How to regulate the status of minor children – third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia

Pursuant to the provisions of the Aliens Act, minor children – third-country nationals may be granted temporary stay in the Republic of Croatia if they meet the requirements laid down by the Aliens Act and by-laws, for the following purposes:
  • Family reunification (for example, minor children whose parents or adoptive parents have been granted temporary/permanent stay or are third-country nationals who have been granted protection based on special regulation laying down international protection, or are Croatian nationals). Pursuant to Article 51 of the Aliens Act, a parent or a guardian of a child born in the Republic of Croatia has to submit an application for the child’s temporary stay by his or her age of three months,
  • Secondary school education (it can be granted to a minor arriving under the student exchange programme approved by the ministry competent for education and science),
  • Humanitarian grounds (it can be granted to a minor – a human trafficking victim or a minor – a foreign national who has been abandoned or is a victim of organised crime or has otherwise been deprived of parental protection and care, or has become unaccompanied). Note: an application for temporary stay for this category of minors is submitted by the minor’s guardian in his or her presence (Article 13, paragraph 1 of the Ordinance on the status and work of third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia),
  • Other purposes (for example, medical treatment and others – this has to be proved by providing the relevant documentation laid down in Article 17 of the Ordinance on the status and work of third-country nationals in the Republic of Croatia).
  • Consent of the other parent is required for granting temporary stay to a minor child, which is given when the parent signs the request and the responsible officer notes down that the parent’s identity has been established. If one of the parents is not present, a consent may be given in a form of a written statement certified by a notary public. No consent is required if only one parent has been given parental care rights.

In order to protect the rights and interests of minors who find themselves in the Republic of Croatia without a legal representative – a parent or a guardian, and who do not fall under the category of third-country nationals who regulate their status for the purpose of secondary school education pursuant to the provisions of the above said Act, prior to submitting the application for regulating the status of third-country nationals pursuant to the provisions of the Aliens Act, the competent social welfare centres need to be contacted to appoint a guardian/special guardian pursuant to the provisions of the Family Act during the minors’ stay in the Republic of Croatia.