On the EURES Portal, using the search tool and network of more than 1000 EURES Advisers ready to assist you, you can find relevant information on worker mobility, information on current job vacancies in 31 European countries, register a free user account and create a CV that will be visible to all employers registered on the EURES Portal and to EURES Advisers who help employers find suitable candidates. Furthermore, the Living and Working Conditions section of the Portal can give you a good understanding of the current situation in the region of potential employment. Information on living and working is available in English, German and French, and sometimes in the language of the country concerned.
Jobs offered by EU employers to Croatian workers can be found here.
For further information, clarification and advice that can help you in finding a job, please contact the nearest EURES Office.
Freedom of movement for workers and transitional periods
The principle of free movement of workers in the European single market implies the possibility of taking up employment without having to obtain a work permit in any Member State of the European Union, as well as in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Exceptionally, Switzerland has invoked the safeguard clause against Croatia provided for by the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP). The Swiss Federal Council adopted a decision restricting the number of employed and self-employed Croatian nationals from 1 January 2023. The reintroduction of quotas concerns L permits (initial short-term residence) and B permits (residence with gainful employment).
The quota does not affect cross-border workers, family reunification, stay of a person without employment, and the application process for short-term work.
More detailed information is available on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration.
Liechtenstein has a quota of residence permits for citizens of all Member States of the European Economic Area.
Citizens of the European Union may continue to live in the United Kingdom after 30 June 2021 if they submit an application before that date to obtain the so-called settled status. The settled status will be granted to persons who have been registered as residing in the United Kingdom for at least five years at the time of submitting the application. If the period of residence in the United Kingdom at the time of submitting the application is less than five years, the applicant will be granted the so-called pre-settled status, which continues to ensure the right to live and work as well as access to social rights. After a full period of five years, it is necessary to apply for the settled status. Further information on preconditions, the procedure and documentation can be found here and here. Use the opportunity to get timely information by registering your email with the Home Office UK. The source of all Brexit-related information is available here.
Information for UK nationals in Croatia can be found here.
Registration and stay
A national of an EEA Member State or the Swiss Confederation may stay in the Republic of Croatia for up to three months after the entry into the Republic of Croatia provided they have a valid travel document or identity card.
A national of an EEA Member State or Switzerland who intends to stay in the Republic of Croatia for more than three months is required to, within eight days of the expiry of the three-month period at the latest, register a temporary residence (Form 1b) with the competent police administration or police station in the place of residence.
The application must be accompanied by a copy of a valid identity card or travel document, certified by the official after consulting the original document. The temporary residence certificate of a national of an EEA Member State is printed from the information system free of charge. A biometric residence card with a period of validity of five years can be issued at the request of the EEA national.
You may request a personal identification number (OIB) regardless of the registration of your stay directly at the Tax Administration office in the place where you are staying. In some cases, for example if you wish to register with the Croatian Employment Service, you will need a certificate of residential address, issued by the police station/administration. If you are staying in a tourist facility, you may prove your residential address using the certificate printed from the e-Visitor system. The right to permanent residence may be exercised after five years of uninterrupted legal stay in the Republic of Croatia.
More information is availabe on Ministry of the Interior website, in Croatian language.
Act on Nationals of Member States of the European Economic Area and Their Family Members (OG Nos 66/19, 53/20, 144/20)
Freedom of movement for workers
Freedom of movement for workers is a fundamental right in the Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA). It allows citizens of one Member State to work in another Member State under the conditions that apply to the nationals of that Member State.
How can I register as a jobseeker/unemployed person?
In accordance with the Labour Market Act (OG Nos 118/18, 32/20, 18/22), nationals of the Member States of the European Economic Area and of the Swiss Confederation shall be deemed equivalent to Croatian nationals as regards the rights and obligations laid down in that Act.
To register with the Croatian Employment Service, you will need a personal identification number (OIB), a residential address in Croatia and a valid identity document from your country (identity card or passport).
If you wish to transfer your right to unemployment benefits from your country, consult your employment office before leaving in order to obtain all the necessary information on your rights and obligations, as well as a portable document U2, which you will need to continue receiving the benefits.
Social security and insurance
When you are looking for a job in another EU Member State as an EU/EEA citizen, you can transfer certain rights you enjoy in your own country, primarily the right to unemployment benefits and the right to healthcare. Rights are transferred using portable documents (PD) issued by the competent authorities in your country. The Croatian Employment Service is responsible for coordinating the right to unemployment benefits. PDU forms are used for this purpose. The most important ones are:
PDU1: it contains information on the jobseeker’s periods of employment (insurance), which serves as a basis for determining the right to benefits, the amount of benefits and the duration of the right.
PDU2: it is used to transfer unemployment rights acquired in one Member State when moving to another Member State to seek work.
The right to healthcare falls within the responsibility of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, which uses PDS forms for this purpose. For mobile workers, the most important form is PDS1, which allows you to exercise the right to healthcare in the country where you decide to live even though you are insured in another country.
► Contact points under 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
A third country national is entitled to the following in the Republic of Croatia:
- short-term stay (up to 90 days in any 180-day period)
- temporary stay (up to a year)
- long-term residence (unlimited)
- permanent stay (unlimited)
REGISTERING IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RECORDS OF THE CROATIAN EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (unemployment entitlements)
A third-country national who is allowed to work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence and work permit in accordance with special regulations, and who meets the legal requirements for registration in the records applicable to Croatian nationals, may register with the Service (Register in the unemployment register - Croatian Employment Service (hzz.hr).
A third-country citizen who resides in the Republic of Croatia on the basis of a residence and work permit and whose employment relationship in the Republic of Croatia has ended without any fault or consent on their part, or who is unemployed and has been granted temporary stay in the Republic of Croatia, may register with the Croatian Employment Service to exercise the right to unemployment benefits (Unemployment benefits request form).
Applications must be accompanied by the following documents:
- completed application form for registration in the unemployment records
- completed application form for benefits
- evidence of the reason for termination of employment (confirmed by the signature and stamp of the employer) or self-employed activity (e.g. certificate from the Register of the Order of Payment Bases of the Financial Agency regarding the recorded unexecuted payment bases for a period longer than 60 days, declaration of the value of assets not covering existing liabilities, extract from the accounts, final decision of the competent court closing the bankruptcy proceedings). Form M-2P is not considered a valid evidence of the reason for termination of employment
- proof of average gross salary earned in the three-month period preceding the termination of employment (e.g. certificate from the employer, payroll certified by the employer) or self-employed activity (e.g. certificate obtained from the Tax Administration)
- copy of your current account card
You can register at the office in the place of granted temporary stay (Regional centres and offices of the CES – addresses and contacts – Croatian Employment Service). Once the benefits have been used or upon the expiry of temporary stay, the person ceases to be registered in the records of the Service.
Labour Market Act (OG Nos 118/18, 32/20, 18/22)
RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMITS
Third-country nationals may stay in Croatia temporarily on the basis of a residence and work permit, and temporary stay for work purposes is granted as a residence and work permit.
Information on applying for residence and work permits:
SHORTAGE OCCUPATION (LIST KEPT BY THE CES MANAGING BOARD)
- it is necessary to obtain an opinion from the CES → submit the application HERE
RENEWAL OF A RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMIT
- same employer and same third-country national → the application is to be submitted at the police administration/station: Instructions for employers
- different employer and/or different third-country national → submit the application HERE
- employment of seasonal workers in agriculture, forestry, hospitality and tourism sectors in the Republic of Croatia for a period of up to 90 days in the course of one calendar year → the application is to be submitted at the police administration/station: Instructions for employers
- employment of seasonal workers for a period of up to six months → submit the application HERE
- renewal of a seasonal worker’s residence and work permit within six months in the course of one year (if no opinion from the CES was required when the application was first submitted) → submit the application HERE
CATEGORIES FOR WHICH YOU DON'T NEED AN OPITION OR LABOUR MARKET TEST FROM THE CROATIAN EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (article 110 of the Act on foreigners) (e.g. key personnel in commercial companies, self-employment in a commercial company/trade in which the owner has at least 51%, EU blue card, persons transferred within the company , service providers, volunteers, trainees, vessel crews, etc.) → the application is submitted to a police administration/station: link: Instructions for employers
- applicant for international protection – a third-country national or stateless person who makes an application for international protection pending the decision on the application. By way of exception, the applicant may also be a national of a Member State of the European Union where provided for by the provisions of Protocol 24 to the Treaty of Lisbon
- asylum seeker – a refugee within the meaning of the Geneva Convention who qualifies for asylum status
- foreign national with subsidiary protection status – a foreign national who has been granted protection, where he or she does not qualify for asylum status, for whom there are reasonable grounds for believing that he or she would, if returned to the country of origin, face a real risk of suffering serious harm
- foreign national under temporary protection – a foreign national who has been granted temporary protection in situations in which foreign nationals come to the Republic of Croatia in large numbers from a country where human rights violations have occurred as a result of war or a similar situation, indiscriminate violence or internal conflict.
More on the forms of protection, methods of making and lodging applications, and rights and obligations of applicants for international protection can be found at Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia – International protection (gov.hr)
UKRAINIAN NATIONALS with the status of a foreign national under temporary protection are equal (in rights and obligations) to Croatian nationals who have full access to the Croatian labour market on the basis of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia of 7 March 2022.
In accordance with the Labour Market Act, foreign nationals with temporary protection status have the right to register in the unemployment records of the CES and are considered equal in their rights and obligations to Croatian nationals. Employment counsellors provide job-search assistance and information on the rights of unemployed persons, for example:
- registration in the unemployment records
- support in defining work potential and job-search plans, as well as occupations on the labour market on which the employment counsellor should focus when providing recruitment and placement services
- workshops on active job search
- information relating to jobs
- funding training for the acquisition of competences needed in the labour market
- participating in active employment policy measures
Registration with the CES is possible via email (email@example.com) or in person at the regional offices of the CES, and information can be found on the CES website (HZZ – Хорватська служба зайнятості).
Useful information and sources:
The website Croatia for Ukraine – Hrvatska za Ukrajinu (gov.hr) contains useful information:
Learning Croatian (CROATICUM – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language) or Ukrainian-Croatian/Croatian-Ukrainian conversation manual on the website of the Ministry of Science and Education, link for free download: https://mzo.gov.hr/vijesti/ukrajinsko-hrvatski-hrvatsko-ukrajinski-razgovorni-prirucnik/48722d91c136-13f1-4051-9916-1cdfee601809/33163d8c-ad5e-4352-b41d-5169febe5f3f (hsuti.hr)
Recognition of periods of higher education (list of accredited study programmes – https://mozvag.srce.hr/preglednik/)
Recognition of foreign academic and professional qualifications (https://www.azvo.hr/en/enic-naric-office/guidelines-for-starting-the-procedure-for-professional-recognition-of-foreign-heq)
Pursuant to the Contributions Act, a posted worker is:
- a person insured on the basis of an employment relationship posted abroad by the employer for the purpose of performing work for the employer, and who, in accordance with the regulations on compulsory insurance, EU legislation on the coordination of social security systems, and intergovernmental agreements on social security matters relating to persons working abroad, remains covered by the compulsory insurance system of the Republic of Croatia (point 13.1.)
- a person insured on the basis of an employment relationship seconded abroad by the employer for the purpose of performing duties at a diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Croatia (point 13.2.)
- a person posted by a foreign employer to a domestic company, who, in accordance with the provisions of EU legislation on the coordination of social security systems and the provisions of intergovernmental agreements on social security matters, has a regulated status in the insurance system of the state of the employer (point 13.3.)
Posting or seconding refers to a situation in which an employer sends a worker from one country to another for the purpose of performing work for the employer over a certain period of time. The worker remains covered by the social security system of the country from which they have been posted, and the obligation to pay social security contributions remains within the system of that country as well.
Following Croatia’s accession to the EU, EU legislation applies to the posting of workers within the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), and all matters related to the posting of workers within the EU are dealt with by the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
Posting of employed persons
A posted person continues to be subject to the legislation of the country from which they have been posted, i.e. their home country, provided that:
- the duration of the posting does not exceed 24 months
- the posted person was not posted with the aim of replacing another posted person
- the posted person was subject to the legislation of their home country for at least one month immediately prior to the posting
- the employer regularly carries out its activities in the home country
- there is a direct link between the worker and the employer for the duration of the posting
Posting of self-employed persons
The provisions on posting also allow self-employed persons to temporarily pursue their activity in another Member State while remaining subject to the legislation of their home country during that time.
The conditions that have to be met are the following:
- the duration of the posting does not exceed 24 months
- they regularly carry out their activities as self-employed persons in the country from which they have been posted
- the activity they will carry out in the country of work is of a similar nature to that which they carry out in their home country
At the request of the employer or self-employed person, the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute will issue an A1 certificate following a procedure to verify the conditions for posting. The A1 certificate is a default form valid throughout the EU as proof that a worker of a self-employed person was posted to work abroad and does not have to pay contributions in the country of work for a specified period of time because these contributions are paid in the country from which they have been posted.
Documentation the employer is required to submit together with an application for the posting of an employee:
- completed application form for issuing an A1 certificate for posting
- employment contract or an addendum to the employment contract, covering the performance of work in another Member State
- contract for the performance of a job concluded in the Member State for which the posting is requested
- financial statement – deregistration from the register kept by the Financial Agency (FINA)
Documentation a self-employed person is required to submit together with an application for posting:
- completed application form for issuing an A1 certificate for posting
- contract for the performance of a job concluded in the Member State for which the posting is requested, from which it follows that the self-employed person will carry out the same or a similar activity in another Member State
Procedure following the end of posting
After the end of the period of posting, a new posting for the same person may be granted upon the expiry of a two-month period. Exceptionally, it is possible to apply for an extension of the period of posting (exceeding 24 months) for the same person.
If there is a justified reason, e.g. if the contracted job cannot be completed within 24 months, it is possible to extend the period of posting by special procedure, subject to obtaining the consent of the competent institution of the country to which the person has been posted. An application for an extension of the posting must be submitted in advance, before the expiry of the existing period of posting.
Pursuant to the Act on Relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats Abroad, Croatian expatriates in overseas and European countries and their descendants are also considered Croats outside the Republic of Croatia, and as such constitute the Croatian diaspora (Article 2). The Republic of Croatia allows for the return of Croatian expatriates and the immigration of their descendants (Article 56).
Croatian returnees/immigrants from the Croatian diaspora are members of the Croatian people, expatriates in overseas and European countries and their descendants (family members, spouses and children), who will return and move to the Republic of Croatia.
Members of the Croatian people who left Croatia before 8 October 1991 and their descendants (born abroad as descendants of Croatian expatriates) fall within the category of Croatian returnees.
Through a series of active employment policy measures, the Croatian Employment Service supports returnees and immigrants in finding a job and connecting with employers in the national labour market.