Croatia helps stranded foreign travelers due to COVID-19

Croatia no action on expired visas

Croatia is taking a considerate stand in their immigration process towards foreigners who are stuck in the country. A notification was issued by the Croatian Ministry of Interior. This was regarding foreign nationals stranded in the country. These nationals are stranded in Croatia due to the border closure and similar travel restrictions. These restrictions are in place owing to COVID-19. It was announced that they won’t face any penal consequences for staying beyond their visa validity or permitted stay period.

A notice published on the website of the Ministry recently. It said that no action will be taken against the stranded foreigners as per the Aliens Act. This is a special consideration granted considering the COVID-19 crisis.

The Ministry has identified a certain number of aliens in Croatia. These aliens are facing a difficult situation currently. They are eligible to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 days. But due to the COVID-19 situation, they are unable to leave the country within the stipulated time. This stipulated time is fixed by the Schengen Borders Code.

Hence, the Ministry has issued necessary instructions to all such non-EEA travelers. This is as per recommendations by epidemiologists. The travelers are told to submit their data primarily by e-mail to pitanja@mup.hr. They can also contact via the number of competent police administration. This will ensure that they are registered. Once registered, they won’t face hassles while leaving the Croatian territory.

The Ministry has also asked such stranded travelers not to visit any police station or administration office in person. This is unless when they are invited by an official over the phone.

On March 19, 2020, the Republic of Croatia’s Civil Protection Headquarters adopted the Decision on the temporary ban on crossing the Croatian state border. The government took a decision in the interest of the population of the Republic of Croatia. The emphasis was on saving them from the pandemic. It said that persons are temporarily not allowed to cross the state border at all border crossings of the country. This message was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Under these travel restrictions, Croatian citizens, irrespective of where they are located right now, will be allowed to return to Croatia or go out of the country.

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