Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Croatian Law on Foreigners: Changes, Updates and More for 2021

December the 15th, 2020 - You might remember the mammoth article I did a couple of years ago on the minefield which is Croatian residence procedures. I'm going to do a brand new one as opposed to constant updates to that one. The Croatian Law on Foreigners, often somewhat amusingly referred to as the Aliens Act, is an extensive document full of legal jargon and references to Articles that most (normal) people have somewhat of an allergic reaction to. For some unknown reason, I don't, so I'm going to explain the changes due in 2021, one by one. 

I'm not going to cover anything that has already been written about extensively in the article linked above, and instead only detail changes that are due in 2021.

Please note that the procedures for some of these new residence permits and new rules haven't yet been set in stone, therefore I'm not going to detail any application procedures until they officially become law (and that means appearing in the infamous Narodne Novine). Anything else would be hearsay and lead to confusion in what is already a needlessly headache-inducing process for many people.


First of all, let's address the question on the lips of every ''Brexpat''. British nationals who hold regulated, lawful residence (be that temporary or the more desirable permanent status) are entitled to remain living and working in Croatia broadly as they did when the UK was an EU member state. I will summarise the main points of this article (which I absolutely encourage you to read very thoroughly if you're a British expat in Croatia).

1) Brits who hold residence before the end of the transition period are safe - If you are a British citizen and you hold legal residence in Croatia, you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement which entitles you the right to continue living in Croatia. These are acquired rights derived from you having exercised your right to freedom of movement as a former EEA citizen.

2) A declaratory system, not a new application - You will need to exchange your existing residence permit (be it temporary or permanent) for a new card before the 30th of June, 2021 at the police administration/station responsible for your location of residence. This is not a new application, merely an exchange to a card which will state that you are the holder of the rights afforded to you by the entering into force of the Withdrawal Agreement. Those documents will be issued either free of charge or at a cost not exceeding that paid by Croatian nationals for similar documents.

3) All time spent living legally in Croatia is counted towards being granted permanent residence - For those Brits who don't yet have permanent residence in Croatia and are still waiting for their five years of temporary residence to pass before applying, you're safe. Croatia will count all time spent on your temporary residence permit (from before and after the end of the UK's transition period) towards granting you permanent status. For those who already hold permanent residence, nothing will change for you other than what was explained in point 2 (above).

4) Brits who move to Croatia after 01.01.21 will not be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement - Acquired rights here refer to British citizens who utilised EU law in order to live in Croatia only. British citizens who move following the end of the UK's transition period will not be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and different rules will apply to them as they will be treated as third country nationals.

5) Brits who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and hold permanent residence can leave Croatia for 5 years in a row without losing their rights - If you're a British citizen and you have permanent residence in Croatia or indeed any other EEA country, you can be absent for a period of up to 5 consecutive years without losing your status as a permanent resident.

As I stated, I really encourage you to read this article in order to find out about your status, rights and things you need to do in much, much more detail. The article also explains and links domestic and EU law, as well as that set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, which can be read in full in PDF form here should you want to know even more.

Let's move on to other changes due in 2021.


I'm no dinosaur, but I have to admit that this term always makes me grin a little bit. I'm not entirely sure why because as a translator, I too am location independent although I live permanently in Zagreb. The idea of working from anywhere is something that was unfathomable not so long ago, but alas - this is the modern way, as the Kaiser Chiefs might say. Much has been written by TCN about this, and we even have a digital nomad currently in Croatia writing for us and providing an insight into her experiences so far. You can read her work here.

Jan de Jong, a Dutch entrepreneur living in Croatia, managed to get the ball rolling for the up and coming digital nomad visa. He has since formed a digital nomad association and you can read about the ins and outs of that, as well as the story behind the visa here and here.

It all started with an open letter from Jan de Jong on LinkedIn addressed to Prime Minister Plenkovic, and the rest is history. As of 2021, a new category of residence permit will be ''born'' and it will be precisely for digital nomads. There are some catches which make it a bit tricky, and there will certainly be things which need to be ironed out. One clause is that a digital nomad cannot work for a company registered in Croatia.

As soon as more is officially available as 2021 arrives, we will update you with a detailed guide on 1) precisely who Croatia will consider to be a digital nomad, 2) what they need to present to evidence that, and 3) what they need to do to apply for this new temporary residence status in Croatia.

The digital nomad visa is an evolving story (here is the December 15, 2020 article on the new tax law regarding nomads, for example). You can follow the latest in the dedicated TCN digital nomad section.


You can find out the procedures for third country nationals who already hold residence in another EU/EEA member state or indeed in Switzerland here (scroll down to the heading: What if you're a third country national with approved permanent residence in another EEA country already?

2021 will bring new procedures for third country nationals who already hold permanent residence (please note that this is only permanent residence, not temporary residence) somewhere else in the EEA who want to move to Croatia. It is important to note that it has always been easier for third country nationals with established, long term (permanent) residence in an EEA country to move to another EEA country, but the rules vary from member state to member state.

Until 2021, if you want to stay in Croatia for longer than three months (before the expiration of the visa or residence card issued to you by another EEA country) you can apply for a temporary residence permit at your local police station in Croatia, or in the Croatian consulate of the EEA country which approved your permanent residence there. The application can be found here.

The new Croatian rules for such individuals due in 2021 aren't yet available. When they are updated in the Croatian Law on Foreigners and published on Narodne Novine, we will be sure to provide an update with all of the relevant information, advice and instructions.


It can often be heard how difficult it is for those with Croatian heritage who don't have Croatian citizenship to get their hands on that little blue passport. As with all administrative processes in Croatia, it can either be so easy that you're sure someone somewhere has missed something, or so needlessly difficult that it leaves you rocking in a dark corner, surrounded by thousands of copies of your birth certificate. The Croatian Law on Foreigners has (finally) seen that this is an issue, and a new residence permit for people with Croatian heritage but no Croatian citizenship is coming in 2021.

In order to be approved for this new residence permit coming next year, you'll need to be issued a special certificate from The Central State Office for Croats Abroad (click here for more), along with an application and other, accompanying documents which will certainly involve proof of identity etc, which haven't yet been detailed. The Ministry of the Interior hasn't yet finalised what needs to be done for people who want to apply for this particular residence permit. By the time 2021 rolls around, things will hopefully be more clear and we will provide a detailed update on what is needed.

For more on residence, citizenship and administrative procedures related to the Croatian Law on Foreigners, you can follow me here.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Opposition Criticises Bill on Aliens

ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 - Part of the parliamentary opposition on Wednesday strongly criticised the aliens bill, under which an annual quota for the employment of foreigners will no longer be determined.

"We are passing a crucial law that will determine the demographic future of Croatia at an extraordinary session, during the coronavirus crisis, amid unfavourable demographic trends," said Miroslav Skoro, leader of the Homeland Movement, noting that the bill had not received support from the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee.

Zeljko Sacic (Sovereignists) said that such situations were rare in the parliament and that the the bill should be withdrawn due to its deficiencies or discussed.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said the fact that the bill had not received support from the Committee did not mean it could not be discussed.

"It is the plenary session that decides whether the bill will be passed or not," he said.

Ahead of the discussion on the bill, Miro Bulj (Bridge) warned about worrying demographic trends in Croatia and noted that the number of work permits issued to foreigners rose from 9,000 in 2017 to as many as 108,000 this year.

"... we are heading towards a total demographic collapse, there will be no more Croats in Croatia," he said.

Marijana Puljak (Pametno) said that almost 10 percent of the working-age population had left Croatia, and that according to data by the national statistical office (DZS), 40,000 people emigrated last year and a record 37,000 immigrated, of whom only 9,000 were Croatian citizens.

She noted that there was a lack of quality labour and that one should not make employment procedures more complex for employers. If we make procedures for the issuance of work permits more complicated, it will affect the business sector, Puljak said. 

Under the aliens bill, which is in its first reading, there is no longer an annual quota for the employment of foreigners and employers in search of workforce can contact the Croatian Employment Service, which will issue an opinion on the employment of foreigners.


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Thursday, 13 August 2020

Mere 41% of This Year's Work Permits for Foreigners Used - Daily

ZAGREB, Aug 13, 2020 - According to data provided by the Interior Ministry, only 41% of the quota for foreign workers was claimed until 31 July, the Vecernji List daily reported on Thursday.

In late 2019, the Croatian government decided that it would be possible to issue 78,470 work permits for foreigners in 2020. The quota includes new employment of foreigners, seasonal employment, transfer of workers within a company, and employment for strategical investment projects.

This quota was set before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. In the meantime, the COVID pandemic led to an economic downturn globally.

The tourist sector has been hit hard, and while Croatia's tourism and hospitality service could count on 18,370 permits for foreign workers, eventually, 30% of those permits were used.

According to the data provided by the ministry, a mere 24,539 work permits for foreigners were claimed in the construction and tourism sectors until 31 July. If the number of requests for permits that are currently being processed are added, the tally stands at 32,195 permits, which is 41% of the total quota.

In recent years, Croatia's authorities have raised quotas following the emigration of local employees as well as because of economic growth which has increased the demand for workers.

For instance, during the peak of the tourist season in 2019, 84% of work permits for foreigners were used, out of the quota of 53,600. All the permits allotted for the employment of foreigners in construction and tourist trade were claimed until the end of July that year.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Bozinovic Says 350,000 Foreigners Currently in Croatia

ZAGREB, June 28, 2020 - There are 350,000 foreign guests in Croatia at the moment, which is a rarity not only in Europe, the head of the national COVID-19 crisis response team, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, said in Novska on Sunday.

He was responding to questions from the press about the recent spread of the novel coronavirus and the possibility of more rigorous restrictions.

"The important thing is that there are no graver symptoms at the moment, nobody is on a ventilator yet, but we are following and analysing the situation daily," Bozinovic said.

Speaking of the hotspot in Djakovo, he said epidemiologists were keeping the situation under control and that they had not requested stricter measures.

He reiterated that the crisis response team had decided that inspectors should visit night clubs to see if instructions were being adhered to and that, if necessary, other measures would be taken.

He said the team was proposing that all travel abroad that was not necessary be postponed so that the situation could be put under control, adding that this did not refer only to Bosnia and Herzegovina but other neighbours too.

Bozinovic would not comment on a recommendation from Brussels to allow the free flow of passengers between the EU and 15 third countries, including Serbia and Montenegro, as of July 1, saying a decision on that was still being discussed.

He was in Novska to visit the PISMO business incubator. He said the government would help the development of new technologies and that by investing in the local gaming industry, it would help the town become a regional gaming centre.

He said the gaming industry "exports 99% of its products" and that it was profitable "in every sense."

Mayor Marin Piletic said PISMO was the only business incubator in Croatia specialising in video games. "To date HRK 25 million has been invested in the project and about 30 companies developing games operate in the incubator."

(€1 = HRK 7.57)

Monday, 3 February 2020

Sri Lankans Come to Work in Continental Croatian Region of Zagorje

When you think about continental Croatian cities, with perhaps the logical exception of Zagreb, you tend to think of the lack of job opportunities and the locals making their way abroad. However, that isn't always the case, and some have come from as far away as Sri Lanka to try their luck in no less than the beautiful continental Croatian region of Zagorje.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes on the 3rd of February, 2020, Croatian citizens have been off seeking their luck and happiness in other European Union countries, and now Michelle and her compatriots will be able to do the same, because after five years in Croatia, they can go and seek employment in the EU.

Somewhere halfway "in the pocket" between the two motorways, Zagorje to Macelj and Varazdin to Gorican, below the northern slopes of Ivancica, lies the picturesque continental Croatian town of Ivanec.

Although its population doesn't even stretch to 15,000, the area is known for its low unemployment, an export-oriented manufacturing industry and more. Among the companies that have reached outside of EU borders for access to a foreign (third country) workforce is the Ivancica footwear factory whose brand of children's shoes, Froddo, is known to parents in 40 countries around the world, not only here in Croatia.

While they have successfully adapted to the traffic ''handicap'' with good delivery planning, they still say that "time is money", and the burning problem of a shortage of workers has proven to be a major obstacle for them. Therefore, last summer, the continental Croatian town ''cast its net'' far and wide in its search for foreign workers. That proverbial net stretched all the way to the Indian subcontinent, miles away from Croatia's more classic regional pool which is mostly relied on by domestic companies. In mid-December, 18 Sri Lankan workers arrived in the continental Croatian town of Ivanec.

Ten men and eight women from tropical Sri Lanka arrived during the fall of the very the first snow in Zagorje, which was seen for the first time in their lives, as Sri Lanka is only 780 kilometres away from the Equator, much like the distance from Zagreb to Berlin.) They came with the help of Astra Centre, a subsidiary of the US company Aster International, which brings Croatian companies staff from abroad, primarily from countries like Honduras, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Unlike some other stories of foreign workers who see the promised land in Croatia, the Sri Lankans did not have to borrow money from obscure loan companies to get here. The rules of the Astra Centre are extremely strict: once a worker meets the requirements and goes through the elimination process, the employer must pay for their travel and their insurance, and the mediator makes sure that the worker is hired according to all of the proper regulations. Under Croatian law, a foreign worker must have the same rights and obligations as a Croatian worker.

Michelle Ashniya Rodrigo Warnakulasooriya is 25 years old, she worked in a hospital as an administrator back in Sri Lanka, and spent her spare time sewing with her mother. After the Easter bombings last year, in which 259 people were killed and 500 injured in the capital, Colombo, she decided to apply for a job in Croatia. "I'm very happy with the job, the other workers are very nice, they help us a lot and we like it here," she says.

She adds with a laugh that "it's just a little bit cold."

"We knew what the weather was like here. Before our arrival, we did a lot of research on Croatia. We love the snow, we like change," she says on behalf of her fellow countrymen. She is an informal spokeswoman because not everyone speaks English. Her native language is Sinhala, which is spoken by most islanders, and a third of them can speak Tamil. Although Sri Lanka is a former British colony of Ceylon, after gaining its independence in 1948, English was abolished as an official language, which of course causes issues for those seeking better lives abroad.

For those who do not speak English, any attempts at conversations tend to look a bit like something out of a pantomime, and there is always the Google translate app, which, while not perfect, gets the message across generally. She is slowly learning Croatian, having mastered ''How are you?'' (Kako ste/si), ''Thanks'' (Hvala), ''Molim'' (Please) and ''igla'' (needle), which is needed for her work.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Expats in Croatia: How to Change Your Address at MUP

September the 27th, 2019 - Croatia doesn't like change. It doesn't like the idea of being dragged into the 21st century either. If you're wondering how to go about respecting the law and altering your address, read on.

I've written many articles on residence permits, citizenship through descent, marriage, naturalisation and special interest, work permits, Croatian and EU immigration law - basically bureaucracy galore.

In this beautiful country full of outdated websites and unelected government officials (the women are ''affectionately'' known as šalteruše) who can't keep up with the constantly changing laws or even manage a smile on the best of days, it's no wonder that Croatia's increasing number of foreign residents need a little helping hand from time to time.

Changing your address should be a simple affair, and in just about everywhere else, it is. You can likely do it online in a few clicks or you don't even need to do it at all. Ah, freedom. Not in Croatia, however. If you're a foreign national and you hold a valid residence permit (either temporary residence/privremeni boravak or permanent residence/stalni boravak), and you've moved house, you'll need to notify the police. 

Sarcasm aside, there has been a helpful little system set up called e-Građani (e-Citizens), which allows you to undertake many of the mundane tasks which used to always involve going to various offices in person armed with an array of personal documents and petty cash for tax stamps. But, of course, this doesn't work for everyone, so you'll need to do it in person.

If you have approved legal residence in Croatia and you move to a new city, you'll need to notify the police in your new city (at the administrative police station responsible for your area), of your arrival, and register your address there if you intend to stay there for more than three months consecutively.

In Croatia, you can have two addresses (yes, let's complicate things for no reason even more), one of them is called a boravište, and the other is called a prebivalište.

A boravište is a place where a person will be staying temporarily, but has no intention of permanently staying there. In that case, you don't need to register your boravište if you don't plan on staying there for more than three months in a row (as mentioned above).

A prebivalište is a place where a person plans to stay permanently, to live their lives (this includes exercising their rights, working, having a family, etc etc). If you've changed your prebivalište, then you'll need to report it to the police at the administrative station responsible for the area your address is in.

If you live in Croatia legally, you're obliged to report any changes to your address to Big Broth...sorry, I mean MUP.

The law states that you need to report your change of address within fifteen days, however, if you hold temporary residence, you need to register your new address within three days of you having arrived there. If you hold permanent residence then you need to do it within eight days. Is this law always followed? Honestly - no, it isn't

More often that not, you won't be asked about when you arrived at your new place, particularly if you're an EU citizen. I'm not advocating that you break the law, but this stipulation is difficult to come by if you don't speak Croatian, so just don't volunteer that information if you realise you've unknowingly gone over that time period, unless you're specifically asked.

If you have a rental contract which stipulates specific dates, then simply make sure to report your change of address within the time period prescribed, so as to avoid any potential headaches or even fines from the police.


You'll need to fill in an ''application form'' to change your address (yes, really, it's called form 8a) for foreigners which you'll be given when at the police station responsible for your area. 

You'll need to provide the correctly filled in form with your new address on it.

You'll need to provide your passport and/or your government issued ID card, as well as your Croatian ID card.

You'll need to provide a rental contract (notarised) or a certificate of ownership, a purchase contract, a gift contract, or have your landlord/the person legally responsible for your address come with you to the police to sign a document confirming the whole situation is indeed real.

The administrative clerk will then stamp your filled in application form.

You'll then need to have a new ID card made with your new address on it. So, that will involve having a new photo taken and paying the small administrative fee of (what is currently) 79.50 kuna. Your new ID card will typically be ready in about three or four weeks. Oh, and you'll need to come and pick that up in person, of course.

It's worth noting that some people have been told that they don't need to update their ID cards. This is a grey area, with some administrative police stations asking you to do this, and some not. In any case, it is what MUP in Zagreb prescribes and you absolutely should have an updated address on your current ID card so as to avoid administrative issues, and indeed issues with the police.

Please note that changing your address is not a new residence permit application, but the requirement for a new residence card to have your current address on it is simply a formality and its validity will remain the same.

Don't be surprised if the police come to check that you really do live at your new address. However, this is happening less and less frequently, especially for EU citizens.

While it seems extremely outdated to many that time often needs to be taken up by visiting MUP in person and filling in forms as opposed to the wonderful digital process (which Croatia isn't a fan of) of doing it all online, it's worth knowing the ins and outs of what should be a very simple formality. 

We hope this helps you if you've changed your address and aren't sure what steps to take next to stay on the right side of the law.

Follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Filipino Employees Adapt Well to Life Working at Šibenik Hotel

As Marina Jurkovic/Novac writes on the 7th of September, 2019, the hotel rated by Booking.com's users as the highest rating by all criteria in Dalmatia's Šibenik-Knin County is "King Krešimir". This beautiful four-star heritage hotel has been earning compliment after compliment, and its terrace on is often a destination for the people of Šibenik as well as tourists.

Fabiano Baranović, the leading man of a ten-member hotel "crew", isn't even trying to hide his satisfaction and is successfully navigating the sometimes choppy tourist waters, according to Slobodna Dalmacija. Since they started work on March the 15th last year, certain types of comparisons with this season would not really be all that realistic.

''This is actually our first season. We had some more time to contract with agencies, plan sales, better arrange our business and procurement, and we've been doing well. We're pleased and flattered by what we've seen on Booking.com. All seven rooms were well filled, and the eighth, which houses a valuable, restored fresco, was opened a little later on. I have to say that we adjusted our prices to the market and the current situation, so that, unlike some of the hotels that persist with their set prices, we're ready for corrections,'' says Baranović.

Given the relatively small number of rooms, there are of course only a few guests. For the time being, there can be a maximum of 14 guests. This is a great advantage for tourists, since its employees are able to be much more dedicated to individual needs, from the moment they park at one of the two rented hotel parking spaces to their departure. Parking is, in fact, the only actual problem with the entire facility.

''The situation will hopefully change with the opening of the car park in Poljana, and until then, we need to just endure things as they are. The hotel is actually better reached by foot, and when bags and luggage are taken into account, it could be an aggravating factor. Still, it's not. We turned it all to a positive thing. We welcome our guests much like our own relatives, whom we have not seen for ten years.

We turn the walk to the hotel into a kind of mini tourist route. We stop to show them the rebus on Dobrić, we tell them that Šibenik is the city with the most steps in the Mediterranean.

These details intrigue and delight them. Of course, we stop at the replica lamp, which was part of the first public lighting in Šibenik from 1895, we mention Nikola Tesla... Then comes a welcome drink with cookies, and a little story about the history of the palace itself in with photographs of what it once looked like, then we tell them about King Krešimir... We also make sure that each guest can see the fresco in the former music salon. And so, they reach their room, forgetting that they have has to climb up so many steps. They like everything because it's so small, intimate and full of history. They often say that they feel the palace has a soul, especially in the lobby on the ground floor,'' says Baranović.

''As for the country of origin of our guests, there are no real rules. They come from everywhere - from Scandinavian countries, France, Spain... Interestingly, the Germans may be the least numerous. And they all have one thing in common - even though they're in the busiest part of town, they never complain about the noise. They like to be in the centre, they don't come to us because of the extra content, but because of the interior and the location. From the city centre, they love exploring the forts, alleys, shops, restaurants and everything else. They like it all very much,'' he added.

The guests are also satisfied with the hotel staff, especially the kind and polite Filipino employees who, in this time of crisis in the tourism and hospitality industry, have shown themselves to be extremely diligent and dedicated to their jobs.

''It took some time for them to adapt to our customs, especially the habit of drinking coffee. We told them that for Dalmatians, if the first morning coffee is no good, then the whole day is a bad one. So we advised them to ask the guests a hundred questions, if necessary, but in the end, to make sure they bring people that perfect coffee. And really, people love them, accept them, and keep coming back...''

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

Monday, 10 June 2019

American YouTuber in Croatia: What the Internet WON'T Tell You!

Recently we wrote an article on Kaleigh Hendershot, an American YouTuber living near Zagreb who uploads typically comical videos about her life in Croatia, making various comparisons with her life back in the United States, funny Croatian customs, and how she's had to adapt to life here. 

She began uploading a series of videos entitled ''Living in Croatia'' which still have a satirical undertone, which is a reflection of her obviously comical personality, but look at the more serious and practical aspects of moving to Croatia, and what it's like to live and work here.

In her latest addition to the Living in Croatia series, Kaleigh discusses an array of topics specific to Croatia, covering things that the good old Internet is unlikely to tell you, such as how long you'll need to wait for the most basic of things to be dealt with by the state, and why you should probably kiss the easy use of shopping platforms like Amazon a kiss goodbye.

From the infamous Croatian bureaucratic system and a touch of corruption, to the temperament, the sluggish effects of južina (southern wind) and the endless hospitality and kindness that is typical of Croats. She covers much more in her latest video, aimed at informing those who are planning on making the move of several things they're unlikely to know about until they get here.

If you'd like to have a laugh at some of the realities that you were harshly confronted with when first moving to Croatia, or if you'd like to know what obstacles you might be in for when you arrive here, give Kaleigh's video a click. 

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you'd like to subscribe to Kaleigh's channel for more videos on Croatia, from the dangers of the dreaded propuh to how to move here as a US citizen, click here.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

3 Faze Učenja za Strance u Hrvatskoj: Ljubav, Mržnja & Nirvana

Život stranaca koji su već dulje vrijeme u Hrvatskoj prilično je zabavan.

Naravno, to sa sobom donosi i potrebu za određenom dozom prihvaćanja. Kao što smo već vidjeli, na primjer,je li u redu da stranac u Hrvatskoj ima mišljenje?

Nakon što naučite da vam nije dopušteno imati mišljenje, druga važna stvar koju trebate prihvatiti da biste živjeli u miru jest da će se, bez obzira na to što rekli, netko usprotiviti i započeti raspravu. Stoga ili imajte vrlo debelu kožu ili nemojte ništa govoriti.

Razmišljao sam o svemu tome nedavno uz hladno pivo i počeo osjećati blagu paniku. Kristina Ercegović, koja vodi poduzetnički klub Business Cafe, pozvala me da govorim na prvom izdanju Business Cafe Internationala, na kojemu su stranci koji posluju u Hrvatskoj dobili prigodu održati predavanja i međusobno se upoznatu, te se pridružiti njezinoj odanoj ekipi uspješnih hrvatskih poduzetnika.

Govorenje u javnosti jedna je od rijetkih stvari u životu koje se grozim više od blitve i kelja pupčara, no Kristina je bila vrlo uvjerljiva pa sam se u društvu svojeg piva nekoliko dana prije događanja počeo pitati što bih zapravo trebao reći. Sasvim sigurno nisam najuspješniji poslovni čovjek koji se ikad pojavio na ovim prostorima, pa je bio popriličan izazov odazvati se pozivu da iznesem svoje savjete brojnim uspješnim poduzetnicima.

A onda je netko prokomentirao jedan od mojih postova s nekom pozitivnom porukom o Hrvatskoj koju sam objavio na društvenim mrežama. Negativna reakcija, s porukom da ću jednog dana napokon shvatiti kakva je Hrvatska, a zatim i val uvreda.

Bio sam vrlo zahvalan tom kritičaru budući da mi je pružio ideju za moju prezentaciju, za koju sam bio siguran da će zainteresirati publiku, kao i prikriti činjenicu da jednostavno nemam neki pametni poslovni savjet koji bih mogao dati.

Tri Faze Učenja za Strance u Hrvatskoj: Ljubav, Mržnja & Nirvana

Kad kažem nešto pozitivno o Hrvatskoj, ljudi se smiju, a kad kritiziram, onda me vrijeđaju. To je vrlo zanimljivo. No, shvatio sam da je iskustvo stranaca koji žive ovdje povezano s fazom u kojoj se nalaze od ukupno tri faze učenja. Upoznajmo ih sada redom.

Faza 1 – Ljubav (oko 70% stranaca, možda i više)

Proveo sam 13 godina života u Hrvatskoj zaglavljen u fazi 1, a bilo je puno situacija u kojima sam žalio što sam ušao u drugu fazu, no s tim je sada napokon kraj jer je treća faza najbolja od svih.

Što se ima za ne voljeti u vezi s Hrvatskom? Predivno turističko odredište, zapanjujuća priroda, opušten način život, sjajno vrijeme, divna hrana i vino, i daleko niže cijene od država kao što je Velika Britanija. Nisu samo turisti oni koji žive u prvoj fazi.

Mnogi stranci koji žive ovdje također su zaglavljeni u toj fazi, kao što sam i ja bio toliko dugo. Ako ne govorite jezik, teško je pratiti što se doista događa u državi. S toliko puno drugih stranaca s kojima se možete družiti, dodir sa stvarnim svakodnevnim životom u Predivnoj Hrvatskoj ograničen je na povremene bitke s birokracijom kako bi se dobila poneka dozvola ili možda njih tri.

Zarađujete li dovoljno za život (a mnogi to rade preko interneta ili s prihodima izvan Hrvatske), onda je faza 1 života u Hrvatskoj dosta dobra. I svesrdno je preporučam.

Faza 2 - Mržnja (oko 25% stranaca)

If life is so good then, why is everybody always complaining and all the young people leaving? 

Ako je život tako dobar, zašto se onda svi neprestano žale, a mladi odlaze?

Dolazimo do faze 2 – Mržnje. Krivac za pokretanje TCN-a u potpunosti je moj prijelaz iz faze 1 u fazu 2. S današnjeg gledišta, ne mogu vjerovati koliko sam naivan bio kad sam pomislio da bih mogao pokrenuti informativni portal o državi o kojoj se moje poznavanje, uz iznimku otoka Hvara, ograničavalo na barove u Dioklecijanovoj palači i maleni djelić središta Zagreba. Priča o dvije Hrvatske: prije i poslije otkrića Uhljeba, bila je poput otvaranja Pandorine kutije (samo još gore). Nakon što sam ušao u svijet moćne države Uhljebistan, idilična Hrvatska iz faze 1 zauvijek je izgubljena. 

Počeo sam se daleko češće tuširati. Nisam mogao vjerovati o brojnim pričama o otvorenoj korupciji, nepotizmu i tragična svjedočenja onih koji nemaju ništa, a koje su bile realnost za milijune izvan mojeg izoliranog i predivnog Hvara iz faze 1.

Nepravde i nejednake mogućnosti, toliki mladi koji odlaze ne zato što ne mogu pronaći posao, nego zato što su isključeni iz sustava u kojemu se mogućnosti otvaraju putem veza, a ne osobnih zasluga. Pridodamo li tome radost vođenja tvrtke u ovoj zemlji, neprestanu negativnost tolikih i na najmanju pozitivnu poruku, počeo sam se pitati: jesu li u pravu svi oni koji ismijavaju moju pozitivnost i predviđaju da će doći vrijeme kada ću i ja dignuti ruke od Hrvatske i otići? Počeo sam ozbiljno sumnjati, dok se moj odnos prema državi koju sam počeo voljeti mijenjao.

Faza 3 - Nirvana (oko 5 % stranaca)

Mračni trenuci faze 2 nužno su zlo da biste došli do faze 3 - Nirvane, što je najbolje stanje ako ste stranac u Hrvatskoj, barem po mojem mišljenju.

Iskreno i otvoreno pisanje o Hrvatskoj donijelo je i nešto dobro. Premda su članci i konstruktivna kritika izazivali val vrijeđanja, donosili su i poruke ohrabrenja. Iz cijele Hrvatske i dijaspore. Maleni mjehurići pozitivnosti iz cijele zemlje, od ljudi koji su već odavno digli ruke od Države, ali vole Hrvatsku i žele živjeti ovdje. U svojim mjehurićima, samo su minimalno dolazili u kontakt s Državom. Njihovi se mjehurići sastoje od Hrvatske njihovih prijatelja, obitelji, prirode i poslova –to je općenito vrlo sretna sredina u kojoj se usredotočuju na ono što je doista važno.

Jedna mi je hrvatska prijateljica rekla da ne prati politiku jer to jednostavno nema smisla. Osim svih negativnosti koje bi i anđele u raju dovele do uzimanja antidepresiva, nije imalo smisla i zato što se nikad ništa ionako neće promijeniti. Puno je bolje vrijeme provoditi planinarenjem po predivnim hrvatskim planinama, daleko od Uhljebistana.

Polagano, vrlo polagano, sve se više tih mjehurića počelo dodirivati. Bili su to mjehurići pozitivnosti koji plutaju po Uhljebistanu i ostaju imuni na ludilo oko njih. Ti su se mjehurići počeli povezivati, neki i putem TCN-a. Sjajne nove inicijative u medicinskom turizmu, poduzetništvu, kontaktima s novim naraštajem iseljeništva, idejama za očuvanje prirodnog okoliša i inovativni luksuzni turizam, kao i veća izloženost poticajnom svijetu i golemom potencijalu hrvatske IT industrije.

Dobro došli u Hrvatsku faze 3, vjerojatno najuzbudljivije i ponajviše okrepljujuće mjesto u kojemu sam živio u svojih 50 godina na ovom divnom planetu. Hrvatska takve pozitivnosti, dinamičnosti i inovativnosti s najluđim idejama da često liježem smijući se te se ustajem smijući se. Moja supruga još mi nije rekla da se smijem i u snu, no ni to me ne bi iznenadilo.

Za Hrvatsku faze 3 potrebno je razumjeti i prihvatiti način na koji Hrvatska funkcionira. I odnos s Uhljebistanom je drukčiji, kao što sam to objasnio na okupljanju Business Cafe Internationala, dio kojeg možete pogledati dolje.

Usporedio sam to s osobom koja voli piti, a živi u Norveškoj ili Švedskoj. U Skandinaviji postoji visok porez na alkohol, što je dio cijene koju plaćate za život tamo ako želite zadovoljiti svoju naviku ispijanja pića.

Isto je i s Hrvatskom, njezinim predivnim načinom života i prirodnim ljepotama. Dio cijene koju plaćate je porez na uhljebe. Platite ga, krenite dalje i okružite se mjehurićima pozitivnosti i mogućnosti.

Nadam se da će i neki od vas ubrzo doseći fazu 3. Riječ je o doista nadahnjujućem mjestu.

A ako ste i vi jedan od tih mjehurića pozitivnosti i želite nam se javiti, kontaktirajte nas na This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Original text in English

Razmišljate o selidbi u Hrvatsku? Evo nekoliko naputaka o onome što biste trebali imati na umu na našim stranicama Hrvatska u 100 stranica Život u Hrvatskoj.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

From Los Angeles to Split, How One Foreigner Fell in Love with Croatia's Coffee Breaks

It’s no surprise that more and more young people are leaving Croatia in search of a better life, while on the other hand, more and more foreigners are coming to live in Croatia. Today, we bring you the story of one foreigner who left the ‘American dream’ to live in Split, reports Novi List on April 22, 2019. 

How did a 30-year-old who studied and worked in Los Angeles decide to work and live in Croatia, and precisely Split? How do foreigners increasingly choose Croatia as a place to live in the middle of the great wave of youth emigration to Ireland and other countries around the world?

Meet Balki, born in India who left to study and work in Los Angeles. In the 'City of Angels', he worked in the IT sector in the video game industry and wore the title of a Games User Experience Researcher and Technical Analyst. Despite a good job in Los Angeles, four years ago, Balki decided to make a significant change in his life and move to Split. However, he did not plan on staying in Split long, but only for a short time before returning to America.

Balki had heard about Croatia and its history. He knew Croatia was a developing country. And he saw it as a personal challenge after which he would return to America.

However, while working in Los Angeles., an opportunity from Balki's company opened to work at a branch in Split. Balki, determined and open to new ideas, wanted to take advantage of the offer and experience what it was like to live somewhere in Europe. After scrolling through pictures of the Dalmatian capital and making several video calls with the employees in Split, Balki decided to give Split a chance.

“I have to admit, my first reason for coming to Split was more logistic, it was easier to get a work permit in Croatia,” Balki said honestly.

But as the conversation continued, Balki spoke about the people he met who became friends for life. Balki quickly accepted the way of life in Croatia and how day-to-day living is far more enjoyable than in Los Angeles. Furthermore, Balki found a new job in Split and is employed by the international IT company Typeqast. Balki said he is delighted to work with clients from all over the world and with his talented colleagues.

"Although L.A. is a city full of fun, Split has something that calls you to stay, and it has become more difficult to think about returning to L.A."

This successful 30-year-old lived on the coast of Chennai, where he grew up before moving to L.A. and Split where he lives today. 

"I love life on the coast and everywhere is beautiful, but I have to admit that no one likes their coast and sea as much as the Dalmatians do. Every day I am thrilled with the beauty of the Croatian coast.

As far as work differences are concerned, I can say that in the companies I've worked for so far, everything runs at a high level and it is not too different from America. It's great to work in international companies because there are no language barriers for working with foreign clients and all communication takes place in English, so it's not important whether you live in Croatia or anywhere in America. But one everyday thing I was surprised and thrilled about was the 'coffee break'. Although it sounds like a waste of time, Croatians actually use them very wisely, and because of them, you can be more efficient at work. It’s fascinating. At the moment I am so pleased with my job and the support we have from the leadership of the firm that I no longer think about when I will return to L.A.”

How is the emigration of young people from Croatia seen by someone who came from L.A.?

"I think in most cases the emigration of the youth has almost become a normal thing and young people are trying to test their limits. This ‘brain drain’ is more seen as a result of youthful curiosity than bad conditions in the state. On the other hand, there is, of course, a state that in my opinion does not give enough support to young people."

While a good job and working conditions are essential to the quality of life, those who work in Croatia also have its natural beauty, pleasant climate and at any moment someone, someone to drink coffee with. Balki is yet another example of a foreigner who came for work and stayed for the Croatian way of life. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

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