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Croatian Employment Service
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Radnička cesta 1
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Telephone +385 1 6126 000
Fax  + 385 1 6126 038 

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Home  >  Unemployed persons  >  Foreign nationals  >  EEA nationals
Last change: 17.07.2018.

EEA nationals


Registration procedures and residence permits

If you are a national of an EEA member country or Switzerland, then you have the right to stay in the Republic of Croatia for up to three months if you hold a valid passport or identity card.
For stays of more than three months, you must report as a temporary resident to your nearest police authority and apply for residency no later than eight days after the expiry of your three months stay.
Your application must include a copy of a valid identity card or passport which the official will certify upon review of the original. If conditions are met (that is, you have demonstrated that you have the means to support yourself and health insurance), the police will promptly issue you with a certificate of registration in the form of a biometric residence card with a validity period of up to five years. When you register for residence, you will be issued with a personal identification number (OIB).
An OIB can be also issued prior to your registration of residence, during first three months of your stay, in order to take advantage of different public services. You can request an OIB directly from the Tax Administration in the city where you are staying. In addition to an OIB, you will need an address in Croatia. An address certificate is issued by the local Police station/authority. You will need an OIB and an address certificate to be registered with the Pension Fund and Health Insurance Fund when you get a job, or if you need to register as a jobseeker with the Croatian Employment Service.
The right of permanent residence can be acquired after five years of continuous legal residence in the Republic of Croatia.

Ministry of Interior

Free movement of workers

The free movement of workers is a fundamental right in the Member Countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). This permits nationals of one EEA country to work in another EEA country on the same conditions as that Member State’s own citizens. During a transitional period of up to seven years after the accession of Croatia to the European Union on 1 July 2013, certain conditions may be applied that restrict the free movement of workers from and to Croatia. These restrictions only concern the freedom of movement for the purpose of taking up a job.  For the third phase, until 30 June 2020, only Austria has decided that Croatian workers will have to obtain a work permit to work there, so Croatia is applying reciprocal measures to workers from respected country. If you are an Austrian  national, you can regulate your legal work status in Croatia as follows:
  • You can work up to 90 days a year on the basis of a work registration certificate
  • You can work for more than 90 days but you have to apply for a residence and work permit
Restrictive measures do not apply if you want to start your own business in Croatia or provide services, for example, in construction or personal services. There are no restrictions for entrepreneurs/companies/traders from other countries who want to carry out their activities in Croatia. Therefore, if you are a national of an EEA/EU Member State and are:
  • self-employed with your own company, or
  • in a trade in which you provide services, or
  • you have been posted to Croatia by your employer for a limited time (posted worker),
you may work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence or work permit, or work registration certificate.

EURES portal

What are the criteria for getting a work permit?

You must have an offer of employment as the employer is obliged to request the issuance of a work permit outside the annual quota from the relevant authorities, namely police station/police administration. You cannot request a work permit without having a job offer from an employer. An application for a residence and work permit must be accompanied by a contract of employment or a written confirmation that a contract of employment has been signed. Prior to the issuance of residence and work permits outside the annual quota, no explanation of the employer on the need of employing a particular employee shall be required nor will the situation on the labour market be checked.

Ministry of Interior

How do I register as a jobseeker?

Pursuant to the Act on Job Placement and Unemployment Insurance (Official Gazette no. 16/2017) Croatian Employment Service will register as jobseekers nationals of Member States of the EU / EEA in order to seek employment (employment mediation) and some of them for the right to compensation, as well as to retain rights to compensation earned in another Member State of the EU / EEA.

Nationals of Member States of the European Economic Area are equal to Croatian nationals in the rights and duties established by this Act.

In order to be registered as a jobseeker with the Croatian Employment Service, you will need a personal identification number (OIB), an address in Croatia and a valid identification document from your home country (an ID card or a passport). If you want to transfer unemployment benefits from your home country, speak to your employment office prior to departure in order to get all necessary information about your rights and obligations, as well as to collect portable document U2, which you will need in order to continue recieving your benefits.

Personal Identification Number

More information

Social security and insurance

When searching for employment in an EU Member State other than your own, you, as a citizen of the EU / EEA may transfer certain rights enjoyed in your home country, primarily the right to financial compensation for unemployment and the right to health care. The method of rights transfer used are portable documents (PD) issued by the relevant bodies in your home country. The Croatian Employment Service is responsible for coordinating the right to unemployment benefit.
PDU forms are used for this purpose. Here are the most important ones:
PDU1: contains information on the benefit claimant’s periods of employment, which serve as the basis for determining the right to a benefit, the level of compensation and the duration of this right.
PDU2: is used for transferring the right to unemployment-related benefit enjoyed in one Member State when moving to another Member State in order to seek employment.
The right to health care is administered by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance using the PDS form. For mobile workers, the most important form is PDS1, which allows you to register and use your entitlement to health care in the country where you choose to live even though you have health insurance in your own country.

EU Social Security

 Contact Points of the Directive 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers


Basic Information for the Integration of Aliens into Croatian Society / GUIDE A L’INTEGRATION: informations de base pour intégration des étrangers dans la société Croate
Living & Working in Croatia

Information for jobseekers and citizens from other EU/EEA countries
Republic of Croatia - Mini guide

Actual Address Book by public authorities and representative countries and international organizations in Croatia.