In November 2020, the Croatian Parliament passed a new Aliens Act, which will enter into force on 1 January 2021, and which envisages a new model of employment of foreigners.
Namely, in accordance with the current Aliens Act, every year the Government passed a Decision on determining the annual quota of employment permits for third-country nationals.
The new employment model which will come into force envisions the obligation of employers to first contact the Croatian Employment Service to conduct a labour market test in order to find a workforce. In the event that there is no available labour force in the Republic of Croatia, the employer may submit an application for a residence and work permit for a third-country national to the competent police administration or police station, which will officially request the opinion of the Croatian Employment Service. Before issuing an opinion, the Croatian Employment Service will check the conditions prescribed by the Act that the employer must meet in order for the competent police administration or station to issue a residence and work permit for a third-country national.
The new Act also envisages an exception to the implementation of the labour market test in such a way that the Governing Board of the Croatian Employment Service will decide on the occupations for which the employer is not required to request a labour market test based on the situation on the national, regional and local labour market.
Also, it will not be necessary to conduct a labour market test for seasonal occupations in agriculture, forestry, catering and tourism for up to 90 days during a calendar year.
Without conducting a labour market test and without the opinion of the regional service or office of the Croatian Employment Service, and at the request of a third country national or employer, the Ministry of the Interior, through the police administration or police station, may issue residence and work permits to key personnel of companies, branches and representative offices, a third-country national for the purpose of self-employment in a company or craft in which he holds at least 51% of ownership, a highly qualified third-country national eligible for an EU Blue Card, a third-country national who is a service provider on behalf of or for a foreign employer who is not established in an EEA Member State and is not an affiliated company, a third-country national who is a manager, expert or trainee transferred within the company, a third-country national transferred within the company for long-term mobility purpose, third-country nationals who come for a certain period to perform certain tasks in accordance with agreements concluded by the Government with third countries, a third-country national who comes to implement strategic investment projects or is the holder of incentive measures in accordance with investment promotion regulation, and other necessary persons which have been transferred within the companies, as defined by the Protocol of Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the Marrakesh Treaty establishing the World Trade Organization.
This Act also prescribes the possibility of regulating temporary residence for so-called digital nomads, ie foreigners who perform work digitally for foreign employers.