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Why Digital Nomads Should Consider Croatia

5 min read

Why Digital Nomads Should Consider Croatia

Croatia is becoming popular among digital nomads looking for a low-cost, entertaining destination in Europe. Croatia launched a digital nomad program in January of 2021, which offers temporary residency to digital nomads. Non-EU/EEA citizens who work remotely for companies outside of Croatia are eligible to apply for this visa. 

The application process is relatively straightforward and allows individuals to spend up to 12 months in Croatia. It is easy to qualify for this digital nomad visa, while programs in other countries have stricter income requirements. The only drawback is that this visa does not help people gain permanent residency in Croatia. Digital nomads looking for residency options should consider other countries or find a different way to navigate the residency requirements in Croatia.

 

Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

Map of Croatia

Map of Croatia

Living in Croatia

Croatia is a standout country in the region for digital nomads. It stands out for its lower cost of living, attractive tourism destinations, and straightforward digital nomad visa application process. 

Digital nomads who choose Croatia as their base can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank. The country offers a diverse range of places to explore, from stunning coastal towns to picturesque countryside villages.

One of the key advantages for digital nomads in Croatia is the streamlined visa application process. The requirements are clear, and the process is relatively simple, allowing individuals to obtain a residence permit for remote work. This enables digital nomads to legally live and work in Croatia for an extended period, experiencing the beautiful landscapes and vibrant music scene.

Croatia's breathtaking nature, charming coffee shops, and friendly locals create a perfect setting for digital nomads to embrace adventure and relaxation. Whether it's biking along the scenic coast, enjoying the vibrant music scene, or simply sipping coffee by the seaside, Croatia offers an ideal environment for work and leisure.

With a reliable internet connection and co-working spaces available, digital nomads can stay connected and productive while immersing themselves in Croatia's natural beauty and cultural richness. The combination of affordable living, attractive locations, and an easy visa process makes Croatia an enticing choice for digital nomads seeking an unforgettable experience.


Low Cost of Living

One of the key appeals of Croatia is its low cost of living, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads. The average net salary in Croatia is around €1,000, providing a comfortable lifestyle at an affordable price. For those on a tighter budget, even the average net minimum wage of about €500 can cover basic expenses.

Another advantage of Croatia is its convenient location in Europe. With short flight connections to popular destinations like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, digital nomads have the opportunity to explore various places on quick flights or train rides. Additionally, they can immerse themselves in the charm of Croatia's smaller cities, experiencing their unique culture and atmosphere.

When it comes to accommodation, Airbnb listings in Zagreb start at just over $550, offering a range of options for digital nomads. Alternatively, single rooms and hostels provide even more budget-friendly choices. In cities like Dubrovnik, finding a room or a one-bedroom apartment in the $200-500 range is quite feasible. For digital nomads planning to stay longer, signing a long-term lease (6-12 months) can open up even more affordable rent options.

Croatia's combination of a low cost of living, convenient location, and diverse accommodation choices make it an ideal destination for digital nomads seeking both adventure and cost-effectiveness in their work and travel lifestyle.

 

 

Tourism Destinations

Croatia has a lot to offer tourists and digital nomads interested in history, art, and natural beauty. Croatia is an excellent tourist destination and a great country for digital nomads to explore. Big 7 Travel’s editorial team compiled a list of the world’s top 50 beaches, and two of these beaches were in Croatia. Other popular destinations in the country include Euphrasian Basilica, Diocletian’s Palace, and Pula Arena, the sixth largest surviving Roman arena. Zagreb has other attractions, including the Cathedral of Zagreb, Park Maksimir, St. Mark’s Church, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. With its diverse attractions and stunning coastline, Croatia offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty for visitors and digital nomads alike.

 

Pula, Croatia

View of Pula, Croatia

Eligibility and Benefits

The Croatia digital nomad visa is a wonderful option for most digital nomads who want to find a low-cost, high-quality base in Europe. The income requirements are also relatively low due to the lower cost of living. However, it is not a good option for those hoping to gain permanent residency.

Most digital nomads who can prove sufficient income are eligible for this visa. The Croatian government defines a digital nomad as a third-party national who performs work or services for a company outside of Croatia that does not provide work for companies in Croatia. For most people, this will not be an issue at all. If you want to work for a company in Croatia, there is a separate visa for this process.

The digital nomad visa is only granted for one year and does not count towards permanent residency. Once the visa expires, the individual has to wait six months before applying for a new visa. This should not be a problem for digital nomads who can move on to other popular destinations in the area, such as Georgia, and then renew the visa if they want to.

Gaining permanent residency in Croatia is a very complex process that involves five years of continuous residency. You are also not allowed to leave the country for more than ten months out of the five-year period. This option is rather difficult relative to other global residency programs, but it offers a unique opportunity for digital nomads seeking a place to call home.


Related content: How You Can Apply For Residency In El Salvador

 

Zagreb, Croatia

View of Zagreb, Croatia

How to Apply

Applicants have the option of applying online or in person at a consulate. The application requires supporting information, and applicants wait several weeks before receiving approval, such as proof of income and a valid passport, and applicants wait several weeks before receiving approval. This process ensures that the necessary documentation is reviewed and verified by the authorities, allowing for a smooth and efficient visa application process. Whether applying from the comfort of your home or visiting a consulate in person, it is important to follow the prescribed steps and provide all the required details to increase the chances of a successful application.


APPLYING IN PERSON

The bilingual "approval for stay" application document is on this website if you would like to take a look beforehand. This is an in-person application. Applicants are required to fill in some of the following information in the application form:

  • Information: Name/DOB/passport number/etc.
  • Contact information: Email, phone number, and address in Croatia
  • Health insurance information
  • Occupation/purpose of the stay

Most countries have a Croatian consulate that you can visit if you want to apply in person for any reason. Applying in person can be a convenient option if you live in a large city or are in a location with a Croatian consulate. The complete list can be found here.

 

APPLYING ONLINE

However, most people will probably prefer applying online. When you submit an application, you need to provide supporting documents, which can be found on the Ministry of the Interiors website:

  • Passport copy (valid 3 months after the travel period)
  • Travel or private insurance that covers the individual in Croatia
  • Proof of purpose (ie. employment contract, individual company documents, etc.)
  • Proof of sustenance, which can include a savings account, bank statements showing income, or payslips for the past six months.
  • Proof that you have not been convicted of federal crimes
  • Address in Croatia, which can include a hotel or hostel

The online application process offers convenience and accessibility, allowing applicants to complete the necessary steps from the comfort of their own homes. By carefully following the guidelines and ensuring all required information is included, applicants can increase their chances of a successful outcome and receive the necessary documents in a timely manner.

 

Trogir, Croatia

Trogir, Croatia

Other Factors to Consider

To show that you can support yourself in Croatia, you must be able to prove that you have a stable monthly income of around €2,300. This can be supported through bank statements, pay slips, and work contracts. If you are taking family members, you must prove that you have additional income. You can also provide your savings account as supporting information for your application.

It is best to submit as much information as possible on the online application, especially when proving you have enough money. According to the website, a person's income and savings are considered in the application, so it can be helpful to submit more than required. It is also helpful to label all files and save them as PDFs, as specified on the website.

The visa application is typically processed in a month or less, so it is crucial to plan in advance and be flexible.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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