International students are not allowed to attend classes at university until they have procured a residence permit.
Foreign nationals intending to study in Croatia must regulate their temporary residence for the purpose of studying if their stay in Croatia is longer than 90 days.
Nationals of countries subject to the visa requirement also need to procure an entry visa for Croatia (Viza C). Information on countries subject to the visa requirement can be found on the web site of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
The visa application (Viza C) must be submitted to the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign national’s home country. The visa application can be submitted either in person or via e-mail. A list of missions and consulates is available on web site of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Where to submit residence permit application
Third country nationals can submit residence permit application in one of two ways:
- To the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign national’s home country
- To the appropriate police department or police station upon entering Croatia if the student is coming to Croatia to study at a higher education institution as a full-time student at an undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level. For more information about this document, the student should contact International Relations Office of the host university.
When to submit residence permit application
Students submitting an application to the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in their home country should do so prior to their scheduled arrival in Croatia. The usual procedure can take three months or longer (including time needed for all the necessary documents to be translated into Croatian). There is also a fast-track option for handling the application and students can request this at the diplomatic mission or consulate, in which case they pay a higher fee.
Students submitting the application to the appropriate police department or police station in Croatia should do so upon entering Croatia during their short-term stay.
The following documents must be submitted with the application for temporary residence for the purpose of studying:
- One colour photograph 35x45 mm
- Valid passport and photocopy of a passport (non-EU citizens) or identity card (EU citizens)
- Proof of secured housing (e.g. written proof of secured accommodation in the student dormitory or an apartment lease and proof of the landlord’s apartment ownership for students in private accommodation). Please note that upon your arrival in Croatia, within 48 hours, you have to register your address at the Foreigners Office at the local Police Administration Office. If you are staying at hotel or student dormitory your address will be automatically registered.
- Proof of health insurance:
a) European Insurance Card (EHIC) or
b) if there is a signed bilateral agreement between your home country and Croatia ask for bilingual form to be filled in and stamped by your health insurance company. The form should then be presented at the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, which will issue a health insurance document valid in Croatia.
c) Nationals of countries that do not have aforementioned agreement with Croatia have to report to the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO - Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje) to establish their right to health insurance under Croatian health insurance regulations. For more information, see the Health care section.
- Proof of suficient funds to support oneself : a scholarship or proof of having access to finances in the amount of at least 1,000 Kuna per month during 12 months. The proof of receiving a scholarship is issued by the legal entity granting the scholarship and the proof of finances is issued by a bank in the form of a bank statement.
- Proof of admittance to a higher education institution in Croatia written in the Croatian language.
The application fee for the temporary residence permit for the purpose of studying is 500 Kuna (around 65 EUR). International students receiving a grant from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes are exempted from this fee but they should pay for the cost of the issuance of the residence card in the amount of 240,00 HRK (approximately 35,00 EUR) and the duty stamp fee of 20,00 HRK (approximately 3,00 EUR).
Duration of residence permit
The temporary residence permit is usually granted for the duration of one year or for the duration of the academic year.
Sources: Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia