Croatia is a beautiful country which is often overlooked by travelers to Europe but has been “rediscovered” by many of them over the last few years. Now, with its entry to the border free Schengen Zone, it will be ready to accept many more travelers.
Croatia to Join the Schengen Zone
The continent of Europe can be a bit confusing when it comes to the relationships that the countries have with each other. There is the European Union which is comprised of 27 nations. But, there is also the Eurozone, the countries that accept and trade in the Euro as the official currency. And, there is also the Schengen Zone or Area. This is the area that has 26 members (currently) that allows for border free travel.
Not all countries are in all of those cooperations. For example, Switzerland is in the Schengen Zone but not in the Eurozone or the EU. In fact, just 19 of the 27 EU countries have the Euro has their official currency.
Since 2013, Croatia has been a member of the European Union but not a part of the Schengen Zone. To join this, they had to demonstrate that they could maintain adequate control of their borders since it shares borders with non-Schengen nations (Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) as well as access to the sea. Apparently, that hurdle has been met and now the Schengen Zone is prepared to welcome Croatia to the border-free party.
At this time, there is not a date for when this will happen officially. However, American passport holders have not had to receive a tourist visa before going to Croatia anyway. The big change will be that whichever Schengen country you transit enroute to Croatia will eventually be the entry point for your passport and then the flight to Croatia will act like a “domestic” flight so no passport queuing upon arrival.