Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 22/04/22


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Applicants have the right to work after 9 months from the day of lodging the application upon which the Ministry of Interior has not yet rendered any decision, 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] However, one attorney at law reported a possible problem with this time frame. According to the latter, there were cases where the date of the decision was the date before the expiration of the 9-month deadline. However as the decisions were delivered after the expiration of 10 and half months, it was not possible to verify whether decisions were actually taken on the day indicated on them.[3] In 2020, one attorney reported the same issue.[4]

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.[5]

One attorney reported that it was observed in 2020 that applicants who have been granted the right to work by the Ministry of Interior, have not been informed or did not understand that this right lasts only until the enforceability of the decision on international protection.[6]

According to the Croatian Employment Service (CES) registration in the records of the CES is regulated by Law on Labour Market as of 1 January 2019.[7] According to the data of the CES, 2 applicants for international protection (of which 1 woman) were registered in their records of unemployed persons on 31 December 2021, while 1 applicant for international protection was receiving individual counselling at CES.[8]

Applicants can work on a voluntary basis in both Reception Centres.[9]  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.

Are You Syrious (AYS) reported that during 2021 they provided information to applicants of international protection on the right to work and provided support in job searching (e.g. writing CVs, contacting employers).[10]  As a shortcoming to the current legislative solution, they pointed out the 9 months period for implementation of right to work, which prevents early integration into the labour market.

Centre for Peace Studies held workshops on job search.[11]

The Croatian Red Cross drafted a leaflet for employers on the employment of applicants for international protection and beneficiaries of international protection in cooperation with UNHCR,[12] The leaflet was presented in December 2021 at the round table “Economic Empowerment of Refugees and Employment Opportunities”. Once finalized, the leaflet will be available online in Croatian and English.



[1]        Article 61(1) LITP.

[2]        Article 61(5) LITP.

[3]         Information provided by the attorney at law, 16 January 2020.

[4]        Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 26 January 2021.

[5]        Article 61(2)-(3) LITP.

[6]        Information provided by an attorney-at-law, 26 January 2021.

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

[8]        Information provided by the Croatian Employment Service, 11 January 2022.

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

[10]        Information provided by AYS, 7 February 2022.

[11]        Information provided by Centre for Peace Studies, 10 January 2022.

[12]       Information provided by CRC, 4 January 2022.

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