Student Visa Process for Croatia
If you are a U.S. citizen studying in Croatia for longer than 90 days, you will be required to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be required to apply for a visa prior to arrival in Croatia. For more details visit the Consular website and use the menu at the bottom of the page to select your home country.
The Temporary Residence Permit registers your presence with the Croatian government and grants you permission to stay in the country for a specified period of time. In case of an emergency, this also allows the government to know where you are so they can contact you. Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, your API Resident Directors will assist you in completing the steps necessary in order to obtain your Temporary Residence Permit.
There are a few things that need to be done prior to your departure. An overview of the process and a list of required documents to bring with you are listed below.
STEP 1: Obtain an FBI Criminal Background Check
- Apply Early!
- This must be a physical copy- not electronic
- Information on processing timelines and the how to apply can be found here: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks
STEP 2: Have your Criminal Background Check authenticated with an apostille
- Office of Authentications click here.
- An apostille essentially provides international authentication for seals and signatures of documents. Think of it as an international notarization that helps foreign governments verify the legitimacy of documents. This process is usually quite quick* and you can actually mail in your document to get it stamped.
- Here is one service that students used in the past: https://www.internationalapostille.com/fbi-apostille/
STEP 3: Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, the API Resident Directors will assist you with your visit to the to the police station to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit. For the visit, you will need to bring:
- a registration form (provided by the student dorm once you move in)
- your original passport
- a copy of your passport (provided by API)
- completed application forms (provided by API, you will fill the forms at orientation meeting)
- your university letter (provided by API)
- evidence of health insurance (provided by API)
- 1 biometric photo size 30 x 35 mm — You do NOT need to prepare this prior to your departure; this will need to be obtained at the police station in Croatia.
- Your home bank letter with a certain amount of money: Serves as proof of having enough financial resources during your stay in Croatia (1,700kn per each month of your stay) and proof that you have sufficient financial resources to return home (additional 4,100kn).
- 6,800kn + 4,100kn = 10,900kn, approx. 1,500 Euros
Bank Letter: you’ll need to bring the letter from your US bank proving that the amount of funds in your bank account equals at least 1,500 Euros. This can be the equivalent in USD. The bank letter needs to be signed by the authorized person and must not be older than 1 month prior to your arrival. Please note that the account and letter must be in the student’s name (first and last) and not in the parent’s name.
STEP 4: Make a payment for your Temporary Residence Permit. When approved, you’ll be instructed by your Resident Director to go to the bank to make a payment (1 – 2 months after submitting the documents). Your Resident Directors will help you with the bank slips.
Please note: The total cost to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit is 660 kn (~ $105). You will be required to pay separately 350 kn (~ $60) and 240 kn (~ $40). Stamps will cost an additional 70 kn (~ $10).
When done, you’ll be directed by your Resident Directors to go to the police office to pick up your TRP card.
Don’t be surprised by lengthy processing times and long lines at banks and the police station. This is typical, so please be patient and be understanding and polite with the hardworking employees who are helping you through the process.
You will not receive the residence card until 2 months after you have submitted all the documents, but don’t worry! As soon as these documents are submitted you will become a legal resident and will receive a document issued by the police office as proof of the Temporary Resident Permit. The card itself is prepared within the Zagreb region and it takes time to be processed.
*Students should be careful to keep all documents necessary for the Temporary Residence Permit application, especially those containing sensitive personal data, in a safe and secure place when traveling to Croatia.