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Expat Jobs in Croatia

Interested in working in Croatia? At the moment, there are many things to consider before you move to Zagreb or travel to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. You can read up on Croatia’s national economy, the local job market, working conditions, and social security below.
Shipbuilding is one of the traditional industries currently affected by restructuring and lay-offs.

The Employment Market: Still Highly Competitive

As we describe on the previous page of our guide to working in Croatia, the current situation of the local labor market isn’t exactly favorable for expats searching for a new job on their own. The national unemployment rate was 16.4% in January 2016.

However, those destinations that are especially popular among expatriates fare somewhat better. Local unemployment in the urban areas of Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka tends to be lower than the average for the country as a whole, though still comparatively high. These cities are also important business locations within Croatia, with maritime trade and tourism going strong on the coast, and the national headquarters of many companies in the capital.

What is more, rising unemployment quotas disproportionately affect young people with little or no professional experience, as well as the low-income sector — e.g. catering, seasonal labor, or manufacturing. Qualified and experienced expatriates looking for a temporary job contract in the right field might be in luck.

Benefit from Croatian Language Skills

Hard skills in your field of employment, rather than general soft skills, tend to persuade local employers. But you should also consider that most Croatian enterprises obviously expect some Croatian language skills. While you are welcome to send in your application online with an unsolicited CV, such queries should preferably be written in fluent Croatian. Multinational or international businesses are among the few exceptions to this rule.

Local employees with suitable credentials have the distinct advantage of being both Croatian native speakers and multi-lingual candidates. Bosnian and Serbian are mutually intelligible languages in the region, and some proficiency in English, German, or Italian is relatively common.

Resources for Job Seekers

If you are not a foreign assignee, but would nevertheless like to work in Croatia, here are some resources to start your job search.

  • Big Croatian newspapers with good job listings include Večernji List (Zagreb), Jutarnji List (Zagreb), Novi List (Rijeka), and Slobodna Dalmacija (Split).
  • It’s also worth trying your home country’s international chamber of commerce in Zagreb, the Croatian foreign chamber of commerce back home, or the Croatian Chamber of Economy. They may offer print magazines with job ads, online job boards, membership directories with contact information for various companies, or networking events.
  • Headhunters are always on the prowl for highly skilled employees and executive staff interested in Croatia. The following HR consultants, among others, are active in the country: Dekra, Hill International, Pedersen & Partners, Alexander Hughes, and Selectio.hr.
  • Popular online job search engines include Hzz.hr (website only in Croatian), Posao.hr, and Moj Posao. Again, job seekers are usually expected to be proficient in Croatian. 

Croatian Work Permits and Work Registration Certificates

Work Permits

A so-called "stay and work permit" is a single permit that allows foreign nationals to temporarily stay and work in the Republic of Croatia. Stay and work permits can be granted as part of the annual quota or outside the annual quota. The annual quota, i.e. the number of foreign nationals who may be granted work permits in Croatia, is published in the Croatian Official Gazette.

If applying for a stay and work permit within the annual quota, you will need to enclose the following documents:

  • a color photograph, 35x45mm
  • a copy of a valid travel document
  • proof of health insurance
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself
  • a contract of employment or other relevant proof of work
  • proof of educational background and qualifications
  • proof of registration of your employer’s company in Croatia (should not be dated more than six months prior to the application)
  • a consular fee if the application is submitted at a Croatian diplomatic mission/consular post or a revenue stamp of 20 HRK if the application is submitted in Croatia

Stay and work permits can be issued outside of the annual quota to certain categories of third-country nationals such as key personnel, people who have been internally transferred to the Republic of Croatia by a company, nationals who are self-employed in a company they own, and many more. A full list is available on the Croatian Ministry of the Interior website. If the application is successful, you will be issued a biometric residence permit.

When applying for a stay and work permit outside the annual quota, you will need to enclose the following documents:

  • a color photograph, 35x45mm
  • a copy of a valid travel document
  • proof of health insurance
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself
  • a contract of employment or any of relevant proof of work (unless you are self-employed in a sole-trader business that you own)
  • proof of educational background and qualifications (a list of people who do not need to provide this is available on the website for the Croatian Ministry of the Interior)
  • proof of registration of your employer’s company in Croatia (should not be dated more than six months prior to the application)
  • explanation on the justifiability of employing a foreign national that contains information on their professional knowledge, qualifications and work experience, and the reasons why this position cannot be assigned to a Croatian national
  • a consular fee if the application is submitted at a Croatian diplomatic mission/consular post or a revenue stamp of 20 HRK if the application is submitted in Croatia

When you submit the application at a police administration/police station, you will have to pay 800 HRK for the issuance of a stay and work permit and 240 HRK for a biometric residence permit.

EEA nationals, Swiss nationals, and third-country nationals who are family members of Croatian nationals may work in Croatia without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate. All nationals of EU member states who are self-employed in their own company, who provide services or are posted workers may work in Croatia without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate.

Aside from these people, though, the concept of reciprocity is applied by Croatia, meaning that if Croatian nationals are not free to work in your home country, you will have to apply for either a work registration certificate or a work and stay permit outside the annual quota. More information can be found on the Croatian Ministry of the Interior website.

If you are a highly qualified third-country national, you can apply for an EU blue card, which functions as a permit for temporary stay and work in Croatia. Further information can be found on the EU Immigration Portal.

Work Registration Certificates

Work registration certificates are issued to people in certain fields for working stays in Croatia of 90 days or less. You must apply for the work registration certificate prior to starting work at a competent police station, depending on the location of your workplace. You will need to provide:

  • a written request for the issuance of a work registration certificate containing personal data, the time needed for the work and the type of work you will do
  • a certified copy of your travel document
  • papers proving that the respective work requires a work registration certificate

You will need to pay a revenue stamp of 20 HRK and an administrative fee of 150 HRK. You can find more information, as well as a list of people allowed to work in Croatia without a stay and work permit or a work registration certificate, on the website of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior.

Business Permits

Business permits function solely as permission to work in Croatia, and you will need to be granted temporary stay for the purpose of employment before you start working. Business permits may be issued to:

  • private founders of companies in Croatia or foreign nationals who have a majority share in a company of at least 51% and carry out business in Croatia
  • sole proprietors who have registered their business in Croatia, or one of the co-proprietors in a joint proprietorship
  • those engaged in freelance work in line with Croatian regulations
  • those providing services on behalf of a foreign employer

For more in-depth information on the exact conditions for obtaining a business permit, which may apply to you, or to find out if you are allowed to work in Croatia without a work or business permit, visit the Croatian Ministry of the Interior website.

 

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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