1st official digital nomad sees Croatia as gorgeous and affordable place to live

Photo /2021_ilustrac_f/HTZ_2021_Dig-nomadi_visual-1.jpg

Melissa Paul, who was the first person to be provided with Croatia's special visa for digital nomads, told the AFP news agency that this was "a beautiful gift". Paul got her visa in January and thus she became Croatia's first official digital nomad.

"Croatia is gorgeous, it's beautiful living here, affordable compared to other places, has a great climate, good internet access," Paul, a US marketing consultant, who lives in the Istrian town of Labin, was quoted as saying.

Croatia offers the special visas to digital workers from outside the European Union, making it possible for them to stay for up to a year and exempting them from income tax.

Applicants need to prove they work remotely, have accommodation and health insurance and earn at least 2,200 euros ($2,700) a month.

Paul is one of about 100 people to have applied since the scheme started in January, more than half of them Americans and British, according to the AFP.

The government has so far approved 33 visas and ministers hope the idea will take off once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, according to the AFP's article

Croatia's new Aliens Act, adopted in late November 2020, introduces the term digital nomad, that is, a foreign national who performs work using IT from Croatia, but for employers that are not based in Croatia.

Since those are highly qualified foreign nationals and IT experts, the legislative changes provide for tax exemptions for incomes they earn based on their status of digital nomads so as to encourage them to choose Croatia as a place to work and live in.

HTZ promoting Croatia as attractive destination for digital nomads

This March, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) launched a new promotional campaign "Croatia, your new office!" with the aim of promoting Croatia as a suitable destination for digital nomads.

As part of the campaign a special landing page "Croatia, your new office" was created in English on the Croatia.hr website which contains all the important information related to the permit application process and stay of digital nomads in Croatia.

"Croatia is one of the first members of the European Union to regulate a one-year temporary stay for digital nomads, and this is the result of the cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said.