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Know more about Split, our 'New Home' - Temporary residence?

Hello! My husband and I live in Chicago, he has a business here in the States but are very interested in eventual renewable temporary residence in Croatia and will be visiting this winter to do some recon. We have been to Split, Zagreb and Dubrovnik before. We are looking at Split as our new "home"...

Tell us anything you want about your experience in Split - the people, the social life, daily life, climate, food, living accommodations (we will rent at first) - anything you think we might like or need to know....healthcare, volunteer opportunities (want to have a local hobby and opportunity to be busy, involved in community...)

We are very social, enjoy good people, food, wine and adventure, music...we have driven in Croatia very nice but prefer to be in walking distance to activities, restaurants, the sea etc...

Are you there as a temporary resident? Any tips on that? Application process itself and also - easy to renew? How long is temporary residence? I am calling consulates and embassies but personal experiences are best please!

How do you obtain heallthcare? How is it?

What areas of Split are you living in? Any good long term rental agencies you recommend? Thanks for taking the time to write back! I am sure we will love to hear everything! I know this is  lot we are just excited for our dream to come true!

Best and thank you in advance for your responses!

Hi. The thing to know about moving here is if you don't have health insurance, get Croatian travel health insurance. When you get that, they issue you an OIB. With that you can open a bank account, see doctors (as mentioned below) and rent an apartment or buy property.
We went to http://www.expatincroatia.com/ with information on the visa process etc. There is also http://www.total-croatia-news.com/ which is self explanatory just to keep you eager to come.

What there is no mention of is that when you start your visa process you will need a whole year's rent in the bank with a notarized contract signed by the landlord that will be taken from your account when you get your visa, also 2700 kuna per month for the year plus 500 kuna per month for a spouse, in the bank (you can use this during the year as needed) and on the day you go to apply you will need a letter from the bank (easy to obtain, it just takes a few minutes) with that day's account balance on it and signed by a bank officer. We use Zagrebacka bank and eventually we will have our US social security directly deposited to it. It is the only one we can do this with.

So, come to Croatia, get your health insurance for the OIB, if you already have health insurance you can go to the finance office to obtain a OIB, open a bank account and start filling it with the necessary funds, find a place, arrange for the contract to get signed etc., obtain the visa form at the main police  station (the site above might have them accessible but they change - we had two versions) and where it says reason for wanting the visa say to pay the rent - that is what we were told to do by our landlord - have your pictures taken already and that day's letter from your bank. With all this done you can get it taken care of at once. When they have made copies of everything they will instruct you to go to the photo processing shop across the way to buy a 20 kuna stamp per visa application that you will bring back and then you get your document.

Also, going before the tourist season starts will get it in the works quicker. They will give you a document that says you've applied so you can stay past the 90 days. We started our process a month after arriving and two months before the 90 days was up, so the rent contract started from the 91st day of our arrival and we paid by the month for two months. We were told we can't leave the country until we have or visa processed by the police officers that came to visit us a month after we started the process. It is now 2 months past the 90 days and we are still waiting for our visas.
The other thing you want to know is that, since you are legally not a resident, there will be a 12% per month tax to pay. Just to keep in mind when negotiating you contract.

The closer to the beach the higher the rent. That 300 per month is definitely on the low side. But we wanted furnished, so maybe I'm wrong about that.

Still worth every bit of inconvenience to be here.

Good luck.

We live near Firule beach and the hospital. We were just lucky to find our landlord. We had rented an airbnb for a month to give us time to find something. Our landlady knew someone who was looking for a long term tenant. We are very happy. It is two blocks to the beach, 15 to 20 minute walk to the green market and palace. The bus system is easy to figure out pretty quickly (we don't have or want a car) from Promet website and life is good.

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