Planning on traveling to Croatia but do not know about the visa regime? Is the country part of the European Union? Can you travel around Europe with just a Schengen visa?
In order to visit this wonderful country care-free, we gathered some useful information that you might want to read.
In this post, you will find out if Croatia is a Schengen country or not and what does that mean for you as a traveler. In addition to that, you will find some explanations regarding visa and other document requirements before you travel to Croatia.
You probably heard and read about the European Union a thousand times. But what is the EU?
It is a political and economic union where its members share a single market and currency. Members are connected through similar cultural patterns and mutual histories. The EU supports numerous social, economic, political, and environmental values that are listed in the Lisbon treaty and the EU Charter of fundamental rights.
The Union itself consists of 27 European countries, one of them being Croatia.
Croatia joined the European Union on July 1, 2013. The country is still in a process of making necessary alternations so it can fully participate in all EU activities.
The Schengen area is an area without internal borders. That way, its citizens and tourists can travel freely through countries without a passport and other types of border checks at their mutual borders.
This construct goes hand in hand with the EU’s main idea. The main idea emphasizes the free movement of citizens together with traveling, working and living in any EU country.
The zone got its name after the Schengen Agreement that was signed in 1985 in Luxembourg. The Schengen area was finally created in 1995 after some modifications were made to the agreement.
So, is Croatia a Schengen country? Currently, it is not. It is expected that it will become one in the near future.
Once the country fulfills all the necessary conditions, it will become a part of the Schengen area and join the Eurozone. The Eurozone implies that the members have to change their national currencies into euro. That way you can use euro to pay in any country, and you do not have to worry about exchanging money.
The Schengen area seems to make getting around European countries effortless. However, because of lower supervision on the border area inside, you can notice that there are tight controls at the external borders.
The Schengen area consists of mostly the EU countries, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. More precisely, 22 EU members are participants of the Schengen zone. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania are not in this area, although Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania are in the process of joining. There are also non-EU states that are a part of this arrangement. They are Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
Individual EU states have permission to make agreements on local border traffic with neighboring non-EU countries. This way, citizens are allowed to enter the country without having to obtain a visa.
The process of entry to the country can be a bit confusing because of this.
A Schengen visa is a short stay visa that allows its obtainer to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days ( in 180 days period). This area covers 26 countries previously mentioned in the post.
The visa can also be an airport transit visa if you need to go through the international transit areas of airports.
The EU has a list of third countries whose nationals must have a visa when crossing the external borders and of those who are exempt from that requirement.
You must have a valid two or multiple entry Schengen visa for entering the Republic of Croatia.
Croatian visa is valid only for the territory of Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania. Traveling to Schengen countries with this particular visa is not possible since Croatia is still not an official member. This document also gives you the approval to stay 90 days in 180 days period.
Third-country nationals that are required to acquire a Croatian visa can do so by filling an online application. Along with the necessary documents, they submit it to the Croatian Embassy or a visa center.
Traveling to Europe is an exciting event but can certainly turn “not so great” if you do not inform yourself well.
To summarise,in order to enter Croatia you need to have either a Croatian visa or a valid two or multiple entry Schengen visa. In case you are a citizen of a neighboring country, a valid travel document(ID Card/Passport) will be enough.
This means that the Schengen visa will be acceptable to enter Croatia, but a Croatian visa will not be acceptable to enter the Schengen area. If you want to explore Balkan Private Tours or Croatia Private Tours , you should have Schengen visa.
It is recommended that you apply for the visa at least three months before your travel. Be sure to check the dates of your passport and other travel documents since they need to be valid at least three more months after the travel date.
For any additional doubts, you can go to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs web page to read more about requirements and frequently asked questions.
After you sort out the administrative part of jour journey, you can move to the fun part and plan out your activities during the stay.
If you cannot decide which time you should visit Croatia, you should check out our previous blog post about the best time to visit Croatia