Our Croatian office

Inter Relocation Group
High Class Relocations

Travanjska 4, 10000
Zagreb
Croatia (Group Member)

Contact
Krešimir Loňcar – Managing Director
Tel.: +385 1 5577 385
Fax: +385 1 5577 384
Email: info@interrelo.com
Responsible for: Operations in Croatia

Croatia Relocation Guide

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary republic
Capital: Zagreb
Total Area: 56,594 km2
Population: 4,495,904
GDP Per Capita: (PPP): $17,683

Official languages: Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Religions: Roman Catholicism 87,8%, Orthodoxy 4,4%, Islam 1,3%, Protestantism 0,3%, Atheism or Agnosticism 5,2%, Other and unspecified 0,9%
Country code: +385
Currency: Kuna
Internet TLD: .hr
Voltage: Kuna

Brief Overview

Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe’s youngest nations. On 15 January 1992 Croatia was internationally recognized by the European Union and subsequently the United Nations. Croatia is a democratic parliamentary republic, with its seat of government in the capital city of Zagreb. The legal system of Croatia is civil law, strongly influenced by the legal heritage of Austria-Hungary

Croatia is located in Southeast Europe bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in the east, Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north and Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea in the south. The territory covers 56,594m2, consisting of 56,414 m2 of land and 128 m2 of water. It is the 27th largest European country and the 127th largest in the world.

Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is Continental, Mediterranean along the coast and Highland climate in the south-central region. Croatia has four separate seasons. The average temperature in winter is −0.5 °C and the average temperature in summer is 20.5 °C. Summers can be very warm with temperatures rising above 30 °C. Snowfall is common in the winter months, from December to March, and rain and fog are common in fall (September to November) and Spring (April to June).

Croatia is famous for its many national parks. Besides national parks, Croatian laws provide special protection to ten more nature parks and two strict natural reserves. Around ten percent of total territory of Croatia enjoys special protection by law in the aforementioned forms. There are more than 1100 islands and reefs scattered the length of the Dalmatian Coast, all of which are increasingly popular as tourist and retirement destinations. Only 66 of those islands are inhabited full time.

Culture

Because of its geographic position, Croatia represents a blend of four different cultural spheres. It is a crossroad of influences of the western culture and the east—ever since division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The Illyrian movement was the most significant period of national cultural history, as the 19th century period proved crucial in emancipation of Croatian language and saw unprecedented developments in all fields of art and culture, giving rise to a number of historical figures.

Croatia has 23 professional theatres, 14 professional children’s theatres and 27 amateur theatres visited by more than two million viewers per year. There are 24 professional orchestras, ensembles and choirs in the country, 117 cinemas, 175 museums and 1,685 libraries.

Media

The freedom of the press and the freedom of speech are guaranteed by the constitution of Croatia. Croatia ranked 62nd in the 2010 Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters without Borders.

Cuisine

Due to historical influences Croatian traditional cuisine varies from region to region. The coastal regions of Dalmatia and Istria share a culinary culture with other Mediterranean cuisines which prominently features various types of seafood, cooked vegetables and pasta. Well-known dishes from these areas include maneštra (vegetable stew), pašticada (cooked marinated beef), brudet (fish stew), rožata (custard pudding) and fritule (sweet fried pastry). Northern and eastern parts of the country foster a cuisine dominated by Central European influences and is closely related to Austrian and Hungarian cuisines. Commonly found dishes in these regions include štrukli (cheese puff pastry), Wiener Schnitzel (type of fried steak), palačinke (variety of pancake), fiš paprikaš (river fish stew) and gulaš (meat stew). Some dishes of Turkish origin which influenced Balkan cuisine like burek, ćevapi or sarma are also very popular round the country.

Driving

Croatia has laws stating that it is illegal to drive with more than 0.5% of alcohol in the system (but if in any kind of offence, zero tolerance applies);to drive without dipped headlights on during daylight saving period (last weekend in October until last weekend in March) to use a mobile phone whilst driving.

It is obligatory to carry a fluorescent vest in the car whilst driving in Croatia. You must wear the vest whilst attending to a breakdown, e.g. changing a tyre. All passengers must wear seat belts and special seats are required for infants. Children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat, they should be seated in the back of the car, using an approved car seat. Expats may use their driver’s licenses for a year from entering the country, with no restrictions. In case of relocating for a long time period, you must obtain a Croatian license. Relocation is always proven by a residence permit and an address card. Driving is on the right with overtaking on the left. In case of an accident or any major damage or theft a European Accident Report” form must be filled in and signed by all parties involved in the accident. The emergency services are on 112. Emergency road help with advice in English is on 987.

Rental Market

The rental market in Croatia is quite limited, especially during the summer. As Croatia attracts a big amount of tourists, the main emphasis is on holiday rentals. However, long term rentals are also available, especially on the metropolitan areas of Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.

The monthly rental prices in Croatia vary, depending upon location and the kind of accommodation you prefer. Croatian house prices have stabilized, after mild but steady price falls since 2008. From the peak of the boom in September 2008, the national house price index had fallen 11% to October 2010. Property prices on the Adriatic Coast, Croatia’s most popular tourist destination have been more resilient. Price rises are unlikely to return to the momentum of pre-crisis years.
In Zagreb there is a high demand for long term rental accommodation from international businesses that have set up their central European base in the city. Returns on a three bedroom apartment in central Zagreb can be up to €2000 per month.

Standard Tenancy: Minimum 12 months
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Commission is paid by the landlord and the assignee
Utilities: Usually tenants responsibility, not included within rent

Banking

Opening a foreign or local currency bank account in Croatia is a straightforward process and can be done at any major bank. The only requirements are proof of identification (i.e. passport or ID card) and a nominal sum to deposit which may vary from bank to bank.

In addition, some banks may request proof of residency prior to issuing an ATM card or providing Internet banking services. Most banks have English or German-speaking staff available to assist foreign customers. Once an account is opened the customer has immediate access to his/her funds, but will only be able to withdraw them from that specific bank until an ATM card has been issued, which usually takes from one to two weeks. The official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna– HRK.

Schools

The Croatian education system consists of various schooling types: kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. Holidays typically run for two weeks at Christmas, one week in April and from mid-June to September. Public education in Croatia is free from kindergarten until the end of secondary education, as it is subsidized by the Ministry of Education.

There are approximately 450 kindergartens in Croatia, although not all are public. Kindergarten is not compulsory, but children can enter as early as one year old.
Primary education is compulsory in Croatia, and starts at the age of 6. There are nearly a thousand public primary schools, directed by the municipalities themselves.

Grading is done on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “insufficient” and 5 “excellent”. 1 is the only failing grade. Secondary schooling is optional in Croatia, although there is a strong movement to make it compulsory. The grading system used in secondary schools is identical to the primary school system. Students used to take an exam to enter university, but this was replaced in 2009 by a State Secondary School Leaving Examination for all students.

As for English-speaking options the American School in Zagreb is the only truly international school and recognized as such. American International School of Zagreb (AISZ) accepts children from Junior Kindergarten (must be age 4 by October 1st of the year of entrance) through to High school. The school is located at Voćarska Street, a residential area, about 10 minutes from the main square. The academic year usually begins in the last week of August and ends in mid June.
The primary curriculum is based on the American public school system and the International Baccalaureate is used in the High school. Instruction is in English. Those students with limited English are offered instruction in English as a second language. The foreign language program starts in Senior kindergarten and includes German and French classes. Croatian is not taught at the school, except as an after-school activity.

The French School of Zagreb (Ecole Francaise de Zagreb) is under the jurisdiction of the French Embassy in Zagreb, and is in the same building with the German School of Zagreb known as Eurocampus. Excellent co-operation of those two schools provides the children of both schools to participate in joint activities. Eurocampus is located in Fratrovac, about 10 minutes by car from the city centre. The French school takes children from ages 3-16. It is open to children of all nationalities, regardless of whether their native language is French or not, but a basic knowledge of French is required. The French School of Zagreb is a part of a network of French schools abroad so its pupils can continue their education in any of international French schools.
Curriculum is based on and accredited by the French public school system, and teachers are a graduate French professors coming from the French Ministry of Education.

German International School of Zagreb (Die Deutsche Internationale Schule in Zagreb) is an internationally recognized and is supported by the German Central Office for Education Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen – ZFA). German School of Zagreb is open to students of all nationalities and it is located in EuroCampus together with the French school. EuroCampus allows students to live and learn in a European environment.
The German school takes children from ages 3-16. The working language is German, in kindergarten as well as in the school. Children whose first language is not German will be offered a language program “German for Foreigners”. Croatian language, Croatian history are compulsory as well as English and French languages. The school follows a curriculum based on German public school system.

As for Croatia-speaking options (with English as a second language) we can advise you to visit Matija Gubec School (Age 7-15, this school follows both a general Croatian curriculum and a separate International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and it is officially accredited and licensed by the IB organization in Geneva, international pupils are expected to speak English and Croatian as a foreign language is compulsory) and XV. Gimnazija MIOC (From age 15, International Baccalaureate (IB) program, officially accredited and licensed by the IB organization in Geneva, the working language is English, but every pupil has the opportunity to study his native or best language, literature and culture, the main focus is in the areas of Maths and Science)

Health Care

The Croatian healthcare system offers a wide range of facilities, both out- and in-patient, public and private, from which to choose. The standard of healthcare in the republic of Croatia is generally on a par with that in many European countries, but it is considered expensive overall. The state-run facilities may not have tremendous aesthetic appeal on the outside, but the quality of care provided is quite high. All visiting foreigners are entitled to free basic emergency first aid at state hospitals. Some EU countries such as the UK are signatory to agreements which entitle their citizens to free medical treatment while visiting Croatia. Form E111 is required when seeking treatment.

There are no particular risks or health concerns associated with living in or visiting Croatia. The public water supply is considered safe in all major cities in Croatia. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of good quality and safe to eat using normal washing precautions. Sewage and garbage disposal is adequate. No special immunizations are required for travel in Croatia.

Employment

Employment of foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Croatia is strictly regulated by the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act. All foreigners must obtain a work permit in order to seek or accept employment in Croatia.

Work permits are generally issued to foreign nationals who meet one or all of the following criteria: have obtained permission for permanent residency; and provide proof that they will be involved in specific activities such as foreign investment, or other areas of business deemed beneficial by the government intend to conduct professional activities as set forth in technology transfer treaties or long-term production cooperation treaties

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary republic
Capital: Zagreb
Total Area: 56,594 km2
Population: 4,495,904
GDP Per Capita: (PPP): $17,683

Official languages: Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Religions: Roman Catholicism 87,8%, Orthodoxy 4,4%, Islam 1,3%, Protestantism 0,3%, Atheism or Agnosticism 5,2%, Other and unspecified 0,9%
Country code: +385
Currency: Kuna
Internet TLD: .hr
Voltage: Kuna

Brief Overview

Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe’s youngest nations. On 15 January 1992 Croatia was internationally recognized by the European Union and subsequently the United Nations. Croatia is a democratic parliamentary republic, with its seat of government in the capital city of Zagreb. The legal system of Croatia is civil law, strongly influenced by the legal heritage of Austria-Hungary

Croatia is located in Southeast Europe bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in the east, Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north and Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea in the south. The territory covers 56,594m2, consisting of 56,414 m2 of land and 128 m2 of water. It is the 27th largest European country and the 127th largest in the world.

Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is Continental, Mediterranean along the coast and Highland climate in the south-central region. Croatia has four separate seasons. The average temperature in winter is −0.5 °C and the average temperature in summer is 20.5 °C. Summers can be very warm with temperatures rising above 30 °C. Snowfall is common in the winter months, from December to March, and rain and fog are common in fall (September to November) and Spring (April to June).

Croatia is famous for its many national parks. Besides national parks, Croatian laws provide special protection to ten more nature parks and two strict natural reserves. Around ten percent of total territory of Croatia enjoys special protection by law in the aforementioned forms. There are more than 1100 islands and reefs scattered the length of the Dalmatian Coast, all of which are increasingly popular as tourist and retirement destinations. Only 66 of those islands are inhabited full time.

Culture

Because of its geographic position, Croatia represents a blend of four different cultural spheres. It is a crossroad of influences of the western culture and the east—ever since division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. Illyrian movement was the most significant period of national cultural history, as the 19th century period proved crucial in emancipation of Croatian language and saw unprecedented developments in all fields of art and culture, giving rise to a number of historical figures.

Croatia has 23 professional theatres, 14 professional children’s theatres and 27 amateur theatres visited by more than two million viewers per year. There are 24 professional orchestras, ensembles and choirs in the country, 117 cinemas, 175 museums and 1,685 libraries.

Media

The freedom of the press and the freedom of speech are guaranteed by the constitution of Croatia. Croatia ranked 62nd in the 2010 Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters without Borders.

Cuisine

Due to historical influences Croatian traditional cuisine varies from region to region. The coastal regions of Dalmatia and Istria share a culinary culture with other Mediterranean cuisines which prominently features various types of seafood, cooked vegetables and pasta. Well-known dishes from these areas include maneštra (vegetable stew), pašticada (cooked marinated beef), brudet (fish stew), rožata (custard pudding) and fritule (sweet fried pastry). Northern and eastern parts of the country foster a cuisine dominated by Central European influences and is closely related to Austrian and Hungarian cuisines. Commonly found dishes in these regions include štrukli (cheese puff pastry), Wiener Schnitzel (type of fried steak), palačinke (variety of pancake), fiš paprikaš (river fish stew) and gulaš (meat stew). Some dishes of Turkish origin which influenced Balkan cuisine like burek, ćevapi or sarma are also very popular round the country.

Driving

Croatia has laws stating that it is illegal to drive with more than 0.5% of alcohol in the system (but if in any kind of offence, zero tolerance applies);to drive without dipped headlights on during daylight saving period (last weekend in October until last weekend in March) to use a mobile phone whilst driving.

It is obligatory to carry a fluorescent vest in the car whilst driving in Croatia. You must wear the vest whilst attending to a breakdown, e.g. changing a tyre. All passengers must wear seat belts and special seats are required for infants. Children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat, they should be seated in the back of the car, using an approved car seat. Expats may use their driver’s licenses for a year from entering the country, with no restrictions. In case of relocating for a long time period, you must obtain a Croatian license. Relocation is always proven by a residence permit and an address card. Driving is on the right with overtaking on the left. In case of an accident or any major damage or theft a European Accident Report” form must be filled in and signed by all parties involved in the accident. The emergency services are on 112. Emergency road help with advice in English is on 987.

Rental Market

The rental market in Croatia is quite limited, especially during the summer. As Croatia attracts a big amount of tourists, the main emphasis is on holiday rentals. However, long term rentals are also available, especially on the metropolitan areas of Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.

The monthly rental prices in Croatia vary, depending upon location and the kind of accommodation you prefer. Croatian house prices have stabilized, after mild but steady price falls since 2008. From the peak of the boom in September 2008, the national house price index had fallen 11% to October 2010. Property prices on the Adriatic Coast, Croatia’s most popular tourist destination have been more resilient. Price rises are unlikely to return to the momentum of pre-crisis years.
In Zagreb there is a high demand for long term rental accommodation from international businesses that have set up their central European base in the city. Returns on a three bedroom apartment in central Zagreb can be up to €2000 per month.

Standard Tenancy: Minimum 12 months
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Commission is paid by the landlord and the assignee
Utilities: Usually tenants responsibility, not included within rent

Banking

Opening a foreign or local currency bank account in Croatia is a straightforward process and can be done at any major bank. The only requirements are proof of identification (i.e. passport or ID card) and a nominal sum to deposit which may vary from bank to bank.

In addition, some banks may request proof of residency prior to issuing an ATM card or providing Internet banking services. Most banks have English or German-speaking staff available to assist foreign customers. Once an account is opened the customer has immediate access to his/her funds, but will only be able to withdraw them from that specific bank until an ATM card has been issued, which usually takes from one to two weeks. The official currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna– HRK.

Schools

The Croatian education system consists of various schooling types: kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. Holidays typically run for two weeks at Christmas, one week in April and from mid-June to September. Public education in Croatia is free from kindergarten until the end of secondary education, as it is subsidized by the Ministry of Education.

There are approximately 450 kindergartens in Croatia, although not all are public. Kindergarten is not compulsory, but children can enter as early as one year old.
Primary education is compulsory in Croatia, and starts at the age of 6. There are nearly a thousand public primary schools, directed by the municipalities themselves.

Grading is done on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “insufficient” and 5 “excellent”. 1 is the only failing grade. Secondary schooling is optional in Croatia, although there is a strong movement to make it compulsory. The grading system used in secondary schools is identical to the primary school system. Students used to take an exam to enter university, but this was replaced in 2009 by a State Secondary School Leaving Examination for all students.

As for English-speaking options the American School in Zagreb is the only truly international school and recognized as such. American International School of Zagreb (AISZ) accepts children from Junior Kindergarten (must be age 4 by October 1st of the year of entrance) through to High school. The school is located at Voćarska Street, a residential area, about 10 minutes from the main square. The academic year usually begins in the last week of August and ends in mid June.
The primary curriculum is based on the American public school system and the International Baccalaureate is used in the High school. Instruction is in English. Those students with limited English are offered instruction in English as a second language. The foreign language program starts in Senior kindergarten and includes German and French classes. Croatian is not taught at the school, except as an after-school activity.

The French School of Zagreb (Ecole Francaise de Zagreb) is under the jurisdiction of the French Embassy in Zagreb, and is in the same building with the German School of Zagreb known as Eurocampus. Excellent co-operation of those two schools provides the children of both schools to participate in joint activities. Eurocampus is located in Fratrovac, about 10 minutes by car from the city centre. The French school takes children from ages 3-16. It is open to children of all nationalities, regardless of whether their native language is French or not, but a basic knowledge of French is required. The French School of Zagreb is a part of a network of French schools abroad so its pupils can continue their education in any of international French schools.
Curriculum is based on and accredited by the French public school system, and teachers are a graduate French professors coming from the French Ministry of Education.

German International School of Zagreb (Die Deutsche Internationale Schule in Zagreb) is an internationally recognized and is supported by the German Central Office for Education Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen – ZFA). German School of Zagreb is open to students of all nationalities and it is located in EuroCampus together with the French school. EuroCampus allows students to live and learn in a European environment.
The German school takes children from ages 3-16. The working language is German, in kindergarten as well as in the school. Children whose first language is not German will be offered a language program “German for Foreigners”. Croatian language, Croatian history are compulsory as well as English and French languages. The school follows a curriculum based on German public school system.

As for Croatia-speaking options (with English as a second language) we can advise you to visit Matija Gubec School (Age 7-15, this school follows both a general Croatian curriculum and a separate International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and it is officially accredited and licensed by the IB organization in Geneva, international pupils are expected to speak English and Croatian as a foreign language is compulsory) and XV. Gimnazija MIOC (From age 15, International Baccalaureate (IB) program, officially accredited and licensed by the IB organization in Geneva, the working language is English, but every pupil has the opportunity to study his native or best language, literature and culture, the main focus is in the areas of Maths and Science)

Health Care

The Croatian healthcare system offers a wide range of facilities, both out- and in-patient, public and private, from which to choose. The standard of healthcare in the republic of Croatia is generally on a par with that in many European countries, but it is considered expensive overall. The state-run facilities may not have tremendous aesthetic appeal on the outside, but the quality of care provided is quite high. All visiting foreigners are entitled to free basic emergency first aid at state hospitals. Some EU countries such as the UK are signatory to agreements which entitle their citizens to free medical treatment while visiting Croatia. Form E111 is required when seeking treatment.

There are no particular risks or health concerns associated with living in or visiting Croatia. The public water supply is considered safe in all major cities in Croatia. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of good quality and safe to eat using normal washing precautions. Sewage and garbage disposal is adequate. No special immunizations are required for travel in Croatia.

Employment

Employment of foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Croatia is strictly regulated by the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act. All foreigners must obtain a work permit in order to seek or accept employment in Croatia.

Work permits are generally issued to foreign nationals who meet one or all of the following criteria: have obtained permission for permanent residency; an provide proof that they will be involved in specific activities such as foreign investment, or other areas of business deemed beneficial by the government intend to conduct professional activities as set forth in technology transfer treaties or long-term production cooperation treaties

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