Monday, 4 October 2021

Croatian ID Cards No Longer Accepted for Entry to UK

October 4, 2021 - Along with the rest of the EU, Croatian ID cards are no longer accepted for entry to the United Kingdom. 

From the British Embassy in Zagreb:

Have you travelled to the UK using your Croatian/EU ID card?

Entry requirements have changed!

From 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can only travel to the UK using a valid passport.

ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document and it will not be possible to enter the UK using one.

This will not apply to anyone who has applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Those who are eligible to continue to use their ID card for travel, should ensure it is registered to their UKVI account to avoid any unnecessary delays at the border.

All info available here.

Those who do not have status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), can enter the UK for holidays or short trips for up to six months as visitors, visa free.

However, now freedom of movement has ended, those coming to the UK to work or study must prove they meet UK entry requirements.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can only cross the UK border using a valid passport ( not an ID card ) which should be valid for the duration of the visit.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Resident Brits in Croatia: Wrongly Stamped Passport Won't Affect Rights

September the 1st, 2021 - We have been receiving many reports of resident Brits in Croatia having their UK passports stamped at the border when entering and/or exiting Croatia. While this shouldn't be happening, these stamps are just a meaningless little souvenir and will not have any effects on your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).

Brexit has been done and dusted, and while there are still growing pains, the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed most of the infighting and arguing between the bloc and the Northern European island nation. With the economic part of the new relationship between the bloc, of which the UK was a powerful member for 40 years, and the UK still finding its feet, the situation with citizens' rights which plagued those affected for years has all but been cleared up.

There are, just like with everything else, certain issues still. One issue is resident Brits in Croatia having their British passports stamped upon entry and exit. It is important to state that this isn't happening all the time, but it is still happening where it shouldn't be. Here's how you can try to avoid it, and if it does happen, don't sweat it.

If you are a resident Brit in Croatia covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, you'll already (hopefully anyway) have your new ID/residence card which documents that right under Paragraph 4, Article 18 of the Agreement. This protects you and your acquired rights as you had exercised them under the freedom of movement laws which once applied to you as an EU citizen.

When crossing the Croatian border (either entering or exiting), you should always show your Croatian ID/residence card along with your British passport to the border guard in order to avoid any questioning as to your reason for entry/your reason for having been in the country and to showcase your rights.

We've been receiving reports, as stated previously, from Brits who are covered by the WA, some of which had permanent residence before Brexit even happened, who are now having their passports stamped by Croatian border guards. Naturally, this makes them worry for their rights and wonder why they, as legal tax paying residents, are being lumped in with visiting British tourists.

We have investigated why this is happening and have been assured that although it shouldn't be, it isn't anything to be concerned about and it doesn't affect your rights in any way whatsoever. The stamps can be looked upon as a little souvenir which carry no weight. As long as you can evidence that you are a legal resident of Croatia, any stamps you might have collected on your trips in and out of Croatia are meaningless.

Hopefully, as the consequences of Brexit settle and the UK and the EU's new relationship becomes the norm, such situations will stop happening. In any case, there is no need to worry about Croatian passport stamps in the UK passports of resident Brits in Croatia.

If you're a serial stamp collector despite having shown the border guard your ID/residence card and this article fails in easing your concerns, you can contact the British Embassy in Zagreb and voice your worries by clicking here.

For more, make sure to follow our politics section.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Brits Living in Croatia Have Until June 30 to Register for New Status

June the 5th, 2021 - 2021 has so far flown by in the blink of an eye and summer is knocking at Croatia's door. Brits living in Croatia must make sure to register for their new status via the declaratory system MUP has set up before the 30th of June this year in order to have a carefree summer.

The UK's Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union guarantees the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and of UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU. The UK opted for something called Pre-settled and Settled status.

Different EU countries opted for different approaches to enshrining the rights of their resident British nationals following the UK's withdrawal from the bloc, and Croatia chose a declaratory system by which legally resident Brits simply register for a new residence card/document which evidences their acquired rights.

Instead of writing in full what needs to be done again for those who missed the last article, I'll simply link it here.

Brits living in Croatia need to follow the instructions provided in the above link for their specific situation. If you're a temporary resident and haven't yet gained permanent residence in Croatia, the procedure will be slightly different for you as in some cases you might (or you might not) be asked to provide more documents in order to determine your basis for continuing to live in Croatia.

In any case, be ready to have more documents on hand in case you're asked for them.

If you're a permanent resident already and became one before the UK's transition period ended on December the 31st, 2020, you are no longer subject to any requirements and the system of declaration will be very simple.

More information about what might be asked of you and what you'll need to provide, as well as the corresponding forms you need to fill in when submitting your documents depending on your current status (temporary or permanent resident) are provided in the link above. The email addresses of each administrative police station are also provided, as your registration must go to the police station responsible for your area of registered residence.

A quick jargon buster:

This is a declaration system to evidence your acquired rights, this isn't a new application for a new status.

You need to have been legally registered as living in Croatia in order to fall into the scope of protection offered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The registration procedure is free, you only need to pay for new photos (if you don't already have some on hand) and just under 80 kuna as an admin fee for the new card to be made.

If Brits living in Croatia fail to submit their documents for registration for their new residence cards, they will not lose their rights, but may face an administrative fine and potential complications which aren't worth the hassle. Make sure to register for your new cards and before the end of this month. Don't risk your rights.

For more, make sure to follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Brexit Brits in Croatia: How to Register Residence Under Article 75

January the 15th, 2021 - The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union (no, really this time) and its transition period which ran until December the 31st, 2020, has now ended. The UK is now a third country and that carries implications for its citizens. How are Brexit Brits in Croatia affected and how can they secure their legal residence status? 

I have been covering residence rights, citizenship and all things Brexit for a while now, and with a number of in depth articles easily accessible and regularly updated, I thought it would be best to do a quick and simple one on how Brexit Brits in Croatia can make sure their residence and other related rights go unaffected now the UK's transition period has drawn to a close.

I recently wrote an article explaining the ins and outs of the Withdrawal Agreement, you can read that here. Now let's get down to business by outlining some basic points which can be read about in more detail in the aforementioned link.

1) If you were resident in Croatia (legally) before the end of the UK's transition period - you are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and can stay, enjoying broadly the same rights as you did before.

2) You do not need to apply for a new residence status, you are merely registering the fact that you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and as such as obtaining a new ID card which no longer has the letters EGP (Europski gospodarski prostor/European Economic Area) on it, but Article 75 (the law you are now protected by). The system is one of declaration pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 4 of the Agreement.

3) Once you have permanent residence as a British citizen covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, you are free to be absent from Croatia for five consecutive years without losing any of your rights.

4) Family members (such as current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children) may join their family member in the future.

5) Children born after the transition period will also be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, wherever they are born.

Now that is out of the way, let's look at just what you need to do. As explained by MUP, you are protected and covered by the Withdrawal Agreement but you still need to take a few administrative steps which should be painless (I know, I can hear the laughter). Let's look at what you need to do.

The residence status of British nationals and their family members will be regulated pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 4 of the Agreement (which is a declaratory scheme). Accordingly, British nationals and their family members who are subject to the Withdrawal Agreement will not be obligated to apply for a new residence status as a requirement for their legal residence in Croatia. Rather, a declaratory system will be applied on the basis of which British nationals and their family members will have a residence status on the basis of the very fact that they meet the conditions laid down in the Agreement and will continue to have the said status for as long as they meet these conditions. This means that their residence status is not subject to the constitutive decision of the competent authority.

The conditions of residence are, and will remain, the same as those under current European Union law on free movement. In essence, British nationals meet these conditions if they are any of the following:

1) Workers or are self-employed.

2) Are enrolled at a private or public establishment, for the principal purpose of following a course of study, including vocational training; and have health  insurance and sufficient resources for themselves and their family members.

3) Have sufficient resources and health insurance.

4) Are family members of another person who meets these conditions.

5) Have already acquired the right of permanent residence and are therefore no longer subject to any conditions.

So how do Brexit Brits go about registering for their new ID cards under this declaratory scheme? 

If you already hold permanent residence in Croatia:

If you're already a permanent resident (you have lived in Croatia lawfully for five years or more), you are no longer subject to any conditions and you will need to send a copy of your valid passport or travel document (this can be an ID card but if you're British you'll know this isn't really a thing in the UK) and fill in Form 9B. You will need to send these documents in PDF form via email to the administrative police station responsible for your area/for the area in which your permanent residence is registered.

If you have acquired the right to permanent residence but have never registered and as such don't have a residence card, you will need to demonstrate sufficient evidence that you have lived in Croatia for five years or more and still do.

A list of administrative police stations and their email addresses and contact numbers can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you hold temporary residence in Croatia:

If you're a temporary resident (you have lived in Croatia lawfully for less than five years), you will need to fill in Form 7B and send a copy of your valid passport/travel document, you will need to send these documents in PDF form via email to the administrative police station responsible for your area/for the area in which your temporary residence is registered.

If you have never registered and as such don't have a temporary residence card, you will need to demonstrate sufficient evidence that you have lived in Croatia in line with the EU's freedom of movement laws and still do.

A list of administrative police stations and their email addresses and contact numbers can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you're the family member of a British national covered by the Withdrawal Agreement:

If you're the family member of a British national (you obtained the right to live in Croatia as the family member of an EEA citizen) you will need to fill in Form 8B and send a copy of your valid passport/travel document, you will need to send these documents in PDF form via email to the administrative police station responsible for your area/for the area in which your residence as the family member of an EEA/British national is registered.

If you have never registered and as such don't have a temporary residence card, you will need to demonstrate sufficient evidence that you have lived in Croatia in line with the EU's freedom of movement laws as the family member of an EEA/British and still do.

A list of administrative police stations and their email addresses and contact numbers can be found at the bottom of this page.

I don't have a residence card/resident status, what documents should I present?

A work contract, certificate of employment issued by the employer (clearly stating employment period, OIB, seat of the company), proof of self-employment.

Proof of enrollment at an establishment for following a study, including vocational training.

Rental agreement or property sale contract, or title deed.

Utility bills, bank statement covering certain period.

Proof of covering health insurance costs/using health insurance.

Documents proving family ties.

Narodne Novine also explains what documents are needed if you want to read it in Croatian.

British citizens living in Croatia have until the 30th of June 2021 to register. They will not lose any rights if they fail to do so, but they may face an administrative fine if they fail to meet the deadline.

Monday, 14 December 2020

Brexit Brits in Croatia: Withdrawal Agreement Residence Explainer

December the 14th, 2020 - A clear and concise guide for Brexit Brits in Croatia wanting to make sure they retain all of the rights they have afforded to them being nationals of the EEA as the UK withdraws from the bloc. I want to apologise in advance for the sheer length of this article, but in order to set out everything needed, there was no way to make it shorter.

The UK's transition period is quickly coming to an end. The UK might have formally left the European Union on the 1st of February, 2020, but all EU law will continue to apply to the Northern European island nation until the 1st of January, 2021. After that, the laws of the bloc's instutions will cease to apply. The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the rights of citizens, both those of the EU living in the UK and those of the UK living in the EU, providing clarity in the very heart of the mother of all messes. Here is the Ministry of the Interior's latest advice to Brexit Brits in Croatia.

THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT

As stated, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ceased to be a member state of the EU in an orderly manner upon entry into force of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (the Withdrawal Agreement).

The aforementioned Agreement determines a transition period until the 31st of December 2020, during which time British nationals and their third country family members continue to remain subject to current European Union law.

The Croatian Act on amendments to the Act on EEA nationals and their family members, which has been forwarded to the Croatian Parliament to face legislative procedure, will legally lay down the implementation of the part of the Withdrawal Agreement related to regulating the residence status of British nationals and their third country family members after the transition period ends at midnight on the 31st of December, 2020.

The aforementioned amendments will lay down clear rules for the procedure of applying for temporary or permanent residence for British nationals and the issuance of their subsequent residence permits, as well as the issuance of the necessary documents to frontier workers who will need special permits.

A DECLARATORY RESIDENCE SCHEME, NOT A NEW APPLICATION

The residence status of British nationals and their family members will be regulated pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement, which sets out a declaratory scheme only. This is extremely important to emphasise. You can freely find the corresponding article (PDF form) within the Withdrawal Agreement here, but to save you the bother of scrolling, I have included the most relevant information below in italic font:

4. Where a host State has chosen not to require Union citizens or United Kingdom nationals, their family members, and other persons, residing in its territory in accordance with the conditions set out in this Title, to apply for the new residence status referred to in paragraph 1 as a condition for legal residence, those eligible for residence rights under this Title shall have the right to receive, in accordance with the conditions set out in Directive 2004/38/EC, a residence document, which may be in a digital form, that includes a statement that it has been issued in accordance with this Agreement.

I need to quickly state that there is more information to be accessed under this Article which details more specific circumstances, but putting it all here isn't necessary, I provided a link to the Withdrawal Agreement in PDF form above should you wish to read further and in more detail.

Accordingly, British nationals and their third country family members who are subject to the Withdrawal Agreement will not be obligated to apply for a new residence status as a requirement for their legal stay in Croatia. Rather, a declaratory system will be applied on the basis of which British nationals and their family members will have a residence status on the basis of the very fact that they meet the conditions laid down in the Agreement and will continue to have the said status for as long as they meet these conditions. This means that their residence status is not subject to the constitutive decision of the competent authority.

REGISTERING AND THE ISSUANCE OF NEW RESIDENCE PERMITS

All the beneficiaries of the Agreement (Articles 9 and 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement) will have the possibility of registering their residence status given to them. After the procedure is concluded, they will be issued with residence permits confirming their new status. The registration procedure will apply to all persons regardless of whether they have regulated their residence status in the past on the basis of their EU-given right to the freedom of movement at a competent police administration/police station before the 31st of December 2020.

In addition to the relevant documents submitted for registration (depending on whether the British nationals and their family members in question held temporary or permanent residence in Croatia before the 31st of December 2020), the continuity of residence (Articles 11 and 15 (2) of the Withdrawal Agreement) and the condition of further stay in the Republic of Croatia will need to be determined as well.

The procedure for the registration of a new residence status will be simpler for the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement who already hold either temporary or permanent residence before the end of the transition period, as opposed to those persons who fail to do so by the said date.

REGISTRATION DEADLINES

It will be possible to submit applications at the competent police administrations/police stations according to the location of residence starting from the 1st of January 2021. The current deadline by which all beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement will be able to apply is the 30th of June 2021. It will still be possible to submit applications after this deadline, however, the beneficiaries of the Agreement who do so might be fined for committing an administrative offense.

During the technical issuance of new residence permits, all beneficiaries will have to provide their biometric data. In accordance with the Proposal for the Act, previously issued residence permits will cease to be valid on the 1st of January 2021.

FRONTIER WORKERS

For the purposes of the Withdrawal Agreement, a frontier worker is a British national who has pursued an economic activity as a frontier worker in one or several EU member states in which they don't reside, and who continues to pursue this economic activity even after the 31st of December 2020. Frontier workers will be able to apply for the issuance of a document confirming their rights as a frontier worker. Much like with residence permits, it will be possible to submit applications at the competent police administrations/police stations according to the location of work starting from the 1st of January 2021.

EU LAW JARGON BUSTER

British citizens who already hold temporary or permanent residence in Croatia (those who hold the status or will be granted it under EU law before the 31st of December, 2020) will continue to be able to exercise that right.

Although all Brexit Brits in Croatia can legally remain and must register for a new document, differences will be made between existing permanent residents and temporary residents.

The new system is of a declaratory nature, it is not a brand new application for a new residence status. It is identity confirmation to prove that you are entitled to these acquired rights and nothing more.

You must register for your new status before the 30th of June, 2021 if you are within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (if you held residence in Croatia before the end of the transition period), if you fail to do so, you could face a fine.

The new residence document/card/permit Brexit Brits in Croatia who are within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will receive will state ''Nositelj prava čl. 75. st. 1. Zakona EGP'' (Holder of the right of Article 75 point 1 of the Law on the EEA) as opposed to the current EGP (Europski Gospodarski Prostor/European Economic Area).

The Withdrawal Agreement stipulates that those who hold permanent residence in an EU country can leave for up to five consecutive years without losing any of their rights in their host state. This includes Croatia.

This is a detailed article on residence for Brexit Brits in Croatia only, for more on driving licenses, healthcare and crossing the EU's external border, click here for the British Embassy's advice. Sign up for email alerts from the British Government's Living in Croatia page, follow the British Embassy on Facebook here, and keep up with MUP in English language here.

With due thanks to MUP, Zakon.hr and Europa.eu

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Croatia EU Ambassador: 'Good Riddance' UK Becomes English School Billboard

“Good Riddance, UK!” After Irena Andrassy, Croatian ambassador to the EU, delivered her side-splitting parting statement to the UK; one English language school in Zagreb, Croatia used the ambassador’s English language fail to their advantage. She emitted the Freudian slip (?) while chairing the last meeting between the envoy of the United Kingdom and the European Union.

‘Good Riddance’ Becomes Croatia Ad Campaign

To widespread amusement, Andrassy told British Ambassador to the European Union Tim Barrow "Thank you, goodbye, and good riddance" which means "Thank you, goodbye, good to be rid of you", according to JutarnjiList on February 6, 2020.

The Američki institut (American Institute), a private English language school based in Zagreb, ​posted a photo of the new jumbo roadside billboard promoting the ambassador’s gaffe. The poster says: “Good riddance", and attributes those apparent no love lost parting words to the Croatian ambassador. The American Institute logo and message follow below along with the slogan: “Rid yourself of bad English”.

"Tree tousand young people" | Irena Andrassy

Croatia Ambassador Scrambles for Control of Runaway Gaffe

The Brexiting British and English speakers around the globe have enjoyed many laughs at Ambassador Andrassy's expense. After realizing the joke was on her, she rapidly responded in a Twitter post implying that her apparent gaffe was intentional, but that she was only kidding.

This isn’t the first time the American Institute has used the poor English skills of celebrities for its advertising campaigns. In 2017, the language school advertised English lessons with a photo of Melanie Trump on a roadside billboard: “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English.”

croatia_good_riddance_uk_02.jpg

First Lady Dispatched Legal Team to Threaten Language School

The First Lady of the United States was displeased with this representation of her considerable accomplishments and command of the English language. Through her legal team, the she demanded that the school remove the billboards within 24 hours or face severe legal consequences. The American Institute bowed to the demands of Trump's powerful legal team. However, because they had already leased the advertising space, they replaced the poster with another clever billboard; this time without Melania’s image.

On their Facebook page, the American Institute posted a photo of a new billboard with the caption “Take 2": “Invest in your English and billboards. People love a good billboard,” the new billboard sign advised.

croatia_good_riddance_uk_10.jpg

Click here for more Total Croatia News articles on the First Lady, her accomplishments and English-speaking skills. Follow this link for TCN articles on prominent Croatians speaking English. Check out the Američki institut’s Facebook page for more amusing promotional imagery and an illustrated array of vocabulary builders.

croatia_good_riddance_uk_11.jpg

Monday, 16 December 2019

Brits in Croatia: How Croatia Will Protect Your Rights, Deal or No Deal

December the 16th, 2019 - Here is the lowdown on how Croatia will protect its British residents, deal or no deal. Brits in Croatia will need to act in the case of a no deal Brexit in order to be protected by Article 75 of the Law on EEA nationals, and will be protected by the withdrawal agreement in the case of a Brexit deal.

Conservative party leader Boris Johnson won a majority in the recent UK general election, making leaving the EU with a deal on the 31st of January, 2020 (providing that the exit date isn't extended once again) much more likely than a disorderly no deal exit. While many are more than understandably dismayed at the result of the election, the silver lining is that the threat of a no deal exit has significantly diminished.

If Boris Johnson manages to get a parliamentary majority to pass his withdrawal agreement (which is actually Theresa May's deal, he merely changed the details of the agreement on the Irish backstop, which is nothing to do with citizens' rights), then at the very least - affected citizens on both sides of the English channel will have full clarity.

What does this mean for Brits in Croatia? Let's take a look.

Johnson passes the withdrawal agreement leading to Brexit with a deal - the UK withdraws from the European Union after 40 years of membership with a ratified deal in place either on the 31st of January, 2020 or afterwards, should the exit date be extended again, and enters into a transition (implementation period) in which EU law continues to fully apply to the UK until the 31st of December, 2020 (or longer if extended):

If you're a British citizen and you live legally in Croatia with a valid residence permit, exercising your treaty rights derived from EU law (freedom of movement), and continue to exercise those rights after Brexit day (which in this case, doesn't actually refer to the 31st of January, 2020 (or any other exit date with a deal), it refers to the end of the foreseen transition period, which is December the 31st, 2020), you are safe.

What does that really mean?

If you possess a valid residence permit issued (temporary or permanent) set out by the provisions on the Law on EEA citizens and their families after the end of December 2020, you're safe and your rights will be protected as if nothing has altered. You'll go on living your life in Croatia broadly as you did before.

What if I'm a temporary resident and don't yet have permanent residence in Croatia?

Applications for the extension of your temporary residence permit (if you were not automatically given five years when you applied the first time) made before or during the UK's transition period (which the UK calls the implementation period) will remain the same.

Brits in Croatia will only pay what nationals pay for the issuance of other similar documents for new temporary residence cards when approved, and the process will be the same as before, in line with the regulations for EEA nationals.

At the time of writing, the admin fee for temporary residence cards for EEA citizens is 79.50 kuna.

I have temporary residence and won't be able to apply for permanent residence until the end of the UK's transition period (after the 31st of December, 2020), what do I need to do?

You are safe. Under the withdrawal agreement struck between the UK and the EU, as long as you hold temporary residence, you will be able to remain in Croatia and apply for permanent residence after five uninterrupted years of residence.

What if I have completed my five years of lawful, uninterrupted temporary residence in Croatia and want to apply for permanent residence?

Applications for permanent residence made before or during the UK's transition period (which the UK calls the implementation period) will remain the same.

Brits in Croatia will only pay what nationals pay for the issuance of other similar documents for permanent residence cards when approved, and the process will be the same as before, in line with the regulations for EEA nationals.

At the time of writing, the admin fee for permanent residence cards for EEA citizens is 79.50 kuna.

I already hold permanent residence in Croatia and have the card to prove it, what do I need to do?

If you already hold permanent residence in Croatia, you don't need to do anything before the 31st of December, 2020. You may need to get a new card in future, but this will be a simple exchange and not a new application. We will be sure to update you should alterations occur.

You do not need to be physically present in Croatia on December the 31st, 2020, when the UK's transition period ends (unless it is extended), in order to be considered legally resident, you only need to be in possession of a permit proving either your temporary or permanent residence in Croatia.

The only significant change is that you'll be allowed to leave Croatia for up to five consecutive years without losing your permanent residence status here. For other EEA nationals, that is two years. So, essentially, unless you're out of the country for five years in a row, you'll enjoy permanent residence for life, renewing the card every ten years like you do with a passport.

It's worth remembering that Croatia dropped the restrictions on the labour market for Brits in Croatia when Britain dropped its own restrictions on Croatian nationals, so you no longer need a work permit to work in Croatia as long as you have legal residence. Permanent residents (regardless of their nationality) have never needed one, nor do they now, nor will they.

If you have not yet registered your residence in line with the regulation on EEA nationals, we urge all Brits in Croatia to do so as soon as possible in order to be protected under the withdrawal agreement.

Having a residence card which is valid is clear proof to the Croatian authorities that you hold British citizenship and that you have been legally resident before the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

British nationals will continue to enjoy the ability to move freely to other EU member states throughout the duration of the transition period.

No deal Brexit - Johnson fails to pass the withdrawal agreement or come to a new agreement with the EU, the exit date is not extended and the UK crashes out of the EU without any ratified agreement on the 31st of January, 2020. There is no transition period:

Croatia will protect your rights as Brits in Croatia with legal residence in the case of a no deal Brexit with transitional measures that will have no end date as long as you remain a British citizen and possess a valid residence permit issued pursuant to the applicable legislation on EEA nationals (freedom of movement).

British citizens (and their family members, both EU and non EU) who hold legal residence (or residence of a family member of a citizen of the Union, in the case of third country family members of British citizens) on the date of a no deal Brexit will be protected under Article 75 of the Law on EEA nationals, which was passed in July this year and will come into force to shield British citizens if a no deal exit occurs.

What does that really mean?

As we previously stated, in the case of any type of Brexit, all Brits in Croatia will need to have temporary or permanent residence registered at the administrative police station responsible for the area in which they live before a no deal Brexit, after that, you will be issued with a registration certificate and a residence card which will be a clear proof of your residence.

If you already have your temporary/permanent residence registered and have a residence document (registration certificate or residence card) to prove it issued under the EU free movement right, this will be considered as your temporary residence permit for one year from the no deal Brexit date (or until the card's expiration date, if the said date is shorter). During this transition period, you will have to apply for a new residence document (residence permit) that will be issued in the format laid down by Regulation 1030/2002.

This will be a simple exchange and not an entirely new application, providing that you do it within the aforementioned period.

If you did not register your residence prior to a no deal Brexit date, you will have to apply for a residence status and residence permit in line with the legislation for third country nationals. Third country nationals tend to have a much, much more difficult time gaining and securing their status in Croatia than EEA citizens, therefore it is of paramount importance to register your residence as an EEA citizen as soon as possible. This cannot be stressed enough.

What will my rights be as a legal resident of Croatia in the event of a no deal Brexit?

With your temporary residence permit (which will later be exchanged for a new residence permit in line with Regulation 1030/2002), you will keep the right of residence and the right to work in Croatia without the need to be issued with any sort of additional permit - indefinitely. This is the equivalent of the UK's Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

Please note that you must apply for a new permit within a year (or less of your residence is due to expire in a shorter time period) of a no deal Brexit regardless of what type of residence you hold (temporary or permanent).

What will my exchanged temporary residence permit allow me to keep doing?

Your exchanged temporary residence permit will allow you to live your life as you did before until you rack up five years of residence, after which you can apply for permanent residence.

What will my exchanged permanent residence permit allow me to keep doing?

Your exchanged permanent residence permit will allow you to keep living your life as you did before. Permanent residents are equal to Croatian nationals (excluding voting rights). You will just renew it every ten years without any questions asked or any more requirements to meet, much like you would with a passport.

Why do I need to exchange my temporary or permanent residence card for a new one? Isn't it all the same thing?

If you look at your residence permit, you'll notice the letters EGP (Europski gospodarski prostor/European Economic Area), once the UK withdraws from the EU, it is foreseen that it will also end its membership of the EEA. 

The new residence permits referred to shall specify the extent of the rights exercised by UK nationals and their families who are third-country nationals in order to make the holder's protection clear with the words: Holder of the rights of article 75 (point 1) of the Law on the EEA/Nositelj prava čl. 75. st. 1. Zakona EGP.

How can I travel to other member states or cross the EU's external borders?

You will have to carry your passport and your temporary residence permit (which will be exchanged within one year of a no deal Brexit date for a new permit) with you when crossing the EU's external borders. UK citizens will not need any type of visa to enter the Schengen zone, of which Croatia is not a part.

My family members (spouse, children) are third-country nationals (neither EU or UK nationals). What should they do to keep their residence rights?

If they already have a residence card issued under EU free movement law, this will be considered as their temporary residence permit up to one year from the Brexit date (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter). After one year, they must also apply for a new residence permit in line with Regulation 1030/2002.

If they do not have a residence card, resident third country nationals who are family members of Brits in Croatia will have to apply for a residence status also under new specific rules that will be in place. Applications are possible as of the date of a no deal Brexit.

Things to keep in mind:

In the case of a no deal Brexit, the deadline for permit exchanges is one year after the date of a no deal Brexit (or before, if your permit is due to expire before that). If you fail to exchange your permit in that time, you will need to apply for residence pursuant to the regulation on third country nationals. Doing this is likely to open up a whole host of incredibly stressful issues. We can't stress enough to Brits in Croatia that you absolutely must not allow this to happen.

MUP have also offered some helpful advice. That is if you plan to travel to other EU member states during this period, you might consider applying for your new residence permit long before the deadline. Applying straight away isn't obligatory, but it might help you to steer clear of any needless headache or potential burdensome procedures when crossing EU borders.

The sources used for this article are all official, with thanks to the European Commission, Zakon o drzavljanima drzava clanica Europskog gospodarskog prostora i clanovima njihovih obiteljima/Law on EEA nationals and members of their families and MUP/Sredisnji drzavni portal/Central state portal.

We sincerely hope this helps all Brits in Croatia to feel more at ease about what they need to do to secure their status. Make sure to keep up with our dedicated politics page for much more on Brexit, Brits in Croatia and domestic and EU politics.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Brexit Brits in Croatia: Outreach Meeting in Zagreb Scheduled Tomorrow

September the 30th, 2019 - As the majority of you will know, I've been writing articles to try to keep you up to date with Brexit and the unfolding situation in the UK.

Numerous articles have been written to update, inform and attempt to answer your questions on what Brexit with or without a deal means for you as a British citizen with legal residence in Croatia. 

The first article, which can be read here, covers what would happen if Theresa May's deal (withdrawal agreement) is adopted by British Parliament.

The others cover the situation as it unfolded. As individual EU member states came forward with their proposals for UK citizens following the UK promising to protect EU citizens in any scenario (be it deal or no deal), and after a request for a ''generous and pragmatic'' offer from the EU, Croatia finally shed some light on the situation here, citing special measures.

With little else to go on, we wrote an article on the steps British residents in Croatia affected by Brexit can take to ensure they're secure. You can read that here.

Eventually, MUP spoke out and offered guidelines in the event of any Brexit scenario, this echoed much of what we had already written. It can be read here and also contains our advice written in italic font. Here is the original on their website.

For a breakdown of the legal jargon which surrounds this issue and what it all means in the real world, click here.

Given the fact that very little help is being offered to Brits living in the rest of the EU in general, a generous sum was allocated to help out those who are struggling with residence applications and registrations forms.

As Theresa May stepped down after her withdrawal agreement was rejected three times by parliament, Boris Johnson entered Number 10 and shamelessly prorogued parliament. Until MPs managed to pass a law making no deal illegal, the threat of a no deal Brexit became very real once again. That is now unlikely indeed, and a further extension is expected, but just in case it happens, click here for all you need to know.

Please note that there is no need to panic as long as you are a British citizen correctly registered and with a valid residence permit of either type (privremeni boravak/temporary residence or stalni boravak/permanent residence). If you hold permanent residence already, there is nothing for you to be concerned about.

I keep seeing very concerning comments from various individuals about people being ''kicked out'' of countries, this simply is not true. Croatia has made it quite clear that it will protect its legal British residents regardless of the outcome of Brexit, through transitional arrangements that will have no end date. This will allow you to continue your life in Croatia exactly as you did before.

If there is a no deal Brexit, all you will need to do is exchange your residence card for another one, but its validity and type will remain exactly the same. If you hold permanent residence, it will still be permanent residence. Much more detail on that is provided here.

If you are a British citizen living in Croatia and you have not yet registered your residence, please do so as soon as possible in order to have your rights protected.

We'd like to announce that the British Embassy Zagreb will be holding an outreach meeting for British citizens in Zagreb on October the 1st, 2019.

The location will be at Preradoviceva 12, at the Garden Bar and Kitchen from 18:00 to 20:00.

You need to register that you'll be attending by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please remember to bring your British passport along with you.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for more information on Brexit as we get it, and much more.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Brexit: £3 Million Grant to Help UK Nationals With EU Residence Forms

August the 30th, 2019 - The Brexit process is still ongoing, and with backlash directed towards British PM Boris Johnson as he decides to prorogue parliament, after saying he isn't inclined to do such a thing just several weeks before, the political situation in the UK is far from improving.

Many are calling the prime minister's actions unconstitutional, and firmly believe that trying to force through a no deal exit by shutting down parliament in a parliamentary democracy is undemocratic. As British MPs scramble to pass legislation to force the PM's hand to stop a no deal exit, let's look at any updates there might be for British citizens living in the rest of the European Union, with a focus of course on Croatia.

As the Brexit process has dragged on, I've written several articles about what Brexit, be it with or without a deal, means for Croatia's resident Brits. Let's look at what we know so far, with links provided.

The article on what Brexit with Theresa May's now likely dead deal (withdrawal agreement) means if this affects you can be read here.

The article on what Brexit means if this affects you in layman's terms can be found here.

The article on how to prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios can be found here.

The article on the amendments to Croatian law to allow the continuation of residence rights for British nationals after Brexit (in the case of a no deal) can be found here.

TCN had a meeting with the British ambassador and we agreed to be a source of updates for British nationals in Croatia, you can read that here.

MUP issued some guidelines after we did, and our article explaining them and providing advice can be found here. MUP's original post on their website can be found here.

Please note that given the fact that Brexit day has been delayed multiple times (and could be again), the dates mentioned in these articles are indeed now false, so please ignore them, however, the information in them remains accurate.

Here's our latest article on what a no deal Brexit means for Croatia's resident Brits. It details how you can secure your residence, and how Croatia will protect your residence rights through transitional measures with no end date, providing that you have correctly registered your residence. If you haven't done so yet, make sure to do it before October the 31st, 2019.

Little help has been given to British nationals living in the EU, many of whom were not allowed to even vote in the referendum in 2016. The UK has unilaterally promised to guarantee the residence rights of EU nationals in the UK, through the Settlement Scheme. The EU's instruction to member states was to be ''generous and pragmatic'' in giving residence rights to British nationals in their countries. Croatia has done so, and the link I provided above will explain what that means and what you need to do in detail.

As the BBC reports on the 30th of August, 2019, British nationals in the EU are finally getting a Brexit shaped bone thrown to them by the government, at long last, and a £3 million fund has been set up to help UK nationals resident in the rest of the EU with residence formalities.

The scheme can be used by anyone, but is aimed primarily at those who might find themselves less able to deal with it all alone, such as pensioners, disabled people, those living in remote areas and those who require help with translation. The scheme will be carried out by volunteer organisations and charities.

As the BBC writes, Dominic Raab wants to help UK nationals ''get ready for Brexit, whatever the circumstances''.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated politics page for more on Brexit and what it means for you.

Click here to find out how to register as a British/EU citizen before the end of October and get a registration certificate and/or a residence card, if you have not yet done so.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

No Deal Brexit? What Croatia's British Residents Need to Know

August the 8th, 2019 - I've written a series of articles on what Brexit means for British citizens in Croatia, but with Boris Johnson now resident at Number 10 (for now), the threat of a no deal Brexit might tragically become a reality if parliament doesn't find a way to block it.

Political views and basic sanity aside, let's have a look at what this unwanted outcome will look like, and what effects it will have on Croatia's British residents.

As I wrote in my last article on the matter, Croatia has vowed to protect its British residents regardless of the outcome of the UK's exit from the bloc, and MUP issued some guidelines which you can read here. Now that Croatia has made its very generous plans for its resident Brits official, let's remind ourselves of them, with thanks to the EU's website.

In the unfortunate case of a no-deal scenario, what should you do as a British national do to keep your residence rights after the Brexit date? When should you do it?

The Republic of Croatia will protect your residence rights through transitional measures that will have no end date as long as you as a UK nationals and/or your family members already have registered temporary or permanent stay before the UK leaves the European Union.

For this to be valid for you, you need to be in possession of a registration certificate and/or have been issued with a residence card pursuant to applicable legislation on European Economic Area nationals, which is the right to free movement within the territory of the EU.

You will need to have your temporary or permanent stay registered at the administrative police station which is responsible for the area in which you live before a no deal Brexit date. You will then be issued with a registration certificate, and then a residence card (after it is made) under EU law, which will be a clear proof of you having been resident before the UK's departure from the EU.

If you've already registered your temporary/permanent residence and have a residence document (registration certificate and/or residence card) issued under EU law (freedom of movement) this will be considered as your temporary residence permit up to one year from the no deal Brexit date (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter). During this transitional period, you will have to obtain a new residence document (residence permit) which will be issued in the format laid down by Regulation 1030/2002.

If you did not register your residence prior to the no deal Brexit date, you will have to apply for a residence status and residence permit in line with legislation for third country nationals.

I would strongly advise any British national who is living in Croatia without a residence permit to go and register now, the process for EU/British citizens is typically streamline and simple, it is not so for third country nationals. Do not wait around and leave this up to fate.

What your rights will be:   

With your temporary residence permit (later exchanged residence permit in line with Regulation 1030/2002), you will keep your right of legal residence and your right to work without the need to be issued with any sort of additional work permit. You will be able to continue to reside in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and work just as you did before the UK left the EU.

How you can travel to other Member States or cross the EU's external borders:   

You will have to carry your passport and your residence permit with you.

If you have resided in the Republic of Croatia for more than five years, how can you obtain EU long-term residence status?         

After Brexit date, providing you are properly and legally registered and in the possession of a registration certificate and/or a residence permit, you will keep your residence rights indefinitely, but you can already apply in parallel for an EU long-term residence permit (please note that EU long term residence require prior residence of 5 years along with a few other requirements).

This permit will grant you permanent status, and allow you to enjoy the same treatment as nationals regarding access to employment, education, and core social benefits. This will also allow you, under certain conditions, to acquire the right to reside in another EU Member State.

After 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay in the Republic of Croatia, you will also be able to apply for national permanent residence.

If your family members (spouse, children) are citizens of a third country (neither EU nor UK), what should they do to keep their residence rights?

If they already have a residence card issued under EU free movement law, this will be considered as their temporary residence permit up to one year from the no deal Brexit date (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter). After one year they will have to apply for a new residence document (residence permit), in line with Regulation 1030/2002.

If they do not have a residence card, they will have to apply for a residence status also under new specific rules that will be in place. Applications are possible as of the date of a no deal Brexit with the competent police station/police administration.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.

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