forest areas. Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, don’t light barbecues and don’t leave any rubbish, particularly empty bottles, behind.

Other useful websites

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a general guide only and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual, neither can it be regarded as legal advice. Definitive information should be obtained from the Croatian authorities or by consulting a suitably qualified professional. The British Embassy in Zagreb bears no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided on the external websites quoted above and cannot guarantee that it is comprehensive and up to date.

Published 17 May 2013