Wednesday, 17 August 2022

From Ukraine to India - Around 100,000 Foreign Workers in Croatia

August the 17th, 2022 - There are more and more foreign workers in Croatia from all over the world. There will soon be more than 100,000, in fact, with employees having come from nearby war-torn Ukraine to all the way from India and beyond.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, RTL talked about the growing number of foreign workers in Croatia, but also how we might work to retain the ''homegrown'' labour force from Croatia, with the CEO of the Croatian Association of Employers (HUP), Damir Zoric.

The Republic of Croatia will soon exceed the number of 100,000 work permits having been issued for foreign (non EEA) workers, and Zoric said that the cause of this is the large demographic changes that Croatia is still going through, the increasing numbers of the younger generation leaving Croatia to work elsewhere, and the paradoxical situation of the outflow of labour on the one hand, but also economic growth on the other.

"The Croatian economy has to find its way and now requires the import of labour," he told RTL. He also said that highly qualified workers and low-qualified workers, of which there are very many, come to Croatia.

"These are workers in service industries, primarily in tourism, hospitality and catering, they're also construction workers who are extremely needed and in high demand, and there are some of them working in agriculture in seasonal jobs. Croatia is dominated by foreigners who come from neighbouring countries, traditionally for them, Croatia is the area where they find work. There are more and more people coming from Asian countries, but also from Ukraine and the Philippines," he said.

He also said that employers only have words of praise for foreign workers in Croatia. "People praise them, saying that they're extremely hardworking, disciplined, yes, of course they need a period of adjustment, which is natural, but I don't know of a single case where people have expressed themselves in any sort of negative manner," he said.

He also commented on whether the days have passed when local workers worked in hospitality, tourism and catering establishments on the coast, considering that there are more and more foreign workers in Croatia doing such jobs. "We need to see what happens in certain Western countries. When you arrive at a hotel in Paris, it's rare to see a native Frenchman working there, these are people who have sought happiness in work and life in France. Croatia is on that path and it will not stop now," he said.

He also commented on whether foreign workers in Croatia work under conditions and for wages that Croats don't want to work for.

"Everything is a matter of the market, it's about the relationship between demand and supply. For some, a salary of 500 or 600 euros is good, for some it isn't, and that's why what is happening is that some people leave and some come," he said. When asked how we might retain the local workforce, Zoric said: "Net wages need to be higher for Croatia to be more attractive to people with a higher educational structure, more complex knowledge and more demanding occupations.''

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia Ready to Receive Another 60 Irregular Migrants

ZAGREB, 22 June - Croatia has applied for reception and accommodation of another 60 irregular migrants who can be relocated and is one of the few EU member-states that have expressed willingness for welcoming an additional number of migrants.

Irregular migrants should be relocated from Italy, Greece, and Cyprus to other EU member-states, the Večernji List daily recalls.

Apart from Croatia, the other four countries where more migrants can move in are France, Germany, Portugal, and Ireland.

Voluntary applications for welcoming irregular migrants who should be resettled can still be lodgedCroatia also supports France in its broad initiative to reform the asylum-seeking system, says the daily.

During its recent meeting, the EU Homes Affairs Council, under the French presidency, "very broadly supported the first step of the gradual approach to migration and asylum proposed by the presidency, including the screening regulation, the Eurodac regulation, and the solidarity mechanism," according to the information on the French presidency's web site.

A declaration on assisting the countries that bear the brunt of the arrivals of EU-bound irregular migrants and asylum seekers was adopted at the last meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg, says the daily.

During that meeting, the EU countries were offered two options: to take in additional migrants or to provide them with financial assistance.

According to the state of affairs in applications, an estimated 8,000 applications have so far been lodged for taking in migrants. Germany and France are on the top of the ranking with the highest number of applications.

A provisional plan is to ensure the relocation and resettlement of about 10,000 migrants annually.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Number of Unaccompanied Children Migrants on Rise

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - Croatia's ombudsman for children, Helenca Pirnat Dragičević and the UNHCR said on Monday that there had been headway in the protection of children asylum seekers lately in the country, however there were more and more unaccompanied minors arriving in Croatia.

During a round table discussion, held on World Refugee Day, Pirnat Dragičević ad UNHCR representatives highlighted the adoption of the protocol on the treatment of unaccompanied children migrants in 2018 and the recent amendments to the Foster Parenthood Law as positive things.

They also praised Croatian hosts for their heartfelt reception of Ukrainian refugees, including unaccompanied minors.

However, they said in a joint press release that there is still room for improvement, which requires the attention of all stakeholders, and they are pushing for the full adjustment of Croatia's child protection system with international principles and standards.

They also called for boosting translation resources for Ukrainian school-age children.

In 2020, Croatia registered 942 children asylum seekers, and in 2021, this number increased by 25% to 1,181. The number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum has increased by 5%.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 20 June 2022

NGO: Croatian Policies Marked by Violence Towards Refugees

ZAGREB, 20 June 2022 - Croatia's refugee policies are full of violence and human rights violations, Sara Kekuš of the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) nongovernmental organisation said on Monday, World Refugee Day, recalling the need to build a more open, solidary and inclusive society. 

"World Refugee Day is a reminder that we can make this society more open, more solidary and more inclusive," Kekuš told a news conference outside the government and parliament buildings.

She noted that state policies towards refugees should be solidary but were currently not and were actually full of violence and violations of human rights, including those of children as the most vulnerable group.

Ahead of a free screening of the documentary "Shadow Game", to be staged by the CMS at Zagreb's Tuškanac cinema on Monday evening, Kekuš introduced the film's protagonists - Sajid Khan from Afghanistan and Jano from Syrian Kurdistan, who experienced pushbacks on Croatia's border as unaccompanied minors.

Please treat all people, including children, equally, said Khan, who at the age of 15 found himself in a situation in which he had to cross the green border, walk through the woods and climb mountains and encounter Croatian police.

The film's director, Eefje Blankevoort, said that it was time to stop and look at what was happening not only on Croatia's but also on Europe's borders.

She said that while making the movie she spoke to many refugees who had experienced violence and violent pushbacks on European and Croatian borders.

A boy in the film, Mustafa, was pushed back 50 times and tortured on the border. Croatian police officers, 14 of them, tortured him, broke his arm and used a taser on him, she said.

As part of events marking World Refugee Day, the CMS and the Stress and Trauma Rehabilitation Centre will hold a panel discussion on unaccompanied children in Croatia at the KIC venue in Zagreb's Preradovićeva Street at 5 pm Monday.

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Three, Four or Five Years for Croatian Permanent Residence? It Depends

May the 4th, 2022 - Most people living in Croatia have it firmly stuck in their heads that first they must live with lawful temporary residence (uninterrupted, might I add) for a period of five consecutive years before applying for permanent residence after five years and one day. Is that the only path to Croatian permanent residence, however? No, not quite. Let's take a deeper look.

Croatian permanent residence after five years

Croatian permanent residence is typically obtained after five years and one day of living legally in Croatia with temporary residence. If you're from the EU/EEA/EFTA, that means you must be in the country for at least six months per calendar year while you hold temporary residence, and that logically means you can also be out of Croatia for six months per year without losing your residence or any of your rights here.

If you aren't from an EU/EEA/EFTA country, then your situation is a little more strict. You need to be in the country for much longer each year, with tighter restrictions on your movements abroad until you transition to permanent residence at the end of your five years.

What does that mean, exactly?

You're free to be outside of the territory of Croatia on multiple different trips for a period of up to 90 days (three months) or 30 days from the day you're given the green light and your application for temporary residence for one year is granted to you by MUP.

A little like levels on a game, this ''freedom'' time increases as your time approved to be living here does, so you can be outside of the country on multiple different trips for up to 180 days (six months), or a maximum of 60 days in one stretch from the day you're approved for two years of temporary residence. The latter is also the case if you're registered as a Croatian citizen's family member.

The reason it's worth explaining the ins and outs of that is because many people assume MUP doesn't or cannot check where you are and that once you have legal temporary residence in Croatia, that's it until your next application, that is often the case, but may not be. They might never check up on you, especially if you're an EU citizen, but they can, so it's worth keeping it in mind. There are exceptions to these rules of course, much like with everything else in Croatia, and if you have a valid reason to be outside of the country for a longer period, such as illness, childbirth, military service, etc, you will likely be given permission to remain outside for longer, but you must explain this and ask.

Croatian permanent residence after four years

A little law change came in somewhat recently, making it possible for the spouses and other relatives of Croatian nationals to apply for Croatian permanent residence after four years as opposed to the typical five.

What does that mean, exactly? 

If you're the family member or life partner of a Croatian citizen and you have been granted temporary residence for a continuous period of four years for the purpose of family reunification or life partnership, then you have the right to apply for Croatian permanent residence after four years of uninterrupted residence.

Croatian permanent residence after three years

In certain cases, individuals can apply for Croatian permanent residence after three years, completely removing the need to sit and wait for a further one or two. These cases tend to be a bit more complex, and they only cover quite a small number of people.

What does that mean, exactly?

If you're classed or declared to be a member of the Croatian people with foreign citizenship or you're stateless (you aren't a citizen of any recognised nation) who can prove your status with a certificate issued by the state administration body responsible for relations with Croats outside of the Republic of Croatia, and if you've been found to have returned with the intention of living permanently in Croatia, you can apply for permanent residence after holding temporary residence (uninterrupted) for a three year period.

If, until the day of you handing in your application, you've been granted temporary residence in Croatia for three consecutive years, and you've been classed as a refugee for at least ten years, you can apply for Croatian permanent residence.

If you're the child of third country nationals who already hold Croatian permanent residence, you too can apply for Croatian permanent residence after a three year period (of holding uninterrupted, lawful and documented temporary residence).

Croatian permanent residence under more favourable terms (discretion, highly individual cases)

In some cases, Croatian permanent residence can be granted under different rules. This regards highly specific situations involving the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, the Homeland War, and the situations which occurred immediately after in an administrative sense and which involved displaced persons.

What does that mean, exactly?

If you hold the citizenship of a third country, so a non EU/EEA/EFTA nation, and you had a registered residence in the Republic of Croatia on the 8th of October, 1991, and if you're the user of a return programme, you can apply for Croatian permanent residence. You will need to provide MUP with an array of documentation proving your right to your claim which will differ from the usual procedure.



For more on Croatian permanent residence, keep up with our lifestyle section.

Monday, 25 April 2022

VL: Only 16 Applications for Return to Croatia and for Move to Rural Areas

25 April 2022 - Four months after the government offered Croatian emigrants HRK 200,000 to come back home and start a business, not a single one has returned and only 16 applications for a move to rural areas have been filed, the Večernji List daily says in its Monday edition.

The financial support was offered under the "Labour Mobility - I Choose Croatia" scheme, an upgrade to the self-employment scheme, under which "you get a maximum of HRK 130,000 if you have a business plan and an idea, and evaluators at the HZZ (Croatian Employment Service) approve your project. You get part of the sum at the beginning and if the project is realised, you get the rest over 24 months," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was quoted as saying when unveiling the scheme. He added that the idea was to increase the amount from HRK 130,000 to 150,000.

Under the same scheme, people who have been in work in an EU country for at least a year in the last two years would get an additional HRK 50,000 as an incentive and those wishing to move to a rural area would be allocated HRK 25,000.

The HZZ has so far received 16 applications, 11 of which related to labour mobility within Croatia and five concerned applications filed by emigrants. Of the 16 applications, nine have been processed and four of them have been rejected, while seven are being processed. The five applications that have been granted relate to labour mobility within Croatia and concern people who live in Croatia. Over the next 24 months they will receive HRK 175,000, the HZZ told Večernji List.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Retiring in Croatia as a Non-EU National: Navigating Taxes

17 February 2022 - While retiring abroad may be a dream for some, it is not an easy decision to make especially when considering financial implications such as taxes. Depending on what country you are moving from, you may even face double taxation. Here are some useful takeaways to help you make a more informed decision before relocating to Croatia.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. If you require specific expertise on your current tax situation, please consult a specialized accountant or contact the Croatian Tax Administration.


Figuring out taxes can be notoriously confusing and frustrating. Image: Pexels

What is double taxation?

Briefly, double taxation is the imposition of taxes on the same income by multiple jurisdictions.

It takes on 2 forms:

  1. Corporate double taxation: Taxes are imposed on both profits and dividend payouts; or
  2. International double taxation: Taxing of the same income in the country where the income is derived, and by the country where the individual is now residing.

This article will focus more on the 2nd taxation form, international double taxation, and whether there are available relief mechanisms in place between Croatia and your country that mitigate this issue when it comes to your pension payouts.

All information presented in the following sections from the Croatian Ministry of Finance and Tax Administration.

Conditions for tax residency in Croatia

Tax residency status in Croatia is in line with the OECD model and is determined according to length of stay in the country annually. The conditions are as follows:

  • If you reside in Croatia for 183 days or more out of the year, you are considered a tax resident
  • If you own or lease property for a continuous period of 183 days in 1 or 2 calendar years, you are also considered a tax resident. It is not mandatory that you live on this property
  • If you own more than 1 property in Croatia, the place where you spend the most time will be considered your place of residence

Tax treaties with Croatia


Double tax avoidance agreements. Image: Pexels

If you dqualify as a tax resident of Croatia, there may be Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) in place that outline your tax responsibilities. The Croatian Ministry of Finance outlines all countries that have standing agreements here.

These bilateral agreements do not completely exempt an individual from filing or paying taxes. Rather, they contain a series of articles that outline each country’s stand on income and capital taxes.

Specific articles, and thus tax conditions, differ depending on the agreement made between Croatia and the contracting country. Here are some examples from the agreements signed between Croatia-United Kingdom, and Croatia-Canada.

United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Ireland (NI)

Croatia and the UK and NI established a DTAA in 2016. As a retiree of either the UK or NI, Article 17(1) of the agreement specifically outlines that if you are a UK citizen but reside in Croatia, pensions and other similar remunerations (e.g. annuities) are only taxed in Croatia.

However, in the case of a lump sum payment derived from a UK pension scheme, this amount will be subject to taxes in the UK, and only in the UK.

If you’re unsure of whether the income you’re receiving is considered a pension, the agreement defines pensions as financial vehicles registered under Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004.

You are also obligated to declare foreign income to the Croatian Tax Administration even if you have already paid taxes abroad.


Croatia and Canada established a DTAA in 2000. According to Article 18, taxes on pensions and annuities may be levied by both Canada and Croatia, but with limitations. Article 18(2) states that the first CAD$12,000 or the equivalent amount in Croatian kuna is tax exempt. Taxes levied on the excess amount should not exceed 15%.

Canadian annuities paid out to a retiree residing in Croatia may also be subject to Canadian taxes, capped at 10% of the portion that is subject to taxes. This limitation does not apply to lump-sum payments arising on the surrender, cancellation, redemption or sale of an annuity.

Types of pensions that will either be taxed by Canada or Croatia include war pensions, social security and alimony.

Citizens of Canada who receive a pension but reside in Croatia are not obligated to report it to the Croatian Tax Administration. Due to international data exchange between the countries, the Croatian Tax Administration can obtain necessary information directly from the Canadian Revenue Agency.

What if Croatia has no double tax avoidance agreement (DTAAs) with my country?

In the countries where there is no DTAA with Croatia such as Australia and the United States (U.S.), on top of being taxed by your country Croatia will also levy taxes on global income which may include pensions and capital earnings.

The thresholds for Croatian income tax are:

  • 20% for up to 360,000 kuna (€47,804) annually
  • 30% for more than 360,000 kuna annually

So, what does this mean for those wishing to retire in Croatia? Let’s consider American citizens wanting to retire in Croatia.


Although negotiations between the two countries have been going on for over 25 years, Croatia is still the only European Union nation that does not have a DTAA with the U.S.

This means that depending on where you receive your pension from, such as social security, 401(k)s, Roth accounts, private pension plans or even passive income, these distributions may be subject to tax from both the IRA as well as Croatian tax administration.


Bob. Image: Pexels

Let’s consider Bob. Bob is single, aged 65, and is thinking of retiring in Croatia. He has made steady pre-tax contributions to his 401(k) over the years and now has US$750,000. This is also Bob’s only source of pension. He decides to withdraw US$25,000 annually for his retirement in Croatia, which will be considered his retirement income.

Assuming as of 2022, he is filing taxes under “Single Filer”. The IRA will impose a 12% tax on Bob’s ‘income’ of US$25,000, which means Bob will pay a total of US$3,000 to the IRA. Meanwhile, the Croatian Tax Authorities will further impose a 20% ‘income’ tax on US$25,000, amounting to US$5,000 in taxes. This brings the total amount of taxes on Bob’s pension to US$8,000 annually and he ‘pockets’ US$17,000.

You can also use the IRS's Interactive Tax Assistant to help you determine whether some of your income may be eligible for the exclusion.

Although taxes may put a dent in your pension payout, do weigh the benefits of living in Croatia without necessarily having to make significant lifestyle changes. Or better yet, make full use of the 90-day visa free travel to do a “trial run”, and experience a slice of what retirement may look like here.

Check out the first part of the retiring in Croatia as a non-EU national series HERE.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Thousands of Young South Americans Want to Immigrate to Croatia, Reports Večernji List

ZAGREB, 16 Feb 2022 - Tens of thousands of young people from South America, mainly descendants of Croatian expats, would like to immigrate in Croatia, the Večernji List (VL) reported on Wednesday.

However, a lack of knowledge of the Croatian language, as well as the lack of programmes to facilitate their integration into Croatian society, seem to be main barriers for the arrivals of young South Americans, according to the daily newspaper.

Croatia ranks high in the European Union (EU) in terms of the quotas of imported foreign workers outside the EU per number of inhabitants in the country, and the daily newspaper raises the question whether Croatia is ready to attract foreign students, researchers and foreigners with the Croatian roots.

In the EU the ratio of the imported foreign workers outside the Union per 1,000 inhabitants was 7, and in Croatia this ratio was 12 per 1,000 before the pandemic, the newspaper notes.

In 2021, there were 81,000 foreigners from third countries who were given status of temporary residents in Croatia.

In this context, the daily newspaper highlights the need of Croatia to attract also students, undergraduates and descendants of Croatian emigrants and not only less educated workers, criticising the state administration for not making this process easier.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Over HRK 60,000 Raised for AYS Volunteer to Help Him Pay Fine

ZAGREB, 16 Dec 2021 - Over HRK 60,000 (€8,000) has been raised in less than 24 hours to help activist Dragan Umičević pay the fine for helping the Hussiny family from Afghanistan to illegally cross the border into Croatia, the non-governmental organization Are You Syrious? (AYS) said on Thursday.

Umičević, a volunteer with Are You Syrious, helped the Afghan family to illegally enter Croatia and apply for asylum in March 2018. Police pressed charges against him for assisting in the crossing of the border illegally, and the High Administrative Court has fined him HRK 60,000 and ordered him to pay HRK 1,300 in court costs. 

In less than 24 hours, 247 citizens raised HRK 62,691 to help Umičević pay the fine, AYS said in a statement.

The Hussiny case attracted a lot of media attention because six-year-old Madina Hussiny was killed by a train on 21 November 2017 during the illegal expulsion of her family from Croatia, which has been recently confirmed in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

The family was again expelled during the night between 7 and 8 March 2018. After entering Croatia for the third time in the night between 20 and 21 March 2018, fearing another expulsion, they contacted AYS for assistance in seeking asylum.

AYS explained to them that only the police can grant them asylum and referred them to the nearest police checkpoint. Umičević was asked to go to the border police checkpoint and say that there was a refugee family in their vicinity wishing to apply for asylum.

Although he acted in accordance with the law and civic conscience, he was charged with assisting in the illegal crossing of the state border, AYS said, noting that the Ministry of the Interior had demanded a draconian fine of HRK 320,000 (€42,700) and imprisonment for Umičević as well as a ban on the operation of AYS, the NGO said.

"The citizens of Croatia have shown that they will not allow an act of kindness to be punished, especially when real criminals are given far more lenient sentences or walk away free," AYS said. "We are proud of the messages of support we are getting and most of all we are proud of our volunteer Dragan who was one of the few people who lent a helping hand to the family of the girl Madina in the most difficult of times for them."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Conference on the Future of Europe: Migrations Within EU Not Discussed Sufficiently

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - Migrations towards Europe are definitely a problem that needs to be discussed, but so should migrations within the European Union, it was said at the opening of the fourth panel discussion of the Conference on the Future of Europe, taking place from Friday to Sunday.

Faced with a drop in citizens' trust, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU in September and October invited 800 randomly selected EU citizens to discuss topics important for the 27-member bloc in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. A group of 200 citizens will discuss migrations and the status of the EU in the world at the fourth panel, taking place from Friday to Sunday.

Dragan Volarević, a pensioner from Zadar and one of the three Croatians participating in discussions this weekend, called for putting on the agenda the topic of migration of people from eastern to western EU members.

"Around 10% of Croatians have emigrated, mostly young and highly educated people who are needed in every country. I was surprised the most by the fact that the first person to support me was a young Dutchman who is also interested in this topic even though his country does not have the problem of emigration of young people," Volarević told Hina.

He believes that the EU should help countries like Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania create favourable conditions for young people to stay and work in their countries.

As for immigration from third countries, participants in the panel agreed that EU countries should show solidarity with refugees and migrants.

Migration is a burning issue across Europe, notably Mediterranean countries, as well as in Poland, Great Britain and on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We must avoid human losses if we want to call ourselves civilised countries but we are not doing enough to define concrete solutions, said Antonio from Italy.

For solutions to be defined, politicians should listen more, says Volarević, who described his experience at the first panel session in Strasbourg last month.

"During debates in working groups, members of the European Parliament had answers prepared in advance, and while presenting them they spoke of different, often unrelated topics, without keeping track of time, which is why only two citizens had the opportunity to speak," he said.

The second panel session, dedicated to migrations and global politics, was held online. Ten sub-topics were presented at it on Friday, of which five are related to migrations while the other fire have to do with the status of the EU in the world, and they will be discussed in greater detail by working groups on Saturday.

As regards migrations, EU citizens will work on recommendations on border control, on how to respond to illegal border crossings, how to facilitate access to official border crossings, how to integrate migrants in the labor market and education system, and how to facilitate the acquisition of EU citizenship.

With regard to the EU's status in the world, the discussion will focus on the EU's external policy which is in line with its values, such as promotion of democracy and human rights, changes in decision-making in the field of external policy so that the EU can define itself as a global power and strengthen the common foreign policy, on European defence forces, policy towards Russia and China, and the strengthening of trade.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Page 1 of 2