We are receiving quite a few emails asking what happens after July 1 on a number of topics. Apart from being able to state that one may no longer find the brand prosek, or a restaurant which serves olive oil in a jug - according to EU regulations and decisions - we are as much in the dark as anyone. 

A rare piece of enlightenment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, however, as the visa advice section was updated, with special attention to the important Russian tourism market. At the end of the update, the information that all Schengen visa holders can enter Croatia without additional paperwork requirements. The update in full: 

"Since it is set to join the European Union on 1 July 2013, Croatia’s visa policy is fully harmonized with that of the EU as of 1 April. This means that from that date onwards the classic visa regime will apply for the citizens of Russia and Turkey as well as citizens of all those countries that need visa for entering the EU member countries.

However, due to the importance of the Russian market, which in recent years has shown a significant increase in tourist traffic, Croatia is trying to shorten and simplify the visa issuance procedure as much as possible.

For entering Croatia, Russian citizens will be issued visas in a speedy manner (generally no longer than five days after the application is received). Multiple-entry visas can also be issued. Visa fee remains 35 EUR.

Russian citizens, after submitting the application at the Croatian Embassy in Moscow, will also be able to obtain visas through accredited tourist agencies at the embassy as well as through visa centres throughout Russia. After a public tender, VFS Global was chosen as the best applicant and will soon be signed an agreement with. We expect around 150,000 visa applications annually, so visa centres will greatly facilitate the procedure.

Since the number of tourists from Ukraine and Turkey is also growing each year, preparations similar to those in Moscow are underway at the Croatian embassies in Kiev and Ankara as well as the consulate general in Istanbul.

Pursuant to the Government’s decision, from 1 January until 31 December 2013 all aliens holders of valid Schengen documents do not require an additional (Croatian) visa for entry and short-term stay in Croatia."

For the latest official advice on visa requirements, click here.

Published in What's Happening