Croatia joins the Schengen area

From 1 January 2023, checks on persons at internal land and sea borders between Croatia and the other countries in the Schengen area will be lifted. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted from 26 March 2023, given the need for this to coincide with the dates of IATA summer/winter time schedule.

Croatia is the 27th member of the Schengen area(layout.types.url.description). Council of the European Union made a decision in early December 2022 on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia.  From 1 January 2023, checks on persons at internal land and sea borders between Croatia and the other countries in the Schengen area will be lifted. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted from 26 March 2023, given the need for this to coincide with the dates of IATA summer/winter time schedule. From 1 January 2023 Croatia will also start to issue Schengen visas and make full use of the Schengen Information System. (More information: Council of the EU(layout.types.url.description).) 

Nice to know: Croatia's membership in the Schengen area was one of the longterm goals of the Twinning light project "Support to the National Visa System” between the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia(layout.types.url.description) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland(layout.types.url.description) almost ten years ago in 2013-2014. Due to its significant and extensive experience in issuing Schengen visas to third country nationals, Finland was chosen to lead the project that assisted Croatia in implementing the relevant practices, procedures and legislation – and thus, fullfilling the pre-conditions for joining the Schengen area. Project activities included e.g. training the staff members of Croatia’s diplomatic missions on processing the EU visa applications and detecting falsified and counterfeited documents.  In addition to the Unit for Passport and Visas at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, experts from the Finnish Border Guard and National Bureau of Investigation of the Finnish Police conducted training for Croatian colleagues.