Economic reasons and not security concerns are the main obstacles for the lifting of visas for Croatian citizens wishing to travel to the United States. Croatian citizens who have their travel visa application rejected are finding that it has nothing to do with being a threat to security but rather because they don’t have enough financial support, a job or a housing solution, and there is risk that they could turn their vacation into illegal immigration, reports the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List.
Around 400 Croatian visa applications are refused every year, with a large proportion of these actually Croatians living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. This is around a 5 percent rejection rate, but one of the rules laid out by the US Government for visa free travel is that the country has an annual rejection rate of less than 3 percent.
Although the rejection rate has been slowly reduced over the past few years, in 2016 it was 6.78 percent, it is still too high for American standards.
The number of travel visas issues to Croatian citizens for the US has been stable for the past few years, between 16,000 and 17,000 a year, in 2017 16,440 such visas were issued. However, on the flip side, the number of immigration visas is relatively small. Last year only 104 Croatian citizens received a visa to live in the US and in 2016 there were 129 such visas. The vast majority of these visas were issued for the purpose of family reunification, the actual number of full working visas is extremely small. Last year only 8 Croatian citizens actually received a full working visa.