Big changes have already been announced for travel in 2023 as Croatia has revealed its move to enter the Schengen Area and the eurozone in the new year, becoming part of a collective that changes travel rules to the destination.
On the 1st of January 2023, Croatia will officially become part of the Schengen Area, followed by a 3-month period of adaptation on many fronts. Despite this, the travel rules for Croatia will transition to Schengen Area rules immediately on the 1st of January, though some procedures will change over the 3 months.
Croatia will join 26 other European countries that have officially abolished the passport rules and individual border controls concerning their mutual borders. This means that from the 1st of January, travellers entering Croatia from a neighbouring Schengen Area state will not need a passport or be required to follow other border control rules that would otherwise apply to Croatia.
During this 3-month adaptation period, Croatian international airports will begin transitioning, adapting their border controls upon entry for those entering from the Schengen Area states. This transition period is expected to end by the 26th of March 2023 and following the end of this period flights that originate in the Schengen Area and land in Croatia will be free of border controls completely.
This 3-month period will also apply to other areas, such as the change in official currency in Croatia from kunas to euros. For the first 2 weeks of 2023, both forms of currency will be accepted as payment, following this, for the first 6 months of 2023, banks and exchange offices will allow the exchange of kunas to euros for free to allow residents to adapt to the big change. The cash machines all over Croatia will be changed to euros on the 1st of January 2023.
Following this announcement from Croatia, the FCDO has updated its advice on the Foreign Travel Advice page to reflect the change and inform travellers of the changes when travelling to Croatia from the UK. Those holding a passport are, as previously, able to travel to Schengen Area countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without requiring a visa, this will now apply to Croatia from the 1st of January. Any longer stay will require adhering to the entry requirements of the Croatian government.
The FCDO said in this update, “if you are travelling to Croatia and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
“To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Croatian government’s entry requirements. Check with the Croatian Embassy in London as to what type of visa and/or work permit you may need. If you are travelling to Croatia for work, read the guidance on visas and permits. If you stay in Croatia with a Croatia residence permit or long-stay visa, this line does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for Croatia.”
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