ETIAS Visa Waiver for Croatia

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Croatia has a population of 3.9 million on a landmass of 56,594-kilometer square, giving it a population density of 73 persons per square kilometer. It is officially called the Republic of Croatia and is located where Central and Southeastern Europe meet. It borders Slovenia in the northwest region, Hungary in the northeastern region, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina in the southeastern region, and Serbia in the east. It has a border with Italy, although maritime in the south. Zagreb is Croatia's capital city and doubles as its largest city.
Croatia is a member of the United Nations and its peacekeeping activities, contributing military troops to the International Security Assistance Force. It is one of the foundational members of the Union for the Mediterranean. The World Trade Organization, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union are other important places where Croatia has a membership.
In January 2012, when a referendum on the EU accession took place, 66% of the participants voted in favor of Croatia joining the EU. The process was completed on 21 June 2013. The accession finally took place on 1 July 2013. However, Croatia is not yet a member of the Schengen zone and cannot enjoy the benefits of the zone. Talks are in place to make Croatia join the Schengen zone in the near future.
The Schengen zone is a commonwealth of 26 Etias countries scattered around Europe whose citizens do not require a visa to travel across their borders. Citizens can freely travel to other member states of the Schengen zone with only their passports. Citizens of other countries who have a Schengen visa can travel to any of the Schengen member states for the duration of the visa.

Croatia Visa and Entry Requirements

Croatia visas are of different types, depending on your purpose of visit and the duration you plan to spend in Croatia. Croatia has a visa-free agreement with some countries, allowing its citizens to travel to Croatia without a visa. Citizens of countries without a visa liberalization agreement with Croatia will need a visa to enter. These are some of the visa types available to choose from.
  • Tourist visa: Croatia has a tourist visa for people coming to Croatia for tourism, medical reasons, and other short-term purposes. This visa type allows you to spend a maximum of 90 days in Croatia and may allow you to enter multiple times. The tourist visa's peculiarities are similar to that of the Schengen zone because Croatia has plans to join the zone in the near future.
  • Business visa: The business visa Croatia offers is similar to a tourist visa but is for business purposes. It does not allow you to work in Croatia, but this visa type covers other business activities. It also allows you to spend a maximum of 90 days in Croatia.
  • Long-stay visa: People who need to stay in Croatia longer than 90 days can apply for a long-stay visa. The long-stay visa type is usually given under three main categories - study, family reunion, and work. The student visa allows visitors to study in Croatia, but they must have been admitted to a Croatian educational institute before applying. The family visa enables non-EU citizens to unite with their family members who are residents or citizens of Croatia. A work visa in Croatia is available for individuals who have a job in Croatia but are not in Croatia. The employer starts the process of applying for an employee who is not a citizen or resident of Croatia.
Croatia is not a member of the Schengen zone yet, and the Schengen visa does not apply.

What Documents Are Required when Applying for a Croatia Visa?

The document required for the application process differs based on the visa type you are applying for, as some types need more documents to support your application. Some of the documents required include:
  • A signed and dated visa application form.
  • International passport or other equivalent travel documents with a minimum of three empty pages. It must be valid for at least three months after your proposed departure from Croatia.
  • A photocopy of your Croatian visas, present, and past.
  • A photocopy of all used pages on your passport or other travel documents you are submitting
  • Two passport photographs which must be taken on a light background. Your face must be centrally placed on the passport and cover 70 - 80% of the passport. Tinted glasses are not allowed; clear glasses are only allowed if they do not cover your eyes. Decorative headgear is prohibited, and headgear used for religious purposes must not cover your face.
  • Proof of insurance with a minimum of €30,000 to cover health emergencies and other losses that may arise during your stay in Croatia
  • A hotel reservation or other proof of accommodation while in Croatia
  • A return flight ticket or other proof that you will leave Croatia at the end of your legal stay
  • Proof of financial stability to sustain yourself during your stay in Croatia, like a bank statement or a letter from your employer that states your position and salary

Who Needs a Visa to Enter Croatia?

Croatia is a member of the EU, and as such, citizens of other EU countries can visit Croatia without a visa. Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, together with the EU, make up the European free trade association (EFTA), and their citizens are not required to show a visa before entering Croatia. Nationals of countries that are not part of the EU or EFTA are required to show a visa before being granted access.
ETIAS means European Travel and Information System and will be introduced at the end of 2022. It is an added layer of security for countries with the visa-free agreement with the Schengen zone. When Croatia fulfills the requirements for joining the Schengen zone and finally becomes a member state of the Schengen zone, ETIAS countries will be able to travel to Croatia without a visa.

Requirement for Croatia to join the Schengen Zone

Croatia has been in talks for a while concerning joining the Schengen zone. To become a member of the Schengen zone, it has to agree to Personal data protection, Police cooperation, Legislation on border control, and Infrastructure and organization requirements laid down by the Schengen zone. It must also have a unanimous vote by all Schengen member states before becoming a member of the Schengen zone.
When it becomes a member of the Schengen zone, then holders of a Croatian visa or passport can seamlessly travel to other Schengen countries without a visa. ETIAS countries can also travel to Croatia with their ETIAS visa waiver.