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I'm traveling to Belgium for a month for a training and already got my single entry Schengen visa from 29-6 to 13-8 with a 30 days stay duration. My stay in Belgium will be from 30-6 to 28-7 for the training. However, I wish to visit a friend in Croatia and stay there for 7 more days after Belgium; where Croatia will become part of the EU countries in 1/7.

My questions are: can I apply for Croatia as a non-EU country and expect a normal entry OR do I apply for a multiple entry visa from Germany since I will be landing there to go to Belgium even is I don't stay there. If I apply for Germany, can I simply go from Germany to Belgium, then Belgium to Croatia then back home or do I have to pass by Germany on my way back. How long does a visa from the Embassy take to be issued and do they keep the passport? Is it possible that I apply to Croatia from Belgium or not? Sorry for the long question. Your help is much appreciated.

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1 Answer 1

That is a lot of questions...

As a Schengen visa holder, you can enter Croatia without a visa. Problem is, since you have a single-entry visa, they won't let you back into the Schengen area (read: Belgium) afterwards!

So the logical thing to do would be to convert your Schengen visa into a multiple-entry visa... but unfortunately as far as I can tell that's not possible, you'd have to apply for a new visa. Under Schengen rules, you're supposed to apply to the country you're spending the most time in, which would be Belgium, not Germany.

The alternative, then, is route your travel so that you do not return to the EU after visiting Croatia: Home -> Belgium -> Croatia -> home should work. You didn't say where you're coming from, but if you're flying via (eg.) Istanbul, you should be able to book a XXX->Istanbul->Brussels / Zagreb-Istanbul-XXX open jaw at any decent travel agent, and then book the Belgium-Croatia flight separately.

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