Determining Croatian Citizenship

This procedure establishes whether a person acquired Croatian citizenship pursuant to regulations that were in force up to 8 October 1991.

Application for determining Croatian citizenship may be submitted by persons who have not been registered in the Registry of Citizens of the Republic of Croatia but who acquired this right pursuant to regulations that were in force on 8 October 1991. The existence of legal conditions for subsequent registration in the Registry of Citizens shall be established pursuant to regulations that were in force on the day of the applicant’s birth.

If the procedure establishes that the applicant meets the requirements for subsequent registration in the Registry of Citizens, they shall be considered a Croatian citizen as of the day of their birth rather than as of the day of their registration.

In case the requirements are met, the police department or station, or the diplomatic mission/consulate shall notify the person that they have been registered in the Registry of Citizens (registry office, registration number), however, if the applicant does not meet the requirements, they shall be summoned and handed the decision on the rejection of their application.

The applicant may obtain information regarding the status of their submitted application by sending a written request by post or e-mail.

Submitting Applications

The application for determining Croatian citizenship shall be submitted in person at a local police department or police station according to the place of granted temporary or permanent residence. Exceptionally, in case of disabled persons, the application may be submitted by their legal representative or authorised person. If the applicant was not granted temporary or permanent residence in the Republic of Croatia, the application for determining Croatian citizenship shall be submitted through the competent diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia abroad.

The application form, together with the questionnaire to be submitted, may be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior’s website 

Application for determining Croatian citizenship.
 
The following supporting documents shall be enclosed in addition to the application form:
  • curriculum vitae
  • extract from the registry of births (for married persons, extract from the registry of marriages as well)
  • certified copy of a valid identity document with a clearly visible photograph
  • evidence of citizenship status (certificate of citizenship which would clearly demonstrate when and on what grounds the applicant acquired foreign citizenship; if possible, a certified copy of the decision by the competent authority on granting foreign citizenship shall be enclosed as well)
  • evidence that the applicant’s parents or parent holds Croatian citizenship (certificate of nationality, document issued by a registry office)
  • extracts from state registries (registry of births or marriages or deaths) for both parents
  • persons who moved from the territory of the Republic of Croatia abroad prior to 8 October 1991 may enclose evidence of earlier Yugoslavian citizenship (old passport, military card, employment card).

For persons who are citizens of countries which are successors to former SFRY republics, the key criterion lies in the fact whether they acquired other citizenship within former SFRY pursuant to regulations that were in force on 8 October 1991. In such a case, they do not meet the requirements for determining Croatian citizenship and subsequent registration in the Registry of Croatian Citizens. Exceptionally, pursuant to the Act on the Amendments to the Croatian Citizenship Act (Official Gazette 102/19), which came into force on 1 January 2020, Croatian citizenship shall also be granted to any person born between 8 January 1977 and 8 October 1991, if both parents held Croatian citizenship at the time of birth, but the person was registered as citizen of another country, if they submit an application for determining Croatian citizenship within two years after the entry into force of the Act above.

Legal Grounds for Determining Citizenship

The process of determining Croatian citizenship is applied pursuant to Articles 30(1) and 30a(2) of the Croatian Citizenship Act.

Articles 4 and 5 of this Act regulate the requirements for acquiring Croatian citizenship through descent for new-born children and persons born after the entry into force of the Act above, i.e. after 8 October 1991. Persons of age but under the age of 21 shall submit an application/request for direct registration in the Registry of Births (if they were not born in the Republic of Croatia) and the Registry of Croatian Citizens to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration through the competent diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia abroad if they reside in a foreign country.

Persons over the age of 21 shall submit requests for registration in the Registry of Croatian Citizens pursuant to Articles 4 and 5 on the questionnaire form for determining Croatian citizenship. Persons submitting their applications on grounds of Article 5(2) of the Act (persons over the age of 21 born abroad, if one parent was a Croatian citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth), apart from the standard supporting documents, shall also submit evidence of clean criminal record issued by the competent foreign authority within the last 6 months. The provision of Article 5(2) of the Act is of temporary nature as applications may be submitted within two years after the entry into force of the Act on the Amendments to the Croatian Citizenship Act (OG 102/19).

The procedure for determining Croatian citizenship, together with details on the supporting documents required, is described on the Ministry of the Interior’s website

Determining Croatian citizenship - Instructions and procedures.