June 12, 2021 – There has been a lot of interest in the new Croatian digital nomad permit, with many seeking to know the experiences of successful applicants. Meet one, Kevin Macadam from UK, who is now enjoying life in Novigrad Dalmatia.
Access to Croatia is not as easy as it used to be for the British now that the reality of Brexit has entered into force, and – like other non-EU / EEA citizens, the British cannot stay than 90 at a time nowadays. Having heard of the Croatian digital nomad, Briton Kevin Macadam decided to give it a try, as he explains below. I sent questions to Kevin for an interview, but I think the text reads better without my questions. Here is Kevin’s story:
Our trip to Croatia started last year when we were walking our dog through rainy Yorkshire and discussing where we would like to live in retirement.
And then we looked at each other and said why are we waiting to retire when we were both working remotely.
We had just come back from a vacation on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and thought it would be great to live in Italy and so we started to research and find out how we could live there.
Unfortunately, in order to obtain temporary residence, we had to set up an Italian company and have our wages paid into this company so that they could take their share of the tax.
Our employers would not have accepted that and so we thought it was. I then spotted the term Digital Nomad Visa online and looked at which companies were offering them in Europe as we had to consider taking our cat and dog with us. Georgia – too cold Estonia – too cold and then we saw Croatia! Having been on vacation to Hvar and Dubrovnik before, we knew we loved the country and I already had friends there as I have been involved in British baseball for 30 years and I knew the Croatian baseball president and federation secretary European baseball players who live in Zagreb and Karlovac respectively.
This is how we chose Croatia, we already knew we loved the landscapes, the food, the cost of living and the people.
We traveled on March 1, 2021 in a small window when we were cleared out of the UK and arrived at the usual 90 day time. We then requested the DNV about 6 weeks after the start of our stay. We had tried to get over it before December 31st but the UK was strictly on lockdown so we couldn’t get over it.
We applied online through the Croatian government website and submitted all of our supporting documents and waited. We were asked to go to the police station and we went for an interview, then we went to a separate department to review the documents. Unfortunately we thought our UK government paper DBS check would be enough but apparently we needed it apostilled so we sent it back to UK then mailed it and once submitted in person, our residency has been approved.
The only thing I would say is that a slight downside was filling out the forms online, then we had to fill them out in paper format as well, but I’m sure they will sort that out in the future .
We are aware that we are old for digital nomads and believe that the residence permit should be marketed to people nearing retirement or in a more advanced age group (I am 54 and Lisa 46) and in as such, we probably have more disposable income.
I also hope that the government will rethink what will happen at the end of the first year when the first permits expire. We would like to make Croatia our home and are currently looking to buy a property here. However, we will be forced to leave for 90 days once our permit expires, so we will likely go to a neighboring non-Schengen country to wait for the deadline to end. The risk is that some people will go say Montenegro or Serbia and decide they like it more there and don’t come back. I think a simple extension every year, provided there is no criminal activity and we continue to meet the criteria, understanding that this will not lead to permanent citizenship would eliminate that risk.
It was easy to get the information as we had read articles from TCN as well as Expat in Croatia so we just followed the instructions.
Ironically, I voted for Brexit and my wife voted for the rest. I regret this decision now! The permit allows us to live in a better climate in a safe country for over 90 days.
Croatia is an ideal destination for nomads. There is a lot of outdoor activities to do, the food is delicious, the people are friendly and English and German are widely spoken by the locals. There are excellent internet offers through partners who have partnered with the program. The biggest problem we had and the longest it took was finding a place to live. We reached over 100 people on NjuÅ¡kalo, Airbnb and booking.com asking for long term rental and year round income. We asked them to calculate what they earn over the summer months and divide by 12 and only one person our landlady Dolores accepted and hence why we ended up in Novigrad, Dalmatia.
Everyone else was not interested because they could earn a lot during the summer. Turns out we couldn’t have picked a better city. The locals are very friendly and made us feel welcome. Its position is ideal for visiting all of Croatia. So far we have visited Opatija, Pula, Rovinj, Karlovac, Zagreb, Split, hvar, Korcula, orebic, varazdin, plitvice and Karla and in the coming weeks we will be venturing further south.
Our way of life consists of working from home, traveling the country, eating good food, taking the dog for long walks, going to the cafe, swimming in the sea and drinking the best secret Croatian wine. kept in the world!
People can follow our adventures @ livingincroatia2021 on Instagram.
For more news and articles on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.