Information for citizens
- Croatian citizens’ rights in the UK
The Withdraw agreement (the deal scenario)
The Withdrawal Agreement allows the EU nationals in the UK, including Croatian nationals and their family members, to continue living, working or studying in the UK under the same conditions as before the withdrawal in accordance with the EU law (the right to reside in the UK, seek employment, work without a work permit, equal access to health services and pensions, leave the UK for a maximum of five years without losing their rights, etc.). This also applies to those nationals who will come to the UK during the transitional period, currently envisaged until 31 December 2020.
For more specific information about the Agreement, we refer you to the Communication from the European Commission (EC) on the main elements of the Agreement
In order to retain their rights, EU citizens must acquire a status certificate by 30 June 2021 at the latest through a British Government scheme called the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Croatian citizens who can prove that they have been lawfully resident in the UK for five or more years should obtain the so-called settled status, and those Croatian citizens who have resided in the UK for less than five years, the so-called pre-settled status (which allows them to secure settled status when they accumulate the above-mentioned five years of residence in the UK).
For more specific information, we refer you to the UK Government website
The British government has announced that the status regulation process will be free of charge after that date. The decision to confirm the status and grant of residence is entirely within the competence of the British Home Office, and the bodies of the Croatian state administration and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London are not empowered to make judgments about meeting the prescribed conditions. Please note that the need to regulate residence does not apply to those Croatian nationals who have British citizenship in addition to Croatian.
In the event of “no-deal”
In a Policy Paper published on 6 December 2018, titled “Citizens' Rights - EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU“, the UK Government confirmed its readiness to secure the rights of the EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK on a reciprocal basis in case of the eventual “no-deal” scenario, which would also include the above described process of the status regulation through the EUSS.
The difference is that in the case of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without an agreement, the guarantee of retention of rights applies only to those EU citizens who live, work and study in the UK until the date of the withdrawal, and the legislative deadline is shorter (until 31 December 2020). Croatian citizens are advised to familiarize themselves with the contents of the above mentioned document, which is available here. Additionally, EU / Croatian nationals who come to the UK after the date of the withdrawal and intend to stay in the UK for more than three months (e.g. for work or study) will have to apply for a so-called European Temporary Leave to Remain. If approved, they will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months after applying. It is a temporary and non-renewable immigration status that does not result in an unlimited right of residence. After 36 months, these nationals will have to apply for immigration status under the new UK immigration system, which is due to come into force by January 2021.
We advise all Croatian nationals who plan to stay in the UK for more than three months after the date of their withdrawal to consult the UK Government website for more information. .
Additional information regarding travelling between the UK and the EU in the event of “no-deal” can be found here
Education, study and mobility
The UK Government announced that all EU citizens that are enrolled in public institutions of higher education in the UK at the time of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, would continue to enjoy the same rights as before the withdrawal.
Regarding the EU program for youth, education, training, and sport, Erasmus +, the “Regulation laying down provisions for the continuation of ongoing learning mobility activities under the Erasmus+ program in the context of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU has entered into force. The aim of the Regulation is to allow students and students whose mobility started before leaving the EU to complete it under the same conditions (the maximum mobility period is one year).
Questions and answers regarding the impact of Brexit on the Erasmus + program can be found here
Additional information regarding studying and training in the UK in event of “no-deal” can be found here.
- UK citizens’ rights in the Republic of Croatia
In the event of “no-deal”
In July 2019, the Croatian Parliament adopted the Law on Nationals of Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) and their family members (EU). The provisions of the new law o, among other things, regulate the retention of the current residency status of the UK citizens and their family members in the Republic of Croatia with the purpose of avoiding the unwanted situation of UK citizens having an unregulated status in Croatia after the UK leaves the EU. This law will enter into force on the day the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement.
Additional useful information concerning the residence registration as well as applying for residence cards can be found on the web pages of the Ministry of Interior Driving licenses
UK driving licenses will be valid in the Republic of Croatia for up to one year from the day on which the UK leaves the EU. After that, they will have to be replaced with Croatian driving licenses and the applicant will have to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.
UK nationals and nationals of other countries who are holders of UK driving licenses are advised to apply for the replacement of their driving licenses with a Croatian driving license as soon as possible.
Applicants who submit their application prior to the date on which the UK leaves the EU will be able to replace their UK driving licenses under the conditions stipulated for the replacement of EEA driving licenses in which case it is not necessary to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive. UK driving licenses are replaced with Croatian driving licenses without an obligation to take a driving exam, regardless of the category of the vehicle listed on the UK driving license.
In July 2019, the Croatian Parliament adopted the Law on provisional measures regarding the access of UK citizens residing in Croatia to compulsory health insurance. This law regulates the provisional measure in the area of compulsory health insurance with the purpose of maintaining the status and the rights of UK and Croatian citizens regarding their access to compulsory health insurance in accordance with the EU legislation in the area of social security co-ordination. It stipulates that UK citizens with temporary / permanent residence in the Republic of Croatia at the time the UK leaves the EU will continue to have access to compulsory health insurance. This law will enter into force on the day the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement
Education and Science
Ministry of Science and Education guarantees the continuation of education under the same conditions to all UK students that are enrolled in primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia on the day the UK leaves the EU.
UK citizens enrolled in higher public education institutions at the time the UK leaves from the EU will continue to have the same educational rights like the EU nationals.
Researchers staying in the EU on the day the UK leaves the EU will retain the same rights, however, it is necessary to consider whether the Rules of Procedure and Conditions for Hosting Researchers of Third-Country Nationals will apply to researchers whose stay begins after the UK has left ("Official Gazette" ", No. 114/18), adopted pursuant to Article 47, paragraph 1 of the Aliens Act (Official Gazette, Nos. 130/11, 74/13, 69/17/46/18).
Family and maternity benefits, and equivalent paternity benefits
The Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, as the competent authority for the implementation of the Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of the social security systems, has established a Working Group to draft a Provisional Measures in the Area of Family Benefits and Maternity Benefits and equivalent paternity benefits for the protection of the rights of UK citizens in the Republic of Croatia in the field of family and maternity benefits, and equivalent paternity benefits in the event of “no-deal”.
Additional information regarding the rights of UK nationals living in the EU in the event of “no deal” can be found here.