Citizenship


Acquiring Croatian Citizenship

Persons who do not have Croatian citizenship (foreign nationals) can submit an application for Croatian citizenship and acquire it by naturalisation if they meet the requirements laid down by the Croatian Citizenship Act.

Croatian citizenship can be acquired by naturalisation on the following legal grounds:
  • Residing in Croatia
  • Being born in Croatia
  • Being married to or in a life partnership with a Croatian citizen
  • Emigrating from Croatia
  • Being of interest to the Republic of Croatia
  • Belonging to the Croatian people
  • Regaining Croatian citizenship.

Minors can acquire Croatian citizenship by naturalization if:
  • Both of their parents have acquired Croatian citizenship by naturalisation
  • Only one of their parents has acquired Croatian citizenship by naturalization, and the child lives in Croatia and has been granted residence
  • Only one of their parents acquires Croatian citizenship by naturalization, while the other does not have citizenship or is of unknown citizenship, and the child lives abroad.
The Ministry of the Interior handles affairs related to the acquisition of Croatian citizenship by naturalization.

Submitting an Application

The application for acquiring Croatian citizenship by naturalisation must be submitted in person at a police administration or a police station, or at a diplomatic mission/consular post of the Republic of Croatia. Exceptionally, in case the person in question has a disability, the application can be submitted by his or her legal representative or an attorney.

The application form and the questionnaire which needs to be filled in can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
Application for acquiring Croatian citizenship

The following documents should be enclosed with the application:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Extract from the birth register (and an extract from the marriage register if the person is married), issued within the last 6 months (the said documents need not be submitted if the applicant’s birth and marriage have been entered in the national registers of the Republic of Croatia)
  • Certificate of the citizenship status
  • Police certificate issued by a competent foreign authority of the applicant’s country of citizenship and the country of his or her permanent residence, issued within the last 6 months
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document containing a visible photo
  • If the application is submitted in the Republic of Croatia, the administrative fee has to be paid when collecting the decision on the admission to Croatian citizenship, or the decision on the refusal of the application
  • If the application is submitted abroad, the consular fee has to be paid when submitting the application.

If the application is also submitted for underage children, the child’s extract from the birth register, proof of the citizenship status of the child is also submitted. The extract from the birth register does not have to be submitted if the child’s birth has been entered in the Birth Register of the Republic of Croatia.
 
Depending on the grounds for acquiring Croatian citizenship, other documents need to be submitted as well.

Information on the status of the submitted application can be obtained on the basis of the party’s written request sent by post or by e-mail.
 

Proving the Knowledge of Croatian Language and Culture

In the process of acquiring Croatian citizenship, applicants for acquiring Croatian citizenship on the basis of residing in Croatia as well as emigrants and their descendants up to the third degree of lineal kinship (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren) and their spouses, except for persons over the age of 60, are obliged to prove the knowledge of the Croatian language and the Latin script as well as the knowledge of Croatian culture and the social structure of the Republic of Croatia.

The knowledge of Croatian culture and the social structure of the Republic of Croatia is proved by filling out a questionnaire on Croatian culture and the social structure of the Republic of Croatia, independently and without consultation, in front of an official receiving the application at the police administration or station or at a diplomatic mission/consular post.

The knowledge of the Croatian language and the Latin script is proved by providing appropriate evidence. In some cases, proof may be provided by filling in the application form for acquiring citizenship by naturalisation (for example foreign nationals who submit their application under Article 11 of the Croatian Citizenship Act).
 

Collecting the Certificate of Citizenship

After the applicant is admitted to Croatian citizenship and their information entered into the Register of Citizens of the Republic of Croatia, they may collect the certificate of citizenship at any registry office in the Republic of Croatia.
Information can be obtained at 00385 1 6101 544 or 00385 1 6101 564.
 

 Determining Croatian Citizenship

The procedure of determining Croatian citizenship must be conducted for persons who had acquired the status of a Croatian citizen pursuant to the legislation valid up to the day on which the Croatian Citizenship Act entered into force (8 October 1991), but, due to a mistake, their information was not entered into the Register of Citizens.

A person who belongs to the Croatian people and who, on the day on which the Croatian Citizenship Act entered into force (8 October 1991), did not have Croatian citizenship, but had registered permanent residence in Croatia, is considered to be a Croatian citizen if he or she provides a written statement saying that he or she considers himself or herself a Croatian citizen.
 

Subsequent Entry of Information into the Register of Citizens

An application for determining Croatian citizenship can be submitted by persons whose information is not entered into the registers of citizens of the Republic of Croatia, but who acquired this status pursuant to the regulations which were valid until 8 October 1991. Whether the legal prerequisites for subsequent entry of information into the registers of citizens have been met or not, is determined in accordance with the regulations valid at the time the applicant was born.

If it is established in the process that the person meets all the prerequisites for subsequent entry of his or her information into the Register of Citizens, he or she is considered to be a Croatian citizen from the moment of his or her birth, and not from the day of the entry.

If he or she meets the prerequisites, a police administration or a police station, or a diplomatic mission/consular post notifies the person of the entry of his or her information into the Register of Citizens (the registry office, page, registration number). If the person does not meet the prerequisites for the entry, he or she will be asked to come and collect the decision on the rejection of the application.

Information on the status of the submitted application can be obtained on the basis of the party’s written request sent by post or by e-mail.
 

Submitting an Application

The application is submitted in person or by an authorised person at a police administration or a police station competent according to the location of the applicant's temporary residence or last permanent residence in the Croatian territory. If the applicant has permanent or temporary residence abroad, the application is submitted to the nearest Croatian diplomatic mission/consular post.

Application for determining Croatian citizenship


The following documents should be enclosed with the application:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Extract from the birth register (married persons must also enclose an extract from the marriage register)
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document containing a visible photo
  • Certificate from the registry office proving that the applicant’s information is not entered in the registers of citizens according to the location of the registry office at which their parents’ were entered into the registers, according to their parents’ permanent residence at the time of the applicant’s birth or proving that the registers of citizens are destroyed/missing
  • Certified copies of certificates of citizenship or certificates from the registry offices stating that both or one of the applicant’s parents are registered in the registers of Croatian citizens
  • Extracts from national registers (birth or death or marriage) of the parents, if available, do not need to be recent.


Persons who have moved abroad, outside of the former SFRY/FNRY territory, should also enclose proof of previous Yugoslav citizenship (an old passport, certificate of citizenship, military or employment records and similar).

Those persons who hold a citizenship of any of the successor states of the former SFRY republics and who had acquired the citizenship of any other republic from the former SFRY by 8 October 1991 do not meet the conditions for determining Croatian citizenship and subsequent entry of their information into the register of Croatian citizens.

Legal Grounds for Determining Croatian Citizenship

The procedure for determining Croatian citizenship is carried out solely on the basis of Article 30, paragraph 1 of the Croatian Citizenship Act and not on the basis of Articles 4 or 5 of the said Act, which are often wrongly stated as the legal grounds.

Articles 4 and 5 of the Act provide the conditions for determining Croatian citizenship by origin for newborns and underage children.
 

Termination of Croatian Citizenship

An application for the termination of Croatian citizenship can be submitted by Croatian nationals if, apart from having Croatian citizenship, they also have foreign citizenship or if a foreign country guarantees to grant them their citizenship on the condition that they terminate Croatian citizenship. 
 

Submitting the Application

An application for the termination of Croatian citizenship must be submitted in person at a police administration/police station unless the person in question is disabled in which case the request can be submitted by a legal representative or an attorney. The application may also be submitted at a diplomatic mission or a consular post of the Republic of Croatia.

The application for the termination of Croatian citizenship by release for adults and child/children


The following documents should be enclosed with the application:  
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Extract from the birth register (it does not have to be enclosed if the applicant’s birth has been entered in the Birth Register of the Republic of Croatia)
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document
  • If the application is submitted in the Republic of Croatia, the administrative fee has to be paid when collecting the decision on the release from Croatian citizenship, or the decision on the refusal of the application
  • If the application is submitted abroad, the applicant has to pay a consular fee
  • If the application is also submitted for underage children, an extract from the birth register has to be enclosed (it does not have to be enclosed if the child’s birth has been entered in the Birth Register of the Republic of Croatia), a certified copy of a valid identity document if he or she holds one
  • Proof of foreign citizenship or a guarantee from a foreign authority of granting foreign citizenship to the applicant including a certified translation into the Croatian language by a certified court interpreter.
 

Renouncement of Croatian Citizenship

Croatian citizenship may also be terminated by renouncement.

In that case, the following documents must be enclosed in addition to the required application form for the termination of Croatian citizenship and its questionnaire:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certified copy of a valid identity document
  • Duly certified statement on renouncing Croatian citizenship, bearing a signature and the date
  • Proof of foreign citizenship
  • Proof of permanent residence abroad
  • Extract from the birth register (not necessary if the applicant’s birth has been entered in the Birth Register of the Republic of Croatia).
If the application is also being submitted for underage children, the following documents must be enclosed as well:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Child’s extract from the birth register (not necessary if the child’s birth has been entered in the Birth Register of the Republic of Croatia),
  • Certified copy of an identity document, if he or she holds one
  • Extract from the marriage register of the child’s legal representative (if the application for release is only being submitted by one of the parents, it is also necessary to enclose proof of the other parent’s citizenship status)
  • Copy of the divorce judgment made by a competent court (if the parents are divorced)
  • Guarantee of granting foreign citizenship to the child or proof that the child holds foreign citizenship (certificate, certified copy of the passport)
If the application for the termination of Croatian citizenship is submitted in the Republic of Croatia, an administrative fee in the amount of HRK 2520.00 is charged for the decision on the termination of Croatian citizenship, pursuant to Heading 12, paragraph 1 of the Regulation on Administrative Fee Tariffs.
An administrative fee in the amount of HRK 35.00 is charged for a decision on refusal of the termination of Croatian citizenship, pursuant to Heading 2, paragraph 1 of the Regulation on Administrative Fee Tariffs.
A consular fee is charged for applications for the termination of Croatian citizenship which are submitted abroad.
 

Dual Citizenship

In certain cases, Croatia allows keeping one or more foreign citizenships in addition to acquiring Croatian citizenship.

A foreign citizenship may be kept if:
  • Croatian citizenship is acquired on the basis of being married to a Croatian citizen
  • The citizenship is acquired by an emigrant, his or her descendants up to the third degree of lineal kinship (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren) and their spouses
  • The applicant concerned is a foreign national and granting Croatian citizenship to them and their spouse is in the interest of the Republic of Croatia
  • The applicant is a minor
  • The applicant wishes to regain Croatian citizenship
  • The applicant belongs to the Croatian people but lives abroad.


 ​Obligatory Release from Foreign Citizenship

Persons who submit an application for the acquisition of Croatian citizenship on the basis of residing in the Republic of Croatia (regular naturalisation) and persons who submit their application on the basis of being born in the territory of the Republic of Croatia are obliged to provide the release from foreign citizenship.