Croatia will enter the Schengen Zone on January 1, 2023, after being in the works for several years and ultimately ratified on December 9, 2022.
Travelers visiting Croatia could previously visit the country if they possessed a Schengen visa (as long as it was dual- or multiple-entry), but they couldn’t get one from a Croatian visa center or embassy. Furthermore, getting a Croatian visa did not grant the visa bearer access to the Schengen Zone.
This all changes on January 1, 2023, when travelers will no longer be able to get a Croatian visa and will instead need to obtain a Schengen visa. This visa, of course, allows the holder to travel across the Schengen Zone.
Visa-free visitors to the Schengen Zone are allowed a 90-day stay in any 180 days. This implies that if you stay in the zone for 90 days, whether in one nation or several, you must depart for the next 90 days before being allowed to return.
Before entering the Schengen Zone, Croatia had a similar “90 days in 180” limit, but because it was outside the Zone, tourists could transfer between the Zone and Croatia (or other non-Schengen nations) to stay in Europe if they so desired. This is no longer the case, therefore, when visiting Croatia and the Schengen Zone, please be mindful of your travel time restriction. (If you exceed the 90-day restriction, you may find yourself in “trouble.”)