Croatia Joining the Schengen Area (World Largest Visa Free Zone) from 1st Jan 2023 – 2 Countries Rejected

Schengen Area | Schengen Zone | Schengen Visa | Member Schengen States | European Union | Europe

What is the Schengen Area and Which 3 Countries Applied to be the Members?

The Schengen Zone is an area in Europe where people can travel without border controls. The zone includes 26 European countries covering major part of mainland Europe.

Countries in Schengen Area are mentioned below:

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

3 Countries Applied to be the Member States of Schengen 2022

Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia was the three countries willing to be the part of Schengen Area. But only Croatia fulfilled all the requirements to become a member state of Schengen.

Now, officially Croatia is a new member of the Schengen Zone. This decision was made by the council in the 2nd week of December 2022.

The Schengen Zone is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their internal borders. After 1st January, 2023 the total member states of Schengen area will be 27.

Why Croatia Is a Perfect Fit for the Schengen Area

Croatia is a perfect fit for the Schengen Area because it is a member of the European Union EU since 2023.

Croatia’s open border policy allows easy entrance and exit from other countries in Europe.

Croatia is also a perfect fit for the Schengen Area because it shares no international borders with non-EU countries, making it easier to control who enters and leaves from Croatia.

Croatia – 27th Member of Schengen States

Schengen Visa and Entry in Croatia

A Schengen Visa allows the holders to travel freely within the Schengen Area. It doesn’t matter, from which country you got the visa.

The entry policy on Schengen Visa is to First land only in that specific Country which issued the Visa.
After 1st January 2023, Schengen Visa holders will be allowed to enter Croatia as well.

Can I Work in Croatia on a Visit Visa?

This is one of the most common question, and the answer in No. You can not Work in Croatia while on a Visit Visa. To start working in Croatia, one needs a Work Permit.

But, for sure this new agreement of accepting Croatia in Schengen Area will bring Croatian Labour market on a next level. There will be more job opportunities and Croatia will soon become a place of interest for Entrepreneurs and Investors.

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What are Some of the Pros and Cons of Croatia Joining The Schengen Area?

Joining the Schengen Area would allow Croatia to enjoy all of the benefits that come with being a member of Europe’s borderless area. But there are some drawbacks too. The country would need to meet all of the criteria set by the Schengen Agreement, which includes abolishing ID checks at borders and allowing free movement across its borders for citizens of other countries in the area.

Some of the pros and cons of joining Schengen area are as follows:


  • It will make travelling easier for Croatians
  • It will make travelling easier for tourists who want to visit Croatia
  • It will make it easier for Croatian businesses to trade with other EU countries as well as non-EU countries in Europe


  • Croatia might have to give up some sovereignty over its territory and resources (ex: land and water)
  • Croatians might be able to travel more freely in the European Union but when they do, it will still cost them money (ex: taxes)

Conclusion: Croatia is officially the 27th State of Schengen Area. January 2023 onwards, Not only Croatians but other country’s nationals will be allowed to enter and leave Croatia with a valid Schengen Visa. Furthermore, Croatian businesses will be able to trade with other EU and Schengen countries.

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