Brexit: Residence, driving licences and border checks on persons at the EU external border

The Croatian Government has now published its initial guidance for UK nationals living in Croatia regarding the UK’s Exit from the EU. For the Republic of Croatia, it is vital to preserve the rights of Croatian citizens in the UK, as well as the UK citizens in Croatia, and provide them with clarity regarding their future status. The Government is preparing 2 draft laws to ensure a smooth transition.

Residence registration is very important in the case of any scenario for the future relations between the European Union and the UK.

Therefore, all UK citizens and their family members residing in the Republic of Croatia are strongly recommended to register their residence/apply for a residence card as a family member. 

Please visit the following site:  ( available in Croatian); registration forms available on the following links: Form 1b  or Form 2b for family members who are third-country nationals , Form 3b for permanent residence ). 

Once applicants complete the registration of temporary residence in line with the provisions of the Aliens Act (OG, 130/11, 74/13, 69/17 and 46/18), they will be immediately issued with a Registration Certificate (“Potvrda o prijavi privremenog boravka”) in a paper form, free of charge.

If they wish, they can apply for a residence card (for which the administrative fee is to be paid in the amount of HRK 79.50).

UK nationals who apply for permanent residence will be issued with residence cards (for which the administrative fee is to be paid in the amount of HRK 79.50).

Family members of UK nationals, who are not nationals of an EU Member State, are to apply for a residence card/permanent residence card as a family member (for which the administrative fee is to be paid in the amount of HRK 79.50).

UK citizens and their family members can register their residence at a police administration/ police station according to their place of residence (The list of police administrations/police stations is available at: 

The registration of residence and the relevant documents are a clear proof that their holder is a citizen of the United Kingdom or a family member who already resided in the Republic of Croatia before the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. 

Driving licences

Starting from the day on which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union, UK driving licences will be subject to regulations relating to foreign driving licences.

UK driving licences will be valid in the Republic of Croatia for up to one year from the day on which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. After that, they will have to be replaced with Croatian driving licences and the applicant will have to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.

UK nationals and nationals of other countries who are holders of UK driving licences are advised to apply for the replacement of their driving licences with a Croatian driving licence as soon as possible.
Applicants who submit their application prior to the date on which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union will be able to replace their UK driving licences under the conditions stipulated for the replacement of EEA driving licences in which case it is not necessary to submit a certificate of medical fitness to drive.

Both the EU format driving licences and the former paper driving licences are equally recognised.

UK driving licences are replaced with Croatian driving licences without an obligation to take a driving exam, regardless of the category of the vehicle listed on the UK driving licence.

Border checks on persons at the EU external border

Info: This section does not apply for travels in the Common Travel Area between the United Kingdom and Ireland 

Union  law on  border  checks  at  the  EU  external  borders  on  persons  distinguishes between controls of EU citizens and of third country nationals. As of the withdrawal date, controls of UK nationals upon entry to and exit from the Schengen area as well as to and from Member States for which the decision on lifting internal controls has not been taken yet but which apply Schengen rules at their external borders will follow the rules for third country nationals.
(Please note that UK nationals who are members of the family of a Union citizen exercising his or her right to free movement are subject to the rules set out in Article 5 of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States,OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.)

This means that they will no longer enjoy facilitations at the borders provided  for EU citizens, nationals of the contracting states of the European Economic Area, and Swiss nationals (“EU/EEA/CH  citizens”) related to the free movement rights. In particular, UK nationals will not be entitled to use the separatelanes provided for EU/EEA/CH citizens to carry out checks at border crossings and will be subject to thorough checks of all entry conditions for third country nationals upon entry.

The entry checkson UK nationals will include verification of:

  • the possession of a valid travel document for crossing the border; the document needs to have a validity of no more than ten years, and shall be still valid for three months after the intended departure from the Member States;

(Please note that UK national passports issued prior to the withdrawal date remain valid travel documents)

  • the duration of the stay:
    • for short stays in the Schengen area, UK nationals will be subject to limitations as regards the authorised duration of stay within the Schengen area (with amaximum of 90 days in a 180-day period);
    • for long stays, they will in principle require a residence permit or long stay visa issued by national authorities, under the national rules;-relevant databases with a view to verify:


  • the  identity  and  the nationality  of  the  third-country  national  and  of  the authenticity  and  validity  of  the  travel  document  for  crossingthe  border, and in particular*:
    • if an alert  has  been  issued  in  the  Schengen Information System  (SIS) for the  purposes  of  refusing  entry  and  to  check  possible  threats  to  public policy, internal security, public health and international relations;


  • the  purpose  (e.g.  tourism  or  work)  and  the  conditions  of  the  intended  stay  (e.g. accommodation, internal travels);


  • the  existence  of  sufficient  means  of  subsistence  (i.e.  having  sufficient  means  to pay for the intended stay and return travel)

(The  Commission  submitted  a  proposal, on  13  November  2018,  to  exempt  UK nationals from the requirement to be in possession of a short-stay visa (“Schengen-visa”) when crossing the external borders, where the intended duration of the stay in  the  Schengen  area  is  90  days  within  a  180-day  period.  It  is  now  up  to  the European Parliament and the Council to adopt this proposal. A continued exemption from Schengen visa will require that nationals of all EU Member States are equally exempted  from  UK  short-stay  visa  requirements,  following  the  visa  reciprocity principle.)

Travellers are advised to verify, prior to travel, the validity of travel documents and to ensure that they  fulfil  all the above  conditions before they travel to the EU. The non-fulfilment of any of the entry conditions may result in refusal of entry issued in  line  with  the  procedure  set  out  in Union  law with  regard  to  third  country nationals.

Checks on exitinclude verification of:

  • the possession of a valid travel document for crossing the external border;
  • verification  that  the person  did  not  exceed  the  maximum  duration  of  stay  in  the territory of the Member States;
  • relevant databases similarly as upon entry checks.

*Please  note  that  the  possibility  of  a  temporary  derogation  from  the  principle,  subject  to  some conditions,  of  the  systematic  checks  against  relevant  databases at  some  land  and  sea  border  crossing pointsdoes not apply to third country nationals (Article 8(2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/399


Source: British Embassy Zagreb

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