Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 10/07/24


Croatian Law Centre Visit Website

Applicants have the right to work after the expiration of a period of three months from the day of lodging an application upon which the Ministry of Interior has not yet issued a decision if the applicant’s conduct has not affected the reasons for not issuing a decision.[1] The applicant shall exercise the right to work without the need for a residence and work permit or a work registration certificate until the decision on the application becomes enforceable.[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 hand, if the applicant does not meet the conditions, the Ministry shall issue a decision refusing to issue the certificate.[3] No appeal is permissible against the decision refusing to issue the certificate, but a lawsuit may be brought before an administrative court, within eight days of the day of delivery of the decision.[4]

The applicant must inform the Reception Center for Applicants for International protection in writing about the establishment of an employment relationship and submit the employer’s certificate of the concluded employment contract, within 15 days from the conclusion of the employment contract.[5]

A person whose status as an applicant has ceased must, within 15 days of the cessation of the status, return the certificate on the right to work to the Ministry of Interior for annulment.[6]

During 2023, 229 certificates granting the right to work were issued by the Ministry of Interior. In the period from January 1 to December 31, 2023, 141 applicants for international protection submitted work contracts to the Service for Reception and Accommodation of applicants for international protection.[7]

In 2023, the Administrative Court in Zagreb received three lawsuits against the Ministry of  Interior’s decisions refusing to issue a certificate of the right to work, and one lawsuit was rejected, while the two other cases were referred  in accordance with the Law on Courts.[8]

According to the Croatian Employment Service (CES), registration in the records of the CES is regulated by the Law on Labour Market. The applicant for international protection and her/his family members can register at the Employment Service if the Ministry of Interior has not made a decision on the application for international protection within the legally prescribed period. They should apply and register at the Employment Service according to their place of residence, i.e., residential address.[9] According to the data of the CES, two female and three male applicants for international protection were registered in the records of unemployed persons on 31 December 2023. In 2023, 22 applicants for international protection were receiving individual counselling at CES. In 2023, 26 applicants for international protection were employed through CES. During 2023, six applicants were included in the measures of the active employment policy with the aim of a more successful and faster integration into the labour market [10]

Applicants can work on a voluntary basis in both Reception Centres.[11] According to the Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions, applicants accommodated in the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection 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. The Croatian Red Cross runs the Job Center within which the applicants participate in the maintenance of the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection and its environment.

Are You Syrious (AYS) reported that, in 2023, they provided information to applicants for international protection on the right to work and provided support in job searching (e.g., writing CVs, contacting employers).[12] According to AYS, the problems that appeared during 2023 include non-payment of wages or overtime hours, failure to inform applicants about employee rights and avoidance of signing contracts by employers.

Jesuit Refugee Service,[13] and Rehabilitation Centre for Stress and Trauma[14] also provide support in job searching.




[1] Article 61(1) LITP.

[2] Article 61(5) LITP.

[3] Article 61(2)-(3) LITP.

[4] Article 61(4) LITP.

[5] Article 61(6) LITP.

[6] Article 61(7) LITP.

[7] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, 8 March 2024.

[8] Information provided by Administrative Court in Zagreb, 12 January 2024.

[9] Article 14 Law on Labour Market, Official Gazette 118/2018, 32/2020, 18/2022.

[10] Information provided by the Croatian Employment Service, 15 January 2024.

[11] Article 19 Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions.

[12] Information provided by AYS, 29 January 2024.

[13] Information provided by Jesuit Refugee Service, 5 February 2024.

[14] Information provided by Rehabilitation Centre for Stress and Trauma, 30 January 2024.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation