Living in Croatia
Information on pensions, driving licences, healthcare and other information for British nationals living in Croatia.
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.
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
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone +385 (0)1 4563 111 (switchboard)
Croatian Embassy in London
21 Conway Street
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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
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 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
- Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
- Croatian Ministry of Interior Affairs
- Croatian National Tourist Board
- Zagreb airport information
- Dubrovnik airport information
- Split airport information
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
Related guides: Notarial and documentary services guide for Croatia