As of July 2015, applicants have the right to work after 9 months from the day of lodging the application, if the procedure has not been completed due to no fault of the applicant.1 To this end, they do not need a residence or work permit, or a work registration certificate, until the decision on their application is final.2
The Ministry of Interior should issue a document at the request of an applicant to certify that the applicant has acquired the right to work. On the other side, if the applicant does not meet the conditions, the Ministry shall render a decision refusing to issue the certificate.3
However, it is quite difficult for them to find a job, due to the general difficulties resulting from their language skills, to the limited or no academic or professional background, as well as to the recession and the high national rates of unemployment. Asylum seekers do not have access to vocational training schemes.
Asylum seekers can work on a voluntary basis in both Reception Centres for Asylum Seekers.4 According to the Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions, asylum seekers accommodated in the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers may, at their own request and with a signed statement, assist in activities related to the maintenance of the centre and housing such as cleaning landscaping, gardening, help in storehouse, washing, ironing, painting the walls, etc., and can be voluntarily involved in work for the benefit of local community or the work of humanitarian organisations.
Since the beginning of 2014, a Job Centre was opened within the Reception Centre in Zagreb. In exchange for their work i.e. cleaning the centre premises, cleaning the gym and helping with the cleaning in the restaurant, etc., asylum seekers receive additional clothes, shoes, items for personal hygiene and so forth.5 According to information provided by Croatian Red Cross, the Job Centre is active twice a week in the Reception Centre in Zagreb, or more often when needed, for a duration of 90 minutes. Participation is voluntary and usually 5 to 20 persons participate in the activity.6 During 2016, 90 persons participated in job centre in Reception centre in Zagreb. A Job Centre also operates in Kutina.