Some call it a visa, some call it a permit. Although the terminology has changed, it is technically the same thing – a change in the law, effective January 1, 2021, which allows non-EU/EEA citizens who fulfil the requirements, to stay for 12 months as digital nomads. Initially it was referred to as a visa, but is now known as a permit.
On July 11, 2020, a Dutch entrepreneur in Split, Jan de Jong, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, calling on him to introduce a digital nomad visa for Croatia. On August 25, the Prime Minister tweeted a photo of a meeting with Jan, with the message that his government would be supporting the introduction on the visa.
Work started the next day, with proposed changes in the Foreigners Act in Parliament. Those changes were soon approved, the tax law changed, and the new law came into effect.
An online application process appeared on March 1, 2021 (see link above), although a handful of nomads were able to successfully apply for the permit via the local police station before the online application.
Early feedback suggests that the application time varies, according to the complexity of the application. A period of 3-4 weeks seems to be a reasonable expectation, once all the paperwork has been submitted.
Yes. Applications can be done both inside and outside Croatia.
Yes! We plan to publish more interviews of successful applicants and will add to this section.
Melissa Paul in Istria, the first digital nomad permit holder – https://www.total-croatia-news.com/lifestyle/50036-melissa-paul-digital-nomad-visa
Jessica Romero on Hvar, the first permit holder on a Croatian island – https://www.total-croatia-news.com/digital-nomads-in-croatia/51215-americans-in-croatia-hvar-digital-nomad-visa
Steve Tsentserensky in Zagreb – https://www.total-croatia-news.com/digital-nomads-in-croatia/52250-croatian-digital-nomad-permit
Holders of the digital nomad permit are not required to pay Croatian income tax, and they are also not allowed to work for or with Croatian company. The issues of taxation are often a little more complex, however. For an overview of the biggest tax issued, Kristina Grbavac of KPMG has written this overview – https://www.total-croatia-news.com/digital-nomads-in-croatia/52391-taxation-of-digital-nomads-in-croatia
Private healthcare insurance is mandatory for the duration of the 12-month permit. There is also the option to enrol in the Croatian healthcare insurance system upon permit approval, but this is not mandatory, as with other permits.
The Adriatic coast is obviously a big attraction, and many digital nomads head to the coast and islands. Split is an especially popular hub, and the Dalmatian capital already has an established expat community year-round.
Dubrovnik is growing in popularity, even more so after being in the spotlight with the first-ever digital nomad conference in Croatia in October 2020, followed by Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence in April 2021.
Sibenik, Zadar and the Istrian Peninsula are also growing in popularity, while the islands of choice seem to be Hvar in Dalmatia (a nice contrast a catamaran ride from Split) and Krk further north.
Inland, the capital, Zagreb, is expanding its DN community steadily, and spare a thought for Osijek, much further east close to the Serbian border. Cheaper prices and a very vibrant startup scene.
This obviously depends a lot on what you are looking for. Many locals, for example, have been surprised at seeing Americans living on Croatian islands for months over the winter. The perfect COVID-19 escape, as quarantine was first officially introduced by a state by the Dubrovnik Republic in 1377.
Summer is much busier due to the tourist season, more expensive, and a lot hotter, while the shoulder months allow for less crowds but ample swimming. A 12-month overview of what Croatia has to offer from January to December – https://www.total-croatia.com/when-to-visit-croatia/
Prices in Croatia vary according to the time of year and location. Prices on the coast and islands are usually higher, even more so in the tourist season, while prices in continental Croatia away from the hotspots can be as much as half the price. For an overview of average prices on a broad range of products and services, check https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Croatia
Croatia has an exceptional lifestyle, and its safety, authentic experiences, and lifestyle are attracting remote workers in ever greater numbers. The country is famed for its bureaucracy, however, and things happen a little slower than back home, especially in Dalmatia. But the benefits far outweigh the problems for many. For a very detailed and very honest look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, here is a 18-year overview of an expat who arrived in 2002 – https://www.total-croatia.com/living-in-croatia/
Croatia has been in the EU since 2013 but is not yet in the Schengen zone. As such, it is in a rather attractive position for some DN travellers who have to leave the Schengen area for 90 days after the initial 90 days within the zone. A growing number of nomads are choosing Croatia because of this. Something to consider if the Schengen rules affect you.
The digital nomad community is certainly in its infancy in Croatia, but it is growing quickly. General awareness about the local population is also growing. The biggest communities presently are to be found in Split and Zagreb.
According to https://www.statista.com/statistics/1156148/internet-connection-speeds-croatia/ the average internet connection speeds in Croatia 2020. As of December 2020, the average download speed of mobile internet connections in Croatia was at approximately 65.79 Megabits per second (Mbps). Fixed internet connections were somewhat slower, at around 46.76 Mbps.Coverage does vary, however, and you can check this map for more details of speeds in specific areas. https://www.hrvatskitelekom.hr/karte-pokrivenosti
Yes. In April, 2021, Hrvatski Telekom (HT – Croatian Telecom) launched a special product for digital noamds. More details here – https://www.total-croatia-news.com/digital-nomads-in-croatia/52287-digital-nomads-with-hrvatski-telekom