Stretching along the northern edges of the Mediterranean Sea into the Adriatic Sea, the Central European country of Croatia has grown in popularity among international tourists in recent years. And it’s no wonder why.
A close neighbor to long-celebrated destinations such as Italy and Greece, the country is similarly rich in cultural, architectural and historical sites, unique cuisine, scenic landscapes and natural diversity, but Croatia can generally be enjoyed at a lower cost.
Some of the popular destinations you may have heard of among tourists are Zagreb, Croatia’s capital and major metropolis; Split, with its beaches and Roman ruins, in Dalmatia; and the picturesque, coastal city of Dubrovnik, surrounded by medieval architecture and 13th-century stone walls.
When the Republic of Croatia rejoined the European Union (EU) in 2013, it was only accepted as the 27th member of Europe’s borderless Schengen area, while adopting the euro as its official currency on January 1, 2023. .
What does this mean for American travelers looking to make Croatia their next destination or part of a grand European tour? Well, luckily, that won’t change much for incoming US visitors to the country for tourism and business purposes.
This is because, under the current visa waiver arrangement, US citizens traveling to member states of the Schengen Area must stay for no more than 90 days within a 180-day period.
As briefly defined by SchengenVisaInfo, the Schengen area is the product of “an agreement between several European countries to have free borders and a common visa policy and travel requirements for non-EU nationals.”
With Croatia’s recent integration into the Schengen area, it adopts the Convention’s shared rules and regulations regarding international visitors, including visa requirements. Also, from now on, Croatian consular offices will issue Schengen visas as opposed to country-specific visas.
With that change, the biggest thing for U.S. tourists to keep in mind is that time spent in Croatia will count toward a maximum total of 90 days for non-Schengen nationals (yes, even visa-exempt ones). region (ie, any of its 27 member states).
However, it is important to remember that US travelers must still hold a US passport, which is valid for at least 90 days beyond the planned length of their stay in Croatia.
Based on the Covid-related travel restrictions the world has become accustomed to during the pandemic, there are no vaccination or testing requirements for US citizens wishing to enter Croatia.
If you’re doing some research for a trip to the continent, it’s worth pointing out that non-EU countries are sometimes referred to as “third countries” and non-EU residents as “third-party nationals”. Using different travel policies.
Prospective observers should also note that some EU member states have opted out of the open-border Schengen area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Ireland. Conversely, there are four Schengen Area member states that are not part of the EU: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. So, when you prepare your travel documents, make sure you are aware of your destination country’s status in Europe’s various forums.
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